Copenhagen, the UNESCO-UIA world capital of architecture 2023

Copenhagen has won the title of UNESCO-UIA World Capital of Architecture following the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro which was the first to be designated World Capital of Architecture in 2020 to 2021.

The title will tour the world every three years and grace the most prominent and world-leading cities within architecture.

Copenhagen is world-famous for its sustainable urban development which is vital to the nomination as UNESCO International Union of Architects (UIA) World Capital of Architecture in 2023.

The city has high ambitions on sustainability and boasts many green initiatives to reach its goals on climate: Green public transport, thousands of kilometres of bicycle lanes, zero-emission machinery on construction sites, environmentally friendly district heating – just to mention a few solutions to ensure clean air and a sustainable urban environment.

Copenhagen, the UNESCO-UIA world capital of architecture 2023
CopenHill is 41,000 m2 and allow a maximum of 100 skiers on the slopes at a time

Copenhagen, perfect architecture destination

Cycling is the core to the city’s unmistakable brand, and Copenhagen has several times been voted the world’s best city for cyclists. As a result of a bike orientated infrastructure, 42% of Copenhagen inhabitants commute to work or studies daily.

Encouraging cycling goes hand in hand with the City’s major focus on green transportation where zero-emission buses and a driver-less metro are central elements. And not to forget: Copenhagen has a waterfront so clean that visitors can take a plunge in the harbour.

UNESCO and the UIA have initiated a whole year focusing on architecture to underscore and demonstrate the crucial role of architecture and culture in sustainable urban development.

The city designated World Capital of Architecture will become a global forum for discussions on the world’s most pressing challenges through the prisms of culture, heritage, urban planning, and architecture.

In 2023, Copenhagen will set off from its all-pervading legacy and continuous booms of
innovative buildings and urban spaces with an ever-increasing focus on combining architecture with sustainability and liveability.

Throughout the year, travellers get the chance to visit architectural masterpieces such as the emerging new districts in Copenhagen, Nordhavn and Ørestad. Or CopenHill which is a 41,000 m2 waste-to-energy plant with an urban recreation centre on the roof. 70,000 tons of waste are burnt every hour producing
heat for 60,000 families.

Staying in hotels build in recycled structures

Many discoveries are linked to tourism: such as touring the specifically designed city’s bike bridges such as the Bicycle Snake and the Circle Bridge.

Or exploring and staying in hotels made of recycled buildings and structures. In the past few years, a lot of historical buildings in Copenhagen have been transformed into unique boutique hotels.

It means, that tourists in the Danish capital can feel the breath of history while staying in a former military hospital, a department store, a brewery, or a transformer station. It also allows architects to design a hotel that is unlike any other hotel in the world.

Since 2020, Copenhagen has seen its former central post office being turned into the Nordic Choices Villa Copenhagen with 390 rooms and suites; the headquarters for the ship-building company B&W built in 1962 is now a NH Collection hotel with 394 guest rooms and suites; Most original, the Socialist has 31 rooms and suites in a building that was designed in 1963 and up until 2012 was a transformer station providing all the electrical power for central Copenhagen.

Centrally located in the pedestrian area, the 234-rooms 25 Hours is inside a 19th-century building which housed once a porcelain factory and was later used as a university building;

Copenhagen, the UNESCO-UIA world capital of architecture 2023
Hotel Ottilia

Nobis Hotel Copenhagen is located in a historic building from 1903 which was for many years the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music. The hotel has 75 rooms and suites;

Hotel Ottilia is a 155-room boutique hotel in two former brewery buildings in the Carlsberg area of Copenhagen. The older building, known as the Malt Chamber, is from 1881.

Exhibitions and events

For dedicated fans of architecture, not to be missed are 7 temporary low emission pavilions opened in the former railway area, Jernbanebyen, which is under transformation to become a new urban district in Copenhagen. The pavilions will host exhibitions and debates during World Capital of Architecture 2023.

Finally, the CAFx, Copenhagen Architecture Festival, Scandinavia largest annual architecture festival takes place from 22 June to 9 July in Copenhagen. It is moved forward to June-July to coincide with the UIA World Congress.

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