Milan, Guadalajara, Wuhan, Mezitli, New York City are the winners of the Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation. The 2018 edition was held in the framework of the Global Mayors’ Forum & 2018 International Seminar on learning from urban innovation.
This award, co-sponsored by United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), Metropolis (the Metropolitan section of UCLG) and the city of Guangzhou, has become an international event that inspires participants to appreciate the importance of city-to-city learning and cooperation. On December 6, during the International Seminar on Learning from Urban Innovation, there was an opportunity to witness the joint efforts of cities around the world to build a better future, and the results were announced on December 7 during the award ceremony.
In this way, Zhiying Chen, Executive Vice Mayor of Guangzhou, addressed that “innovation is crucial for us, but also for future generations and Guangzhou is committed to continue supporting exchanges among cities around the world. We celebrate the success of our partnership with UCLG & Metropolis”.
Secretary General of UCLG, Emilia Saiz, said that “local innovation might not get us to Mars but it will ensure community organization in any planet. We need to ensure that human tech is at the heart of our efforts. The Guangzhou Award will be critical for our dialogue with national Governments on SDGs “.
Octavi de la Varga, Secretary General of Metropolis, claimed that “UCLG, Metropolis and Guagnzhou have produced results and are favourable to localizing the global agendas.”
Nicholas You, Executive Director of the Guangzhou Institute for Urban Innovation explained how policy process and partnerships are essential for city-to-city learning and cooperation, and to achieve diversity and transformation.
From 15 groundbreaking initiatives of cities that shared innovation stories, five winners were awarded:
The "Rebirth" of Urban Waste Dump – Ecological Treatment and Return of Plurality (Wuhan, China)
The city proposes a new large-scale and integrated approach to the remediation of a brownfield site, place making and local economic development, addressing the needs of the urban poor by providing adequate and affordable housing, access to basic services and new job opportunities for young people.
Milan Food Policy: An Innovative Framework for Making Urban Food System More Sustainable and Inclusive (Milan, Italy)
This initiative aims to promote a new model of governance between public agencies, social organizations, and the private sector in order to make the sustainable food production and consumption a reality at local and regional level.
Citizen-Led Metropolitan Coordination of Guadalajara (Guadalajara, Mexico)
This pilot experience is the first in the Latin American context to propose an undertake strategic metropolitan planning across several municipalities and jurisdictions in a participatory manner.
Mezitli Women Producers Market (Mezitli, Turkey)
This initiative based on the promotion of gender equality aims to break the tradition of male-dominated markets, and to provide women from all walks of life, including immigrants, with the opportunity to grow food and sell it in the markets and thus the opportunity to become more independent.
Global Vision | Urban Action: New York City’s Voluntary Local Review (VLR) of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Shows Local Progress for Global Action (New York City, United States)
This is a tool that can help any city map its existing plans and programs against the SDGs and identify gaps and priorities.
Congratulations also to the Indonesian city of Surabaya that was voted on by the general public as the Online Popular City.
This is the beginning of an inspiring learning journey, because the Guangzhou Award will organize study tours over the course of 2019 to facilitate the exchange and application of these innovative experiences.