Today is World Architecture Day

October 4 is World Architecture Day, instituted by the International Union of Architects (UIA) in 1985 to be held on the first Monday in October to coincide with United Nations World Habitat Day.

The 2021 theme, “A Clean Environment for a Healthy World,” addresses issues regarding housing, public spaces and the environment, all in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Currently, more than 1.6 billion people in the world do not have adequate housing, according to UNHabitat. By 2030, that number could reach 40% of the world’s population.

Our concept of public buildings and shared spaces has been transformed by the pandemic, and architects and government officials are exploring new ways to envision safe and healthy spaces.

Climate change is one of the most pressing crises of our time: United Nations Environment Program estimates that cities are responsible for 75 percent of global CO2 emissions, with transport and buildings being the largest industries.

“Architects are equipped to meet the complex challenges of the built environment,” the UIA said in a statement. The Union’s Sustainable Development Goals Commission “works to create a bridge between United Nations initiatives and the practices of architects around the world”, ensuring that architects are not only responsive to new goals, but that they contribute to their implementation and development.

On Monday at 8 a.m.ET, the UIA will host a webinar with experts in design, health and sustainable development from around the world, including UIA President José Luis Cortés, former president of the Federation of Colleges of Architects of the Republic Mexican and Ghanaian architect. Richard Nii Dade, who completed building a 100-bed infectious disease center in Accra in just 100 days to treat patients with COVID-19.

They are joined by Ray Pentecôte, director of the Center for Health Systems & Design (CHSD) at Texas A&M University’s College of Architecture; Tommy Valdez, advocate for sustainable forestry and president of the Society of Filipino Foresters; Maria Neira, Director of the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health at the World Health Organization; and the former Director General of WHO, Margaret Chan, now the first dean of the Vanke School of Public Health at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

The panel moderation will be Martha Thorne, Dean of the IE School of Architecture and Design in Spain and former Executive Director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize and Curator of Architecture at the Art Institute of Chicago

To register, click here.


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