London, 1 November 2014 – Ideas on improving city life have poured in from around the globe for the World Cities Day Challenge hosted by the Guardian Online.
Organised in conjunction with the first World Cities Day, celebrated on 31 October, the Guardian Cities site hosted a live event throughout the day where more than 30 cities pitched their ideas for making their cities more liveable for their populations.
Having pre-submitted their ideas in brief, each city had three minutes to present a video and a further nine minutes to answer questions from the judges and people watching online. Applications were made by city officials, the programme coordinators and proud citizens.
The winner as voted by a panel of guest judges and user comments, was Porto Alegre, Brazil, whose project “Which bus stops here” supplies blank stickers at bus stops for citizens to write information about the bus routes for other users. This harnesses people power to fill in gaps left by the local council. As the presenter said: “If the government doesn’t do it, people will, and that’s ok”.
Second place went to Izmir who showcased a floating dock idea adding vital public space to Turkey’s shores. Three ideas tied for third place: Bogota’s waste picker project, London’s Thames Baths and Nottingham’s Fair Food City.
Speaking about the initiative, UN-Habitat Executive Director, Dr Joan Clos, said: “[The ideas] clearly demonstrate the pioneering and innovative spirit of cities and citizens and remind us that all ideas - big or small - can make an impact. By continuing to share ideas such as these we can start to unlock the potential of urbanisation to improve life for people around the world.”
Read more about this initiative on The Guardian