Singapore Gives Urban Sustainability Prize to China’s Suzhou City

Singapore Gives Urban Sustainability Prize to China’s Suzhou City

China’s Suzhou city, which has managed to avoid the worst impacts of urbanisation – pollution and traffic congestion – wins the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize 2014 which recognises liveable, vibrant and sustainable urban communities around the world.  Singapore is once again taking the lead to encourage governments and industry to come together to share and co-create solutions with an integrated approach to urban sustainability at the World Cities Summit, along with the Singapore International Water Week and CleanEnviro Summit Singapore from 1 to 5 June 2014. Read More

Suzhou City conferred Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize 2014

Singapore, 24 March 2014 – Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China, has been conferred the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize 2014 for its demonstration of sound planning principles and good urban management. Despite facing numerous challenges through Chinas rapid industrialisation and urbanisation processes, Suzhou has overcome difficulties through several stages of transformation to achieve remarkable economic prosperity, and preservation of its celebrated cultural and historic heritage concurrently.

The biennial Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize is jointly organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), Singapore’s land-use planning and conservation authority, and the Centre for Liveable Cities, to honour outstanding achievements and contributions to the creation of liveable, vibrant and sustainable urban communities around the world. The award seeks to recognise and celebrate efforts in furthering urban solutions and sustainable urban development.


This year’s Prize Laureate was selected from 36 nominated cities, through a rigorous two-tier process comprising a Nominating Committee and a Prize Council.

Chairman of the Nominating Committee, Kishore Mahbubani said, “Suzhou has always been one of China’s most beautiful cities. It could have been destroyed by modernisation and industrialisation. Instead, Suzhou’s leaders took a holistic approach and sought to achieve the triple goals of economic and social progress as well as the preservation of its significant historical heritage. It has been spectacularly successful in meeting these goals and it richly deserves the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize.”

Mayor of Suzhou, Zhou Naixiang said, “We are honoured to receive this award. This is an affirmation of our effort in striving for excellence in urban planning and development. Winning this award is an enormous encouragement for us to push for more innovative solutions for Suzhou to develop in a sustainable way while preserving our treasured historic and natural heritage.”

We congratulate the city of Suzhou and its leaders on this well-deserved commendation. Mayor Zhou Naixiang and his team have spearheaded robust and practical measures to tackle the challenges of modern day urbanisation while upholding Suzhou’s rich culture and heritage. The foresight of Suzhou’s leaders in implementing the city’s reinvention and revitalisation is a quality that resonates strongly with Keppel, where we value sustainability as an intrinsic driver of positive urban development,” remarked Mr Loh Chin Hua, CEO of Keppel Corporation, who also affirmed the Company’s commitment and extension of sponsorship towards another five cycles of the Prize from 2020 to 2028.

Winning ingredients of Suzhou

The key to Suzhou’s rise is strong leadership and good governance in implementing a comprehensive Master Plan to develop the city. It has carried out good urban management practices, such as implementing a balanced and holistic urban development, achieving economic vitality while ensuring the preservation of its culture and heritage. Investments in physical infrastructure are complemented by effective social integration policies, enabling the city to manage rural-urban migration challenges well.

Extension of sponsorship

Keppel Corporation has extended their sponsorship of the Prize, doubling the current sponsorship amount by another S$1.75 million, up to year 2028. Keppel’s strong support as sole sponsor since the inaugural award in 2010 enables the continued recognition of cities who have taken bold and innovative steps to create liveable, vibrant and sustainable urban communities. The Prize provides a valuable platform for fostering knowledge transfer between cities, catalysing sustainable urbanisation through a rich exchange of ideas and experiences.

Prize Award Ceremony at World Cities Summit

The Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize is a key showcase at the upcoming World Cities Summit which will be held from 1 to 4 June 2014 at the Marina Bay Sands. The Laureate will receive the Prize at the Lee Kuan Yew Prize Award Ceremony and Banquet which will be held on 2 June 2014. The Prize comprises a gold medallion, an award certificate, and S$300,000 sponsored by Keppel Corporation.

The World Cities Summit is a premier platform for government leaders and industry experts to address the challenges of liveable and sustainable cities, share integrated urban solutions and forge new partnerships. Under the theme “Liveable and Sustainable Cities: Common Challenges, Shared Solutions”, the fourth edition of the Summit will seek to share new insights and best practices in urban solutions, explore opportunities and public-private partnerships and highlight new trends on urbanisation challenges around the world. For more information, visit

Singapore, 15 April 2014 – Singapore is once again taking the lead to encourage governments and industry to come together to share and co-create solutions with an integrated approach to urban sustainability. They will converge at the World Cities Summit, Singapore International Water Week and CleanEnviro Summit Singapore that will be jointly held from 1 to 5 June 2014 at the Sands Expo & Convention Center at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.

Leading integrated platform for urban sustainability

The World Cities Summit (WCS), Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) and CleanEnviro Summit Singapore (CESS) is the leading global platform for government and city leaders to discuss urban challenges and chart new directions and solutions for more liveable and sustainable cities of the future. Some 20,000 high-level delegates are expected to attend, including ministers, mayors, government and industry leaders, representatives of international organisations and academics. The involvement of key stakeholders across the spectrum of urban planning, water planning and waste management is critical, given the new and complex challenges facing cities.

According to the United Nations1, over five billion people – or 60 per cent of the world’s population – will live in cities by 2030. To meet this exponential growth, about US$57 trillion in investment is required globally in infrastructure such as water resource management, solid waste management, transport, energy and telecommunications2. This is nearly 60 per cent more than the US$36 trillion spent over the last 18 years. In addition, as resources become scarce, it is becoming increasingly apparent that a lack of regard for environmental sustainability could threaten long-term development.

The need for innovative and integrated urban solutions has always been imperative for Singapore. Given its small size and limited resources, Singapore has always adopted a forward-looking and integrated approach to urban planning and sustainable development to ensure a quality living environment for our people. Other cities are also adopting a more holistic approach to achieve sustainable growth – a key reason why mayors and government leaders from around the world are converging in Singapore in June to share ideas and solutions to tackle urban challenges effectively.

Integrated solutions for liveable and sustainable cities

Technology and innovation will also play a critical role to boost productivity in the infrastructure sector whilst governance will ensure that infrastructure deals are being structured for efficiency and effectiveness to meet the needs of residents. The events make it possible for the public and private sectors to engage in solutions- oriented dialogue that will attract investors, increase infrastructure investments, and promote beneficial partnerships to make cities liveable and sustainable.

Highlighting the need for an integrated approach to urban planning, Mr Khoo Teng Chye, Executive Director of the Centre for Liveable Cities said: “The interconnected nature of sustainable development calls for going beyond borders, both geographical and disciplinary, to coordinate strategies and make good decisions that benefit citizens. Problems are rarely contained within predefined jurisdictions such as one government agency or a single neighbourhood. This is a lesson that Singapore has learnt on its journey to urban sustainability. The World Cities Summit, Singapore International Water Week and CleanEnviro Summit Singapore demonstrate global thought leadership for a more holistic and sustainable approach to city planning.”

Representing the Singapore International Water Week, Mr Chew Men Leong, Chief Executive of PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency, said, “With challenges such as extreme weather conditions threatening global water security, it is now more important than ever before for the world’s water ecosystem to pool resources and share best practices. Over the years, SIWW has established itself as a global platform for connecting the public sector with the private sector, water technology start-ups with potential investors, buyers with sellers, essentially to co-create water and enable solutions to meet these challenges.”

Mr Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer of National Environmental Agency said, “As cities grow rapidly, business activity and consumption patterns drive up waste volumes. The World Bank has anticipated that by 2025, 4.3 billion urban residents will be generating about 1.42 kg/capita/day of municipal solid waste, making up an estimated total of 2.2 billion tonnes per year. Hence, many cities face the challenge of building a clean and liveable environment, and acquiring sustainable environmental solutions. We hope CESS 2014 will be a useful platform for environmental leaders, policy makers and industry captains to come together to discuss these important challenges and possible solutions.”

Mr Ng Lang, Chief Executive Officer of the Urban Redevelopment Authority, co- organiser of WCS 2014 said, “The theme for World Cities Summit – ‘Common Challenges, Shared Solutions’ – reinforces the importance of collaboration between all stakeholders in urban development. With more than 100 mayors and 1,400 business leaders and industry experts expected to attend WCS, it is a leading platform for global leaders who shape cities to come together to address liveable and sustainable city challenges, share integrated urban solutions, and forge high-level partnerships.”

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