Start Spreading the News…New York, New York

New York City has won the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize this year for its urban rejuvenation since the devastating September 11 terrorist attacks more than a decade ago. Mayor Michael Bloomberg acknowledged just last month that newly-adopted green building codes are putting the City on track to meet its planned (PlaNYC) goal to lower carbon emissions, energy consumption and waste. “We’re well on our way to making New York the greenest City in America.”

By Robin Chan in Straits Times (22 March 2012):

New York City has won the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize this year for its urban rejuvenation since the devastating Sept 11 terrorist attacks more than a decade ago.

The award will be given to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Departments of Transportation, City Planning and Parks and Recreation in July, during the World Cities Summit 2012 in Singapore.

Chairman of the prize nominating committee Kishore Mahbubani said: ‘The city of New York is an inspiring story of urban rejuvenation. With bold vision, strong leadership, sheer determination, and excellent partnership between government and citizens, there is now a new sense of direction in the city.’

He was speaking at the Raffles Hotel on Wednesday.

Under Mr Bloomberg, the city has brought down its crime rate, with ambulance response times also shorter, but it was also the investment in and transformation of its public infrastructure which caught the committee’s eye, said Mr Mahbubani.

Mr Bloomberg highlighted three of these projects – the development of Brooklyn Bridge Park, the transformation of a disused railway line into an aerial park, and redesigning the roadways to be more bicycle-friendly.

Mr Bloomberg said: ‘Such long-term planning is really vital in New York City, and in other cities.

‘Because with more than half the world’s population now living in cities and with three-quarters of the people on earth expected to be city dwellers by mid-century, cities around the globe, including New York, must confront all the effects of rapid urban growth: in transportation, housing, public health, public safety, education, and in so many other areas.

Six other cities also received special mention including Brisbane in Australia, Copenhagen in Denmark and Vancouver in Canada.


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn last month (February 2012) announced that newly-adopted green building codes are putting the City on track to meet PlaNYC’s goal to lower carbon emissions, energy consumption and waste. In a report released today, the Urban Green Council celebrated the City’s progress in quickly codifying the recommendations on building construction and renovation, which were first proposed two years ago this month.

Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn convened a task force to outline steps the City should take to mitigate the impact buildings have on a sustainable future. Buildings account for 75 percent of the City’s total greenhouse gas emissions and 95 percent of total electrical consumption. According to the report, the adoption of 29 recommendations will divert 100,000 tons of asphalt from landfills each year; reduce greenhouse gas emissions citywide by 5 percent; lower the costs of lighting energy by 10 percent; and provide $400 million in savings by 2030.

“When we launched PlaNYC five years ago, we put forward a bold vision to make our City more sustainable, and meeting those goals is now a part of how our city develops,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The forward-thinking proposals enacted in the last two years will benefit buildings that make up this City, and the people who inhabit them. I look forward to working with the Speaker’s Office and the Urban Green Council to continue our work to build a greener, greater New York.”

“We’re well on our way to making New York the greenest City in America. The legislation passed in the Council over the past two years to green our City’s codes will help us achieve the vision laid out in PlaNYC for a more sustainable New York,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “The plan will move us closer to our goal of greenhouse emission reduction, and it addresses the growing concern New Yorkers face about environmental impact in the five boroughs. The Council looks forward to continue to partner with the Bloomberg administration and Urban Green Council on future initiatives.”

“The extraordinary story here is one of alignment – between the Mayor and Speaker, and between government, industry and nonprofits – and small steps adding up to big ones,” said Russell Unger, Executive Director of Urban Green Council. “The code changes help maintain a healthy business environment by lowering energy costs, in addition to saving money and resources for all New Yorkers. They enforce the city’s position as a thought leader and keep it at the forefront of major growth industries: energy efficiency and green building.”

“Greening the Big Apple will improve our quality of life for generations to come, but all of us must do our part to make sure that happens – including government,” said Buildings Commissioner Robert D. LiMandri. “Today’s report shows that the City’s hard work is paying off. We have been working closely with Mayor Bloomberg, Speaker Quinn’s Office and the Urban Green Council to implement the goals set forth by PlaNYC and amend the construction codes to encourage innovative ideas such as using daylight to illuminate public spaces and allowing water to be reused in building operations. These simple changes are just the beginning of making our buildings more environmentally friendly and making New York one of the world’s greenest cities.”



World Cities Summit, Singapore 1-4 July 2012

Urbanisation is occurring on an unprecedented scale. By 2050, it is estimated that 70% of people will live in cities. Cities also face challenges ranging from environmental management to social cohesion. Under the theme “Liveable and Sustainable Cities – Integrated Urban Solutions”, the World Cities

Summit 2012 will explore how cities can build resilience and improve their quality of life and environment by adopting integrated solutions to increasingly complex challenges.

The World Cities Summit is the global platform for government leaders and industry experts to address liveable and sustainable city challenges, share innovative urban projects and forge partnerships. Held in conjunction with the 5th Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) and the inaugural CleanEnviro Summit Singapore (CESS), the World Cities Summit 2012 will enable delegates to network with an even wider group of public and private sector players and discover synergies between urban planning, water and environmental solutions.

Strategically sited in the Asia Pacific region where many cities are experiencing unprecedented growth, Singapore is the ideal host for this Summit. After the success of the first two Summits, World Cities Summit 2012 is expected to attract more than 3,000 government leaders, policy makers and industry experts from around the world.


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