Wednesday, March 21, 2012

City of New York Awarded Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize 2012

21 March 2012
City of New York awarded Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize 2012
The Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize 2012 has been awarded to the Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg (2002 – present) and the Departments of Transportation, City Planning and Parks and Recreation for New York City’s remarkable transformation from one at risk in the post September 11 period, to one scaling new heights. Within a short span of time, the city has reinvented and rejuvenated itself to give residents and tourists renewed confidence and optimism for the city’s future.

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 award honours outstanding contributions towards the creation of vibrant, liveable and sustainable urban communities around the world. The City of New York is the second Laureate named since the Prize started in 2009. It was selected by the Nominating Committee and Prize Council from 62 nominations received worldwide after a rigorous two-tier selection process.
Chairman of the Prize Nominating Committee, Kishore Mahbubani said: “The City of New York is an inspiring story of urban rejuvenation. With bold vision, strong leadership, sheer determination, and excellent partnership between government and citizens, there is now a new sense of direction in the city. It has regained its perch as one of the most exciting cities in the world.” Please see Annex A for the jury citation on the City of New York.
Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg said: “Receiving the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize is not only a great honor, it is an affirmation of our vision for New York as a global leader of sustainable development and innovative public spaces. Our vision has been informed by the experiences of other cities around the world, including Singapore. New York is a city that is open – to all people, commerce, and ideas – and we will continue to make our city an even more attractive place to live, work, and visit. We hope that our story helps inspire other city leaders to promote economic growth by fostering a culture of freedom and innovation.”
“We extend to Mayor Bloomberg our congratulations for a well-deserved commendation. Mayor Bloomberg, together with various agencies including the New York Departments of Transportation, City Planning and Parks and Recreation, have boldly executed and built on transformative initiatives in the city over the past decade. New York has emerged from a city in adversity to a city in continuous advance. Keppel is akin to the galvanising of collective strengths to rise above challenges with renewed vigour,” says Choo Chiau Beng, Chief Executive Officer of Keppel Corporation.
New York’s success factors
Central to the New York city’s success is the swift and effective implementation of the PlaNYC 2007, a long-term, comprehensive plan that aligns city agencies, business groups and the community towards a common goal. One of the key strategies underlying New York’s successful transformation in the last decade is the investment in public infrastructure to increase liveability and sustainability. Improvements have been made to encourage sustainable modes of public transport, such as the Bus Rapid Transit and bicycling. 700 acres (283 hectares) of parks and open spaces have been added in the last 10 years, bringing the total parkland to 29,000 acres (11,736 hectares).
More significantly, the city has displayed a great level of experimentation and innovation with an emphasis on practical urban solutions. Instead of developing on new sites, more than 35,270 square metres of roadways and underunderutilised spaces have been repurposed into ‘instant’ public plazas. Innovative zoning tools have also unlocked development potential of derelict industrial sites to create housing, office spaces, parks and waterfront promenades.
New York City is an excellent example of how persistence, determination, commitment and strong partnership with the community can turn visions into reality. It serves as a model for other global, high-density megacities to rethink their cities in terms of sustainability into the future.
Please refer to Annex B for New York City’s key strategies and achievements.
Six Special Mentions
In addition to the City of New York being named the 2012 Prize Laureate, six other cities and organisations have been identified for Special Mention. These Special Mentions showcase the high quality of the nominations and is an opportunity to facilitate the sharing of best practices in cities. They are (according to alphabetical order):
1. Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, Ahmedabad, India
2. AHT Group AG & SUN Development, Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa
3. Brisbane City Council – Urban Renewal Brisbane, Brisbane, Australia
4. City of Copenhagen (and Lord Mayor), Copenhagen, Denmark
5. City of Malmö, Sweden
6. City of Vancouver, British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
Please refer to Annex C for details about the Special Mentions.
Prize Award Ceremony at World Cities Summit
The Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize is a major highlight of the upcoming World Cities Summit from 1 to 4 July 2012. The Laureate will receive the Prize at the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Award Ceremony to be held on 2 July 2012. The Prize comprises of S$300,000 (about US$218,000) cash, a gold medallion and an award certificate, fully sponsored by Keppel Corporation. Please see Annex D for more details on the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize.
The World Cities Summit is a premier global platform for world leaders and experts to exchange new ideas on liveable and sustainable urban solutions, explore the latest technologies and forge new business partnerships. Based on the theme of “Liveable And Sustainable Cities – Integrated Urban Solutions”, the third edition of the Summit is expected to share new insights and trends on urbanisation challenges around the world. For more information, visit
New Prize book on best practices
A new publication presenting the key lessons and insights from the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Laureates and Special Mentions in 2010 and 2012 will be on sale from 2 July 2012, in conjunction with the World Cities Summit 2012. Please check the Prize website at for the latest details.
Speech by Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor, City of New York, Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize 2012 Laureate Lecture, 21 March 2012 at Jublilee Hall, Raffles Hotel, 10.00am

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