The technical committee of the 5th Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation (Guangzhou Award) released 15 shortlisted cities on February 3 and recognized these cities’ innovations in advancing the prosperity and quality of life of their citizens especially under the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the committee, cities around the world actively participated in the Award though affected by Covid-19. They received 273 initiatives from 175 cities and local governments in 60 countries and regions. These initiatives indicated that global cities focus more on the wellbeing of children and the elderly as well as strategies to contain the pandemic.
In addition, the technical committee highlighted Chongqing’s initiative during the meeting because it provides emergency solutions to the disposal of medical waste which is important to avoid the spread of disease. The initiative facilitates Chongqing with a medical waste disposal capacity of 90 tons per day. It also led to the development of an emergency medical disposal center in Wuhan, serving its 388 hospitals.
“It presents an excellent example of one city (Chongqing) helping another city (Wuhan) in dealing with Covid-19. This initiative is replicable within the country and alerts other cities in the world the importance of medical waste disposal in virus containment,” said Ali Cheshmehzangi, technical committee member and head of Department of Architecture and Built Environment, The University of Nottingham Ningbo China.
The 15 shortlisted cities of the 5th Guangzhou Award and their initiatives include:
Guangzhou is expected to invite all 15 shortlisted cities and local governments to present their initiatives and to allow the Jury to make its final decision.
The Guangzhou Award is co-sponsored by the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), the World Association of the Major Metropolises (Metropolis) and the City of Guangzhou. It’s open to all cities and local governments with successful initiatives in urban innovation. Members of the technical committee come from different countries and represent diverse professional fields.
Guan Litong, Deputy Director General of Department of European and Asian Affairs of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries remarked that the 5th Guangzhou Award has progressed against the adversities despite the impact of the pandemic. It fully demonstrates the international influence of the Guangzhou Award and the determination of global cities to cooperate and to develop under the pandemic.
“The pandemic has brought drastic changes, and we will need to implement these at local governance level,” said Emilia Saiz, Secretary-General of UCLG, “Congratulate Guangzhou for your vision to bring transformation to the world, to inspire your city and many others. I have read the report and there are very interesting lessons and recommendations and that we were very happy to adapt to our work.”