Auckland has been recognised with a Special Mention in the prestigious Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize 2016.
The jury decided to recognise Auckland for “overcoming its planning challenges faced over the past 20 years, notably through a highly integrated and innovative governance model”.
Colombian city Medellin wins the World City Prize and Sydney, Toronto and Vienna have been given Special Mention along with Auckland.
The advisory letter to Mayor Len Brown received overnight from Singapore says his leadership in spearheading the ambitious Auckland Plan is highly remarkable, and that he and his colleagues have shown even the world’s most remote city can radically transform itself and unleash the creativity and cultural potential of its citizens.
Mayor Len Brown is delighted Auckland has been given such high praise.
“We were in to win, and yes we all had our hearts set on gold, but this is an absolutely fabulous achievement when you consider the calibre of cities entered,” he says.
“And I can’t help but be inspired and excited by the fact this year’s winning city, Medellin, got a Special Mention in the previous prize round in 2014.”
Auckland's nomination for the LKY World City Prize
The LKY World City Prize is an international city award that recognises key leaders and organisations for displaying foresight, good governance and innovation in tackling the many urban challenges faced to bring about social, economic and environmental benefits in a holistic way to their communities.
Auckland was nominated for the award by the Prime Minister John Key and others, including Ngati Whatua o Orakei Joe Hawke and world cities expert Greg Clark.
Auckland Council’s bid on behalf of the city was made in May last year. The bid captured three themes which exemplify the transformation of Auckland:
- The Auckland Plan
- He tangata, he tangata, he tangata - the story of Auckland’s globally unique position as the world’s greatest Maori city
- Design-Led Auckland – the story traces the transformation from a car dominated, low quality urban environment to one where people have been put back into the centre of council’s thinking.
The prize will be awarded to the Mayor at the World City Summit in Singapore in July this year. The Mayor was already planning to attend the conference to speak on governance reforms and now, as a result of the Special Mention and at the invitation of the prize jury, he will also speak on an international platform about Auckland’s achievements around best urban practices.
The jury also said Auckland’s new governance model was highly commended for spearheading change in the social integration of first-peoples in city policy making processes but also in everyday life.
“Auckland sends a message of exemplary significance to other cities that are seeking to rise above the numerous challenges. Although Auckland is still early in its implementation stages, the city demonstrates many right elements in place for a successful urban transformation.”
The Mayor says those who nominated us and support Auckland’s bid were to be thanked.
“These people recognised Auckland’s transformation has been significant and is delivering real benefits for Aucklanders. This is proof Auckland is stepping up and succeeding as a global leader.”