Suzhou City conferred Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize 2014
Last Updated: 2014-03-25 07:32 | Xinhua
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Suzhou City in east China has been conferred the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize for this year, standing out from 36 nominated cities worldwide, the nominating committee of the prize said on Monday.

"Despite facing numerous challenges through China's rapid industrialization and urbanization processes, Suzhou has overcome difficulties through several stages of transformation to achieve remarkable economic prosperity, and preservation of its celebrated cultural and historic heritage concurrently," the organizer said.

The biennial prize is aimed to honor outstanding achievements and contributions to the creation of livable, vibrant and sustainable urban communities around the world. The award seeks to recognize and celebrate efforts in furthering urban solutions and sustainable urban development.

It is the third edition of this prize after Spain's Bilbao and the U.S. New York city won in 2010 and 2012 respectively.

During transformation over the last two decades, Suzhou carried out proper planning and made deliberate efforts to invest in physical infrastructure to support its economic objectives.

According to the organizer, the city also cares about conservation of its historical and cultural heritage. It continued to invest in its rich heritage, making it come alive for residents, small businesses, and tourists.

It also made significant achievement in the treatment of migrant workers. "Migrant workers are given equal opportunities to access health and education benefits as the local residents," said the organizer, adding that the policies have facilitated the integration of workers into the city and brought about greater social stability.

Kishore Mahbubani, chairperson of the nominating committee, said Suzhou could provide good practices for other Chinese cities during the ongoing urbanization. "The demonstration effect is very powerful."

He added that some innovative policies in dealing with some urban problems conducted by the government also impressed him.

Xu Ming, vice mayor of Suzhou City, expressed gratitude for the granting of the award and hoped that Suzhou's practices could become a role model for many developing cities, both in China and across the world.

Two other cities also received special mention this year - Medellin in Colombia and Yokohama in Japan.

The Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize is a major highlight at the World Cities Summit that will be held in Singapore in June. Suzhou will receive its prize at the summit on June 2, including an award certificate, a gold medallion, and a cash prize of 300,000 Singapore dollars (236,220 U.S. dollars).

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