Urban innovation provides the impetus for cities and local governments to improve the quality of life of its citizens. It lies at the heart of finding new ways and means to meet the social, economic, environmental and governance challenges that face cities today.
For this reason the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), Association of Major Metropolises (Metropolis) and the City of Guangzhou established on 28 March 2012 the Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation (abbreviated as the Guangzhou Award).
Following the success of the 1st Guangzhou Award in 2012, the 2nd Guangzhou Award has received 209 initiatives from 159 cities and local governments. To promote the innovation and learning agenda of UCLG, the Executive Bureau, during its meeting in Liverpool in June, decided on the establishment of a Community of Practice on Urban Innovation. The Community serves to enhance international exchange and cooperation in urban innovation, facilitate relevant research and development, provide suggestions for policy and decision-making, and ensure the continued involvement of the Award’s finalists in the future work of UCLG.
Objectives and Activities of the UCLG Community on Urban Innovation:
The Main activities of the Community include:
1. Networking of Members and Partners. The Community will serve as a platform to share ideas and practices on urban innovation, by establish a network of members consisting of cities and local governments, as well as partners in academia, specialized institutions, professional associations, international organizations and the media.
2. Field Studies. To fulfil commitments made at the conclusion of the 2012 Guangzhou Award, the Community, together with the Guangzhou Institute for Urban Innovation, has conducted field studies on all of the 15 shortlisted cities. Participants include city managers, experts, scholars, and partners from the media. The Community has been studying findings of the field research, which will contribute to improved city-to-city cooperation strategies and practices. Further field studies have been scheduled in the future for all members and partners of the Community.
3. Report Compilation. In order to provide cities and local governments with practical suggestions for urban innovation, the Community, in cooperation with the Guangzhou Institute for Urban, conducts in-depth analysis of short-listed initiatives of the 1st Guangzhou Award in various manners, including field studies, literature review, data analysis, comparative studies and logical deduction. Reports on selected initiatives have been compiled and published. It is the Community’s agenda to set report compilation as a routine task for a considerable long period of time, which will contribute to broader learning and exchange of successful innovative practices.