An independent jury of international experts this week selected 10 winners from a list of 680 submissions for the 2004 Dubai International Award for Best Practices to Improve the Living Environment. The winners were all deemed to have made outstanding contributions to improving the quality of life in cities and communities around the world.An independent Technical Advisory Committee, reviewed the 680 submissions, and drew up a short list of 40 initiatives which were then forwarded to the jury to select the winners. The jury, chaired by Mr. Rod Hackney, an author and past President of the Royal Institute of British Architects, based their decisions on criteria of tangible impact, partnership, and sustainability. They also took into account considerations of leadership and community empowerment, gender equality and social inclusion, and innovations that can be replicated.
The winners are: the Urban Agriculture Programme, Rosario, Argentina; the Tomorrow’s Seeds Human Development and Urban Poverty Reduction programme in, Aurá, Brazil; the First Nations Community Planning project, Canada; the Brownfield Remediation of the Tangshan Southern Coal Mining Area, China; the Green path to Sustainable Development of Marginal Drylands, Iran; the Sahelian Solutions Foundation for an innovative sand dam programme in the drought-prone Kitui District, Kenya; the IT4YOUTH computer literacy programme for young Palestinians; the Alba-Ter Consortium of the River Ter Basin, Spain; the NGO AVEBETO for showing young people how to set up their own businesses in Togo, and a Poverty Reduction Programme for women in Uzbekistan.
Each will be awarded a US$ 30,000 prize, a trophy and a commemorative certificate at the award ceremony in Dubai in October at a date still to be announced. A special recommendation was given to the Association for Forest Development and Conservation in Lebanon and the Circo Volador (Flying circus) in Mexico for their outstanding creativity, energy and continued commitment of the young people leading these initiatives.
The original call for Best Practices was launched in 1995 during preparations for the Second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) as a means of identifying what works in improving living conditions on a sustainable basis.
Click here for details on the winners.