CFAs: Global Award for Sustainable Development in Cities (Shanghai Award)

Deadline Date: June 15, 2024

 Donor Name: UN-Habitat

 Grant Size: Not Available

The Global Award for Sustainable Development in Cities (Shanghai Award), a global initiative led by UN-Habitat and Shanghai Municipality, aims to accelerate the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda) and New Urban Agenda (NUA).

It focuses on advancing Sustainable Development Goal 11 (SDG 11) promoting the localization of SDGs, echoing on the Global Development Initiative (GDI), and incentivizing cities to find systematic solutions for sustainable urban development. In addition, the award will help build the platform for advancing UN-Habitat’s strategic plan, flagship programmes and the Global Urban Monitoring Framework.

The establishment of the Global Award for Sustainable Development in Cities (Shanghai Award) was officially announced by the Executive Director of UN-Habitat at the first session of the 2022 Executive Board of UNHabitat on 30 March 2022. The call for applications of the first cycle of the award was formally publicized on 27 June 2022 during the 11th World Urban Forum (WUF) held in Poland. On October 28th, 2023, UN-Habitat and Shanghai Municipality successfully organized the first award ceremony of the Global Award for Sustainable Development in Cities (Shanghai Award).

Scope and Theme

  • The award is open to cities all around the world to recognise and honour their progress and achievements on implementing the SDGs and the NUA at the city level since 2016 when the implementation of the 2030 Agenda was formally initiated. 
  • The general theme of the award is “Building a Sustainable Urban Future for All”. Cities around the world striving for sustainable development are encouraged to apply to join the global discussion on sustainable urban development solutions. 
  • Echoing the theme of the 2024 World Urban Forum (WUF), cities that have made significant progress in one or more of the following areas are particularly encouraged and welcome to apply:
    • Area 1: Quality and secure housing for diversified needs Including but not limited to: a) improving residents’ housing conditions and providing adequate housing that is affordable, well-located and supported with adequate facilities tailored to diverse needs; b) formulating reasonable pricing policies and housing loan schemes, and encouraging local governments, non-profit organizations or employers to offer various forms of housing support to residents, especially young people; c) designing and building flexible and adaptable housing for young people, such as joint-lease apartments or shared-living communities; d) advocating sustainable housing designs and developing corresponding housing design standard systems; e) establishing a comprehensive rental/sale system to ensure equal housing rights for all.
    • Area 2: Youth leading vibrant communities Including but not limited to: a) giving full play to the leading role of youth to propose ideas, jointly planning, designing and building flexible and diverse community public spaces to accommodate various activities and needs; b) providing friendly community infrastructure for all ages and service facilities, such as barrier-free facilities, as well as childcare, elderly healthcare, and family services, etc.; c) providing entrepreneurial spaces in communities through urban design and cultural activities, etc., to promote the integration of living and employment, and create vibrant communities with an innovative atmosphere; d) providing community services and emergency response systems through technology and institutional development, and enhancing community governance; and e) implementing urban renewal, renovating old residential areas, improving quality of life, and coordinating the preservation of historical and cultural heritages and their revitalization.
    • Area 3: Innovative development for urban prosperity Including but not limited to: a) supporting the gradual transition of urban economies through high value-added sectors to high productivity sectors, enhancing high quality productive forces, and promoting economic recovery through diversification and technological upgrading; b) improving financial and fiscal policies, mobilizing resources from all channels to ensure funding needs for sustainable urban planning and urban renewal ; c) providing suitable space and facilities to support flexible employment, with particular focus on ensuring young people receive fair wages and decent work; d) encouraging the significant role of young people, new technologies, new economy and other factors of the new generation to create new momentum for urban construction and development; e) encouraging the application of digital technologies to build smart cities, improving urban governance capabilities, and using new technologies to serve social justice and bridge the digital divide.
    • Area 4: Low-carbon and climate resilient urban development Including but not limited to: a) adopting nature-based solutions to build cities and settlements that mitigate and adapt to climate change; b) advocating green buildings and green transportation, encouraging the use of renewable resources, and reducing energy consumption in buildings, transportation and other sectors; c) conserving water resources, maintaining regional water ecosystems, and improving urban flood control and drainage capacity; d) applying disaster risk monitoring technologies to improve cities’ abilities to respond to extreme weather events and other types of disaster risks; and e) protecting poor and vulnerable groups and enhancing their resilience to shocks.

Award Information

  • Prizes and awards the second cycle of the award will be granted to no more than five cities. An award ceremony will be held at the major international platform and winners of the second cycle will be presented with a plaque and a trophy. The outstanding practices and achievements in sustainable urban development from the winning cities will be added to the best practices database of the NUA platform and the Shanghai Manual annual report, which will further showcase and enhance the visibility of the cities’ efforts on sustainable urban and human settlement development. The winning cities will also be invited to attend important international events such as the WUF, and the Observance of World Cities Day, among others, gaining opportunities to exchange best practices with other cities, boost potential investment, and create new opportunities for local economic development.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Cities and municipalities around the world are eligible to be applicants for the award. Cities demonstrating the following are especially welcome to apply:
    • Outstanding performance in social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainable urban development since 2016. 
    • Remarkable progress and innovation in sustainable urban development since 2016, with significant potential for further growth and development. 
    • A commitment to further realizing and advancing the ambitious goal ofsustainable urban development. 
    • Best practices in sustainable urban development which can be promoted around the world to inspire and motivate other cities to jointly implement sustainable development actions.

For more information, visit UN-Habitat.

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