The series of events were attended by some 800 guests, including state, provincial and municipal leaders in China, as well as representatives from international organizations such as UCLG and the Metropolis, participating cities, sister cities, the Jury of the Guangzhou Award, Consulate Generals in Guangzhou and prestigious multinationals and Chinese enterprises.
The 3rd Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation has become a globally appreciated project in raising environmental awareness, exchanging experiences in sustainable development and encouraging innovation in urban development.
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. "The whole world is experimenting with innovative projects on sustainable development," Tau said. "We need to learn from each other, to copy, promote and share new concepts."
Selected from 301 innovation projects submitted by 171 cities, the winners of this year's awards were recognized for their excellence in sustainable urban development. They included: Songpa-gu in South Korea, Qalyubia in Egypt, Copenhagen in Denmark, Boston in the United States and La Paz in Bolivia. About 1,400 guests were present at "City of Innovation": Awarding Ceremony of the 3rd Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation held in Dec. 7.
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.
"After 16 years as a city mayor in Germany, I know it is not easy to convince the city council that a project makes sense," said Beate Weber-Schuerholz, Co-Chair of Guangzhou Award Jury, former mayor of Heidelberg.
"You learn by answering questions, getting replies and hearing details from others," Schuerholz said. "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."
Ma Peihua, Vice-chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, participated in the conference and gave high praise to the Guangzhou Award, and highlighted the profound influence of the event.
The awards also shed light on the future development of Guangzhou and enhanced the partnerships between China and other countries, local officials said.
"Innovation is an essential force driving the city to a higher level," said He Zhongyou, Deputy Governor of Guangdong.
"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," He said.
"Guangzhou is now striving to make itself an important node in the Belt and Road Initiative and an international communication center, " said Wen Guohui, Mayor of Guangzhou & Co-president of UCLG and the Metropolis .
"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," Wen said.
"The event offers a new platform for the global city operators and the business and academic representatives to meet up for brainstorming, dialogue and cooperation. We sincerely hope that, through this event, we could gather the wisdom of urban governance and share the green innovation outcomes, and bring more knowledge and opportunities to our city, our province, our country and the whole world."
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SOURCE Guangzhou Municipal Government