Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China - Chengdu has been awarded China’s most prestigious urban planning prize - The ‘Outstanding Urban Planning and Design Award’. This recognises work by the Chengdu Institute of Planning and Design and other government units, together with support from UN-Habitat, Tencent, Chengdu University, and Tongji University, to deliver a ‘Park City’ vision of Chengdu.

Creating Chengdu as a Park City involved a new city strategy, linking environmental dimensions with culture, services to citizens and economic growth. With a plan that runs into the middle of this century, Chengdu’s strategy is to create a more sustainable urban environment with an improved quality of life, resulting from protected biodiversity and heritage, reduced energy consumption and carbon footprint, and enhanced services for the city’s 16.5 million inhabitants.

UN-Habitat’s initial contribution to the project involved researching park cities around the world to analyse parallel experiences and producing a collection of international best practice. A ‘Park City Indicator System’ was then developed by UN-Habitat, allowing Chengdu to monitor and evaluate its project by assessing it against five dimensions of people, place, planet, prosperity and participation.

In line with the United Nation’s ‘Decade of Action’ and demonstrating a commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, Chengdu has created a Park City Demonstration Area in Tianfu New Area to challenge traditional urban development and present a new paradigm of creating cities within parks.

The award was part of the ‘National Excellent Urban and Rural Planning Selection’, organised by the China Association of City Planning, a non-profit organisation supervised by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.

The awards, made every two years, recognise projects that demonstrate leadership within China to overcome technical difficulties, demonstrate innovation, advance technical progress, and bring significant economic, social and environmental benefits[i]. The award announcement was made on 25 December 2020. Click here to see the full list of winning projects.

UN-Habitat has worked with the City of Chengdu on many occasions. Since 2017, UN-Habitat and the China Centre for Urban Development, together with government support from the City of Chengdu and Sichuan Province, have been co-organising the yearly edition of the International High-Level Forum for Sustainable Urban Development in Chengdu.

In 2016, as part a Greener Cities partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme, technical expertise was provided to Chengdu’s Ecological Belt Project and the urban renewal of the central district of Shaocheng.