Press Release, 8th November 2010
EMBARGO: 00:01 9th November 2010
UNEP LivCom Awards, Chicago, USA
Cutting edge environmental projects from Canada, South Africa and New Zealand win praise at UN-backed global awards event. Four environmental and community initiatives from countries as diverse as Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and the Ukraine were saluted last Monday (8th November) as world beating.
The winning schemes were chosen 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 – Population 900) to some of the very largest (Medellin, Colombia - 3.8million). [...] The award winning “natural” project from Johannesburg, South Africa had 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 winner of the “built” project category was the scheme to turn an industrial wasteland in the city of Vancouver, the Southeast False Creek, into a vibrant, model sustainable community. The test of its success came with the housing of 2800 athletes competing at the 2010 Winter Olympics. Gus Stahlmann described it as: An exciting LEEDs standard redevelopment project, fast tracked to create a world-class environment for Olympic athletes, with future long-term opportunities for living, shopping, and working.
Judges turned to New Zealand to find the finest example of a world leading socio economic project, awarding first place to a town planning scheme (Village Planning) in the community of Porirua in the North Island. The programme won praise for the way in which it had engaged and empowered its citizens. This program engages and empowers residents in each sector of the city to develop and implement plans in their own way to reflect the distinct identity of each village. It is a groundbreaking partnership between the city council and the communities it serves. END
Great news and well deserved Porirua!
Ian Barlow, Porirua’s Village Planning entrepreneur deserves a medal for his part in our gaining this esteemed award….thanks Ian – you’re the partner in partnership.
New Mayor Nick Leggett was in Chicago for the awards, delighted at the opportunity to ‘showcase Porirua on the world stage’. Thanks to Simpson Grierson and the Mana Community Grants Foundation for assisting with funding, and to all the hard-working PCC staff and community volunteers who make Village Planning such a success.
See results, citations and images at www.livcomawards.com. We took home two other awards, including a second in the ‘Whole of City’ category and another first for ‘Community Sustainability’. I’ll aim to put up the two video presentations that Porirua’s team took to Chicago. I imagine they’ll appear on the PCC website soon.
In the meantime take a listen to this song by Joni Mitchell – see pic on the left. Paradise found:)