Barcelona selected to be the World Capital for Architecture in 2026

International Events

15 Apr 2024

Barcelona will host the International Union of Architects Congress for the second time, becoming the first city to do so twice.

UNESCO has officially designated Barcelona the World Capital of Architecture for 2026. This prestigious title is awarded through the Joint UNESCO-UIA Committee for the World Architecture Capital, which operates under the guidance of renowned architect Dominique Perrault.

A Milestone in Architectural Leadership

The city will host influential events and activities to celebrate Catalonia's rich heritage and demonstrate the critical role of architecture and urban planning in societal transformation. These initiatives will engage various audiences across all city districts, from local citizens to global professionals.

Barcelona's appointment marks a significant recurrence, as the city will host the International Union of Architects Congress for the second time—the first city ever to achieve this repeat hosting. The previous Congress held in Barcelona was in 1996, and next, in 2026, it will aim to catalyze discussions around architecture's vital contributions to societal needs.

A Global Stage for Urban Dialogue

Jointly by UNESCO and the UIA, the World Capital of Architecture initiative elevates cities as focal points for discussing urban and architectural innovation every three years. Barcelona, in collaboration with the Superior Council of Architects of Spain (CSCAE) and the Official College of Architects of Catalonia (COAC), will showcase a variety of events and programs. These are designed to highlight Barcelona's unique architectural character and its pivotal role in sustainable urban development.

The 2026 lineup includes forums that allow for rich dialogues on modern urban planning and architectural challenges, reflecting Barcelona's position at the forefront of these global discussions. The events promise to be a confluence of thought leaders, scholars, professionals, and enthusiasts worldwide, all converging to exchange ideas and insights that could shape the future landscapes of cities everywhere.

Source: UIA, International Union of Architects

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