Guangzhou Award boosts collaboration

Cities learn from each other’s sustainable development experience

GUANGZHOU, China, Dec. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Co-hosted by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC), the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), the World Association of Major Metropolises (Metropolis) and Guangzhou Municipal Government, the 3rd Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation (the Guangzhou Award) and 2016 Guangzhou International Urban Innovation Conference were held in Guangzhou from December 5 to 8. Together with the concurrently staged Guangzhou International Innovation Festival, the series of events were abbreviated as One Award, One Conference and One Festival.

This year’s conference is themed on Global Wisdom for Local Solutions and the series of events were attended by some 800 guests.

The biennial event recognizes the top five urban innovation projects from around the world. It aims to facilitate the exchange of urban innovation experiences, learning from successful cases, and advocating scientific ideas to drive sustainable development.

“The Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation has made a very positive impact,”  said Parks Tau, President of United Cities and Local Governments, a co-organizer of the event.

Selected from 301 innovation projects submitted by 171 cities, the winners were: Songpa-gu in South Korea, Qalyubia in Egypt, Copenhagen in Denmark, Boston in the United States and La Paz in Bolivia.

The event is expected to enhance the communication between cities and countries, set examples for local governments and to seek solutions to global challenges such as climate change, poverty and gender inequality.

“In the past, people thought the national government could change things, but now we realize it is communication between national and local governments that makes changes,” said Beate Weber-Schuerholz, Co-Chair of Guangzhou Award Jury, former mayor of Heidelberg.

Ma Peihua, Vice-chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, participated in the conference. He gave high praise to the Guangzhou Award and highlighted the profound influence of the event.

“This event has brought the wisdom of the world together and it will help our province to better implement the innovation-driven development strategy and make Guangdong an innovation hub in China,” said He Zhongyou, Deputy Governor of Guangdong.

“We are focusing our efforts to make Guangzhou a hub-based networked city that can gather the global innovation resources and elements to establish a sophisticated open economic system,” said Wen Guohui, Mayor of Guangzhou & Co-president of UCLG and the Metropolis.