World Association of the Major Metropolises
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A partnership between UCLG, Metropolis and the Guangzhou Municipal Government, the Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation aims to recognize innovation in improving social, economic and environmental sustainability in cities and regions and, in so doing, to advance the prosperity and life quality of their citizens. The Award is presented biennially and encourages innovation in public policy, projects, business models and practices.
The 3rd Guangzhou Award is receiving applications and is encouraging entries from those cities that are improving infrastructure and public services, and putting into place participatory planning and good governance, partnerships, technology, resilience, social inclusion and gender equality.
5 winning cities will receive a USD 20,000 cash prize, a trophy and a commemorative certificate designed for the award. The winners of the Guangzhou Award are also invited to attend special events including the Guangzhou International Conference on Urban Innovation, an exhibition and the award ceremony. Besides the five awards, the Organising Committee of the Guangzhou Award also intends to recognise one of the short-listed initiatives for its popularity with the public.
To submit an application fill in the registration and application forms and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the Award and how to submit an initiative download the brochure visit the official website: www.guangzhouaward.org
In a lively metropolis such as Guangzhou, transportation is a burgeoning challenge facing the government as they must organise efficient, affordable and environmentally conscious public transport for a population of 16 million inhabitants.
These issues were addressed by Director General of Foreign Affairs Mr LIU Baochun in his speech during the 20-20 meeting convened by Cities Today in London on 1-2 July 2015.
He first highlighted the long cultural history of the city and Guangzhou’s place in the Chinese economic, political and transportation landscape. Guangzhou proudly bears the name ‘“thousand-year business capital of China”’ and its rich trading history dating ensured it was one of the ‘first cities that adopted China’s open-and-reform policy three decades ago,’ according to Mr Liu’s speech. ‘Guangzhou has ranked third in terms of economic competitiveness for 26 consecutive years among China’s mainland cities,’ which helps explain the fact that over half of the population come from other parts of the country, plus a growing number of foreigners who consider Guangzhou a great opportunity for business.
Of course, all of these people need to move freely around the city and Guangzhou’s investment in public transport has been considerable. Firstly, the need to curb private transportation and encourage citizens to favour public transport was identified, and ‘since 2012 Guangzhou has restricted the issuance of new car licenses’ to alleviate the volume of traffic on the city’s roads. This resulted in an approximate 13,000 vehicles per month reduction, from around 20,000 to 7,000 and, in the three years since implementation, has reduced the total number of vehicles by an estimated 390,000.
Guangzhou is ‘committed to developing a multi-layer, multi-modality and pro-interchange urban public transport system, which will comprise rail transit lines, buses (including electric buses), taxis and water buses which is expected to be used by 70 percent of the city’s motorised travellers by 2017.’
The metro and bus rapid transit (BRT) systems are crucial methods of public transport. Nine metro lines operate throughout the city and cover 260 kilometres, serving six million commuters per day. By 2017 the goal is to cover 500 kilometres, and over 1000 by 2020.
Guangzhou’s BRT system has also led to acclamations for sustainably. Since its opening in 2010, the 958 buses that operate along 31 BRT lines earned the city the Sustainable Transport Award in 2011 and the Lighthouse Award under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2012.
Non-motorised transport is also encouraged and 250 cycle hire stations are available with 16,000 bicycles for use. This scheme is supported by the state and private companies and has ‘helped reduce emissions by 3,443 tonnes of CO2 in areas along the BRT lines.’
The Guangzhou BRT is the first ‘“metro level replacement”’ outside South America and Mr Liu was ready to acknowledge the help of policy transfer in effective global governance. He highlighted that the success of Guangzhou’s transport system comes from lessons learned from other cities including Brisbane, Xiamen, Bogotá and São Paulo.
Finally, Mr. Liu took the opportunity to invite the attendees of the Cities Today meeting to take part in the Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation. He stressed the advantages to be gained from knowledge sharing to learn valuable innovation methods to better city inhabitant’s livelihoods. The next edition of the Guangzhou Award will be held in 2016.
Only by adhering to the path of innovation-driven growth can we make the transition from “made in Guangzhou” into “created in Guangzhou”