At a time the global financial crisis has everybody worrying about their housing financing and mortgages in the United States and other developed countries, Chinese cities may have some of the best solutions to be found anywhere in the world.
It is not by coincidence that this year for the first time, the highest award conferred by the United Nations system in this field – the Habitat Scroll of Honour Special Citation – goes not to an outstanding individual, but to a Chinese city, Nanjing. At the next level, the cities of Shaoxing and Zhangjiagang were given the Habitat Scroll of Honour Award, along with the Rwandan capital, Kigali, the Tatarstan city of Bugulma, in the Russian Federation, and Ciudad Juarez a major Mexican city on the United States border.
“The Awards this year show us that we can learn from the great strides made by all of these Chinese cities, especially at this time of global financial crisis,” said Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director of UN-HABITAT and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations. “Indeed, all of our winners this year have some answers when it comes to the financial crisis. All show that Government has to take the lead and show commitement when it comes to affordable housing.”
She also commended Angola for its national reconstruction programme and the delivery of new roads, bridges, railways and other infrastructure either damaged or destroyed during the war. In holding the global celebration of World Habitat Day in Luanda, Mrs. Tibaijuka cited the importance that the Government of Angola attaches, among other priorities, to the delivery of social housing and basic services, like water and energy for Angolan families.
The World Habitat Day prizes are conferred upon cities, governmental and non- governmental organizations, local authorities, public, private and research bodies, or individuals for outstanding achievements in the cause of sustainable human settlements. The awards, granted in person each year by Mrs. Tibaijuka, constitute global recognition of a city’s achievements. For details full details click here.