Rio de Janeiro has been selected to host World Congress of Architects UIA 2020, one of the world's most important architecture forums. The news was announced yesterday by one of the UIA's former presidents and current Secretary of the Session, Vassils Sgoutas, during the General Assembly of this year’s congress in Durban, South Africa. Rio's application was spearheaded by Brazil's most important architecture institution - Instituto de Arquitetos do Brasil (IAB). The South American city beat out two strong candidates: Melbourne and Paris.
After the presentations of the three candidate cities, two rounds of voting began. In the first round Rio got 85 votes, against Melbourne’s 73 votes and Paris’ 44 votes. In the second round Rio beat Melbourne with 107 votes against 95.
Under the theme “Todos os Mundos. Um só mundo. Arquitetura 21” (All the worlds. Just one world. Architecture 21), the congress aims to discuss the urban reality expressed through the plurality of building forms in cities and to foster the reintegration of the architect in the social environment. Rio, with its 12 million inhabitants, presents an urban scene rich in disparities and successes, and features conditions common to many rapidly growing cities around the world.
Eduardo Paes, Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, considers this win a "very important" achievement: "It is a choice which depicts the city's current transformation. Rio has some unique features: it's a metropolis - framed by a luxurious nature and a diverse architecture - with some major social challenges to beat. That is: it's a synthesis to the architect of the 21th century."
Some important organizations have also supported Rio's campaign, like the Pan American Federation of Architects, the Conselho de Arquitetura e Urbanismo do Brasil (CAU/BR), and the Federação Nacional dos Arquitetos e Urbanistas (FNA).