Norman Foster launches UN San Marino Declaration

October 6, 2022

On Monday, 3rd October, Norman Foster launched the San Marino Declaration of the United Nations and its Principles for Sustainable and Inclusive Urban Design and Architecture. The event took place in the Kursaal conference centre of the Republic, on the occasion of the 83rd Session of the UNECE Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management

Norman Foster was invited to deliver the keynote speech and to share his and his colleagues’ collective experience on issues of masterplanning and urban design. He endorsed the important role that the design professions could play in shaping cities in the present future, in addition to the architecture of individual buildings. He also talked about the importance of advocates – from civic leaders, mayors, politicians, governments, city managers and developers – in supporting visionary ideas that can effect transformational change in our towns and cities. He urged these interest groups, as well as architects and engineers to sign up to the principles of the Declaration and commit to implement them in their daily activities.

Norman Foster participated in the drafting of the Declaration which was formally adopted by member States at the meeting. Its development has been a true international collaboration of experts, advisors and leaders from diverse professions, all gathered in San Marino for this important event.

On the following day, in the Palazzo Pubblico, he was the first architect to be made a Knight Grand Officer of the Equestrian Order of St Agatha at The Hall of the Council of XII, San Marino. The ceremony was held in the presence of their Excellencies Captain Regent Maria Luisa Berti and Captain Regent Manuel Ciavatta, the Heads of State of San Marino, as well as the Minister of Territory and Environment, Stefano Canti. The order was established in 1923 and the last recipient was Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Norman Foster, Founder and Executive Chairman of Foster + Partners and President of the Norman Foster Foundation, said: ‘It is truly a great honour to receive the Equestrian Order of St Agatha and to follow in the footsteps of so many distinguished recipients. It is a privilege to receive this personally, but I am mindful that as the first architect to be awarded the Order, it is recognition of the importance that the buildings and infrastructure of cities plays in all our lives. This has a particular resonance at this time because, here in San Marino, I also launched the San Marino Declaration, and its Principles for Sustainable and Inclusive Urban Design and Architecture. It is my belief that this declaration will significantly contribute to a brighter, more sustainable future for all’.

Afterwards, Norman Foster delivered the Lectio Magistralis in the 18th century Titano Theatre, where he was also appointed as the first honorary member of the Order of Architects and Engineers of San Marino.

For the final version of the declaration please visit: