Home>Media>Press Releases






Inaugural Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize to Recognise Outstanding International Initiatives for City Excellence

Senior Minister and Co-ordinating Minister for National Security, Professor S Jayakumar today announces the launch of the inaugural Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize at the opening ceremony of the Singapore International Water Week. The Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize seeks to recognise the achievements of outstanding individuals and organisations who have contributed urban initiatives, policies or projects which epitomise foresight, good governance or innovation in overcoming the challenges faced by cities.

Co-organised by Singapore’s land use planning and conservation authority - the Urban Redevelopment Authority and the Centre for Liveable Cities, the Lee Kuan Yew World City prize is a biennial international award that focuses on four key pillars: (a) liveability, (b) vibrancy, (c) sustainability, and (d) quality of life. These are the key ingredients that are instrumental to the success of every city and its quality of urban life.  

The Prize will place an emphasis on practical and cost effective solutions and ideas that can generate impactful social, economic and environmental benefits, and as far as possible, can be replicated across cities and communities around the world.

The Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) World City Prize is the second LKY prize to be launched. The first was the inaugural Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize launched last year. Both prizes harness the spirit of innovation and foresight, and celebrate the pinnacles of excellence in different fields and industries that contribute to the development of vibrant, liveable and sustainable cities and urban communities around the world. The Prize is also in line with Singapore’s vision to promote excellence and thought leadership in the area of urban planning and management.

Minister for National Development, Mr Mah Bow Tan, said, “Many cities are faced with challenges of rapid urban growth, lack of housing and infrastructure and increasing traffic congestion. Singapore too seeks to develop a liveable and sustainable city with a good quality of life. We hope that the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize will serve as a catalyst to facilitate the sharing of best practices in urban solutions worldwide, and spur further innovation in sustainable urban development in pursuit of city excellence. ”

As a premier global prize, the winner will be selected through a rigorous two-tier selection process. A Nominating Committee will review and examine all the submitted nominations and recommend potential Laureates to the Prize Council. The Prize Council will then review and select the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Laureate based on the recommendations of the Nominating Committee.

Members of the Prize Council and Nominating Committee are prominent local and international thought leaders, practitioners, academics and relevant experts from the private and public sectors. They bring a wide range of experience and global perspective to the selection process.  The composition of the Prize Council and Nominating Committee are as follows:

Prize Council

  • Mr S DHANABALAN, Chairman, Temasek Holdings (Chairperson)
  • Dr Pierre LACONTE, Immediate Past President, International Society of City & Regional Planners (Belgium)
  • Prof Fumihiko MAKI, Principal, Maki & Associates (Japan)
  • Mr J Y PILLAY, Chairman, Singapore Exchange Limited (Singapore)
  • Dr John SO, Former Lord Mayor, Melbourne (Australia)
  • Mr Achim STEINER (Executive Director), Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme (Germany)

Nominating Committee

  • Prof Kishore MAHBUBANI, Dean, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore (Chairperson)
  • Professor Alan ALTSHULER, Professor of Urban Policy and Planning, Harvard University (USA)
  • Mrs CHEONG Koon Hean, CEO, Urban Redevelopment Authority (Singapore)
  • Sir Peter HALL, Professor of Planning & Regeneration, Barlett School of Architecture & Planning, University College London (UK)
  • Mr LIU Thai Ker, Director, RSP Architects Planners & Engineers Pte Ltd (Singapore)
  • Dr Alfonso VEGARA, President, Fundación Metrópoli (Spain)

Please refer to Annex B for the CVs of the Prize Council and Nominating Committee members.

Mr S Dhanabalan, Chairperson of the Prize Council, observes that "More people in the world now live in urban than in rural areas. It is important to rapidly disseminate the best practices adopted in different cities to improve and maintain the quality of city life. The Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize will help this process."

Mr Achim Steiner, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), who is a member of the Prize Council, commented, “It is an undeniable pleasure for me to be included in the Prize Council for such a prestigious award….the objectives and evaluation criteria of this award provide a good fit with what we are seeking to promote in UNEP.”

Another Prize Council member, Dr Pierre Laconte, President of the International Society of City and Regional Planners, noted the Prize’s “potential contribution to selecting best practices in urban solutions among cities and fostering further innovation in the area of sustainable development.”

The inaugural Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize will be awarded in June 2010, together with the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize at the Lee Kuan Yew Awards Ceremony and Banquet, to be held during the World Cities Summit 2010 in Singapore. 

The nominated individual or organisation may be from either the private or government sector and would include NGOs and academics. The Prize will be open for nominations from 22 June onwards and will close on 30 November 2009.  The Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Laureate will be presented with an award certificate, a gold medallion, and a cash prize of S$300,000, sponsored by Keppel Corporation. Please refer to Annex C for the nominating and judging criteria of the Prize.

“It is through platforms such as these that we forge and strengthen regional and international partnerships, and create a global network of liveable, vibrant and sustainable cities and urban communities. This is a legacy that we want to leave for our future generations to enjoy”, said Minister Mah.

Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore (URA)
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is Singapore’s national land use planning and conservation agency. URA’s mission is “to make Singapore a great city to live, work and play in”. We strive to create a vibrant and sustainable city of distinction by planning and facilitating Singapore’s physical development in partnership with the community.

The URA has successfully transformed Singapore into one of the most liveable cities in Asia through judicious land use planning and good urban design, in partnership with both public sector partners and the private sector. URA adopts a long term and comprehensive planning approach in formulating strategic plans such as the Concept Plan and the Master Plan, to guide the physical development of Singapore in a sustainable manner. Its plans and policies focus on achieving a balance between economic growth and a quality living environment. As the conservation authority, URA has an internationally recognised conservation programme, having successfully conserved not only single buildings, but entire districts.

To turn its plans and visions into reality, URA takes on a multi faceted role. In addition to its planning function, URA is also the main government land sales agent. Through sale of state land, it attracts and channels private capital investment to develop sites to meet our land use needs. URA is also the development agency for Marina Bay, the new city extension. To create an exciting cityscape, URA also actively promotes architecture and urban design excellence.
For more information, please visit us at www.ura.gov.sg

Centre for Liveable Cities
The Centre for Liveable Cities (CLC) was jointly established by the Ministry of National Development and the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources in June 2008. The CLC is a policy-oriented Centre that seeks to bring together Singapore’s expertise on sustainable urban development in the areas of good governance, urban planning, effective resource management, quality living environment, affordable housing and sustainable transport solutions from across government, industry and academia. The Centre will facilitate the sharing of knowledge and best practices among cities in the region and globally.

The CLC’s vision is to be a centre of global excellence that brings together the best ideas and practices that support efforts in building liveable cities that are dynamic, vibrant, cohesive and sustainable. CLC seeks to achieve this vision through its mission which is to harness developmental experiences across the public, private and people sectors from Singapore and the rest of the world in order to position Singapore as an innovative thought-centre on high-density urban living and sustainable development.

For more information, please visit us at www.clc.org.sg

Keppel Corporation
Keppel Corporation is a Singapore-grown conglomerate with key businesses in Offshore & Marine, Property and Infrastructure and a global footprint in 35 countries.

Keppel Offshore & Marine is a leader in offshore rigs, ship repair and conversion and specialised shipbuilding with a global network of 20 yards and offices. Integrating the experience and expertise of its yards worldwide, it aims to be the provider of choice and partner in solutions for the offshore and marine industry.

Keppel Land is a leading property developer in Asia recognised for its award-winning premier residential projects and investment grade offices, with a current focus on Singapore, China, Vietnam, India and Indonesia. An established property fund manager, it has two fund management vehicles, K-REIT Asia and Alpha Investment Partners.

Keppel’s Infrastructure Division comprises environmental engineering, power generation, telecommunications and logistics. Keppel Integrated Engineering is a leading provider of comprehensive environmental solutions and services. Keppel Energy has a track record of developing, owning and operating power plants. Keppel Telecommunications and Transportation provides integrated logistics and network engineering services.

As it continues to expand its global presence and penetrate new frontiers, Keppel is committed to its three corporate thrusts of Sustaining Growth in its key businesses, Empowering Lives through continuous training and development, and Nurturing Communities in the countries where it operates.

For more information, please visit www.kepcorp.com


For media enquiries, please contact:
Serene Tng (Ms)
Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore
Tel: (65) 6321 8129
Email: serene_tng@ura.gov.sg