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UIA 2023 in Copenhagen

UIA World Congress of Architects held in Copenhagen on 2-6 July 2023

Author: Anne Marie Barsøe
Photo: NH Collection Copenhagen

Facing serious global challenges and the pandemic aftermath, the UIA World Congress of Architects invites more than 10,000 professionals to join forces in reaching the UN 17 Sustainability Development Goals. The next congress is held in Copenhagen on 2-6 July 2023.

A need to act now 

The UIA World Congress 2023 in Copenhagen takes place at a critical time. The world is desperately in need of sustainable solutions, and it is crucial that architects, urban planners, landscape architects, designers, developers, politicians, and civil society meet the challenges of the global society.

The congress in Copenhagen is going to be the International Union of Architects' (UIA) 28th World Congress. With the overarching theme ‘Sustainable Futures – Leave no one behind', the congress will be the largest platform yet for discussing sustainability in architecture. Provided with a vibrant global stage, the international architecture community will share ideas, solutions, visions, and experiences that will further sustainability and showcase architecture as a vital tool to achieve the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals across the world.

“We’re pushing the limits of our planet and therefore we must act now. As architects, we have a responsibility to radically change the way we design, construct and grow the built environment in order to reach humane and environmentally sustainable societies. We hope to employ the UIA World Congress of Architects in Copenhagen 2023 as a milestone on our common path to-wards achieving the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals” said Natalie Mossin, Architect, President of Congress, Co-Chair of The UIA Commission on Sustainable Development, and Head of Institute at The Royal Danish Academy – Architecture, Design, Conservation.

Sustainable Futures - leave no one behind 

Architects have a crucial responsibility for the physical planning of our societies, and inclusivity, equality, and accessibility are more important design parameters than ever before. The global population growth emphasizes the need for solutions that bridge borders and cultures, and with the increase in economic and social disparity, the solutions must ensure that no one is left behind. 

“While we face our urgent climate crisis, we are also facing a global pandemic. Even if the pandemic’s severe consequences are yet to be fully understood, we do know that they, just like the consequences of the climate crisis, will be grave and very unevenly distributed. We want to use our congress as a platform to ensure that no one is left behind on our path towards 2030” said Annette Blegvad, CEO of the UIA World Congress in Copenhagen 2023

Copenhagen as UNESCO UIA World Capital of Architecture 

Copenhagen is appointed the honorable title of UNESCO.UIA World Capital of Architecture in 2023. The theme of the year will be “Copenhagen in Common”. 

The Danish capital offers a unique combination of culture, safety, global connectivity, well-functioning public transport, green spaces, and high-quality architecture.

“I hope that our title as UNESCO.UIA World Capital of Architecture will encourage and inspire all of us – both professionals and citizens – to strive for beautiful, inclusive, and, most importantly, sustainable architecture in Copenhagen and our common global community.” said Camilla van Deurs, City Architect of Copenhagen.

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UIA 2023 in Copenhagen

Photo:UIA World Congress of Architects

FAST FACTS - UIA World Congress of Architects in Copenhagen in 2023

Title: UIA 2023 CPH: Sustainable Futures – Leave No One Behind

When: July 2-6, 2023 

Where: Copenhagen, Denmark. Copenhagen will also hold the title as UNESCO.UIA World Capital of Architecture in 2023. The World Congress will be the key event of Copenhagen’s year of architecture

Why: The theme of the World Congress in Copenhagen will be the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and it will focus on architectural solutions for increased sus-tainability, accessibility and affordability

Venue: Bella Center Copenhagen is the main congress ven-ue, and there will be several congress events and exhibitions hosted throughout the city of Copenhagen

Volume: More than 10,000/55,000 (local/online) visitors expected at the congress

What: 500+ events, talks, meetings, de-bates, master classes, symposia, site visits, study tours, social events, etc.

Association: Union Internationale des Architectes (International Union of Architects) was founded in Switzerland in 1948.

Founding Partners: International Union of Architects, Danish Association of Architects, Royal Danish Academy – Architecture, Design, Conservation, Aarhus School of Architecture, Realdania, The Dreyer Foundation, Bevica Foundation.

Congress Partners: Wonderful Copenhagen, CAP-Partners, Bella Center Copenhagen, Danish Architecture Center, Creative Denmark, Copenhagen Capacity, Visit Copenhagen


United Nations-approved: Recognized by the UN as an NGO, and as the only architectural union to operate at an international level, the UIA unites the national architects’ as-sociations of the world.

1.3 million architects on board: UIA currently represents more than 100 countries and around 1.3 million architects. The countries are divided into 5 geographical regions with member sections representing areas or countries in each region.

Stay longer – reduce the CO2 footprint: As part of the World Congress’ green profile, we strive to minimise the CO2 footprint of the congress. We also encourage our congress delegates to travel by public transport, stay longer and bring their families along for a vacation in Denmark and the Nordic countries. 

Increasing accessibility: To make sure that no one is left behind, the congress will focus on acces-sibility both onsite and online. Universal design solutions will enable access at the congress venue and throughout the tours of Copenhagen, and the option of accessing and interacting with the congress online is available for those prevented from attending the physical congress.

The Nordic countries won the bid: The UIA Nordic Section won the bid for the world congress at the World Congress in Seoul, 2017. The UIA Nordic Section member countries are Denmark, Finland, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

The first congress was in 1948: The first World Congress of Architects was held in 1948, and it is a recur-ring, triennial event. The UIA Rio World Congress 2020 was post-poned to 2021 due to COVID-19.

Cause for celebration: 2023 marks the 75th anniversary of UIA, which has grown from its initial 27 delegations to more than 100 member countries today, reaching all continents of the world.

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For further information:  Contact UIA 2023 CPH - CEO Annette Blegvad on (+45) 30 85 90 11 / or the undersigned at Wonderful Copenhagen. 

Download the official UIA 2023 press kit right here

Anne Marie Barsøe AMB

Senior Manager - International Press & Communication