A Message from the Guangzhou Award Secretariat
2020 marks the beginning of the 5th cycle of the Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation (Guangzhou Award). As always, we encourage cities and local governments around the world to come and share their innovative practices in supporting the local implementation of the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda.
Unfortunately, the beginning of the year saw the whole world affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Too many lives are being lost and public health is at risk. An unprecedented number of cities and regions have been affected, economically, socially and culturally, as a result of prolonged physical distancing and lock-downs.
Many cities and regions have expressed their keen interest in joining the 5th cycle. But the COVID-19 crisis has made their application difficult and the submission deadline easily missed. Further to their requests, the Guangzhou Award Organizing Committee has decided to adjust the deadlines as follows:
· Early bird submission deadline extended to: 23:59:59 (UTC+08:00), 30th September 2020;
· Final submission deadline extended to: 23:59:59 (UTC+08:00), 31 st October 2020.
There is no doubt that the pandemic has also exposed and highlighted a lot of problems in achieving the SDGs, especially Goal 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 10. As Nicholas You, Executive Director of Guangzhou Institute for Urban Innovation, puts it, ‘We neglect primary health care, basic infrastructure and services, decent housing and decent work at our own peril. Never before has a singular event revealed the weaknesses and failures of these systems and their governance.’
Therefore, besides other urban innovation initiatives, cities and regions are also most welcome to share their initiatives in responding to the pandemic. We are all too aware of the delicate balance between containment and mitigation, and the transition from emergency response and mitigation to recovery. Applications are also welcome with forward looking post COVID-19 initiatives regarding how cities and regions are rethinking their local governance mechanisms, reconsidering the urban morphology and typology, addressing the problems exposed, and improving the resilience of urban economy.
We look forward to your sharing the initiatives for a more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable living place for all. For more information, please kindly visit: http://www.guangzhouaward.org/p/e_applynow. The Secretariat will remain at your disposal should you have any queries.