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    Social housing, cohesion and cultural heritage on the agenda at RIBA International Week 2017

    Kirsty Sier

    The Royal Institute of British Architects have today released the program for their International Week 2017.

    This year, the prestigious architecture conference will take place from 3 – 7 July, with the program of talks and events revolving around the central theme of the ‘New Urban Agenda’.

    International experts have been chosen for keynote speeches this year based on their work within sustainable development and housing. The centrepiece of the talk program will be Dr Joan Clos, former mayor of Barcelona and current executive director of UN-Habitat. At a keynote speech on Tuesday 4 July, Clos will address the United Nation’s agenda for urban planning and outline the crucial role architects have to play in the future of the city.

    Clos’ keynote speech will highlight three core areas recognised by the UN as fundamental spaces in which architects will play a role: social cohesion, housing and cultural heritage.

    David Chipperfield, Diébédo Francis Kéré and Ma Yansong will join Clos as the core highlights of International Week 2017's keynote lineup.

    This year’s program aims to engage architects of all ages and experience levels, as well as architectural practices both large and small. From 3 – 5 July, RIBA will open the floor to architecture students from myriad international backgrounds through a series of student masterclasses, which will culminate in a student charrette.

    The student masterclasses will tackle the various challenges of city-making, focussing on issues highlighted as crucial to the centralising theme of the ‘New Urban Agenda’. Over the course of three days, architecture students will have the opportunity to hear from experts from universities and architectural institutions around the world, including the American University in Cairo, the Architectural Association, Escola Tècnica Superior d'Arquitectura de Barcelona, Oxford Brookes University, the Prince’s Foundation, and University College London (UCL).

    As per usual, the International Week will provide the platform for the launch of next year’s RIBA International Prize. The call for entries for all categories – including the RIBA Awards for International Excellence and the RIBA International Emerging Architect prize – will be open to qualified architects anywhere in the world. In 2018, the International Prize will recognise the ‘best new international civic building’.

    Speaking on the overarching vision of this year’s International Week, RIBA president Jane Duncan says, “Architects need to play a vital role in shaping our urban future… Under the umbrella of the New Urban Agenda, the week will provide explanation and inspiration, showing how the architecture profession can use its skills over the next two decades to make a valuable and long-lasting contribution to our future cities and society.”

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