For those who celebrate: Today, October 2, is World Architecture Day, an annual holiday hosted by the International Union of Architects (IUA). World Architecture Day has taken place on the first Monday of October since 1985. It happens in parallel with the United Nations’ (UN) World Habitat Day.
The IUA was founded in 1948 and is based in Paris. It is a group of national professional organizations that brings together architects to advance global policies.
To date, IUA has 3.2 million members worldwide and member sections in every continent besides Antarctica. It’s the only international, non-governmental organization that represents architects around the globe recognized by the UN, UNESCO, the World Health Orgnization (WHO), and other important international governing bodies. IUA’s current president is José Luis Cortés from Mexico City. Past presidents include Sir Patrick Abercrombie, the famous London planner; Jean Tschumi, father of Bernard; and others.
This year’s iteration of UN’s World Habitat Day centers on “Resilient urban economies: cities as drivers of growth and recovery.” For World Architecture Day 2023, IUA took its own twist on the theme by focusing on the urban/rural divide in metropolitan regions around the world. IUA’s official theme this year is “Architecture for Resilient Communities” a press release stated. The IUA’s work will be informed by this goal, with the aim to “open an international discussion on the relationship between urban and rural areas in all countries.”
The IUA points to uncontrolled sprawl happening in metropolitan areas worldwide that threatens the planet’s environmental, social, and economic balance, among this natural disaster as a result of climate change, global pandemic, and political unrest. On World Architecture Day, IUA calls upon its member sections to discuss these far-ranging topics and present concepts and policies to address them.