Announcing the Open House Worldwide 2020 calendar of events

This year’s programmes in the international network, opening
eyes, minds and doors to great architecture for all, began on 6
March in San Diego …but then stopped due to the coronavirus.

For the full list of Open House Worldwide events currently in 2020 see the Calendar.

Open House Worldwide is the world’s longest-established, largest and fastest growing network of urban architecture festivals for the public. Founded in London in 1992, it now includes more than 40 cities on every continent, with new ones joining every year. New city expected to join the network in 2020 include Palma de Mallorca.

Open House is a simple but powerful concept – providing free access over a 48-
hour period to an incredible range of outstanding public and privately owned
buildings. As a global concept, Open House reaches nearly 1 million people globally each year.

All the Open House events share a common commitment to openness and inclusivity but are independently produced across the globe. They have a proven record in not only fostering civic engagement and pride, but also helping people to become more informed about the architecture and public space of their city.

Each Open House event explores how the built environment is responding to key
challenges shared by cities around the world, including affordable housing, public space, transport and infrastructure, and, especially, the climate emergency. Programmes are produced with the support of thousands of local volunteers and so are truly embedded within their urban communities.

Interest continues to grow in other cities as this turns into a powerful cultural
movement with unique reach. In an era of rapid urbanization and gentrification, Open House offers a more inclusive and open-ended way to engage and acknowledge public voices.

‘In many ways citizens can feel excluded from architecture, often seen as the preserve of professionals. But this does not mean they haven’t wanted to explore and debate the quality of architecture and places: there was just no opportunity for them to do so. In every city, Open House creates a unique independent and informal forum where policymakers, the public and professionals meet on an equal basis.’

Victoria Thornton OBE Hon FRIBA, Founder, Open House




Final Shaping our Cities programme – 31 Jan, 1 Feb and 2 Feb – Announced

The conference will bring together international member city representatives, cultural and economic agencies, urban designers and architects, researchers and others to explore the key issues facing cities today. It will highlight built examples and new ways of how to build greater public participation through active design and digital technology as well as designing of buildings and places  – especially in planning, design and regeneration – focusing on real solutions and practical examples happening around the world.

Cities around the world face many common challenges, but also remain places of inspiration and aspiration. The task for policymakers, built environment professionals and agencies is to create vibrant and liveable cities where people can and want to live and work – but also where they have a voice to help shape their city’s future.

Speakers include:  Dr Suzanne Hall, Director, Cities Programme, LSE,, Maria Vassilakou, Vice-Mayor and Vice-Governor, City of Vienna, Asier Abaunza Robles, Councillor for Urban Planning, Bilbao City Council, Matthew Ryder, Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement, Dan Hill, Associate Director, Arup, Riccardo Marini, Founder, Marini Urbanismo and former Jan Gehl associate, Marten Sims, European Operations Lead, Happy City, Ali Grehan, City Architect, Dublin City Council, Malcolm Middleton, Queensland Government Architect.

OHWW conference programme 2018

Worldwide Impact Study published

The 2017 Open House Impact Study assesses how Open House contributes to the international shift toward greater public participation in city design.  

The aim of the impact study is to understand and demonstrate the value of Open House as a means of engaging the community and empowering them to advocate for a high-quality built environment.   It has become internationally recognised that citizens should have a stake in the development of their cities in order to enable them to advocate for measures that would improve their own wellbeing and a voice within the process.

OHWW Impact Study 2017 updatedExternal_Final