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January 2017

  Looking East And West: Vienna At The Crossroads
 

Vienna’s progress in environmental stewardship, an example of which is the visionary flood management of the Danube River, has earned it a Special Mention in the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize 2016. We speak to Walter Kling, Deputy Managing Director of Vienna Water to learn about the experience and the challenges facing this historic yet progressive city that straddles Western and Eastern Europe.

 

  In Pictures: Raising The Bar Of Liveability
 

Vienna is consistently ranked as one of the most liveable cities in the world today. It is also a charming historic city with a UNESCO World Heritage status among its accolades. Despite all of its achievements, the city does not sit on its laurels but continue to raise the bar of liveability and sustainability with its ambitious aim to become Europe’s Environmental Model City by 2025.

 

November / December 2016

  From Industrial Port Lands To A Vibrant Waterfront - Toronto's Transformation
 

Many large cities face the challenge of attracting workers and residents to their core. But for Toronto, the revitalisation of an industrial port land into a vibrant waterfront has turned its downtown into a dynamic and fast-growing area for homes and businesses. Christopher Glaisek of Waterfront Toronto shares the story of one of North America’s fastest growing cities.

 

  In Pictures: Toronto Revitalised
 

Toronto was named a Special Mention city at the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize 2016 for its outstanding social integration strategies, such as those helmed by its Toronto Public Library, as well as the reversal of the dying city core trend experienced by many North American cities. The city achieved the latter through attention to good urban design in its waterfront rejuvenation project.

October 2016

  Engaging Communities for a Sustainable Future
 

When Sydney began crafting its master plan for a sustainable future, the city’s leaders were convinced that the voices of the people should be represented in the strategy. Sparing no resources and efforts, Sydney thus embarked on a remarkable 18-month process to engage with all sectors of its population.

The emphasis on community engagement generated trust between the public and the government, the benefits of which are evident in Sydney’s urban transformation today. Sydney’s journey illustrates how inclusivity and community involvement bring a city together to work towards a shared vision.

September 2016

  Reinventing Auckland through Design
 

From the “city of cars” to its transformation into a far more human-centric metropolis, the story of Auckland’s urban reinvention illustrates how a city defined by decades of poor quality urban design and infrastructural deficit is able to turn around within ten years to become one of the world’s most liveable cities, through a design-led vision of urban development, strong leadership and championship of good design, and sound urban design policies and projects.

August 2016

  In Pictures: Designing Spaces, Integrating People in Auckland
 

Taking inspiration and learning points from design-led cities such as Melbourne and New York, Auckland saw the potential catalytic role of good urban design in spurring creativity in its businesses, government and people while creating a more liveable and vibrant environment. Design was thus instituted at the core of Auckland’s urban revitalisation strategy, shaping policies and redevelopment projects.

 

  Transforming Governance, Placing People First
 

With a 30-year master plan in hand, and clear goals for economic and social progress, infrastructural investment and environment protection, Auckland has set its sights on becoming the world’s most liveable city by 2040. Just six years into the plan, the city has already made significant headway towards its vision.

At the heart of Auckland’s transformation lies a highly integrated and innovative governance model, and the resolve to put its people first. The story of this 2016 Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Special Mention City illustrates how a city’s cultural ethos and shared vision generate a remarkable synergy to inspire and propel change.

June 2016

  Transforming Barrios, Transforming Medellín
 

Like many developing cities, Medellín experienced a rapid surge in population from the 1950s. The proliferation of informal settlements in the city and its periphery brought along a host of issues from violence and inaccessibility to housing safety and lack of public infrastructure. What made Medellín stand out, however, was its bold, grounds-up approach to tackling informal settlements and their associated issues.

Following two decades of sustained effort, the 2016 Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Laureate today demonstrates the remarkable urban transformation that can be brought about with determination, vision and creativity, even in the face of limited resources.

May 2016

  4 Different Cities, 3 Common Themes
 

Scattered across the globe, the four Special Mention cities of the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize 2016 may appear to have little in common. But the details of their recent transformations reveal how key themes and priorities, translated into long-term plans and programmes that reflect local needs and concerns, have guided their efforts to become more liveable and sustainable cities.

April 2016

  Reaching High and Moving Up
 

The city of Medellín in Colombia has built upon its Special Mention award in 2014 to become the 2016 Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Laureate. The city’s former Mayor Aníbal Gaviria Correa and former Director of Planning Jorge Pérez Jaramillo were in Singapore in March 2016 to attend the Media Conference announcing this year’s Laureate and Special Mentions – Auckland, Sydney, Toronto and Vienna – and share the story of how the world’s most dangerous city was transformed into a “City of Life”.

 

  In Pictures: Medellín Urban Innovations
 

The bold and visionary leaders of Medellín adopted creative and non-conventional approaches and implemented a series of social innovation and public transport initiatives to pursue social equity and improve living conditions for its people. This has contributed to the successful transformation of the city, and is one of the key reasons why the city was awarded the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize 2016. Some of the city’s most innovative urban and social initiatives are presented in this exclusive photo essay.

February 2016

  From Refuse to Resource
 

New challenges and opportunities confront cities in the area of solid waste management, as the world prepares for an era of climate change. The role and risks of landfills are also being reassessed, as waste is increasingly looked upon as a resource and local communities emerge at the forefront of urban recycling movements. These are some of the key trends in urban waste management covered in this article, which features insights from Antonis Mavropoulos, Scientific and Technical Committee Chairman of the International Solid Waste Association.

 

  Cities for All Ages
 

Populations of cities worldwide, both developing and developed, are rapidly ageing. As the average human lifespan increases, it is critical that urban planners re-imagine cities to be age-friendly. Find out what two different cities – New York City and Yukarigaoka in Japan – are doing to tackle the issue, a special report by Tan Chui Hua.

     

January 2016

  Infrastructure, Technology and Resilence
 

Cities face growing challenges from both natural and man-made sources. Professor Alexander Zehnder argues that a commitment to developing and funding innovation, technical systems, environmental science, and infrastructure engineering can help localities improve their resilience.

     

 

November - December 2015

  Building better environments for nature and man
 

What is biophilia and how can this concept be incorporated into urban design and city planning? Three international urban experts share their thoughts on the principles of biophilic design and why forging a connection to nature is expected to become a significant concern for cities seeking to create a more liveable, healthier and inspiring environment.

     

October 2015

  The role of cities in preserving biodiversity
 

Natural habitats and their biodiversity are increasingly seen as vital components of liveable cities. They provide spaces for recreation and help to restore physical and mental health. Urban parks and forests also contribute to a sense of belonging and well-being. The challenge of preserving green spaces and their associated ecosystem services is compounded in many cities in developing regions.

     

September 2015

  Opening big data for urban innovation
 

With advancement in big data analytics, urban planners and city governments now have another resource to gain insights into their cities, as well as to catalyse and effectuate urban innovation. The emergence of huge data sets, however, poses significant challenges in multiple areas, such as access and security, and deriving relevant insights and applications. As part of efforts to mitigate these challenges, open data initiatives by city governments are progressively gaining traction.

     

August 2015

  Interview with Bill de Blasio
 

More than a year into office as Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio has led the fight on many issues important to the more than eight million people who live in America’s largest city. He was elected to office on promises to tackle issues ranging from social inequality to climate change. In this special interview, Mayor de Blasio discusses the progress of some of his game-changing plans for New Yorkers.

     

Jun - July 2015

  Interview with Professor Wulf Daseking
 

Professor Wulf Daseking is the new member of the Nominating Committee of the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize 2016 and currently a Professor at the University of Freiburg and Visiting Professor at the University College London – Bartlett School. He is also the former Chief Planning Officer for the City of Freiburg from 1984 – 2012, and was instrumental in shaping the city to its current status as an ecological capital. In 2010, the City of Freiburg was awarded European City of the Year 2010 by the Academy of Urbanism (London). We speak to Prof Daseking for his insights on city planning, and the creating of sustainable, liveable cities.

     
  Reimagining Streets, Revitalising Cities
 

During her term as Transportation Commissioner of New York City, Janette Sadik-Khan showed the world how providing space on the street for everyone can have a positive impact on all aspects of the city. In this interview, Ms Sadik-Khan shares the intricate link between city and street planning, and how redesigning streets is not as unintuitive as one would think.

May 2015

  The growing threat of cyber risks
 

Mr Pierre Noel, Chief Security Officer, Asia, Microsoft, discusses the threats cities face from cyber-attacks, the fall-out from these, and what cities must do to become resilient to web-based threats.

Apr 2015

  Interview with IBM’s Dr Peter Williams
 

Dr Peter Williams, Chief Technology Officer, Big Green Innovations, IBM, shares his views on how cities can best mitigate the effects of natural disasters. Addressing issues like climate change and substandard infrastructure, he argues that city and national governments will only become truly resilient when constituents and their leaders engage in two-way communication.

Mar 2015

  Financing urban development – windows of opportunity
 

In light of limited public sector budgets, tightened lending regulations and suppressed amounts of capital in the global markets, cities are increasingly turning to innovative funding models to support urban development. In order to persuade the private sector to invest in cities, however, municipal authorities must guarantee returns to investors, as without these cities will fail to attract the funds needed to grow and prosper.

Feb 2015

  Building Resilient Cities Through Technological Transformation
 

With more than half of the world’s population living in urban areas, being resilient to physical, social and economic shocks is essential to the future prosperity and sustainability of cities. While technology plays an important part in building this resilience, the role of monitoring and analytics tools, as well as robust security systems, will grow exponentially, as municipal authorities strive to be better prepared for both natural and human-influenced catastrophes.

Jan 2015

  How Healthy are our Cities
 

For the first time in history, more than half the world’s population live in cities. This urban growth has led to socio-economic and health imbalances, yet urban residents overwhelmingly enjoy better health than their respective countries’ national averages. Can the world’s cities deliver future health and wellbeing?

Dec 2014

  Climate Change and Cities
 

While not traditionally connected, urban planning is increasingly influencing climate change mitigation. Recent initiatives, like the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and Local Governments for Sustainability are proving effective in the global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and become carbon-neutral.

     
  A Better City Through Mobility
 

From its dark past of drugs and violence, Medellín today is Colombia’s best example of remarkable recovery. The city’s transformation in recent years has attracted global attention. The Urban Land Institute, City Group and Wall Street Journal declared Medellín “Innovative City of the Year” in 2013, and it received a Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Special Mention in 2014.

Oct 2014

  People-centric Cities - Beyond Modernism and the Motorcar
 

In their quest to make cities liveable, urban planners should first and foremost consider conventional designs where buildings, streets and open spaces are modelled for pedestrians, according to Danish architect Jan Gehl. He reasons that cities will only be socially and environmentally sustainable by returning to urban models which consider alternative modes of mobility aside from the motorcar.

     
  Revitalising The City
 

Yokohama’s liveability, competitiveness and identity declined historically as it became an extension of Tokyo and waterfront industries divided, polluted and congested the city-centre. Mayor Fumiko Hayashi explains how “Minato Mirai 21” revitalised the area, resulting in Yokohama receiving a Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Special Mention in 2014.

Sep 2014

  Medellín Transformed - From Murder Capital to Model City
 

For the Colombian city of Medellín, cooperation between civic society, private enterprise, policymakers and academics laid the foundations for small, high-impact urban developments that targeted the city’s social inequity and economic inequality. This “urban acupuncture” transformed what was once the homicide capital of the world into a model of sustainable urban liveability – and earned Medellín the 2014 Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Special Mention.

Aug 2014

  Marketing Cities – The Yokohama Story
 

For cities to attract international trade and investment, talent and tourism, they must develop highly liveable and sustainable urban environments, which are in turn then sold to prospective businesses and visitors. Exemplifying this process, the city of Yokohama, Japan, leveraged innovative urban planning to draw much-needed investment dollars from investors and international visitors alike.

Jun - Jul 2014

  World Cities Summit 2014: Creating Liveable and Sustainable Cities
 

World Cities Summit (WCS) 2014 brought together decision makers and policy setters from around the globe. These leaders shared experiences and expertise on solutions that will impact the liveability and sustainability of the world’s cities, and create transformative change for billions of people worldwide.


  Designing a Just City
 

The economic success of a city is not an assurance of its liveability. As crucial as competitiveness is in designing cities, urban authorities should consider social inclusivity as another criterion by which they stitch together a city’s urban fabric. To build a ‘just city’, the principles of equity, democracy and diversity must be considered during the planning and policymaking processes.

May 2014

  The Value of Cities
 

Significant challenges exist during this change process, however. And, becoming economically high-value does not automatically make cities highly liveable. Balancing economic imperatives with social and environmental demands is a delicate task. In Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China - the 2014 Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Laureate - exemplifies the journey developing cities must make in order to simultaneously climb the value chain and become highly liveable.

As developing cities move up the economic value chain, these cities' citizens, businesses and local governments generally see improvements across the board. Incomes increase, society becomes healthier and better educated, city streets and walkways become cleaner, and the general quality of living rises.


  City Focus: Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China
 

Mayor Zhou Naixiang explains the innovation and transformation of Suzhou over the years. Suzhou, located right at the centre of the Yangtze Delta and south of Jiangsu province, is known for its many scenic water bodies.

The city of more than 10 million citizens is also praised for its beautiful gardens and efforts in preserving its ancient cultural heritage. Meanwhile, Suzhou continues to advance with innovative technologies and strategies that promote rural and urban integration, talent cultivation and sustainable development.

 

April 2014

  Epitomising Liveable and Sustainable Cities
 

Economic prosperity, social welfare and environmental preservation are prerequisites of liveable and sustainable cities. While embracing these pillars wholeheartedly, 2014 Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Laureate, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China, has gone beyond this standard by encouraging historical and cultural stewardship, social harmony and urban-rural integration.

 

February 2014

  Eco-cities – Who, what, where and why?
 

The term ‘eco-cities’ is synonymous with urban areas that, at scale, promote environmental preservation. However, decorating cities with boulevards and green buildings, as well as adopting energy- and waste-efficient technologies, are merely small parts of the modern eco-city. What do urbanists mean when they use this term; what socio-economic trends drive their development; and what do eco-cities need in order to function successfully?


  Interview with Mr Flemming Borreskov
 

Mr Flemming Borreskov is the President of the International Federation for Housing and Planning (IFHP), and CEO of Realdania, a strategic philanthropic foundation, based in Denmark. He is also a current member of the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Council. In this exclusive interview, Mr Borreskov shares with us his views on sustainable cities.

 

January 2014

  How can cities ensure success in changing times?
 

The world is unpredictable. Sudden changes – be they environmental, economic or socio-political – can reshape the established order, disrupt existing patterns and institutions and transform previously unassailable assumptions. To build resilience in this environment is to make cities’ communities, institutions and systems better prepared to face an inherently unpredictable world.


  Interview with Mr Peter Ho
 

With more than 34 years of experience in the Public Service of Singapore, Mr Peter Ho – the former Head of the Singapore Civil Service and the current member of the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Council – shares with us his views on public-private partnerships and urban planning in emerging economies.

 

November 2013

  Do cities need vertical greenery?
 

Vertical greenery is increasingly used in cities to both raise quality of life and improve urban environments and eco-systems. As well as modifying temperatures, improving air quality and increasing biodiversity, exposure to urban greenery can improve peoples’ physiology and mental health. Yet, how effective is vertical greenery, what are its costs and benefits, and how sustainable is it in the long term?


  Living Walls
 

Occupying the vertical surfaces of offices, residential and commercial buildings, green walls provide greenery to the urban environment without the traditional requirements of space. They are increasingly popular these days as developers strive for greener buildings without sacrificing built-up area. Ms Jane Henley, Chief Executive Officer of the World Green Building Council, shares with us her views on green walls as well as their lesser known environmental benefits, and the upward trend of these living facades.


  Interview with Prof Wong Nyuk Hien
 

Prof Wong is Professor in the Department of Building, National University of Singapore, whose area of expertise and research interests include urban heat island, urban greenery, thermal comfort in the tropics and building energy simulation. A thought leader in the area of vertical greenery in Singapore, in this exclusive interview, we talk to him on the various aspects of rooftop gardens and vertical greenery.

 

October 2013

  Why cities must aspire to become ‘global cities’
 

Saskia Sassen, Professor of Sociology at Columbia University, New York City, is famously attributed with creating the term “global city” – a city that is dynamic, vibrant and influenced by different cultures and business practices. In a world increasingly characterised by the vast urban sprawls of megacities, Sassen argues that cities should aspire to be “global”. Key to achieving this is cities establishing social equality, innovating, and letting natural forces – rather than imposed structures and systems – dictate what works and what does not.

September 2013

  Stairwells, walkways and fresh food – making today’s cities healthier cities
 

Today’s cities are high-density environments that house large populations, experience high volumes of traffic, and consume vast quantities of processed food and beverages that are imported from afar. Dr Karen Lee, Adjunct Professor at the schools of public health at universities of Alberta and Toronto, shares insight on what cities must do to keep their residents healthy while mitigating pollution and controlling levels of waste.


  Lee Kuan Yew on the ingredients of a good city
 

Policy makers from around the world are often intrigued by Singapore’s transformation over the last half-century, much of this under the helm of the city-state’s first Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. In this excerpt from an interview with Mr Lee, he shares with us what are some of the key ingredients that go into making a good city.

August 2013

  Constructing a knowledge city: Bilbao 2.0
 

In 2010, Bilbao City Hall was awarded the inaugural Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize in recognition of its transformation of the city of Bilbao from being in industrial decline, to a modern and vibrant city. Howard James spoke with Andoni Aldekoa, CEO of Bilbao City Council, about the next stage in the city’s development.


  Spurring a broader urban discourse
 

Over 250 city leaders and senior representatives from international organisations and urban solutions companies gathered in Bilbao, Spain for the recently-concluded World Cities Summit Mayors Forum. This is the first ever World Cities Summit Mayors Forum that was held outside of Singapore, which united city leaders on a common platform to discuss common challenges and best practices in urban solutions. Rachelle Su reports.

June 2013

  Mayor Azkuna talks about Bilbao
 

Bilbao Mayor Iñaki Azkuna reflects on the importance of the Nervion River and its estuary in the city’s reinvention. Mayor Azkuna, who was awarded the 2012 World Mayor Prize, has been credited with the city’s transformation from a declining industrial city to an international arts hub since he took office in 1999. Bilbao City Hall was the Prize laureate of the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize in 2010.

May 2013

  Building sustainable cities in China
 

By 2030, one-eighth of the world’s population will be residing in a Chinese city. By then, approximately 70% of China’s population, or 1 billion people, will be living in cities. This massive urban population will put extreme pressure on Chinese cities, and their success will be determined by their ability to achieve long-term environmental, economic and social sustainability. Aabha Gandhi reports.


  China’s sustainability challenge
 

Dr Qiu Baoxing, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, People’s Republic of China, also member of the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Council, shares his insights on the various challenges of building sustainable cities in China.

April 2013

  Do Asia’s leaders have the vision to transform their cities?
 

A BBC report shows that by 2025 seven of the world’s 10 megacities will be based in Asia. The world is urbanising more quickly than ever before and this brings with it challenges, such as urban migration, sanitation, transportation and housing, on an unprecedented scale. Do city leaders have the vision and leadership to tackle these issues and build better cities? Aabha Gandhi reports.

March 2013

  How citizens and urban design beat crime
 

How did Khayelitsha bring down crime in eight years, a problem that has plagued South Africa for decades? It boils down to simple urban design measures and the active banding together of citizens. The Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading (VPUU) Programme launched in 2005 brought down murder rate by 39%. It shows that even one of the world’s gravest challenges can be addressed if governments, organisations and local communities work hand in hand. The VPUU programmes was awarded the Special Mention for the 2012 Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize. Howard James reports.

Feburary 2013

  On the right track
 

Faced with a congested road network clogged with highly polluting private transport, the Indian city of Ahmedabad launched a highly successful three pronged strategy to develop a world class transport system. This helped transform Ahmedabad into one of India's most liveable cities, and for which it received a Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Special Mention in 2012.

January 2013

  Vancouver's green ambition
 

Mayor Gregor Robertson talks about Vancouver's ambition to be the world's greenest city by 2020, from creative farming, to supporting electric vehicles and providing affordable homes for all.

December 2012

  Future cities in a resource constrained world
 

The world’s fast-growing population is urbanising rapidly. As such, over the forthcoming decades, population growth and the resulting increase in energy use will likely be focused in cities, creating both challenges and opportunities.

November 2012

  Brisbane: Country town to metropolis
 

From what was once a ‘country town’, blighted by sprawl and urban decay, Brisbane has over the last 20 years been transformed into a culturally vibrant metropolis. Graham Quirk, the Lord Mayor of Brisbane talks about the reactivating the river, tackling congestion and focusing on the city centre.

October 2012

  What sets Malmö apart?
 

From an industrial town in decline, Malmö, Sweden’s third largest city, has transformed itself into one of the greenest, most sustainable cities in the world. Mayor Ilmar Reepalu, who has been instrumental behind Malmö’s turnaround, talks about significant initiatives that have been making this city stand out.

September 2012

  Committing to sustainability
 

Over the last 30 years, Copenhagen has transformed itself into a vibrant metropolis. Lord Mayor Frank Jensen and Kent Martinussen, Chief Executive Officer of the Danish Architecture Centre talk about what drives Copenhagen’s commitment to sustainability and how this translates to individuals in everyday living.

June 2012

  Redesigning Mobility for the Future
 

Janette Sadik-Khan is the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation. Since her appointment by Mayor Bloomberg in 2007, she has implemented an ambitious programme to improve safety, mobility and sustainability throughout NYC. Her innovative projects include Broadway Boulevard, new Select Bus Service routes in the Bronx and Manhattan, the installation of 18 plazas, the addition of more than 435 km of on-street bike lanes, car-free summer streets and weekend pedestrian walks.

May 2012

  Redesigning Parks and Playgrounds
 

Adrian Benepe, Commissioner of New York’s Parks & Recreation Department shares dramatic changes in how parks are designed and playgrounds are used. And how communities are getting involved.

     

April 2012

  Driving Change with Passion
 

Amanda M. Burden, Commissioner of New York City’s Planning Department has spearheaded the largest planning effort in the city since 1961, contributing to New York’s remarkable transformation. With New York City recently named the 2012 Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Laureate, Amanda shows how following through a strong vision with passion and perseverance has really paid off.

Feburary 2012

  Bilbao's Reinvention
 

Two years on from winning the inaugural Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize 2010, Bilbao continues to evolve and challenge itself, with Mayor Iñaki Azkuna at its helm.

     
  Making Melbourne Liveable
 

Awarded the 2010 Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Special Mention for its remarkable transformation, Robert Doyle, Lord Mayor of Melbourne delves into its winning formulas and shows why Melbourne continues to be one of the world’s most liveable cities.

     
  Jaime Lerner on Transforming Curitiba
 

The charismatic Dr Jaime Lerner, the former three time Mayor, turned the city of Curitiba in Brazil into one of the most sustainable cities in the world. Awarded a Special Mention for the 2010 Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize, Lerner talks about his experience and the significance of capturing the hearts and minds of citizens.

     
  Driving Change in New Delhi
 

Sheila Dikshit, the second woman chief minister of Delhi has been relentless in driving efforts to make New Delhi more sustainable. Awarded a Special Mention for the 2010 Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize, Sheila shares the government’s fierce strategies and strong citizen partnership to make the city more liveable.


January 2012

  Inspiring Cities’ Transformation
 

Past Nominating Committee member Professor Alan Altshuler and current member Professor Marilyn Taylor talk about how the Prize inspires them and brings out cities’ transformation stories.

 

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