News roundup: Barcelona named UNESCO World Capital of Architecture 2026, and more headlines


For PropertyGuru’s news roundup, Barcelona has been named the UIA’s 2026 World Capital of Architecture by UNESCO. In other headlines, we delve deep into the adoption of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) on designing green buildings. And discover how celebrated Australian designer, Stuart Membery, turned his love of Bali into a burgeoning holiday rental business.

UNESCO World Capital of Architecture 2026: Barcelona and the capacity of architecture to transform reality

Joining Copenhagen and Rio de Janeiro, Barcelona has been named the UIA’s 2026 World Capital of Architecture by UNESCO, according to ArchDaily. This title recognizes the city’s commitment to promoting the values of architecture, urban planning, and sustainability. Outshining Beijing as the other contender for the 2026 title, Barcelona won the bid with its proposal titled “One today, one tomorrow,” with a plan to host a series of transformative events across all its districts and become a research laboratory analyzing the capacity of architecture to transform reality over time.

For ten months, from the festival of Santa Eluàlia in February to Santa Llúcia in December, the city plans to be alive with a wide array of activities aimed at public engagement. According to the city’s latest update, the calendar will include exhibitions, guided architectural routes, workshops, open doors to significant buildings, installations, and high-level conferences.

The link between SBTi and green buildings

In the face of escalating global climate challenges, the construction industry stands at a crucial juncture. Responsible for approximately 37% of global carbon emissions, the sector is under increasing pressure to more sustainable methods. Green buildings, which are designed to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment, are rapidly becoming not just a standard but a necessity. According to a report by Green Building Consulting & Engineering, a pivotal component in this shift is the adoption of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), which provides a robust framework for companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with climate science.

How this Aussie designer turned his love of Bali into a burgeoning holiday rental business

For decades the holiday hotspot of Bali has been on the bucket list of every traveller dreaming of a tropical getaway, with more than a million of us travelling to its shores each year.

A few lucky Aussies have taken their passion for the Indonesian Archipelago to the next step and leased their very own piece of Balinese bliss — lucky Australians such as celebrated designer, Stuart Membery.

“Bali holds a special place for me, not just for its beauty, but also for the tranquil ambiance,” Mr Membery told “Having lived here intermittently for almost two decades, I’ve come to cherish the tropical allure and the warm hospitality of its people.”

Despite calling Bali home for part of the year for over 20 years, the designer — whose work spans architecture, interiors, fashion, and furniture design — took his time when deciding to take the plunge and buy here. After years of searching, Mr Membery finally hit the jackpot in 2013 when he came across an un-renovated villa in the perfect area.

Completed in May last year, Pineapple Hill boasts four luxury bedrooms, each with indoor-outdoor bathrooms. Located at Batu Belig Beach, a short distance away from the hustle and bustle of nearby Seminyak, the villa is both a retreat and a feast for design aficionados.

The Property Report editors wrote this article. For more information, email: [email protected].