Five Cities Win the 5th Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation

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GUANGZHOU, China, Nov. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — On the night of Nov 12, organized by Guangzhou Foreign Affairs Office, the closing ceremony of the 5th Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation (the “Guangzhou Award”), the 2021 Global Mayors’ Forum and the 13th World Congress of the World Association of Metropolis was held in Guangzhou Yuexiu International Congress Center in an online + offline hybrid format.

Chongqing, China; Union of Dannieh Municipalities, Lebanon; Quito, Ecuador; Vienna, Austria; and Saint Louis, Senegal won the 5th Guangzhou Award. Odisha, India claimed the honor of the “Online Popular City “.

To advance global urban governance and innovative development, Guangzhou, the UCLG and Metropolis created the Guangzhou Award in 2012, which is held every two years. It has gone through a ten-year journey. Each cycle of the Guangzhou Award has attracted more than 150 cities from more than 50 countries to participate, and has so far collected more than 1,300 cases of urban governance innovation from all over the world, providing significant reference for cities around the world to enhance their urban governance capacity.

Against the background of the global pandemic, this cycle of the Award still received 273 project submissions from 175 cities of 60 countries and regions, the numbers of participating cities and projects at par with those of previous years. It reflects the growing attention paid to urban governance innovation and sustainable development by the world in face of the pandemic, and highlights the increasing international appeal and influence of Guangzhou Award.

From November 8 to 10, the representatives of shortlisted cities were divided into in four groups, namely “inclusive cities”, “innovative cities”, “resilient cities” and “green cities”, to present their projects and take questions from the audience, including the experts of the jury. According to Yu Keping, chairman of the fifth Guangzhou Award jury, the selection criteria for the award-winning projects by the jury members are innovation, participation, influence, importance, replicability, learnability and inclusiveness. The five projects that win the final award is widely representative in terms of their diverse innovation themes, geographical locations, development levels and city sizes. “They meet the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs), and indicate the important role of urban innovation in improving residents’ lives, advancing civilization and progress, and containing the pandemic. In this sense, these cases have a significant guiding role in the future global urban innovation”.

It is worth mentioning that Chongqing, China is granted the Award with its initiative of “Innovative emergency solutions to pandemic-related urban medical waste disposal”. It provides a model of collaboration, which involves a large number of people based on a clear division of responsibilities, thus enabling quick responses to an emergency. It provides a good model for emergency disposal of medical waste for improving urban safety resilience under pandemic and also alerts other cities in the world the importance of medical waste disposal in controlling the spread of disease. Moreover, Vienna, Austria becomes a second time winner in ten years’ time. Recognized by the first Guangzhou Award with the initiative “New Immigrant Integration”, it is selected as the winner again for “Werkstadt Junges Wien” initiative in this cycle.

On the same night, Octavi de la Varga, Secretary-General of Metropolis announced the result of the painting contest “Metropolises through Children’s Eyes”. The award ceremony of the contest wrapped up the 2021 Global Mayors’ Forum, the 13th World Congress of the World Association of Metropolis and the 5th Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation.

In the past few days, under the theme “Moving Forward Together, Modernizing Global Urban Governance” and “Metropolises and Cities in Transformation: Rethinking our Future Together”, more than 800 urban manager, heads of international organizations, specialists and experts from 126 cities and 9 international organizations engaged actively in the discussion of the advanced experience of local government governance and the future path of urban international cooperation, so as to make suggestions for improving urban governance and accelerating global economic recovery in the post Covid-19 period.

Zhang Shuofu, Secretary of CPC Guangzhou Committee; Wen Guohu, Mayor of Guangzhou; Shi Qizhu, Director of the Standing Committee of Guangzhou Municipal People’s Congress; Li Yiwei, CPPCC Chairman; Cang Feng, Deputy Director General of Guangdong Foreign Affairs Office; other leading officials of Guangzhou, including Pan Jianguo, Wang Huanqing, Zhang Yajie, and the officials from foreign consulates general in Guangzhou attended the offline activities.

List of winners and words from the Jury

VIENNA, AUSTRIA:

Werkstadt Junges Wien

Over the past 50 years, Vienna has shifted from a shrinking and ageing city into a young and growing one. How to stimulate children and youth to participate in city decision-making and management? Vienna rolls out an innovation plan Werkstadt Junges Wien. The objective is to put social inclusion of all children and young people living and growing up in Vienna at the heart of policy-making and city administration.

CHONGQING, CHINA

Innovative emergency solutions to pandemic-related urban medical waste disposal

Due to Covid-19, there has been a surge in urban medical waste. How to effectively dispose urban medical waste, thus preventing secondary infection and virus spread? The Chongqing Municipal Ecological Environmental Bureau used an innovative emergency solution of “3-Level Emergency Mechanism”. This solution combines a novel technology to deal with urban medical waste disposal with strict supervision of hospitals. It was implemented in Chongqing to ensure effective regulation and disposal of medical waste.

QUITO, ECUADOR:

Eco-efficiency tool for the Metropolitan District of Quito

In 2016, guided by the Eco-Efficiency Ordinance for the Metropolitan District of Quito, Quito has relied on partnerships with community leaders and universities to not only determine the parameters of local area plans around transit stations, but also incentivize the construction of high density “green” buildings on key transport nodes and with provisions for affordable housing. In addition, the Ordinance also provides for land value capture to ensure that the city retains a financial share of increments generated by greater density and land use allowances in designated zones.

UNION OF DANNIEH MUNICIPALITIES, LEBANON

COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan

The COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan of the Union of Dannieh Municipalities, Lebanon can cope with the consequence of Covid-19, make up for the shortage in staff and funding, and encourage citizens (especially young people) to participate in co-governance. With the support of Civil Society Organizations(CSOs), the union of Dannieh has established an Emergency Response Plan with 15 committees of highly educated youth volunteers.

DEPARTMENTAL COUNCIL OF SAINT LOUIS, SENEGAL

Inter-municipal approach to safeguard mangrove ecosystems

The mangroves of Saint-Louis (1,000 ha) are threatened with extinction due to climatic and anthropogenic pressures. To restore these mangroves, the Departmental Council of Saint Louis in Senegal developed an innovative approach to environmental governance — Inter-municipal approach to safeguard mangrove ecosystems, which integrated the restoration of mangrove ecosystems across three municipalities with strategies for addressing urgent urban climate challenges and enhancing livelihoods.

Winner of “Online Popular City”:

Odisha, INDIA:

Urban Wage Employment Initiative

The national lockdown caused by COVID-19 in India has led to an exodus of the urban workforce. How to ensure their wages and livelihood? The provincial government of Odisha, India launched Urban Wage Employment Initiative (UWEI) whereby the urban workforce has been guaranteed a minimum number of workdays annually at specified daily wage. The workers are being engaged in public works and the resources are drawn from on-going welfare schemes of the national and provincial governments.

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SOURCE Guangzhou Foreign Affairs Office

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