The Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize 2016 is conferred on Medellín, the second largest city in Colombia after the capital city of Bogota. The biennial Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize is jointly organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the Centre for Liveable Cities, to honour outstanding achievements and contributions to the creation of liveable, vibrant and sustainable urban communities around the world.
The award seeks to recognise and celebrate efforts in furthering innovation in urban solutions and sustainable urban development. This year’s Prize Laureate was selected from 38 nominated cities, following a rigorous two-tier selection process comprising a Nominating Committee and a Prize Council.
Chairman of the Nominating Committee, Kishore Mahbubani said, “Medellín’s transformation has been extraordinary. It has gone from being one of the world’s most dangerous cities into a liveable and innovative city. Its success gives hope to many cities in developing countries, where the next wave of massive urbanisation will take place. Medellín can become a Mecca of learning for them. We are therefore proud to award the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize to Medellín.”
The key to Medellín’s transformation is bold and visionary leadership, as well as social and urban innovation. The elected leaders demonstrated strong political will and commitment to good governance, citizen participation and prioritising equal opportunities for all citizens. Faced with limited resources, they adopted creative and non-conventional approaches in dealing with challenging issues. Medellín emphasised education and cultural transformation to bring about change.
Mayor of Medellín, Federico Guitierez Zuluaga said, “This is an important recognition that we feel proud of for our city. We thank you for the encouragement to continue working for our city, a spectacular city that has come a long way but also has a long way to go.”
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