The award ceremony for the first edition of the "Guangzhou Award" will be held in november
29/03/2012 Guangzhou Daily – Report by Yang Ming and Zhou Zuo
The international call for entries for the Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation has been launched. It shall recognise and showcase innovative practices in the public sector, which have been successfully implemented in cities and local governments worldwide.
The call for entries for the Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation, abbreviated as the Guangzhou Award, has been officially opened. The Guangzhou Award was created jointly by United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), the World Association of the Major Metropolises (Metropolis) and the city of Guangzhou. Open to all cities and local governments worldwide, it seeks to afford recognition to innovative projects in the public sector which have been successfully implemented.
A total cash prize of 100,000 dollars (USD) for the winning projects
Director General of Guangzhou Municipal Government’s Foreign Affairs Office, Mr Liu Baochun, explained that the award seeks to give impetus to projects and practices linked to urban innovation and local governments in order to achieve the harmonious and sustainable development of cities and local authorities, as well as to spearhead and create patterns of innovation and to actively contribute to the cooperation and the development of world cities. Its overarching goal has four facets: to highlight exemplary models of innovative practices, to encourage cities and local governments to foster innovation, to enhance local governance, as well as to disseminate and promote successful examples of innovative practices.
The Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation is open to all local governments and cities worldwide. The selection and appraisal process will be undertaken by the Guangzhou Award jury, comprising a technical committee and review committee, whose members are internationally renowned experts in this domain.
The Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation will be held every two years and comprise five categories: Public Services, Organisation and Administration of Public Services, Partnerships and Citizen Involvement, Smart City and Sustainable City. The winner of each category will be awarded a 20,000-dollar (USD) cash prize as well as a trophy and a certificate, the total cash prize amounting to 100,000 dollars. The award ceremony will be held in Guangzhou in November 2012.
The call for entries for the logo competition ends on 30 April
During the presentation ceremony of the Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation, the competition to design a logo and trophy and coin a slogan for the award was also launched.
According to a statement by the Deputy Secretary-General of the Municipal Government, Mr Wei Weihan, the competition was launched yesterday and will remain open until 30 April. The event’s Organising Committee, comprising experts, will be responsible for undertaking the initial selection and the subsequent shortlisting of the entries submitted. The winner will be announced on 30 May and various publicity activities will be carried out. The winning organisation or individual will receive a cash prize and a certificate issued by the Organising Committee. All related information will be published on the official website of the Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation.
Origins of the “Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation”
During the meeting of the UCLG Executive Bureau in Rabat (Morocco) in June 2011, the then Mayor of Guangzhou and Co-President of UCLG, Mr Wan Qingliang, delivered a keynote speech on “Innovation: towards a better city”. In said speech, he proposed creating the Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation with the aim of generating more platforms for the innovative development of world cities, increasing the channels for dissemination and offering new urban development approaches that set a precedent and can be adopted as a benchmark model.
The proposal put forward by the city of Guangzhou garnered tremendous support and an enthusiastic response on the part of UCLG and the World Association of the Major Metropolises. Mr Kadir Topbas, Mayor of Istanbul and President of UCLG referred to this award as “UCLG’s Nobel Prize”.
Ms Emilia Saiz, representing the Secretariat General of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), stated that “the Guangzhou Award is the only award for urban innovation in the world”.
United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) was founded in 2004 and is currently the largest organisation of local governments and cities. It has the honour of being considered the “United Nations of local governments”.
During an interview with journalists, Ms Emilia Saiz, representing the UCLG Secretariat General, declared that Guangzhou, as seat of the co-presidency of UCLG, has been playing a highly active role by significantly contributing to the development of UCLG and its members. On the one hand, the city of Guangzhou’s proposal to create the Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation has marked another step towards consolidating the collaboration between UCLG, Metropolis and the city of Guangzhou. On the other hand, since it hosted the annual Board of Directors meeting of the World Association of the Major Metropolises in 2000, and the UCLG World Council in 2009, until the recent establishment of the Guangzhou Award, the collaboration between the city of Guangzhou, UCLG and Metropolis has become a common occurrence, and has increasingly gained magnitude and achieved outstanding levels of quality. Also indicative is the ever more active part of the city of Guangzhou on the world stage, which is clear testimony to its internationalisation.
Ms Saiz went on to add that the Guangzhou Award is one of UCLG’s most significant accolades and constitutes the only award for urban innovation in the world, which is the product of the collaboration between UCLG and Metropolis. The UCLG World Secretariat is delighted to be able to work alongside the city of Guangzhou in fostering their mutual development and will spare no effort in encouraging all its members to take an active part in the Guangzhou Award. The current host city of the UCLG World Secretariat, Barcelona (Spain), and many other cities of international renown have already expressed their interest in participating in the Guangzhou Award. “We have already dispatched information concerning the Guangzhou Award to politicians all over the world and to all our members, and following today’s public announcement, we shall sent an official invitation to them. We firmly believe that the Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation, whose goals are to foster the exchange of the most advanced experiences in urban development and innovation and to give impetus to scientific principles underlying urban development and innovation, will gain prestige with each new edition and will be consolidated as one of the awards with the greatest drawing power in the world domain of innovation.”
In the words of Ms Saiz, “the award will allow all world cities to identify the common challenges and issues facing them more effectively so as to offer better services to their citizens. The issues we must tackle today include the significant rise in population migration, the ever-increasing flow of information and the constant advent of new technologies. I hope we manage to foster this kind of integration by way of this award. The award-winning projects must not be limited to one city only but must be replicable and act as a benchmark model for other cities which they may put into practice; they must not only afford support to technologies but also take citizens’ interests very much into consideration. Herein lies the fundamental value of this award.”
“Guangzhou is a city teeming with jewels awaiting discovery. It boasts many attractions such as its rich history and the beautiful flowers grown in the city. I have visited many places in Guangzhou. I have seen how much it has changed over the years and each and every one of my stays has proven to be a marvellous experience. The boat trip by night, admiring the magnificent views of Guangzhou from the Pearl River, is unforgettable. The inhabitants of Guangzhou are our true friends; they are genuine and efficient, have a generous heart and are tolerant of different cultures. What’s more, we love the food in Guangzhou.”
“The various trips I have made to Guangzhou make me feel like this is my second home. I feel very comfortable here and I am moved by the integrity and commitment of the people with whom I have worked. I believe that the Guangzhou Award will be a resounding success thanks to the combined effort of the team we have formed.”
Ms Montserrat Pallarès, representing the Secretariat General of the World Association of the Major Metropolises, claims to be “honoured and proud of the magnificent project implemented by Guangzhou”.
The World Association of the Major Metropolises was founded in 1985. It is represented by almost 130 members from across the world and constitutes the leading international organisation that brings together cities and metropolitan regions with more than one million inhabitants.
Ms Montserrat Pallarès, representing the Secretariat General of the World Association of the Major Metropolises (abbreviated as Metropolis), explained that Metropolis operates as a section of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), an organisation with which it collaborates and takes part in conferences and international events. The Board of Directors of the World Association of the Major Metropolises meets once a year. The board comprises 22 members representing the metropolises of various continents and elected by the General Assembly. In the next Board of Directors meeting, scheduled to take place in Guangzhou in November, the core theme will be urban innovation and a symposium will be organised with mayors, provincial authorities and the presidents of international organisations to afford politicians the opportunity to exchange opinions regarding urban innovation and development trends.
Ms Montserrat Pallarès stated that the eagerness and enthusiasm shown by Guangzhou to achieve prosperity and development are particularly admirable in light of the current global economic climate. Since the outset of the collaboration between both parties until the creation of the Guangzhou Award, the dedication of the Guangzhou Municipal Government has far exceeded Metropolis’ expectations. With a history stretching back 27 years, the World Association of the Major Metropolises feels incredibly honoured and proud to be able to take part in raising the international community’s awareness of the wonderful project executed by the city of Guangzhou. For this reason, last week Metropolis sent invitations to more than 2,000 technology experts, politicians and organisations so that they take part in this great initiative.
“We strongly believe that not only does the city of Guangzhou and its citizens reap the benefits but also the 129 Metropolis members and every member of UCLG. We extend our congratulations to the city of Guangzhou and, in particular, its inhabitants, since it is them that breathe life and energy into the city. As it stands, 18 Chinese cities are members of the World Association of the Major Metropolises. We hope that this number shall rise following the award ceremony for the first edition of the Guangzhou Award. I have no doubt that the Guangzhou Award will be a huge success. Metropolis will lend its support and mutual enthusiasm to the Guangzhou Award, in the same manner as the city of Guangzhou has given its firm support to Metropolis since it joined the Association.”
The award, held biennially, is aimed at recognizing and showcasing successful new public service practices or improved environmentally friendly systems into major cities and local governments either locally or overseas.
29/03/2012 Guangzhou Daily – Report by Yang Ming and Zhou Zuo
Each edition will comprise a total of five categories, which include Public Services and Smart City, among others. The winner of each category will receive a 20,000-dollar (USD) prize.
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