The City of New York is the second Laureate named since the Prize started in 2009. It was selected by the Nominating Committee and Prize Council from 62 nominations received worldwide after a rigorous two-tier selection process.
The 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. It has regained its perch as one of the most exciting cities in the world.”
Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg said: “Receiving the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize is not only a great honor, it is an affirmation of our vision for New York as a global leader of sustainable development and innovative public spaces. Our vision has been informed by the experiences of other cities around the world, including Singapore. New York is a city that is open – to all people, commerce, and ideas – and we will continue to make our city an even more attractive place to live, work, and visit. We hope that our story helps inspire other city leaders to promote economic growth by fostering a culture of freedom and innovation.”
“We extend to Mayor Bloomberg our congratulations for a well-deserved commendation. Mayor Bloomberg, together with various agencies including the New York Departments of Transportation, City Planning and Parks and Recreation, have boldly executed and built on transformative initiatives in the city over the past decade. New York has emerged from a city in adversity to a city in continuous advance. Keppel is akin to the galvanising of collective strengths to rise above challenges with renewed vigour,” says Choo Chiau Beng, Chief Executive Officer of Keppel Corporation.
New York’s success factors
Central to the New York city’s success is the swift and effective implementation of the PlaNYC 2007, a long-term, comprehensive plan that aligns city agencies, business groups and the community towards a common goal. One of the key strategies underlying New York’s successful transformation in the last decade is the investment in public infrastructure to increase liveability and sustainability. Improvements have been made to encourage sustainable modes of public transport, such as the Bus Rapid Transit and bicycling. 700 acres (283 hectares) of parks and open spaces have been added in the last 10 years, bringing the total parkland to 29,000 acres (11,736 hectares).
More significantly, the city has displayed a great level of experimentation and innovation with an emphasis on practical urban solutions. Instead of developing on new sites, more than 35,270 square metres of roadways and underunderutilised spaces have been repurposed into ‘instant’ public plazas. Innovative zoning tools have also unlocked development potential of derelict industrial sites to create housing, office spaces, parks and waterfront promenades.
New York City is an excellent example of how persistence, determination, commitment and strong partnership with the community can turn visions into reality. It serves as a model for other global, high-density megacities to rethink their cities in terms of sustainability into the future.