The winners of this year’s UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour awards, one of the world’s most prestigious prizes presented to those working on sustainable urbanisation, have been announced.
Among more than 80 eligible nominations for the Scroll of Honour awards covering individuals, cities, organisations and projects in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America, Egypt topped the winner list.
The nominations were judged basing on their contribution to UN-Habitat’s mandate: innovative urban COVID-19 responses; the World Habitat Day theme 2021 “Accelerating urban action for a carbon-free world”; potential for scale up; and the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Sustainable Development Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable with potential for scale up. In addition, the Selection Committee looked for innovative urban COVID-19 responses or solutions around the World Habitat Day theme 2021 “Accelerating urban action for a carbon-free world”.
The award, a plaque engraved with the name of the winning individual, city or institution, will be presented during the Global Observance of World Habitat Day which is celebrated on the first Monday of October every year. This year, World Habitat Day coincides with Monday 4 October and the Global Observance will be in Yaounde, Cameroon.
“I want to congratulate our five impressive award winners who have all made a tremendous contribution to sustainable urbanisation in very different ways,” said UN-Habitat’s Executive Director, Maimunah Mohd Sharif. “I am impressed by their innovative ideas and range of impactful work and I believe they will be an inspiration to us all to work for a better urban world for everyone.”
Topping the list of Winners of the 2021 UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour is the Egypt’s New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) for its role in providing safe, affordable social housing projects in Egypt. The winner announcement said that “In the past 40 years, the Egyptian Government authority has provided safe, affordable social housing projects to encourage social cohesion among all residents aligned with the SDGs and the Egypt Vision 2030. Over the years, NUCA has provided 660,000 units that included schools, hospitals, playgrounds, green spaces in 21 newly built cities to serve over three million citizens.
Second on the honour scroll is Kenya’s Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) for being a leading example of a community-led change to eradicate extreme poverty in Kenya’s urban slums. With a focus on the most vulnerable slum residents, including women and children, SHOFCO supported 2.4 million people in 2020 through service provision such as WASH, health clinics and resources to combat gender-based violence.
Third was Baoji City, China for its innovative housing provision project benefiting low and middle-income residents in Baoji City. Incorporating the latest green and low carbon development concepts into its projects, the city has provided 253,000 low and middle-income residents with a home and developed 13 residential estates with 29,300 apartments, providing residents equal access to public facilities and community services.
Fourth is Let’s do it World (LDIW), Estonia, for organising three World Cleanup Days (WCD) to tackle the global waste crisis and reduce carbon emissions. Showing deep dedication and out-of-the-box thinking, LDIW has developed a global network in 164 countries tackling the global waste crisis while reducing carbon emissions. By engaging five per cent of the population in the piloting countries, it has created a critical momentum for taking action and catalysing solutions for sustainable development.
Fifth is Ciudad Emergente (CEM), Chile, for its innovative approach on piloting a Shared Streets concept (Calles Compartidas) for low carbon cities. The Chilean urban innovation lab has contributed to low carbon cities by transforming urban design from car-centric to multiuse spaces for cars, people, and the environment. Shared Streets led to a nine-fold reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, a drop in air and noise pollution, and an improvement in public safety.
UN-Habitat works in more than 90 countries supporting people in cities and human settlements and focusing on urban development. Working with governments and local partners, its high impact projects combine world-class expertise and local knowledge to deliver timely and targeted solutions.
24 September 2021