Cities are moving ever closer to the centre of the development agenda, and there is a growing recognition of the constructive role they will play in implementing the post 2015 development agenda.
As such, the Cities Alliance is delighted to co-sponsor a special award that will recognise Excellence in City Transformation as part of this year’s prestigious Financial Times/International Finance Corporation (FT/IFC) Transformation Business Awards.
Now in their second year, the FT/IFC awards distinguish products and services that offer transformative, long-term solutions to key development issues, including the provision of basic services, promoting social and financial inclusion, reversing environmental degradation, and using technology to empower the underserved.
The Special Award for Excellence in City Transformation recognises those cities that, since 2010, have demonstrated tangible progress towards city-wide, integrated reforms in one or more of these five areas:
-- Environmental – Integrating the planning and management of natural resources, with positive impacts on climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies, as well as disaster risk preparedness geared at the most vulnerable populations
-- Social – Demonstrating progress to promote an inclusive city that integrates gender equality, citizen participation with mutual rights and responsibilities
-- Governance – Showing progress in promoting an enabling environment for inclusive planning, responsive administration, and stable municipal finance with transparency and accountability
-- Economic – Facilitating an enabling environment to address formal and informal economic activities that improve livelihoods and promote long-term, equitable, sustainable economic growth
-- Services – Exhibiting progress in the citywide provision of, and access to, basic services such as housing, food, water, sanitation, energy, health and education
This year also includes, for the first time, an award for Achievement in Urban Transformation, which will highlight innovative and commercially viable partnerships – including public-private partnerships – and other initiatives that substantially improve access to basic needs for urban residents in developing economies.
The Cities Alliance worked closely with the FT/IFC teams to shape the Achievement Urban Transformation award criteria, and will assist in judging applications. This category will award projects and transactions that address challenges related to building and planning cities, providing citywide access to power, and addressing the scarcity of food and water.
In addition to urban transformation, the awards will also recognise Achievement in Information and Communications Technology, Transformational Finance, and Inclusive Business.
Applications are due by 31 March 2015, and the winners will be announced 11 June 2015 in London. The event will also feature a conference that will bring together leading thinkers and decision makers from the private and public sectors to discuss policies and solutions to key social and environmental challenges faced by fast-growing cities in developing economies.