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18 May 2010

Inaugural Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize 2010 Laureate

Bilbao City Hall tops 78 nominations to clinch the inaugural Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize
Bilbao City Hall has been named the inaugural Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Laureate in recognition of its integrated and holistic approach in urban transformation. Bilbao's success is founded on visionary leadership, commitment to long-term planning, strong processes and supporting infrastructure.

Jointly co-organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), Singapore’s land-use planning and conservation authority, and the Centre for Liveable Cities, the biennial international Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize seeks to generate positive social, economic and environmental impact in cities around the world. It provides a platform to highlight and celebrate urban solutions and to spur further innovation in the area of sustainable urban development and city excellence. 

The award focuses on the four key pillars of liveability, vibrancy, sustainability, and quality of life, which are instrumental to the success of every city and its quality of urban life. These qualities were evidently demonstrated in Bilbao’s radical transformation from a post-industrial city to a vibrant metropolis.

The 78 worldwide nominations for the Prize were carefully considered through a rigorous two-tier process comprising a Nominating Committee and a Prize Council. Both jury panels were particularly impressed with what Bilbao had achieved, through a chronological and systematic order of development over a period of 25 years that was both well-integrated and skilfully executed. Bilbao City Hall has improved Bilbao’s environment and quality of life significantly, strengthened its social cohesiveness and cultural vibrancy, as well as sharpened its economic competitiveness.

Member of the Nominating Committee for the Prize and CEO of URA, Mrs Cheong Koon Hean, commented, "Bilbao City Hall's strong leadership and commitment to a systematic and long-term plan has rejuvenated a post-industrial city and transformed it into a definitive cultural landmark in Spain and Europe. Bilbao is an exemplary city that continually re-invents and evolves itself amidst dynamic changes. Cities all over the world will be able to draw inspiration and learning points from its success."  Please refer to Annex A for the jury citation on Bilbao City Hall.

Mayor of Bilbao, Dr Iñaki Azkuna, said, "For Bilbao City Hall to be named the first recipients of this important award is a great form of recognition for us. We are truly honoured and hope that Bilbao can provide inspiration for other cities – even as we explore other areas of opportunity and growth."
Central to Bilbao’s success is its ability to align its strategic objectives and vision between key stakeholders, i.e. the government, business and community sectors. The Bilbao Ria 2000, its integrative model for collaboration among several stakeholders – is an effective instrument of strong public-private partnership to ensure the smooth implementation of the city's plans and projects. Please refer to Annex B for the factsheet on Bilbao City Hall.

Mayor of Bilbao City Hall, Dr Iñaki Azkuna will receive the award from Singapore’s first Prime Minister and present Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew at the Lee Kuan Yew Prize Award Ceremony and Banquet on 29 June 2010. The Prize comprises of S$300,000 (about US$218,000) cash, a gold medallion and an award certificate, fully sponsored by Keppel Corporation.

Mr Choo Chiau Beng, CEO of Keppel Corporation, extended his congratulations to Bilbao City Hall, “Through strong leadership, Bilbao City Hall had galvanised the people of Bilbao to see the industrial doldrums in the 1980s not as a crisis but as opportunity. Bilbao City Hall had the wisdom and tenacity required to transform, renew and rejuvenate a city during a period of great uncertainty and despondency. Such an overcoming spirit is what Keppel is akin to. We extend to Bilbao our sincerest congratulations.”

Even as Bilbao City Hall takes centrestage as the inaugural Prize Laureate, three nominees have been selected for special mention:

  • City of Melbourne, Australia
  • Jaime Lerner (former Mayor of Curitiba and Governor of the State of Parana, Brazil)
  • Sheila Dikshit (Chief Minister of New Delhi, India)

These cities have been highlighted as their experience could serve as useful learning points for other cities. Please refer to Annex C for the factsheet on these three nominees.

The Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize will be presented at the Lee Kuan Yew Prize Award Ceremony and Banquet (which includes a Dialogue with Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew) during this year's World Cities Summit (WCS), which will take place from 28 June to 1 July 2010. The WCS is a premier international event focused on issues of urban leadership and governance, the building of sustainable and eco-friendly cities, and the fostering of harmonious and sustainable communities. WCS will bring together over a thousand international delegates, including ministers, governors, mayors and senior officials, who will interact with business leaders, industry professionals and other policy experts.

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

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 premier multi-national corporation with projects across Asia Pacific and the Middle East providing urban living solutions through twin core businesses of property development and property fund management. Keppel Land is committed to create live-work-play environments with hallmark excellence in its properties which will have enduring value to the community.

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

Annex A – Jury citation on Bilbao City Hall

Bilbao City Hall has been instrumental in regenerating and transforming the city of Bilbao from an obsolete and dilapidated industrial city into a knowledge-based economy. The success of Bilbao is largely attributed to its integrated and holistic approach to achieve economic, social and physical transformations. Its emphasis on environmental clean up, use of culture, internationalisation and design, major improvements to its infrastructure, as well as the restoration of its historic areas over some 25 years have successfully rejuvenated the city. More significantly, the city was able to connect investment in infrastructure with social integration. The river, which was once a physical and social barrier, is now a hub for social and cultural integration and a centre for innovation and creativity.

The jury is particularly impressed with the establishment of Bilbao Ria 2000 as an effective framework to align government, business and the community towards a shared vision for the city. Bilbao Ria 2000 is a testimony to the importance of strong leadership and institutionalised processes in key decision-making and sustained implementation.

Bilbao is also an exemplary city that continually re-invents and evolves itself amidst dynamic changes, and will serve as an inspiration to cities worldwide. The experience of Bilbao as a comprehensive "city project", incrementally executed through 25 urban projects over 25 years, has achieved a profound transformation of the city. The city has improved its environment and quality of life significantly, strengthened its social cohesiveness and cultural vibrancy and also increased its economic competitiveness.

It is noted that the key factors underlying the success of Bilbao's transformation is more than the "Guggenheim Effect". It is not about achieving urban transformation and economic and social vibrancy through a few iconic buildings. Rather, Bilbao has shown that strong leadership and a commitment to a systematic and long-term plan, based on solid processes and supporting infrastructure, are key factors to the success of a city's transformation.

Annex B - Factsheet on Bilbao City Hall

Bilbao City Hall has been instrumental in regenerating and transforming the city of Bilbao.Bilbao has demonstrated that the use of culture, internationalisation and design excellence as key catalysts have enabled the successful regeneration of the city.  Through constant re-invention and evolvement, the city has progressed from an industrial to a knowledge-based economy. Over the past 25 years, Bilbao has adhered to a systematic and long-term approach to the internationalisation and modernisation of its city and economy, through the different phases of development:

  • 1980s - 90s: Restructuring of the city and economy.
  • 1990s - 2000s: Consolidation of regeneration efforts and diversification of economies.
  • 2000s onwards: Re-invention; focus on innovation, research and knowledge-based economy.

More significantly, the success of Bilbao lies in its ability to achieve alignment of objectives and vision amongst Government, Businesses and the Community. The formation of the Bilbao Ria 2000 was an effective instrument of strong Public-Private Partnership to ensure the successful implementation of the city’s plans and projects.

Formation of Bilbao Ria 2000
A key instrument for Bilbao’s transformation is the formation of Bilbao Ria 2000, which has led to strong Public-Private Partnership amongst public stakeholders and key land owners. Established in 1992, Bilbao Ria 2000 oversees the recovery of valuable brownfield sites, and is responsible for developing and integrating the sites into the fabric of the city, to meet its new objectives and to stimulate new urban and economic development of the entire metropolitan area. 

The Mayor of Bilbao Dr Inaki Azkuna (who also founded the company) is the Chairman, while its Deputy Chairman is the Secretary of State for Infrastructure and Planning of the Ministry of Development.  

25 Key Urban Interventions
A total of 25 significant and broad-based urban interventions have been successively implemented / planned over the past 25 years. The chronological and systematic order of development demonstrates a visionary and long-term approach to planning, which is well-integrated and successfully executed. The 25 urban projects are:

1. Rehabilitation of the Historical Centre (post-1983 flood; mid to late 1980s)
2. Enlargement of the Port (mouth of estuary) (1990)
3. Freeing up of port and industrial spaces along the River (1992)
4. Development of Bilbao Ria 2000 (1992)
5. The drainage of the River (environmental improvement)
6. Renovation and Innovation along the River
7. Old and New bridges connecting the right and left banks of the River (symbolic and physical connection) (1995)
8. Bilbao‘s underground system (metropolitan-wide connectivity) (1995)
9. NewAirport (node of external connectivity to the world)
10. The GuggenheimMuseum (Symbol of Bilbao’s Transformation process) (1997)
11. Further expansion of museums and art institutions (Museum of Fine Arts, Bilbao Art etc)
12. Anbandoibarra (waterfront promenade, anchored by GuggenheimMuseum and the EuskaldunaPalace at both ends)
13. Transformations in the Ensanche area (district directly behind the Guggenheim)
14. Putting the Abando Railway underground (in-place are parks and on-surface streets above)
15. New tramway (2002)
16. New public infrastructure: Bilbao Exhibition Centre (BEC), Alhondiga, Cruise Terminal (2006)
17. New hotels (to accommodate the increase in visitors to Guggenheim and through the Cruise Terminal)
18. ZamudioTechno-Park (concentration of technology and research firms in the Basque Country)
19. Environmental improvement works in various neighbourhoods (to be on-par with the major urban transformations in the city centre)
20. Bilbao La Vieja (rejuvenation and economic revitalisation programmes for the socially marginalized neighbourhood, previously disconnected from the Ensanche due to the Abando railway tracks)
21. Conservation of built heritage (e.g. Compos Theatre, Alhondiga)
22. Injecting new architecture (e.g. RafaelMoneo's Deusto Library, Cesar Pelli's BBK Tower etc)
23. Injecting Art in the City (e.g. by SalvadorDali, JeffKoons, Louise Borgoise etc)
24. Achieving International Recognition, Prizes and Awards (e.g. at the Venice Biennale, European Commission, ECTP, ISOCARP, FundacionMetropoli)
25. Future projects (Zorrazaurre, High-speed trains, knowledge institutions, creative economy)

Annex C – Factsheet on the nominations with special mention

The nominations with special mention are:

  1. City of Melbourne, Australia
  2. Jaime Lerner (former Mayor of Curitiba and Governor of the State of Parana, Brazil)
  3. Sheila Dikshit (Chief Minister of New Delhi, India)

City of Melbourne
The City of Melbourne was shortlisted for its integrated approach and commitment to strategic planning in the last 30-40 years, beginning from the 1974 Strategic Plan, right up to the most recent Future Melbourne plans, projecting Melbourne’s urban development into the next 30 years. These plans have been realized with the help of strong leaders and processes which helped to institutionalise key strategic planning principles into the system of government.

The City of Melbourne is also widely noted for its inclusive planning process involving the City Council, businesses and residents, through a strong consultative process. As one of the fastest growing cities in Australia, Melbourne has plans to increase the population density within the city, whilst seeking ways to maintain its ranking as one of the most liveable cities in the world. The City of Melbourne also intends to extend the benefits of these initiatives to the wider economic and social hinterland, up to 150km inwards to the Greater Area of Melbourne.

Jaime Lerner
Mr Jaime Lerner was shortlisted for his charismatic and determined leadership particularly as Mayor of Curitiba (1971-75,79-83,89-92), then Governor of the State of Parana (1994-98, 1999-2002), during which he achieved his most impactful work.

He is widely credited for pioneering three (3) innovative and impactful urban solutions, namely the Integrated Transit Network (ITN, or commonly known as the Bus Rapid Transit system), the system of stormwater drainage through the creation of parks (as “flood” parking areas), and the establishment of over 270 rural villages to improve the livelihood of the lowest income groups during his term in office.

Mr Lerner’s administration was characterised by project-based strategies, employed as a form of “urban acupuncture”. These strategies were multidimensional – for example, parks were created not only for leisure, but also for storm water drainage. The strategies also possessed catalytic outcomes exemplified by rural villages which provided shelter and land to the lowest income group, who were then able to generate their own livelihood from farming. Finally, the strategies delivered tangible benefits to a wide spectrum of the population. In a world of finite resources, Mr Lerner’s approaches to solving urban problems provide good learning points to both the developing and developed nations.

Sheila Dikshit
Ms Sheila Dikshit was shortlisted for her charismatic and determined leadership in improving the living environment of New Delhi. Inspite of limited resources and limited control over the planning process, Ms Dikshit had managed to muster the masses to implement several project-based initiatives that led to an improvement in the quality of life. She also managed to increase the green cover in Delhi from 26 km² in 1997 to nearly 300 km² to-date, and was the key proponent in converting all public transport to the use of CNG fuel. This has led to a marked improvement in the air quality of the city.

In addition, she had also conceptualised the Bhagidari Citizen-Government Partnership, which involved collaboration between citizens and the city administration for the improvement of civic services. The Bhagidari now includes 2300 citizen groups with over 5 million people. Ms Dikshit also successfully carried out a power sector reform which brought about a positive mindset of the consumers and the distribution companies after privatisation of the sector. Other positive outcomes include the lowering of aggregate technical and commercial losses from 50% to 18% and a vast improvement in services.