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Rio de Janeiro named the first-ever world capital of architecture


Rio de Janeiro, or simply Rio, has been named the World Capital of Architecture for 2020 by UNESCO.

Rio, the second-most populous municipality in Brazil and the sixth-most populous in the Americas, becomes the first city ever to receive the recognition from the organisation.

According to a statement, as the first World Capital of Architecture, Rio de Janeiro will hold a series of events under the theme ‘All the worlds. Just one world’ and and promote the internationally agreed 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’s 11th Goal: “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.”

“The World Capital of Architecture initiative underscores the common commitment of UNESCO and the UIA to preserve architectural heritage in the urban context,” said Unesco’s assistant director-general for culture, Ernesto Ottone R., in a statement. “Through the range and quality of its activities, the World Capital of Architecture in Rio de Janeiro will demonstrate the crucial role of architecture and culture in sustainable urban development.”

Rio’s architecture does everything it can to embrace traditional buildings such as churches dating from the 16th to the 19th centuries and, in adding a modern twist, blends them with the world-renowned designs of the 20th century. 

Museum of Contemporary Art in Rio.
Mansion at Parque Lage, school of visual arts.
Santiago Calatrava’s Museum of Tomorrow
Christian de Portzamparc’s Cidade das Artes in Rio.