Guangzhou Award in WUF10: Urban Innovation Bridges Social Divides

2020-02-14 15:17:43

The Tenth Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF 10) was held from 8th-13th February, 2020 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. During the forum, on 10 February, the Guangzhou Institute for Urban Innovation hosted a Voices from Cities workshop, where city representatives from previous Guangzhou Award cycles presented how their city initiatives involving innovation and culture are creating more livable, sustainable and inclusive communities for their respective inhabitants. Co-organized by the UCLG Community on Urban Innovation, the Metropolis Regional Secretariat for ASPAC, the Southern Finance Omnimedia Corp. and the Guangzhou Institute for Urban Innovation, this event focused on “Innovation and Culture in Bridging Social, Economic and Spatial Divides”.


Ms. Emilia Saiz, Secretary General of UCLG, Mr. Octavi de la Varga, Secretary General of Metropolis and Mr. Raf Tuts, Director of Global Solutions Division from UN-Habitat kicked off the session with their opening remarks while Mr. Nicholas You, Executive Director of Guangzhou Institute for Urban Innovation moderated the session.

 In their respective remarks, the significance of learning from each other’s experiences and sharing the processes of innovation was frequently repeated. In the second part of the event, three  cities that participated in the Guangzhou Award presented their initiatives. These included: La Paz, Bolivia; Kazan, Russia; and Mezitli; Turkey.Each of these three cities used a unique approach to culture to help  bridge social, economic and spatial divides.

(link for Kazan:

(link for Mezitli:

(link for La Paz:

Since 2018, the Award has been aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the New Urban Agenda (NUA), providing a unique knowledge base of how local governments, at all levels, of all sizes and in all regions are effectively addressing critical social, economic, environmental and governance challenges. The Award just recently completed its fourth cycle (2018) where cities and regions submitting initiatives to the Award were asked to explain how their respective initiatives were contributing to the implementation of the SDGs and NUA. The 5th cycle of Guangzhou Award is now open to submission from all local governments!

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