The Global Mayors' Forum & 6th Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation (Guangzhou Award) will be held in Guangzhou from December 7 to 9. As of December 5, representatives of 65 cities from 37 countries as well as nine international organizations have confirmed their participation.
The 6th Guangzhou Award received a total of 274 initiatives from 193 cities and local governments in 54 countries and regions, and 15 cities stood out as the shortlisted cities after the selection by the Technical Committee.
Let's take a look at the 15 shortlisted cities and their urban innovation initiatives, among which five winners will be announced on Thursday night.
Antalya, Türkiye 土耳其安塔利亚
Eco-friendly Farmer Card – Protect your environment, collect points, win prizes
This initiative by Antalya Metropolitan Municipality is designed to reduce hazardous agricultural packaging waste, which has significant negative environmental and health consequences, particularly in intensive farming areas. The project reduces plastic pollution from pesticide-laden packaging that is harmful to soil, that causes pollution and that indirectly contaminates 98% of Antalya’s drinking water.
Solar, fire-resistant vending machines receive deposits of agricultural waste packaging via personalized key fobs. The farmers depositing the waste are rewarded with farming sensors, greenhouse materials and tools. Farmers are also trained to identify and dispose the hazardous waste.
The initiative involves multiple partnerships and models of cooperation between municipalities, citizens, the private sector and academia. It also applies circular economy principles that prioritize sustainable resource use and waste reduction, making a significant contribution to environmental sustainability, the circular economy, local economic development and sustainable communities whilst reducing carbon emissions.
Bogotá, Colombia 哥伦比亚波哥大
Bogotá Care Blocks – How a city is reorganizing itself for women and achieving the SDGs
It has long been recognized that women's “time poverty” is a structural cause of gender inequality. The unpaid burden of care falls disproportionately on women, which translates into women lacking economic autonomy. Women who are primary caregivers also tend to abandon higher education. They are prone to suffer from chronic mental and physical illnesses and have higher chances of experiencing gender-based violence. 30% of Bogotá's female population does unpaid caregiving full-time; 91% of this population is low-income; and 33% is deprived of free time for self-care.
In 2020, the city of Bogotá, Colombia's capital, launched its Care System to recognize, reduce and redistribute care. This initiative operates mainly through Care Blocks with an “ease-of-access” modality that provides educational, leisure and income-generation services to caregivers, while simultaneously offering professional assistance to those being taken care of – children, people with disabilities, and the elderly.
The initiative also includes a cultural change strategy, a “Care School for Men”, so that men can learn to recognize care, and distribute care more equitably within the household. As a result of this initiative, which provides childcare and a laundry service, caregivers have gained a total of 4 hours daily to study, generate income, or rest.
该项目还包含一项文化变革行动，即开设“男性护校”（Care School for Men），以提升男性对家务劳动的认知，实现更公平的家务分配。该项目还提供了儿童托管和洗衣服务，这让负责照顾家庭的人每天能获得4小时来学习、创收或休息。
Cape Town, South Africa 南非开普敦
Building resilient food systems
Food systems in Cape Town are complex and loosely governed. Recent shocks and stresses (drought, COVID-19, load shedding and minibus taxi strike) underscore the need for a food systems approach that recognizes the increasing occurrence of risks that typically impact food access in vulnerable communities. The Food Systems initiative stems from the Cape Town Resilience Strategy (2019) and is included in Cape Town’s five-year development plan.
The Resilient Food Systems initiative seeks to address the burden of disease caused by food insecurity that results in child wasting and stunting or obesity, which drives the high incidence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Much of the food systems' work is advocacy and building knowledge. This is achieved through a Food Systems Working Group that includes internal and external players where knowledge, networks and the city’s work are leveraged upon towards food outcomes. The city also convenes a Food Indaba (meeting) internal to the city and Food Systems Community of Practice to coordinate and promote research.
The initiative has been infused into the city’s development plan. It has also built partnerships towards addressing the long-term impact of reducing incidences of non-communicable diseases.
Gwangju, Republic of Korea 韩国光州
GwangJuness Community Care
“No citizen is left out” is not just a slogan for the city of Gwangju. The previous caregiving system in the Republic of Korea selected beneficiaries based on age and income, and only supported those who were eligible to make an application. To address this gap, Gwangju has created an innovative care model, Gwangjuness Community Care, for anyone who needs care.
对于光州市来说，“不落下一个市民”不仅仅是一句口号。以前，韩国的民生关怀制度根据年龄和收入筛选受益者，只为符合特定条件的人群提供帮助。为了弥补其中的空缺，光州为所有需要关怀的人打造了一种创新的关怀模式，即面向弱势群体的社区民生关怀项目（Gwangjuness Community Care）。
Dong-office (smallest administrative division) care managers visit individuals in their homes, check their situation, and apply for needed services. Gwangju has launched 16 new care services and plans to inject US$7.74 million annually to encourage citizens facing economic hardship to take advantage of these care services. “Care Call” has been launched as a single application channel to increase convenience.
To ensure implementation, Gwangju has established a “dedicated division,” designated 320 care managers, and selected 38 private sector care service providers.
Halandri, Greece 希腊哈兰德里
Cultural H.ID.RA.N.T. (Cultural Hidden IDentities ReAppear through Networks of Water) -- Ancient engineering of sustainable water management meets urban innovation through citizens’ participation
This initiative aims to activate local hidden heritage and resources in order to enhance citizens’ well-being. It focuses on the re-introduction of the Hadrians aqueduct, a subterranean Roman-times infrastructure, into city life beyond the usual “sightseeing” offer to demonstrate and communicate its cultural heritage and ancient technical approaches alongside its role as a historic monument, contemporary landmark, unexploited water resource and piece of urban infrastructure.
Along with the repositioning of the aqueduct, the initiative promotes green urban policies and sustainable water management. It creates new quality green public spaces by regenerating four Halandri neighborhoods, while the aqueduct, which is still operational, is re-utilized for irrigation purposes, thus replacing the use of potable water that was used before.
Through participatory and inclusive processes, Halandri communities are revitalized by becoming active around heritage, and the local economy is strengthened via endogenous and resilient development rather than relying on tourism, which puts pressure on the city’s resources and jeopardizes a sense of community and belonging.
Iztapalapa, Mexico 墨西哥伊斯塔帕拉帕
UTOPIAS – Urban transformation and organization for social inclusion and harmony
Iztapalapa is the most populated municipality in Mexico City with near 2 million inhabitants. 43% of its population lives in poverty, 33% is between 15 to 34 years old, and 23% works in the informal economy. Socio-economic and territorial inequalities are key challenges among the local population.
The UTOPIAS initiative is a strategy to deepen social and urban transformation that reduces existing socio-urban inequalities and violence with a human rights perspective , retaking the historical local social struggle for Right to City, via the regeneration of deteriorated public spaces and the construction of a system of large, comprehensive, high-impact public facilities that promote human rights and well-being of communities, with a focus on the equitable distribution of public spaces and facilities, which provide free social, care, cultural, sporting and recreational activities and services that are open to people of all ages and genders, prioritizing alternative activities for the elderly, the disabled and at-risk youth in violent environments.
The initiative applies an innovative approach to urban management that adopts an integrated, participatory, trans-disciplinary, and trans-sectorial vision that has recovered and transformed so far more than 540,000 square meters of degraded public space with 12 UTOPIAS, built in only 4 years, that serve more than 100,000 people a week, transforming their lives.
Jakarta, Indonesia 印度尼西亚雅加达
Reclaiming spaces for children using public transportation through the Navi Station initiative
In Indonesia, new public transport systems such as metro and light rail are developing rapidly, so it is crucial to prepare the next generation for safe and ethical use of rail-based public transportation. This requires the development of a new tool to help improve children's knowledge and awareness of relevant knowledge and safety norms.
This initiative in Jakarta aims to prepare the next generation to make safe use of rail-based public transportation. It has created a toolkit for children aged between 5 and 7 years that focuses on train station literacy. The toolkit uses toys like bricks, activity books, playmats and papercraft using rail transport logos and mascots. The content and approach of the toolkit are validated by pre-school teachers and comprehensive evaluation is through pre-tests, post-tests and edu-visits (observation).
There is a pentahelix multi-stakeholder engagement between the Bandung Institute of Technology, the Jakarta Transportation Authority, rail operators, SMEs, and School/Community. The Ministry of Education is also involved in the adoption of the initiative. The initiative is a good example of promoting universal accessibility to public facilities, including transportation, by empowering children to navigate train stations.
Kazan, Russia 俄罗斯喀山
Eco-rehabilitation of the city park
During the COVID-19 pandemic, medical staff and patients at a hospital near Chaikovoye Lake in the city of Kazan became acutely aware of the lack of open-air public spaces around the hospital that could enable patients to recuperate and allow medical staff and hospital employees to relax. The area around the hospital was neglected and the lake was polluted.
This initiative was developed to create a unique multi-purpose public park near the hospital that could be used for recovery, recreation and relaxation. Patients can do therapies, such as reflexology, in the park and enjoy the picturesque scenery around the lake, which helps them to recover faster. Hospital staff now have a place where they can relax and play sports. The lake near the hospital has been rehabilitated and aquatic plants have been grown in it to allow it to self-clean.
The park and the cleaner lake have reaped significant positive social, health and environmental benefits. The initiative was carried out in close cooperation with representatives of relevant ministries and departments, representatives of the health industry, employees and patients at the hospital, as well as local residents, all of whom played an active part in the project’s implementation.
Sources: guangzhouaward.org, Guangzhou Daily
Editor: Lyu Yun