The Urban Controversies cycle aims to decode and deconstruct current models of urban development through multidisciplinary, open, and thought-provoking analysis of the social, economic, regulatory, and governance challenges faced by cities and territories. From 15 to 17 November 2023, Pamplona hosted the dialogues among architects, economists, sociologists, and urban experts who reflected on the planning and construction of “the urban”. Key concepts such as density, buildability, diversity of uses, land management, and urban planning regulations – forming the comprehensive regulatory framework of cities – were deliberated upon. The debate seeks to deepen our collective understanding of the decisions that are shaping and will continue to shape the future of our planet.
An esteemed gathering of architects and globally renowned urban experts from European countries, as well as from some of the world’s most populous countries, including Brazil, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, and the United States, among others, came together to tackle the critical challenges of unequal growth and the perpetuation of suboptimal urban developments.
Richard SennettChair, The London Centre for the Humanities and Professor of Sociology emeritus, The London School of Economics
Liu Thai KerFounding Chairman of Morrow Architects & Planners
Kunlé AdeyemiFounder, architect, designer and development researcher, NLÉ
Joan ClosDirector of the 7th International Congress of Architecture
Sheila Sri PrakashArchitect, Urban Designer and Sustainability Expert, founder of Shilpa Architects Planners Designers
Olajumoke AdenowoArchitect, Founder and Principal Architect of AD Consulting
Maimunah Mohd SharifExecutive Director, UN-Habitat
Ken YeangArchitect and Ecologist, T.R. Hamzah and Yeang
Shlomo AngelCity Planning, NYU Marron Institute of Urban Management
Tracy MetzDirector of the John Adams Institute
Marina Otero VerzierArchitect, Dean's Visiting Assistant Professor at Columbia University GSAPP, Wheelwright Prize 2022, Spain
Aitor Hernández-MoralesReporter, Living Cities Global Policy Lab, POLITICO
Karen KubeyUrbanist and Assistant Professor of Architecture, John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto
Dhiru A. ThadaniArchitect and urbanist, Thadani Architects + Urbanists, Washington DC
Beatriz LecumberriReporter, El País
Dy CurrieCity Planner and Brisbane City Council’s Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games Host City and Strategic Partnerships Executive General Manager
Elena RubioHead of the department of planning and urban management, City of Málaga
Paul KarakusevicArchitect and founder of Karakusevic Carson Architects
Champaka Rajagopalurban planner and affiliated professor at the Urban School, SciencesPo (Paris), and Azim Premji University (Bengaluru)
Anja Van der WattAnja Van der Watt, Interdisciplinary Urban Researcher and Communications' Expert
Brent ToderianCity planner and urbanist, founder of TODERIAN UrbanWORKS
Norliza HashimUrban planner, Chief Executive of Urbanice Malaysia
Babatunde Raji Fashola SANFormer Governor of Lagos State and former Federal Minister of Works and Housing of Nigeria
Vidhya MohankumarArchitect, Urban Designer, Founder of Urban Design Collective
Washington FajardoArchitect and Urbanist, Harvard GSD Loeb Fellow
Sibarani SofianUrban designer and planner, founder of URBAN+
Pablo LazoDirector of Urban Development, World Resources Institute
Mauricio RodasFormer Mayor of Quito, Senior Fellow Arsht-Rock Resilience Center
Miguel HernándezDirector of Strategy and Corporate Development CREA MADRID NUEVO NORTE (CreaMNN)
Ciro BidermanEconomist and associate professor at Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV)
Oliver AlverArchitect, Deputy Head of the Tallinn Urban Planning Department
Sofia Arraiza Ruiz de Galarretaarchitect and city planner, Foster+Partners
Follow the updates on the next Congress in 2025. Stay tuned for more announcements!
The International Congress of Architecture is a biennial event organized by the Fundación Arquitectura y Sociedad, aiming to promote a debate on architecture and the urban environment that transcends the traditional boundaries of this discipline. Since its creation in 2008, the Foundation has organized six congresses, bringing together over fifty architects, critics, and experts from all five continents.
The first cycle of congresses, held from 2010 to 2016, focused on fostering connections between architecture and the social sphere, sustainable development, and the rational use of material and energy resources. The second cycle, spanning from 2018 to 2021, directed its attention to the city as a realm of freedom, exploring topics such as urban political ecology, sustainable mobility, contemporary urban transformations, and the pursuit of urban equity.