Spain's Bilbao clinches inaugural Lee Kuan Yew World City prize

21:19, May 18, 2010      

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Northern Spain's port city Bilbao was named on Tuesday the inaugural Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Laureate in recognition of its integrated and holistic approach to urban transformation.

Jointly co-organized by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), Singapore's land-use planning and conservation authority, and the Center 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, a statement by URA said.

These qualities were evidently demonstrated in Bilbao's radical transformation from a post-industrial city to a vibrant metropolis.

Bilbao's success is founded on visionary leadership, commitment to long-term planning, strong processes and supporting infrastructure.

The 78 nominations for the inaugural prize, which are from 32 countries and regions around the world, 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.

"The city has improved its environment and quality of life significantly, strengthened its social cohesiveness and cultural vibrancy and also increased its economic competitiveness," the jury citation said.

The city will be awarded 300,000 Singapore dollars (about 218, 000 U.S. dollars) in cash.

Source: Xinhua


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