Recognition for Auckland
From the Office of the Mayor Len Brown
Auckland gets Special Mention in Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize 2016
Auckland has been recognised with a Special Mention in the prestigious Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize 2016.
The judging jury decided to recognise Auckland for “overcoming its planning challenges faced over the past 20 years, notably through a highly integrated and innovative governance model”.
Colombian city Medellin wins the World City Prize and Sydney, Toronto and Vienna have been given Special Mention along with Auckland.
The advisory letter to Mayor Len Brown received overnight from Singapore says his leadership in spearheading the ambitious Auckland Plan is highly remarkable, and that he and his colleagues have shown even the world’s most remote city can radically transform itself and unleash the creativity and cultural potential of its citizens.
Mayor Len Brown is delighted Auckland has been given such high praise.
“We were in to win, and yes we all had our hearts set on gold, but this is an absolutely fabulous achievement when you consider the calibre of cities entered,” he says.
“And I can’t help but be inspired and excited by the fact this year’s winning city, Medellin, got a Special Mention in the previous prize round in 2014.”
The LKY World City Prize is an international city award that recognises key leaders and organisations for displaying foresight, good governance and innovation in tackling the many urban challenges faced to bring about social, economic and environmental benefits in a holistic way to their communities
Auckland was nominated for the award by the Prime Minister John Key and others including Ngati Whatua o Orakei kaumatua Joe Hawke and world cities expert Greg Clark.
Auckland Council’s bid on behalf of the city was made in May last year. The bid captured three themes which exemplify the transformation of Auckland:
· The Auckland Plan
· He tangata, he tangata, he tangata – the story of Auckland’s globally unique position as the world’s greatest Maori city
· Design-Led Auckland – the story traces the transformation from a car dominated, low quality urban environment to one where people have been put back into the centre of council’s thinking.
The prize will be awarded to the Mayor at the World City Summit in Singapore in July this year. The Mayor was already attending the conference to speak on governance reforms and now, as a result of the Special Mention and at the invitation of the prize jury, he will also speak about Auckland’s achievements around best urban practices.
The jury also said Auckland’s new governance model was highly commended for spearheading change in the social integration of first-peoples in city policy making processes but also in everyday life.
“Auckland sends a message of exemplary significance to other cities that are seeking to rise above the numerous challenges. Although Auckland is still early in its implementation stages, the city demonstrates many right elements in place for a successful urban transformation.”
The Mayor says those who nominated Auckland for the prize and those who supported its bid were to be thanked.
“These people recognised Auckland’s transformation has been significant and is delivering real benefits for Aucklanders. This is proof Auckland is stepping up and succeeding as a global leader.”
The Official Citiation
2016 SPECIAL MENTION: CITY OF AUCKLAND
|Nelson Street Cycleway, Auckland © Ludo Campbell-Reid|
The Jury’s Citation
The City of Auckland is recognised for overcoming its planning challenges faced over the last 20 years, notably through a highly integrated and innovative governance model. Prior to 2010, the city suffered from a fractured and dysfunctional planning system with the governance structure consisting of 7 city authorities and 1 regional council. The disconnected governance structure hindered the alignment of vision across districts, and created infrastructure deficits, complex decision-making and incoherent planning outcomes for the city. To this end, the City of Auckland is recognised for strategically orchestrating the remarkable vision of the “One Mayor, One Council, One Plan” in order to amalgamate all the local territorial authorities into one unified Super City. Unlike most cities where their metropolises are often contested territory between Local and State Governments, the City of Auckland is commended for realigning and redesigning its governance model as one integrated Super Council to bring about city urban transformations, and the social integration of Māori and other indigenous groups in Auckland.
Auckland’s successful reinvention is framed by the effective and efficient implementation of the actions set out in the Auckland Plan – a compelling and achievable vision for the city’s regional spatial development for liveability and sustainability in the next 30 years. This forward-looking set of interdependent strategies addresses the city’s future challenges of accommodating twice the number of current residents and new 21st century jobs to the city’s population and workforce, renewing the city’s physical infrastructure, catering for affordable housing, conserving its rich environmental heritage, and significantly lifting the social and economic wellbeing of the Māori. Despite just 3 years into the implementation of the Auckland Plan, the unemployment rate has since fallen from 8.7 per cent to 5.7 per cent at the end of 2014. There is also now an annual saving of $264 million compared to the previous governance model.
Auckland’s new governance model is highly commended for spearheading change in the social integration of first-peoples not only in the city’s policy-making processes but also in the everyday life. This is exemplified in the embracing of Māori proverb “He tangata, he tangata, he tangata” or “It is people, it is people, it is people” in all aspects of Auckland’s urban and social transformation plans. Community projects like the Te Oro Arts and Music Centre, Toia Otahuhu Recreation Project and Mangere Arts Centre are prime examples of the city’s early commitment to greater multi-culturalism. This has significantly contributed to Māori wellbeing and lifted the social cohesion of the city.
Recognising the importance of improving existing urban systems and creating new public infrastructure at the city-wide level to secure its future, the city takes the lead in urban design excellence as an imperative to generate catalytic benefits for the city. Auckland is recognised for improving its urban environment drastically through significant design-led initiatives. Specific examples include the redevelopment of Queens Wharf and Wynyard Quarters at the waterfront, and the refurbishment of the Auckland Art Gallery, Britomart, and Shared Spaces at the city centre. Today there is unprecedented public access to the waterfront areas, with more than 30 urban regeneration projects completed.
Auckland sends a message of exemplary significance to other cities that are seeking to rise above the numerous challenges, especially that of having a dis-jointed governance. Although Auckland is still early in its implementation stages, the city demonstrates many right elements in place for a successful urban transformation. Auckland is an outstanding model for governance innovation and social integration, and given time, the city will prove that even the world’s most distant city can radically transform itself, unleash the creativity and cultural potential of its citizens and contribute to a global conversation worldwide.
Great to see Auckland get the Citation which demonstrates bit by bit Auckland continues to advance as an international City. That said the Auckland Plan is due for a full review next year and we still have challenges with the Unitary Plan.
None-the-less it is onwards and upwards for New Zealand’s largest City!