November 10th, 2010 10:12 EST
'World`s Best Communities 2010`
THE achievement of local community leaders in tackling the world`s most pressing challenges was saluted yesterday.
Communities from around the world that have made significant breakthroughs in addressing issues ranging from pollution to conservation and poor housing were named at the annual finals of the International Awards for Liveable Communities (LivCom) held in Chicago, USA (4-8 November).
The UN-endorsed LivCom awards annually bring together some of the world`s leading innovators in the field. This year`s finalists included representatives from some of the smallest communities on the planet, (Emly, Republic of Ireland Popn 900) to some of the very largest (Medellin, Colombia, Popn 3.8million).
After initial judging, presentations from finalists scattered across the globe were assessed by the awards panel. The focus is on six key criteria for both projects and communities which had to show strong evidence of the following; Enhancement of the Landscape, Heritage Management, Environmentally Sensitive Practices, Community Sustainability, Healthy Lifestyles and Planning for the Future.
The finalists are divided into five categories according to their average daytime population. In addition there are winners in categories covering specific projects as well as the award of a Â£10,000 bursary for the most inspiring and innovative project.
The winners in the whole city " section judged as the world`s most liveable communities across the six criteria were Emly, Republic of Ireland (population category up to 20,000), Chrudim, Czech Republic (up to 75,000), Norwich, England (up to 200,000), Odense (up to 750,000) and Wuxi, China (over 750,000).
An award was also given for outstanding achievement in each of the six criteria, recognising particular innovation and best practice in the field. The winners showing outstanding achievement in each area were, Odense, Denmark (Enhancement of the Landscape), Dongcheng, China (Heritage Management), Wuxi, China, (Environmentally Sensitive Practices), Porirua, New Zealand (Community Sustainability), Portland, USA (Planning for the Future) and Chrudim, Czech Republic (Healthy Lifestyles).
Commenting on the success of this year`s event, Claudette Savaria (Can) Chairman of the judging panel said: As in previous years, the awareness and standing of the awards has spread further around the world with not only an increased number of entries but the participation of communities from countries such as Brazil, Colombia, the Philippines, Ukraine and Russia with some entering for the first time.
A number of very strong themes emerged during the community presentations. Every city around the world is currently facing economic pressure and the most successful communities we saw here are those that are actively contributing to the growth of their local economy by embarking on the development of the green economy.
Health issues are of growing importance. Many communities have programmes designed to meet the challenges of promoting healthy minds and bodies.
Increasingly, communities are adopting the LivCom lifestyle judging criteria as a basis for their local healthy lifestyle plans.
Climate change and carbon footprint issues are clearly high on the agenda of local communities and it is possible that it is at local level rather than federal issue that a breakthrough in this vital issue will come. "
Chief Executive of LivCom, Alan Smith said of this year`s finals: "We`ve had a wonderful welcome from Mayor Richard Daley and the people of Chicago, who have made every effort to make LivCom delegates welcome.
It is striking that the communities entering the LivCom Awards are setting the agenda in initiating change.
It is also clear that previous finalists are learning from the LivCom experience and exchange of ideas and that this is benefiting their residents.
Whereas 10 years ago the focus was all about recycling, that is now taken for granted " the leading exponents of change have all moved on to devising more intricate solutions to complex issues. "
LivCom 2010 highlighted the way in which many municipalities have moved to adopt global targets such as reducing carbon emissions and come up with a range of answers from high tech solutions to individual behavioural change.
One award winning project from Johannesburg, South Africa highlighted efforts to green the city to contribute to global climate protection.
Project judge Gus Stahlmann (USA) said "the award winning project had impressed the judges because of its impact on daily lives. The Greening the City Legacy Project seeks to balance the distribution of the urban forest throughout the entire city, bringing a green environment to the entire population of Johannesburg."
The full results, citations and photographs of the winners are available on the website at www.livcomawards.com.
The results 2010
1. Emly, Ireland (Silver)
2. Chautauqua Institution, New York, USA (Silver)
3. Trim, Ireland (Bronze)
Haapsalu Municipality, Estonia (Bronze)
City of Pushchino, Russia (Bronze)
Kuressaare, Estonia (Bronze)
1. Town of Chrudim, Czech Republic (Gold) *criteria award winner, healthy lifestyles
2. City of Porirua, New Zealand (Gold) *criteria award winner, community sustainability
3. City of Dubuque, USA (Gold)
City of Annapolis, USA (Silver)
St Cloud, USA (Silver)
Tabor, Czech Republic (Bronze)
City of Fredericton, Canada (Bronze)
Municipal Authorities of Mlada Boleslav, Czech Republic (Bronze)
City of Highland Park, USA (Bronze)
1. City of Norwich, England (Gold)
2. County Wicklow, Ireland (Gold)
3. South East County, Gran Canaria, Spain (Silver)
City of Caguas, Puerto Rico (Bronze)
Village of Schaumburg, USA (Bronze)
1. Odense Municipality, Denmark (Gold) *criteria award winnner, enhancement of built and natural landscape
2. City of Miami Beach, USA (Gold)
3. Dongcheng District, Beijing, China (Gold) *criteria award winner, arts, culture and heritage
City of Riverside, USA (Silver)
Suncheon City, South Korea (Silver)
Tallahassee, USA (Silver)
City of Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine (Bronze)
Westchester County, USA (Bronze)
1. Wuxi, China (Silver) *criteria award winner, environmental best practice
2. Al Ain, UAE (Silver)
3. Portland Metropolitan Region, USA (Silver) *criteria award winner, strategic planning
Changwon City, South Korea (Silver)
Iloilo, Philippines (Bronze)
Medellin City, Colombia (Bronze)
Curitiba, Brazil (Bronze)
Special award (whole cities): Medellin, Colombia
1. Johannesburg, South Africa " greening the city (gold)
2. Iloiho, Philippenes " River development project (gold)
3. Odense, Denmark " Seatrout Funen (silver)
County Wicklow, Republic of Ireland " East Coast Nature Reserve (silver)
Chrudim, Czech Republic " Revitalisation of the Mill Run (bronze)
1. Vancouver, Canada " South East False Creek (Gold)
2. Seongdong-gu, South Korea " Hangang Renaissance Project (Gold)
3. Dongcheng City, China " Nan Luo Guxiang (Gold)
Annapolis, USA " Acton`s Landing (Gold)
Wujin City, China " Wujin High-Tech Zone (Silver)
Behai City, China " Beibu Gulf on St 1 (Silver)
Wuxi City " Wuxi Taihu New Town Project (Silver)
Huangshan, China " Home community (Silver)
Kobe City, Japan " Garden City Maitamon (Silver)
S E County, Gran Canaria, Spain " Enhancement of the natural and built environment (broze)
Haapsalu, Estonia " reconstruction and renovation of the promenade (Bronze)
Village of Schaumberg, USA " Quindel Av Parking Lot " (Bronze)
1. Porirua, North Island, New Zealand " village plan (Gold)
2. Fredericton, Canada " Green matters (gold)
3. Schwalm Eder-Kreis, Germany " New Energy (gold)
Fredericton, Canada " green shops (Gold)
Montreal, Canada " strategic plan for sustainable development (Silver)
Curitaba, Brazil " Curitaba, biodiversity (Silver)
S E County, Gran Canaria, Spain " community empowerment (Silver)
Westchester, USA " liveable communities (Silver)
Puschino, Russia " creating an emerald island (Bronze)
S E County, Gran Canaria, Spain " arts, culture and heritage (Bronze)
S E County, Gran Canaria, Spain " healthy lifestyles (Bronze)
S E County, Gran Canaria, Spain " Strategic planning, Santa Lucia de Tirajana (Bronze)
S E County, Gran Canaria, Spain " environmentally sensitive practices (Bronze)
1. Norwich, Norfolk, England " Heavenly gardens
1. Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine " creating a safe and friendly environment
* The colour of an award DOES NOT indicate the communities final placing " it is a standard. So Gold is excellent but DOES NOT mean first place " it is possible to come 2nd and win a Gold award.
The LivCom Awards were launched internationally in 1997 and are endorsed by the United Nations Environment Programme and the scheme is run as a UK Registered Charity.
LivCom Awards are made in three categories covering Whole City, Sustainable Projects and a Bursary Award which sees match funding of Â£10,000 go to the winning project.
A new country has been represented at the LivCom Awards in each of the past eleven years, and now more 50 countries are regularly represented.
The International Awards for Liveable Communities 2010 were held at the Hilton Hotel, Michigan Av, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
To find out more about the awards and for a full list of finalists, results and summaries of submissions, go to www.livcomawards.co.uk or contact the LivCom press office at firstname.lastname@example.org (tel +44 7825082595).