About the Prize
Who is Lee Kuan Yew?
Lee Kuan Yew (1923–2015) was the first Prime Minister of Singapore, serving from 1959 to 1990. He has played a crucial role in transforming Singapore from a developing nation into a prosperous and modern city-state. He has implemented pragmatic economic policies, emphasising education and meritocracy. His leadership fostered political stability, economic growth, and social cohesion. He is widely credited for Singapore’s remarkable development and is recognised as a visionary leader.
How is the process of evaluation carried out?
The evaluation is carried out through a rigorous two-tier process made up of both the Prize Council and Nominating Committee. The jury panels are composed of renowned professionals and experts in the fields of urban governance and planning, architecture, etc.
The Nominating Committee thoroughly reviews all submitted nominations before making a shortlist of potential Laureates. These possibilities are examined further with the individual merits of each carefully considered. The Prize Council is presented with a final shortlist and selects the Laureate based on the recommendations.
With the many high-quality nominations from cities worldwide, the greatest challenge is how to evaluate them across the board. For that, we have distilled a set of fundamental principles, including the impact of the urban initiatives implemented, the sustainability of the achieved outcomes, the practical purpose and levels of innovation that were demonstrated.
How does the Prize differ from the quality of life rankings?
Unlike liveability rankings, the Prize looks at the holistic transformation of a city over at least a decade, and is currently the only international award for cities that does so. There are four key aspects that the Prize looks into when assessing the nominations, namely: liveability, vibrancy, sustainability and a high quality of life.
Beyond just liveability, nominations are rigorously evaluated based on demonstration of strong leadership and governance, creativity and innovation in the overall master plan or master strategy, good and replicable urban practices, as well as the long-term sustainability and impact of implementation. These are the elements that are missing from liveability surveys and rankings.
Could Special Mentions be eligible to be a future Prize Laureate?
Yes. As cities are continually growing and evolving, there is always opportunity for Special Mentions to be eligible for the Prize Laureate in future editions. In fact, Medellín and Vienna were recognised as Special Mentions in 2014 and 2016 and went on to become the 2016 and 2020 Prize Laureates respectively.
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Stage A nominations
Who is eligible to nominate?
Cities interested to participate should approach an independent third party (nominator) in any of the following categories to nominate them:
- Leading academics (e.g. professors in universities) or academic institutions
- Government officials (outside of the city administration)
- International organisations in the fields of urban planning, housing, transport management, urban design and architecture, energy conservation, urban policy and management, and so on
- Organisations in the public or private sectors
- Non-government organisations (NGOs)
- Leading industry experts in related fields
Self-nominations (i.e. nominations made by the city administration for their own city) are strictly not accepted.
How many nominations can a nominator make?
There is no limit to the number of nominations a nominator can make. Each nomination must be accompanied by an official nomination form and a recommendation letter signed by the nominator. The city must agree to be nominated and follow through the Stage B submissions.
Who can be nominated for the Prize?
The Prize is awarded to cities only. As such, a city may be nominated with the city government taking the lead in the nomination, in association with their key partner organisations (if applicable).
How do I make the nomination?
The nominator shall make the nominations using the official nomination form, accompanied by a recommendation letter to support why the city should win the Prize. The nominator shall ensure that the city agrees to be nominated and follows through the Stage B submission process.
How will I know if my nomination is received?
The nominator and the city will receive an automated e-mail reply to acknowledge the receipt of the nomination. The Prize Secretariat will follow up shortly on additional information and details required for the city’s Stage B submission.
Is there an entry fee for making a nomination?
No. There are no fees required for both Stage A and B.
What should the Stage A recommendation letter contain?
The nominator should make a case to support why the city should win the Prize by highlighting key strategies and/or initiatives that contribute to the holistic transformation of the city over at least 10 years, in particular the creation of liveable, vibrant and sustainable communities within a quality built environment that incorporates the principles of sustainable development.
The following are some guiding points for the recommendation letter:
- Demonstration of good governance and leadership
- Institutionalised key processes for sustained transformation and long-term benefits
- Key agents and urban actors/stakeholders involved (e.g. governments, government agencies, consultants, communities) and their roles in the transformation of the city
- The degree of transformation observed since its implementation and the impact on the local communities
- Outstanding project(s) that contributed to the success of the transformation
Is there a word limit for the Stage A recommendation letter?
The recomendation letter should preferably be around 600 words.
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Stage B submissions
Who is supposed to prepare the Stage B submission?
The nominated city (i.e. city government and/or key partner organisation appointed by the city) shall prepare the Stage B submission.
What do I need to submit for Stage B?
The nominated city will be informed via email to prepare and submit a detailed report using the official report template.
Can the city submit additional non-English materials?
The Stage B report must be completed in English. The nominated city may submit additional supporting documents in other languages, however only materials in English will be considered for evaluation.
Can the nominator for Stage A also write the reference letter for Stage B?
Yes. The Stage B reference letter is similar to the recommendation letter for Stage A.
What type of demonstration projects are eligible?
A broad range of projects is accepted, such as:
|Disaster risk management
|Transport & mobility
|Smart city initiatives
|Activities & programming
The demonstration projects should illustrate the success of the city’s overall master plan/strategy, and relate to the creation of liveable, vibrant, and sustainable urban communities, and improve the quality of life for the residents.
Do the demonstration projects need to be fully completed?
Demonstration projects can either be fully or partially completed. The completed phase(s) should sufficiently demonstrate the efficacy of the project, i.e. there should be some quantifiable or observable results. The will allow the jurors to make a fair evaluation of the project.
Where can I find the definitions to certain terms used in the Stage B report?
Please refer to the glossary of terms for a list of definitions.
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Announcement and award
When will the results be announced?
The results of the 2024 Prize will be announced in March/April 2024.
Who will be invited to receive the award?
The Mayor (or highest level representative) of the Laureate city will be invited to the Lee Kuan Yew Prize Award Ceremony & Banquet (a highlight event of the World Cities Summit, a biennial international Summit held in Singapore) to receive the award. The key city officials and partner organisations are also welcomed to participate in the event.
Will the Prize Laureate and Special Mention(s) be invited to speak?
The Prize Laureate and Special Mentions(s) will be invited to share their achievements and unique urban intiatives at the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Lecture, a key highlight of the World Cities Summit, a biennial international Summit held in Singapore.
How can I attend the Prize events at World Cities Summit?
The next edition of World Cities Summit (WCS) will be held from 2 - 5 June 2024 in Singapore. The Prize events will be held in conjunction with WCS 2024. Please check the WCS website for the latest updates.
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For other enquiries, please contact us.