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The Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation


The Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation (the Guangzhou Award) is co-sponsored by the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), the World Association of the Major Metropolises (Metropolis) and the City of Guangzhou. It aims to recognize innovation in improving social, economic and environmental sustainability in cities and regions and, in so doing, to advance the prosperity and quality of life of their citizens.

The Guangzhou Award, presented biennially, is open to all cities and local governments with successful initiatives in urban innovation. The initiative that is entered for the Guangzhou Award should be an ongoing or recently completed (within the past two years) project, measure or policy that produces practical effect or substantial influence, boasting originality, exemplariness and transferability.

The assessment of each cycle’s Guangzhou Award is conducted by international experts independently. The Technical Committee selects up to 15 shortlisted cities and no more than 30 deserving cities from approved applications. From the shortlist, the Jury makes a final selection of up to five award winning cities. Each winner is granted a USD 20,000 cash prize, a trophy and a commemorative certificate designed for the Award.

Since 2012, three cycles of the Guangzhou Award have been held, each of which receives initiatives from more than 150 cities of over 50 countries and regions. These three cycles have made the Guangzhou Award a treasure trove of over 700 initiatives which cover a wide range of areas, including infrastructure and public services, participatory planning and good governance, partnerships, technology, resilience, social inclusion and gender equality.

The previous winners of the Guangzhou Award are as follows:

Winners of the 1st Guangzhou Award (2012): Kocaeli (Turkey), Lilongwe (Malawi), Seoul (South Korea), Vancouver (Canada) and Vienna (Austria).

Winners of the 2nd Guangzhou Award (2014): Antioquia (Colombia), Bristol (UK), Christchurch (New Zealand), Dakar (Senegal) and Hangzhou (China). The Online-popular City: Hangzhou (China); the Media-focused City: Bristol (UK); the Public-recommended City: Antioquia (Colombia).

Winners of the 3rd Guangzhou Award: Boston (US), Copenhagen (Denmark), Qalyubeya (Egypt), La Paz (Bolivia) and Songpa-gu (South Korea). The Online-popular City: La Paz (Bolivia); Special Mention Initiative: Promoting Social Cohesion and Integration through Foreign National Trade Mediators submitted by Yiwu (China).

The Guangzhou Award Organizing Committee also builds the International Urban Innovation Database (http://www.urban-innovations.org). Based on the innovative initiatives and research projects of the previous cycles of the Guangzhou Award, the Database is being developed into an interactive information sharing platform that collects innovative initiatives and cutting-edge ideas of cities all over the world, shares innovative ideas on livable communities and cities and offers insightful knowledge on sustainable development. Currently, the Database has collected over 400 innovative initiatives.