Hello Tokyo, Farewell Turin

Congress 2011 looks ahead to the challenges of 2050.

During this UIA World Congress week, the air is already buzzing with excitement about architects’ next gathering.

The organizing committee has been hard at work since 2005 in Tokyo, preparing for what is one of the most important international gatherings of architects so far this century. Today, global warming is a crucial issue. The energy and food crises are not short-term problems. Time is fast running out for us to find a solution to a number of problems threatening our planet and its population. The organizers of UIA 2011 propose “Design 2050” as the theme for the Congress taking place in Tokyo.

Architects will address the issues of climate change, the world’s growing population, and greenhouse gases, and discuss ways in which they can actively contribute to the global dialogue. The aim of the Tokyo Congress is to prepare the world to face these crucial challenges so that 2050 becomes an international milestone. By 2050, the economy, nature, cities and buildings will have changed beyond anything we can imagine today. The Congress will provide a forum where we can map out our way towards the arbitrarily selected date of 2050.

It is up to the architects and other related professionals and researchers to team up and design buildings that will create a future radiant with the light of hope rather than shrouded in anxiety. The Congress venue, Tokyo International Forum designed by Rafael Viñoly, is in the Marunouchi district in the heart of Tokyo, a cultural melting pot where different cultures mingle with Japanese traditions.

The Imperial Palace, the Akihabara district, celebrated for its vast number of computer and electronics stores, the Tsukiji fish and vegetable market, and the fashionable Ginza shopping district are all nearby. Since the end of the economic boom era, Tokyo has been aiming to achieve a sustainable environment, and we believe that it is the most exciting city in the world for this event dedicated to portraying the world in 2050.


The XXIV World Congress of Architecture will be held in Tokyo during the autumn months of 2011 – just 12 years since the first congress was hosted by Beijing in 1999. The theme of the XXIV World Congress, “Design 2050,” will provide the opportunity for architects from all over the world to exchange views and share their visions of sustainable architecture, as well as help define the immediate future for the world’s cities and the environment. Tokyo is a fascinating city where the past meets the present and Japanese tradition coexists with contemporary culture. Such diverse contrasts will be evident just outside the main venue for the congress, where the Royal Palace and Akihabara (Japan’s premier showcase for state-of-the-art consumer electronics) are located in the same neighborhood.

Tokyo’s exemplary economic growth during the past several decades has fueled its development as a viably sustainable city. Consequently, Tokyo in itself is a harbinger of what we may expect from sustainable architecture by the year 2050. With this in mind, participants at the XXIV World Congress can expect to be welcomed and embraced by Japan’s rich architectural culture, which showcases are unique, yet contemporary, face of Japan.

The future as outlined in Tokyo in 2011 will be transmitted to the world, and will surely become reality. Over the next three years, the CASARTARC – the Torino-based Casa delle Artie dell’Architettura - and the Japan Institute of Architects will be collaborating to produce a series of cultural events to promote the mutual appreciation of the two nations’ architectural cultures. With global warming as a main topic of discussion at this year’s G8 Summit in Hokkaido, Japan, the world will be focusing on trying to find remedies and creative solutions for the survival of our planet Earth. Japan’s architects, as hosts of the 2011 World Congress, are planning tours, speakers, forums, exhibitions and workshops to entertain and to enlighten the participants…Welcome to Japan in 2011…Let’s talk about 2050!!


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