Connecting the world: Online Release of the Research Reports from the 4th Guangzhou Award is held successfully!

2020-05-26 19:00:00

On 26 May, United Cities and Local Governments(UCLG), World Association of the Major Metropolises(Metropolis) and Southern Finance Omnimedia Corporation jointly released, online, the Research Reports on 15 Shortlisted Cities from the Fourth Guangzhou Award.

In 2012, the City of Guangzhou together with UCLG and Metropolis established the Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation. This Award recognizes innovation in improving social, economic and environmental sustainability in cities and regions. In order to further explore lessons learned from urban innovation, the Southern Finance Omnimedia Corp. was tasked to coordinate the research, writing and publishing of The Research Reports on 15 Shortlisted Cities from the Fourth Guangzhou Award (hereinafter referred to as "the Reports"). An online conference was convened to launch to report involving experts who visited the cities as well as the people who are directly involved in implementation. The online conference provided an opportunity to look at selected initiatives from different perspectives.

Mr. Liu Baochun,the Director General of Guangzhou Foreign Affairs Office and Regional Secretary for Asia-Pacific of Metropolis, Mr. Octavi de la Varga, Secretary General of Metropolis as well as Ms. Firdaous Oussidhoum, Special Advisor to the Secretary General of UCLG 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 fruitful outcome of the researches on 15 award-winning cities was frequently praised. Mr. Liu Baochun said: “I am pleased to know that our follow-up research on the 15 shortlisted cities of the 4th Guangzhou Award has managed to capture their ingenuity in implementing global agendas and their unique role in response to global challenges. We hope the Research Reports released today could encourage exchanges and learning among cities all over the world, and spark innovative ideas of cities to improve the well-being of their people.” 

In the second part of the conference, Nicholas You and co-editor of the Reports - Ms. Wandia Seaforth - jointly released the Reports. Nicholas You explained the rigorous methodology behind the review process involving independent experts and jury members. He said that these research reports are not only intended to further explore “what” cities are doing in innovation governance, but also more importantly, to understand “how to do it”, so as to share experience between  practitioners, scholars and city officials, etc.

In the third part, Ms. Hilary Clarke, contributing author of reports on Milan & Utrecht and Ms. Elisa Silva, contributing author of Santa Ana report gave a brief review on their experience. Four of the 15 shortlisted cities provided updated information of their respective initiatives and what they hope to do going forward. These included: Mr. Andrea Magarini Pellini, Food Policy Coordinator from Municipality of Milan; Ms. Desireé van de Ven, Strategic Advisor of Strategy and Public Affairs from Municipality of Utrecht; Mr. Ruslan Galiakhmetov, Head of International Relations Department from Municipality of Kazan; and Ms. Gabriela Cob Barboza, Advisor in Sustainable Mobility, Human Rights and Gender from Santa Ana. Lastly, Mr. Bao Yajun, Secretary General of Institute of Urban Governance from Peking University remarked on all these speeches and Nicholas You warped up the whole conference.

The biennial Guangzhou Award has become an important platform for cities to share and diffuse knowledge and good practices in urban innovation, and to showcase how they are implementing New Urban Agenda (NUA) and working towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Award just recently completed its fourth cycle 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! If you want the world to learn from your experience in implementing the global agendas, please share your knowledge and experience with us at: