The city of Guangzhou launches the first edition of the Guangzhou International Award

  • (Photograph by Ning Biao, for the newspaper Xin Kuai Bao) 

Awards are given to innovative practices in the public sector which have been successfully implemented. Local governments and cities all over the world can take part. The award will be held every two years.

(Report by Li Wen, Xin Kuai Bao) 

Guangzhou Municipal Government officially announced the launch of the call for entries for the Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation, abbreviated as the “Guangzhou Award”. It seeks to recognise and showcase innovative practices in the public sector, which have been successfully implemented in cities and local governments worldwide. The “Guangzhou Award” will be held every two years and is open to all local governments and cities worldwide. The first edition was launched yesterday and the award ceremony will take place in Guangzhou in November 2012. 

“The Nobel Prize of local governance”

During the event held yesterday, Mr Wan Qingliang, Secretary of the Municipal Committee, expressed his “fervent hope that each member of the extensive community of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) and the World Association of the Major Metropolises would share their valuable experience and help [them] broaden and enhance the space and the vision for new urban development patterns, as well as put them into practice in the city of Guangzhou thanks to the inspiration, creativity and freshness they demonstrate when promoting innovative development”.

Mr Chen Jianhua, Mayor of Guangzhou, explained the meaning of the award and the context that gave rise to its creation to the national and foreign media at the event. According to him, the Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation seeks to foster the exchange of the most advanced experiences in urban development and innovation as well as to afford recognition to urban development and innovation projects which have been successfully implemented thanks to the initiative of cities and local governments. Moreover, it aims to promote scientific principles underlying urban development and innovation and to foster the harmonious and sustainable development of cities worldwide. 

The mayor added that, in June 2011, the proposal put forward by the then Mayor of Guangzhou and Co-President of UCLG, Mr Wan Qingliang, to create an international award for urban innovation, garnered an enthusiastic response and tremendous support both on the part of UCLG and the World Association of the Major Metropolises. Mr Kadir Topbas, Mayor of Istanbul and President of UCLG, expressed his firm belief that this award would become “UCLG’s Nobel Prize”. 

The award ceremony for the first edition will be held in November

The Guangzhou Award will comprise five categories in each edition: 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 Guangzhou Award is open to cities and local governments worldwide, including members of United Cities and Local Governments (CGLU) and the World Association of the Major Metropolises. Any innovative project in the public sector that has been successfully implemented will be eligible for entry. 

“The entries submitted must be regulations, policies or projects which are currently underway or have been completed within the past two years at most. Furthermore, it must provide evidence of a real and tangible effect or substantial impact, stand out for its originality, constitute a non-profit activity and be exemplary”, highlighted Mr Liu Baochun, Director General of Guangzhou Municipal Government’s Foreign Affairs Office, in his presentation of the rules governing the award.

The competition is open and the deadline for registration is 31 May. The deadline for submitting projects ends on 31 July. The award ceremony will take place in Guangzhou in November 2012. 

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The Guangzhou Award invites you to design the logo and the trophy 

During the presentation ceremony yesterday, Guangzhou Municipal Government also launched an open competition to design a logo and trophy as well as to coin a slogan for the award. Individuals or organisations, from home and abroad, whether professionals or amateurs but that possess basic professional knowledge or expertise in design are welcome to take part. Entries may be submitted within a one-month period, as of today until 30 April. 

The Deputy Secretary-General of the Municipal Government, Mr Wei Weihan, said that competition participants may submit their designs until 30 April to the Guangzhou Award’s official email address, or by post to the office of the Guangzhou Award Organising Committee. Further details are available in the section regarding the logo, slogan and trophy competition on the official website.

The name of the winning person or organisation will be announced on 30 May. The winner will receive a cash prize and a certificate issued by the Organising Committee. 

Requirements of the design

? Guangzhou Award Logo: The composition must be creative and original; the design must be clear and easily recognisable. The colours must be simple and well combined; it must convey an appropriate message and create a good impression. The form and the technique employed must allow the design to be reproduced and presented on a flat, three-dimensional and electronic support. 

? Guangzhou Award Slogan: The design should encapsulate, to the greatest possible extent, the concept of innovation among cities worldwide; be short and straightforward; sound good and have strength; be easy to remember and read aloud; have a visual impact and inspire positive emotions. The slogan must be accessible to cities worldwide in such a manner that it is understandable and acceptable to different cultures and nationalities. It should be equally expressive both in Chinese and in English.

? Guangzhou Award Trophy: It must have an original and novel design; convey the essence of innovation; have a simple and well-defined shape; reflect traits characteristic of China, Guangzhou and contemporary times and be able to be identified universally.

Additional details

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”. It has 140 member countries, more than 1,000 cities and 112 national local government associations. Today, UCLG has 19 members in Mainland China, which include the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and 18 members from different provinces and cities. 

More news

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.