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Jury Report of the 3rd Guangzhou Award

2016-12-31

The members of the Jury, gathered in Guangzhou on 4 and 5 December 2016 are pleased to announce the award winning cities for the third cycle of the Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation (Guangzhou Award) as follows (in alphabetical order):

Boston, USA: Youth Lead the Change: Youth Participatory Budgeting. This initiative empowers youth to decide on how to use 1 million USD of the municipal budget each year. Youth come up with ideas; they determine priorities for spending; they decide in a democratic manner which projects to implement. This initiative was among the 15 shortlisted submissions in 2014 and the Jury wishes to commend the youth leaders of Boston for re-submitting with new evidence of going to scale, further innovating and also helping other cities domestically and abroad to implement similar initiatives. The Jury feels that this initiative is highly relevant to the implementation of the New Urban Agenda to engage youth in policy dialogue, to increase youth engagement in civic affairs, and above all to cultivate lifelong commitment in local public affairs at a time when so many youth feel that no one listens to them.

Copenhagen, Denmark: Climate Resilient Neighbourhood. Cities all over the world are witnessing extreme weather patterns. Copenhagen is no exception having experienced the worst flood in its history in 2011 and lesser floods since. The Climate Resilient Neighbourhood initiative not only demonstrates innovation in enhancing resilience, it is a living example of how future proofing a city has to be done at the level of every street and every neighbourhood through community participation, multi-stakeholder partnerships, creative urban design and the creation of  pedestrian-friendly public space that form part of a bio-system for storm water control and management.

La Paz, Bolivia: The La Paz Zebras: a citizen culture project. Across the world the freedom of the street has been stolen from the young and the poor by the increasing domination of the motor car. This is made worse by an attitude that the pedestrian and the cyclist are subservient to the motorized transport. The La Paz Zebra Project deals with this challenge with great humor and understanding. The Jury was particularly impressed by this innovative approach to changing citizen behavior while hugely benefiting youth at risk by giving them a real purpose. This has encouraged many of them to either pursue their education or work. This simple project is already being replicated across Bolivia and could be replicated anywhere in the world.    

Qalyubeya, Egypt: Integrated Community-based Solid Waste management System in Khosoos and Khanka. This initiative relates to 8 different SDGs ranging from ending poverty, providing decent work, to combating climate change. It also relates to several important objectives proposed by the New Urban Agenda. Indeed, the jury feels that the combination of strong community involvement, the uplifting of a marginalized community, the differentiated roles between public, private and community sectors and the embracing of informality are truly exemplary in meeting one of the biggest challenges facing many cities around the world – how to deal with and manage waste.

Songpa-gu, Korea: The Songpa Solar Namun Power Plant. Climate change, with rising sea levels, dramatic storms, disruption to food supplies and species extinction is the biggest challenge for our generation. The Jury feels that the Songpa Solar initiative is particularly innovative as it combines a renewable energy project with helping energy-poor households especially the elderly. Furthermore, the initiative acts globally by devoting 25 percent of profits to helping communities outside Korea to install renewable energy supply. 

The Jury wishes to commend all 15 shortlisted cities for their exemplary initiatives. It further wishes to encourage all shortlisted initiatives that did not win the award to re-submit their initiatives in 2018 in expectation of further evidence of their sustainability.

The Jury wishes to commend the City of Guangzhou, the United Cities and Local Governmentsand Metropolis for their continued support for this Award. It is an initiative that is both timelyand pertinent to the social, economic, environmental and governance challenges facing a rapidlyurbanizing world. It wishes in particular to underline the unique forward-looking dimension ofthe Guangzhou Award as an important contribution in learning from local responses to globalchallenges and in responding to the global agenda, including the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the New Urban Agenda.

Since its inception in 2012, the Award has come of age as a platform for learning andexchange. The Jury notes that the City of Guangzhou has already undertaken learning missions to the cities shortlisted in the first and second cycles and its intention to invite local authorities worldwide to participate in study tours to the 2016 shortlisted cities in the year to come. The Jury further notes the efforts of the City ofGuangzhou in widely disseminating the shortlisted city initiatives in partnership with, inter alia,media and publishing houses, the Policy Transfer Platform of Metropolis, research and academic institutions worldwide and ICLEI.

The members of the Jury wish to thank the City of Guangzhou for having committed substantialresources to the search, appraisal and selection of city initiatives and to organizing once more acreative and exemplary international seminar featuring all fifteen of the shortlisted cityinitiatives. This conference is a significant contribution to the exchange of knowledge, expertiseand experience.

Please open the link below to download the Jury Report of the 3rd Guangzhou Award:

Jury Report of 2016 Guangzhou Award.pdf