Last updated: 2019/01/30
A combined project between UCLG, Metropolis and the city of Guangzhou, the Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation aims to recognise and award city initiatives that are innovative in improving the livelihoods of their citizens.
The Award is presented biennially and encourages innovation in public policy, projects, business models and practices. The first Award was was held in 2012 and received 255 entries from 153 cities, in 56 countries across six continents.
Five winning cities are selected and in 2012 they included: Kocaeli (Turkey), Lilongwe (Malawi), Seoul (South Korea), Vancouver (Canada) and Vienna (Austria).
The fields for submission include Public Services, Organization and Administration, Partnership and Citizen Involvement, Smart City and Sustainable City.
The second Award was even more successful with 259 initiatives submitted from 177 cities worldwide. This cycles’ winners were Antioquia (Colombia), Bristol (U.K.), Christchurch (New Zealand), Dakar (Senegal) and Hangzhou (China).
An extra three winning categories were also added in 2014 to promote public participation in the Guangzhou Award. These categories are: an online-popular city, a media-popular city and the preferred city by the attendees of the Conference on Learning from Urban Innovation.
expertise & interestsNorth Africa Sub-Saharan Africa Central America and the Caribbean North America South America Central Asia (/w Asian part of Russia) East Asia South Asia South-East Asia West Asia (Middle East) Eastern Europe (/w European part of Russia) Northern Europe (Scandinavia) Western Europe Australia and New Zealand Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia Biodiversity Children and Youth Citizen engagement Climate adaptation Climate mitigation Cultural vibrance Economic development Education and training Employment Energy Environmental protection Food sustainability Gender equality Governance Health and wellbeing Heritage Housing Inclusion and equity Informal settlements and poverty alleviation Land-use and planning Mobility and transport Resilience and risk-management Smart city and technology Tourism Urban design Urban development and infrastructures Urban renewal Waste management Guangzhou, China
Case studies from Guangzhou Award
Belo Horizonte, Brazil
An inter-federation model make feasible for the municipalities to manage their waste in an integrated way.
With 80 percent of residents and commuters identifying a serious traffic problem in the city, Hangzhou launched China's first public bicycle project. Serving some 280,000 passengers daily, the system (free for the first hour) complements the city's extensive bus system.
Antioquia (Departement), Colombia
Building on a widely-hailed experiment in Medellin, the entire surrounding province of Antioquia has set up a network of 80 educational parks designed to supplement traditional education with programs to honor young peoples' inherent skills and citizenship potentials.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Bristol's innovative approach to becoming a smart city is based on people and not on technology: a Public-Private-People approach. Projects to date include smart metering, open data, smart grid and electric vehicles which build on the City's strengths in micro-electronic and digital companies.
Christchurch, New Zealand
A transitional city programme includes support for recovery after earthquakes in three key areas: social, sense of place and business. The programme also contains elements for long-term recovery such as testing new ideas, enhancing community resilience and creating a new identity for the city.
Aguascalientes City, Mexico
The aim of the Línea Verde is to provide public spaces that contribute to enhance community life for more than 300,000 inhabitants living in the poorest area of the city.
Boston, United States
Through this participatory budgeting program, youth had the opportunity to collect ideas for capital projects, distill those ideas into concrete proposals, hold a city-wide vote to determine which projects get funded, and directly determine how $1 million is spent to improve Boston for everyone.
Melbourne , Australia
In 2010 the city of Melbourne appointed a new Urban Landscape Team to produce a Green Infrastructure Program to cope with a difficult future climate and maintain its economic prosperity and liveability.
Albay (Province), Philippines
The province of Albay in the Philippines has adopted strategies for disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA) to foster economic prosperity and keep its population safe.
This project advises concepts and methods of participatory community development and grass roots based waste management in informal urban areas.
Seoul , South Korea
The goal of this initiative is to create Seoul as a healthy and safe area for children and adolescents in terms of internet use.
The City of Vancouver has been awarded in 2012 the Guangzhou Award for Urban Innovation in recognition of its Greenest City and housing affordability initiatives.
Kocaeli (Province), Turkey
After the Marmara earthquake in 1999, the City of Kocaeli decided that living with risk cannot be business as usual. The city is using risk mapping to revisit its development priorities. Moreover, the city is engaging the community in innovative public awareness efforts.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
In one of the world’s most rapidly growing cities, a new government-mandated program – Estidama (Arabic for “sustainable”) - aims at making all new buildings in the United Arab Emirates more environmentally responsible and sustainable.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
The central idea of these roundtables is to engage a frank dialogue between the municipality and its citizens and to stimulate imaginative and innovative actions by senior officials.
In 2005 Hamburg decided to support the redevelopment of the Wilhelmsburg neighborhood through hosting the International Building and the International Garden Show (IBA).
To foster a sustainable working relationship between local government and slum dwellers in a bid to expedite the creation of an inclusive city.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Addis Ababa’s light rail and bus rapid transit project addresses the challenges rising from an ageing transport system combined with a fast-growing population to ensure a prosperous, equitable, and sustainable city for the future.
Initiatives for climate change adaptation are being implemented in Copenhagen's St. Kjelds’ neighbourhood. More green spaces and innovative cloudburst solutions will increase the area’s resilience against flooding and improve life quality for residents.
An initiative to assist businesspeople navigating life in Yiwu.