Barcelona City Council, the Spanish Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, the Catalan government, the Higher Council of Architects' Associations in Spain and the Official Architects’ Association of Catalonia (COAC) have signed a general action to promote Barcelona’s bid.
Barcelona City Council, the Spanish Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, the Catalan government, the Higher Council of Architects’ Associations in Spain and the Official Architects’ Association of Catalonia (COAC) signed a general action protocol today to launch Barcelona’s bid as the host city for the World Congress of the International Union of Architects (UIA) and as the UIA-UNESCO World Capital of Architecture in 2026. A competition it is facing Beijing in and which will be decided, towards the end of July, in the framework of the UIA’s General Assembly in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The signatory parties to the document recognise the value of architecture and urban planning as factors of quality of life and sense of social and cultural belonging, as well as a fundamental part of the right of citizens to a quality urban environment where they can fulfil their life project. They are therefore showing their determined support for a bid which – they concur- can represent a “great opportunity” for strengthening the role of Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain as centres of contemporary architectural and urban-design production and thinking, by delving deeply into their capacities for transforming and improving people’s lives.
The Second Deputy Mayor at Barcelona City Council, Janet Sanz, remarked: “Barcelona has continually been a benchmark in urban planning and architecture throughout time: the city knows how to adapt itself to new needs“. According to Sanz, this can be seen from projects such as for superblocks, traffic-calming streets, new green corridors and gender urban planning. “We aim to be the Word Capital of Architecture to show our commitment to such architecture at its most social, sustainable and healthy and to lead the response to the challenges facing cities today“, she affirmed.
The UIA has been holding congresses since 1948 and their aim, on every occasion, has been to tackle the challenges facing society through the rigorous knowledge that professionals contribute to Architecture. Barcelona had already played host in 1996 to the World Congress, whose title was “Present and futures: architecture in cities”, to resounding public acclaim and international impact. Exactly 30 years on, holding the World Capital of Architecture will represent an opportunity for creating a new event with an international impact, conceived as a space for discussion and debate giving rise to specific proposals for improving the city’s urban quality and, by extension, the quality of life of its residents.
During the race towards Barcelona’s designation, the City Council expressed its intention on 25 January 2019, through an institutional declaration, to present its bid to turn the city into the UNESCO World Capital of Architecture in 2026. A designation that is inextricably linked to holding the UIA World Congress of Architecture. As Spain’s representative to the International Union of Architects, the CSCAE formally presented the bid, since when, Barcelona City Council, the COAC and the CSCAE have been working jointly to submit the bid’s file and final dossier.
Barcelona was officially nominated by the UIA in January 2020 as candidate city with a single rival, the Chinese city of Beijing. The institutions are now carrying out the finishing touches of the bid, which will be defended a month from now in Rio de Janeiro.