/ Planning / The World’s Leading Cities in Sustainability Recognized

The World’s Leading Cities in Sustainability Recognized

Matt Ball on November 22, 2013 - in Planning, Projects, Smart Cities

The World Green Building Council is pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 WorldGBC Government Leadership Awards. The prestigious international awards honour local government leadership in green building and highlight policies that maximise the opportunity for buildings to mitigate environmental impact. The biennial award program is held in partnership with ICLEI and UN-HABITAT, and aims to encourage the uptake of high-quality policies and practices worldwide.

Cities from around the globe were considered for the awards under the 2013 theme “Global Excellence in Local Green Building Policy.”

The winning cities were chosen by an expert panel of judges comprised of representatives from UN-HABITAT, ICLEI and the WorldGBC. The winners were announced at the Warsaw Dialogue on Scaling-Up Local and Subnational Climate Action, held in conjunction with the UN Climate Change Conference (COP-19) in Warsaw, Poland.

Meet the winners

The overall winner of ‘Best Green Building Policy’ was Vancouver, Canada, for its Greenest City 2020 Action Plan, an example of excellence in sustainable city policies. The award recognises the City’s leadership on green buildings, and its ambitious targets for all new buildings constructed from 2020 onward to be carbon neutral and to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in existing buildings by 20 per cent over 2007 levels by 2020.

Also recognised was Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, which received the ‘Regional Leadership Award’ for the Estidama Pearl Rating System – a program that has efficiently and effectively implemented sustainability requirements in the Emirate’s development sector.

Christchurch, New Zealand, was presented the ‘Urban Regeneration Award’ for its policies and initiatives aimed at rebuilding sustainably after a series of devastating earthquakes. Also recognised was Seoul, Korea, with a ‘Climate Action Leadership Award’ for its comprehensive campaign to reduce energy consumption.

Honourable Mentions were also awarded to policies from Cape Town, Shanghai, and the United Kingdom’s Brighton and Hove.

“The Government Leadership Awards are an important vehicle to recognise, motivate and promote local governments to advance in their efforts on sustainability,” said Gino Van Begin, Secretary General of ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability.  “ICLEI is happy to partner with WorldGBC for these awards and proud to observe its member cities demonstrating their leadership.”

“The winners of this year’s awards demonstrate that promoting integrated low-carbon urban systems is a viable option that yields multiple benefits,” added Raf Tuts, UN-HABITAT Coordinator, Urban Planning and Design. “These examples may inspire other cities to gradually transform sectoral initiatives into more integrated approaches towards achieving a more sustainable built environment.”

“These awards not only recognise the commendable efforts of local governments to transform their buildings, their communities and their cities,” said Jane Henley, Chief Executive Officer of the World Green Building Council.

“They also acknowledge our challenge to implement sustainability measures on a city-wide scale in our increasingly urbanised world. The efforts of all of our nominees are proving that building industry solutions not only reduce emissions, but also make economic sense.”

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