World Architecture Day| Significance, Theme, Date, Events| SURFACES REPORTER

World Architecture Day is celebrated every year on the First Monday of Every October. World Architectural Day is convened by International Union of Architects (UIA) in parellel with the UN World Habitat Day. This year's theme is "Clean Environment for a Healthy World". A report by SURFACES REPORTER (SR).

Significance and history

Started off in the year 1985, World Architecture Day is one of the most important global architectural event inaugurated by the UIA. It was originally celebrated on the first Monday of July. But later on, shifted to be celebrated alongside UN World Habitat Day.Theme of the year

The International Union of Architects (UIA) is an international NGO, a global federation of national associations of architects that represents over 1.3 million architects in 124 countries and territories. It was established in 1948 in order to unite the architects of the world. By observing the World Architecture Day, the union hopes to contribute to the global conversation on the 2030 development agenda by focusing on three key areas: housing, public spaces and their relation to climate change.

Read more: World Architecture Day; Industry extends its gratitude towards the architecture & Design community | SURFACES REPORTER News Update

Theme of the Year

The current year’s theme Clean Environment for a Healthy World holds much importance as the world is standing at a verge of great climatic crisis fuelled by the irresponsible human desires. The Theme is significant for India as well since these are some crucial areas for a developing country like ours where rapid urbanization and haphazard construction and development activities are becoming the root cause of many problems.


All humans have the right to adequate housing. It is also the precondition for several other situations like health, education, employment and social service. According to an estimate, almost 40%of the world population is going to need access to housing by 2030. Already about 1.8 lakh billion people do not have access to housing all across the globe. 

In India, the situation is much worse. According to the study by The Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations titled, "Housing For India’s Low-Income Urban Households: A Demand Perspective”, India’s urban housing shortage rose 54 percent to 29 million in 2018, from 18.78 million in 2012. The study revealed that the per capita floor area of congested households, defined as households where married couples do not have a separate room, decreased from 111 square feet in 2012 to 83 square feet in 2018. This alone showcase the gravity of the housing situation particularly in Urban India.

Public Space

A significant change has been brought in the mindset of the people post the COVID-19 pandemic particularly in the view of Public buildings and Open Spaces. According to the UIA, "Cities on the frontlines of the health crisis and response efforts around the world are uniquely prepared to rebuild sustainably and resiliently while reducing inequalities and focusing on inclusion."

In India, we saw how grossly the metro cities of the country were unprepared to battle the heinous waves of the pandemic and hence the graph of death rate kept rising. Now when the situation is substantially improved, there is an immediate need to focus on rebuilding the cities with adequate measures to fight the pandemic while not losing focus from sustainability and design for all.

Climate Change

Buildings are the major 'energy guzzlers'. According to the report published by World Business Council for Sustainable Development, "Buildings equivalent to a city the size of Paris are being built every week – but less than one per cent of them are assessed to determine their carbon footprint in spite of the fact that construction accounts for 38 per cent of global emissions.” The United Nations Environment Programme estimates that cities are responsible for 75 percent of global CO2 emissions, with transport and buildings being among the largest contributors. The UIA says that Architects are equipped to respond to the complex challenges of the built environment.

India is hesitant to set up a 'Carbon Budget'. As per the recently released IPCC report on Climate Change, extreme climate changes are in store as even in the best case scenario, the global surface temperature increase averaged between 2081 and 2100 could be 1.0°C to 1.8°C, while in a high emissions scenario, it could go to a searing 3.3°C to 5.7°C. The report stresses on the warning of "increased annual rainfall, heatwaves, droughts and cyclones” in South-Asian countries particularly India. Therefore, we need to access how to create built environment more sustainably to not contribute to the greenhouse emission with our activities.

Past event by SURFACES REPORTER to commemorate World Architecture Day

SURFACES REPORTER has always been at the helm of reporting and celebrating any day and event related to architecture and design. Being World Architecture Day, the day holds much importance for us. Therefore, commemorating the same, there were some important events held by us in the past whose relevance is not lost yet. Here is the glimpse of the same:






Architects are the builders of the society. It is not an exaggeration to say that they wield the weapon that can change the present and alter the future course of action. Therefore, it is our biggest responsibility to act in the global interest. Already, many notable architects in India are voicing their concern to create sustainable design and even working towards it. SURFACES REPORTER believes that more people should engage themselves with the sustainable goals. The events like World Architecture Day with such noble theme must be celebrated on a larger scale so that the awareness multifolds not only among architects but between general public as well so that everyone can become a participant in building a sustainable society.

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