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Which cities are top for wellbeing?

The international award is conducted in partnership with Novartis Foundation, Novartis US Foundation and the city of Montréal

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The Colombian capital of Bogota is a finalist in the community category
The Colombian capital of Bogota is a finalist in the community category

Canada-based NewCities Foundation has named 16 finalist cities for the first edition of the Wellbeing City Award.

 

The international award, conducted in partnership with Novartis Foundation, Novartis US Foundation and the city of Montréal, recognises cities placing wellbeing at the centre of urban design, planning, and policies.

 

Cities need measurable standards

 

More than 100 cities from 27 countries and six continents were considered for the competition.

 

“Too often cities are reactively addressing wellbeing as a silo issue, rather than examining ways to holistically improve the quality of life for citizens for the long term and from a social perspective,” John Rossant, founder and chairperson of NewCities.

 

“Just as buildings, cars, and schools have enforceable and measurable standards, so should cities when it comes to wellbeing for urbanites. The Wellbeing City Award will help create data points and key performance indicators around wellbeing within cities that can be applied on a global scale and for cities of all sizes.”

 

The finalist cities for the 2019 Wellbeing City Award, in their categories, are:

  • Community: Bogotá (Colombia); Milan (Italy); New Haven (US); and Santa Monica (US)
  • Economy and opportunity: Amaravati (India); Chicago (US), Ljubljana (Slovenia); and Pune (India)
  • Public health: Gothenburg (Sweden); Kigali (Rwanda); Los Angeles (US); Vancouver (Canada)
  • Sustainable environment: Avià (Catalonia, Spain); Curridabat (Costa Rica); Lisbon (Portugal); Moonee Valley (in Melbourne metropolitan area, Australia).

 

“The 16 finalist cities surface a diverse range of wellbeing initiatives,” added Dr Ann Aerts, head of Novartis Foundation.

 

“Together with NewCities, we are looking forward to curating and sharing learning and stories of wellbeing success to actively help these initiatives be replicated or adapted on an international scale and contribute to healthier and more inclusive cities around the world.”

“Too often cities are reactively addressing wellbeing as a silo issue, rather than examining ways to holistically improve the quality of life for citizens"

As part of the final phase of the award, NewCities has brought together a jury of experts, including Arianna Huffington, Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, Daniel Libeskind, and Ede Jorge Ijjasz-Vasquez to judge detailed applications from finalist cities.

 

One laureate in each of the four categories, and one overall 2019 Wellbeing City laureate will be announced in April 2019.

 

A formal ceremony and international urban wellbeing forum will also be held in Montréal in mid-2019; bringing together mayors, senior government leaders, and entrepreneurs and innovators from private and non-profit sectors.

 

The annual award, launched in 2018, has been developed by NewCities in partnership with the Novartis Foundation, the Novartis US Foundation, and in collaboration with the city of Montréal, Toyota Mobility Foundation, Transdev, and the US Green Building Council.

 

It is supported by HuffPost Canada, OpenGov Asia, Design Exchange, and Icons of Infrastructure.

 

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