With just three weeks to go before Durban welcomes 'The World Cup of Architects', UIA2014 Durban, to the city, arrangements are moving into top gear for the architectural event of the decade.
"Together with the support of one of South Africa's most eminent citizens and Congress Patron, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, we have had backing from both the private and public sectors," says Hassan Asmal, President of the Organisation Committee for UIA2014 Durban.
"This gathering comes at a particularly poignant time in South Africa's development. We are very conscious of the fact that the neighbourhoods in which we live, and the relative qualities of life we enjoy, remain totally skewed by our divided history. This is not solely a South African challenge; a massive gap in living standards is a global affliction. We need cities, services, housing and human settlements that are more habitable, more integrated, more functional and more beautiful. So that all God's people - rich and poor, black, green, pink and white - feel valued and can live dignified lives," says Archbishop Tutu.
"This is our once in a lifetime chance to show our mettle as a profession on an international stage," adds Karen Eicker, Commissary General for the event. "Our excellent scientific programme headlined by a world-class speaker line-up, including two Pritzker Prizewinners (the equivalent of a Nobel prize in Architecture), promises delegates an event unlike any UIA World Congress ever held before. It's a unique opportunity to showcase our country and Durban as the host city, to a global audience; and for our professionals to network with their international counterparts on South African soil."
"We are finally about to see the fruits of the many hours of work and commitment from so many people around the country," Asmal says. "We are grateful for the commercial sponsorship we've received from South African, African and global brands, including PPC Cement, Itatile, Hewlett Packard, Intel and Barrisol and the excellent support we've received from the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP), eThekwini Municipality, the KZN Institute of Architects and the Department of Public Works.
In addition to the inspiring congress programme, other aspects on offer around the congress include a dynamic fringe programme
of activities, exhibitions, tours and activations, taking place in and around the city; and the Student Congress
will offer young professionals of the future the opportunity to meet and engage with their peers and professionals from around the world. In addition, the Trade Expo
promises the latest product developments, technological innovations, and service offerings in the world of architecture and design .
The congress will bring together architects, design and built environment professionals, pioneers in urban planning and thinking, activists, city makers, academics and researchers, students, government officials, decision-makers and thought-leaders, citizens and communities - to debate and discuss strategies for the design and delivery of more habitable, functional and beautiful cities.
For more information or to register for the congress visit