The Guangzhou Award jury announced the five Award winners: Kocaeli, Turkey, Lilongwe (Malawi), Seoul (South Korea), Vancouver (Canada) and Vienna (Austria).
The Guangzhou Award opened under the presence of 800 participants from over sixty countries. The opening ceremony was chaired by Mayor of Guangzhou, Mr Chen Jianhua. During their speaches, Wan Quingliang, member of the Chinese Communist Party from the Province of Guangdong, Josep Roig, Secretary General of UCLG, and Mohammed Pezham, Mayor of Mashhad representing the President of Metropolis, highlighted the importance of economic and urban innovation that must accompany the development of towns, cities and territories and the provision of essential services to citizens. The importance of the role of UCLG and Metropolis in the launch and consolidation of the Guangzhou Award and its success in terms of the number and quality of proposals submitted to the July was also recognized.
The second session saw the participation of the Mayors of Guangzhou, Cornella, Vilnius and Johannesburg who all presented the diverse experiences in their respective cities, in particular in terms of services delivering to citizens (transport, employment, housing, education, health). They highlighted the importance of this Award for innovations that allows for the reinforcement of cooperation between local governments, and that pays homage to the work of elected representatives and sustainable and innovative urban projects.
More than 1700 participants took part to the Closing Ceremony. In his speech, UCLG President and Mayor of Istanbul, stressed the importance of innovation in a more and more urbanised world. Joan Clos, Executive Director of UN-Habitat, in a video speech, valued the importance of local governments in the world.