Singapore, 14 March 2022 – Vienna, the Austrian capital, has been awarded the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize 2020.
This edition of the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize marks the 10th anniversary of the biennial award that has been jointly organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the Centre for Liveable Cities (CLC) since 2010. The Prize recognises outstanding achievements and contributions to the creation of liveable, vibrant, and sustainable urban communities around the world.
As the world recovers from the impact of COVID-19 and moves towards a post-pandemic future, the Prize Laureate 2020 has been awarded at this opportune stage to encourage learning from cities that have showcased successful efforts in urban renewal and developing for sustainable growth.
Vienna, in particular, has built, innovated and enhanced its infrastructure to thrive in the 21st century whilst honouring its existing historical and cultural fabric. By planning ahead and taking consistent steps to address the global challenge of climate change, Vienna has emerged successful in sustaining the highest quality of life for its people.
Vienna has taken a strategic approach to create a distinctive and delightful home for its residents, both today and in the future. Some of the model strategies are:
- Environmental stewardship.
Aside from integrating technology to achieve long-term environmental objectives, the city has embarked on consistent and far-sighted climate-sensitive action to address and mitigate the impact of climate change. For example, the Urban Development Plan of Vienna, also known as STEP 2025, sets out plans to create more open and green spaces that can contribute to the reducing of the Urban Heat Island effect. This follows the city’s previous efforts to protect against climate challenges. For example, Vienna has adopted a steady series of flood protection measures since 1884 – one of which would be the construction of New Danube, a 21-kilometre flood bypass channel, in 1989.
- Promoting liveable and healthy communities.
To create a variety of new infrastructure and affordable housing choices for its people, Vienna embarked on large urban redevelopment projects in Aspern Seestadt and Nordbahnhof. In these new urban centres, Vienna’s residents are connected to their workplaces and recreation nodes by active mobility networks, as well as an extensive network of affordable public transit options. This has encouraged a shift towards more eco-compatible modes of commuting around the city, such as walking, cycling, and public transport.
- Strong citizen and stakeholder engagement.
Vienna’s commitment to a participatory development process has cultivated a shared vision and durable culture of cooperation. For example, the city provides various platforms for its citizenry to shape public spaces. One such platform is the Grätzloase (Neighbourhood Oasis), a ground-up initiative that transforms parking lanes into parklets for vibrant community interaction.
➜ More details on these strategies
“Even as the world faces a climate emergency, Vienna is an exemplar of responsible environmental stewardship for its region. It has been remarkably successful in sustaining a high quality of life for its inhabitants, through steadfast improvements and innovative digital technology. Vienna holds many lessons for us as it has met the needs of modern society in a sustainable way, while retaining its attractiveness and charm as a city of history and culture. Such an inspirational city is indeed most deserving of the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize.”
— Dr Cheong Koon Hean
Chair, Nominating Committee 2020
“I am very proud and grateful that Vienna emerged as the winner among many other wonderful cities. We will continue on our consistent path of high quality of life for everyone through social and technical innovation in all areas, while maximising conservation of resources and thus resume to be a reliable partner for others.”
— Dr Michael Ludwig
In addition to Vienna, three cities were also recognised as Special Mentions for their best practices in city management:
- Antwerp, Belgium
- Boston, United States
- Lisbon, Portugal
➜ More details on the Special Mention cities
Prize Lecture and Award Ceremony at World Cities Summit 2022
The Lee Kuan Yew Prize Award Ceremony will be held during the upcoming World Cities Summit, which will take place from 31 July to 3 August 2022. In addition to an award certificate, Vienna will receive a cash prize of S$300,000 and a gold medallion worth S$50,000. This Prize is sponsored by Keppel Corporation.
“Congratulations to Vienna for winning the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize. Apart from its rich culture and history, Vienna is a leader in addressing the challenges of climate change. As a provider of solutions for sustainable urbanisation, Keppel is committed to sustainability. We look forward to working with cities around the world to build a sustainable future together.”
— Mr Loh Chin Hua
Chief Executive Officer, Keppel Corporation
Representatives from Vienna and the three Special Mention cities will also be invited to celebrate their achievements and share their unique urban initiatives and experiences at the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Lecture and Forum, which will be held in conjunction with the Summit.
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For media queries, please contact:
Ms Rachel Quek
Manager, Media Relations
Urban Redevelopment Authority
DID: (65) 6321 8356