The Financial Times and Citi today announce the finalists for the second annual FT/Citi Ingenuity Awards: Urban Ideas in Action programme. The awards aim to recognise individuals, teams, organisations and community groups that have developed groundbreaking solutions to urban challenges that benefit cities, citizens and urban communities.
Submissions were received from 44 countries and judges selected the finalists by region, based on the most innovative solutions enabling urban progress across city administration, transport systems, energy and utilities, education and resource management, housing, health, social services, mobile technologies, community engagement and collaboration platforms.
One winner will be chosen for each region and a global winner will be announced at an awards dinner in New York on December 10, where Edward Glaeser, Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics at Harvard University, will deliver the keynote address.
2013 FT/City Ingenuity Award finalists
AFRICA & MIDDLE EAST
Bicycling Empowerment Network, Namibia
LEAP Africa, Nigeria
Shack/Slum Dwellers International Alliance, Cape Town
Digicel PNG Foundation, Papua New Guinea
Parinaam Foundation, Bangalore
BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group, Copenhagen
Trees for Cities, London
Belo Horizonte City Council, Brazil
Fundación Calicanto, Panama City
IBM, Rio de Janeiro
NORTH AMERICA & CARIBBEAN
Baltimore Housing, Baltimore, Maryland
The Competitiveness Company, Jamaica
National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC
SeeClickFix, New Haven, Connecticut
“This year’s entries included inspiring and effective solutions to key issues plaguing local communities,” said Michael Skapinker, assistant editor and editor of special reports for the Financial Times. “All of the impressive work submitted by the finalists has great implications for innovative solutions to urban challenges around the globe.”
“The demands on individual cities to prepare for growth and to be competitive in the global economy are tremendous. We are proud to recognize those striving to develop innovative urban solutions that enable progress for their communities and ultimately society as a whole,” said Ed Skyler, Executive Vice President of Global Public Affairs, Citi. “These finalists inspire us as we work to provide the world’s top 150 urban centers with the financial support they need to modernize, support economic development and create jobs.”
The 2013 judging panel includes:
- Professor Abhijit Banerjee, Economist
- John Bowis, OBE, Honorary President, Health First Europe
- Sir Terry Farrell, CBE, International Architect & Design Champion and Director, Terry Farrell and Partners
- Edwin Heathcote, Architecture and Design Critic, Financial Times (co-chair)
- Bruno Lanvin, Executive Director, European Competitiveness Initiative, INSEAD (co-chair)
- Janice Muthui, Foundation Manager, Community Cooker Foundation, 2012 FT/Citi Ingenuity Awards global winner
- Professor Carlo Ratti, Italian Architect and Engineer
- Professor Anne-Marie Slaughter, President, New America Foundation
- Luanne Zurlo, Founder and President, Worldfund
For more details on the FT/Citi Ingenuity Awards, please visit www.ft.com/ingenuity or follow the conversation at #FTCitiAwards.
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THE FINALISTS FOR THE 2013 FT/CITI INGENUITY AWARD
AFRICA & MIDDLE EAST
Bicycling Empowerment Network
The Bicycle Empowerment Network, initiated in response to demand for affordable bicycles and maintenance services, has created small business opportunities in urban areas of Namibia, while also helping to finance community services.
Each Enterprise Box set up by the Network is run by entrepreneurs newly trained in technical and business skills who sell refurbished bicycles, spare parts and repair services. Revenue is used for working capital as well as development of new business opportunities, ranging from solar energy products and electric grain milling to office services, computer training and internet access.
A network of 30 Enterprise Boxes has created over 100 full-time jobs, and in 2012 distributed nearly 6,000 affordable bicycles to disadvantaged communities. Profits from two projects in Windhoek support employment training for women and a centre that runs a kindergarten and after-school program.
The Leadership, Ethics and Civics program, launched by Leap Africa in 2008, equips public secondary school students in Nigeria with the life and leadership skills they require to serve as agents of social change, implementing a range of projects focused on improving lives in their local communities.
To achieve its aim, LEAP trains secondary school teachers through a Train the Trainers Program that enables them to deliver the curriculum to Senior Secondary Class 1 students over a one-year period.
With the support of the International Youth Foundation and Nokia and in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, the program has reached over 14,000 students in five states. By the end of the 2011-2012 school year, students had implemented 499 social change projects, ranging from improved street lighting to medical testing, positively affecting over 60,000 people.
Sanergy provides sustainable, hygienic sanitation in Nairobi’s slums through an innovative toilet franchise system that generates additional income by recycling human waste to create electricity as well as organic fertiliser for farmers.
The initiative involves establishing networks of small-scale high-quality water-free toilets, manufactured using local materials and operated in the slums on a pay-per-use basis by resident micro-entrepreneurs.
Waste is safely collected into sealed 30-liter airtight containers and transported every day to a central processing facility. Sanergy converts the waste into safe and reusable by-products, including organic fertiliser sold to farms and electricity sold to the grid. The program creates jobs and business opportunities, while tackling serious environmental, social, and economic challenges.
Shack/Slum Dwellers International Alliance (Cape Town)
The Shack/Slum Dwellers International Alliance has established a programme that enables impoverished communities in Cape Town and Johannesburg to proactively upgrade their informal shack or slum housing and reconfigure the layout of their settlements.
The project aims to facilitate access to roads, provision of water, sanitation, waste removal and electricity, while encouraging the creation of public open spaces through utilisation of previously unexploited areas. The social cohesion and unity that is needed to implement such transformations builds and strengthens communities and creates a platform and voice for the urban poor.
aProCh — A Protagonist in Every Child — is an initiative started by Ahmedabad’s Riverside School to create India’s first child-friendly city.
aProCh organises special activities for children that take advantage of Ahmedabad’s parks and other areas of the city not initially designed for the ‘nurturing of’ childhood, and provide experiences where safety, curiosity, exploration and community become part of a child’s everyday life.
aProCh also works with municipal authorities to enhance the physical environment for children.
Over the past six years, the project has gathered the support of the municipality, parents, children, private enterprises and concerned individuals, and has become a city-wide initiative with collaborative efforts from all stakeholders.
Bangalore-based CMC, in cooperation with the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation, has created India’s first Intelligent Transport System, initially focused on a fleet of 500 buses in the city of Mysore, with the aim of extending to 4,000 buses across the State in its second phase.
The objective of the project, funded by the World Bank, is to overcome strategic transport challenges such as congestion, poor infrastructure, affordability constraints, increasing emissions and the service needs of a growing customer base.
It addresses this through real-time dissemination of information on bus arrival times — obtained via satellite-based GPS and displayed on large LED screens at bus stops and by SMS messages.
Digicel PNG Foundation
The Digicel Papua New Guinea Foundation has established a programme in partnership with the Ginigoada Business Development Foundation that aims to improve living standards in deprived communities by training residents in a range of skills from personal health to financial awareness.
The Life and Business Skills Program is comprised of a two-week syllabus — the first week involves workshops aimed at increasing awareness about gender equality, family violence, sexual health and hygiene issues, while the second week offers interactive business training focused on family finance, income generation activities and building overall confidence.
Upon completion, participants are given a Basic Business Skills Certificate. The program has been conducted in more than 20 settlements and more than 3,000 participants have received certificates.
The Urban Ultra Poor Programme, initiated by the Parinaam Foundation, aims to economically and socially empower women who live in extreme poverty in the slums of Bangalore.
The programme covers four critical components delivered over a period of 12 months to enable participants to establish a more stable lifestyle — Livelihood Development, Healthcare Support, Childcare and Education, and Financial Literacy and Social Services Support.
The aim is that upon completion, participants should be able to earn a stable income, have a form of identification, provide their children with education, access good health care and manage finances.
3Space is a London-based charity that works with landlords and leaseholders to unlock the value of empty commercial properties — making them available for a limited period to other non-profit organisations free of charge for start-up projects benefiting the community.
3Space has managed the short-term use of property in 45 buildings across the UK since 2010, giving space to 140 charities, community groups and social enterprises. Landlords benefit from reduced insurance, maintenance, business rates and security costs and can take their properties back at short notice.
3Space provides a scalable approach to the management of vacant commercial space, reducing waste while delivering tangible social and economic benefits and driving urban renewal.
BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group
Superkilen, lead-designed by Danish architects BIG, is a modern park — with trails for pedestrians and cyclists, and outdoor recreation areas — in one of the poorest and most ethnically diverse districts in Copenhagen.
The conceptual starting point is the park’s division into three zones and colors – the red square, the black market and the green park. To celebrate the area’s multi-cultural heritage, BIG has worked with the local community to source street furniture, play equipment, sculpture and lighting from the 62 countries that were originally home to the district’s residents.
The project has helped rejuvenate the area by uniting residents into one global neighbourhood.
BlaBlaCar, based in Paris, allows drivers with empty seats in their vehicles to connect with passengers and share intercity journeys. Drivers utilise the website and mobile app to publish a planned journey. Passengers can then search available offers, and contact the driver of their choice.
BlaBlaCar provides a range of features to create a secure, reliable, trust-based community and easy connections between drivers and passengers. Members rate one another after travelling together, allowing them to build reputations in the community.
By enabling over 600,000 people a month in ten countries across Europe to share intercity journeys, BlaBlaCar is increasing the efficiency of road transport, and reducing its environmental impact.
Trees for Cities
Edible Playgrounds, a program organised by London-based charity Trees for Cities, engages children in inner-city schools in gardening activities centered on the positive aspects of fresh food. Growing fruit and vegetables in school yards and playgrounds not only introduces underprivileged children to the delights of nature but raises their awareness and understanding of the link between nature and what constitutes a healthy diet.
Edible Playgrounds also facilitates and empowers local communities to transform their outdoor spaces by delivering green-skills workshops and training sessions to school children, youth groups and adults.
Edible Playgrounds offers a potential long-term solution to food poverty in the UK while also educating people to lead a healthy lifestyle from a young age.
Aprenda, a unit of Peruvian micro-lender Grupo ACP, has developed an educational program for low-income women in urban areas who have the ideas and aspiration to run their own small businesses, but lack the financial skills and formal education to achieve their dreams and contribute positively to their family and community.
The course is built around a specially produced soap opera – “El Gran Salto” or The Big Leap – that tells the story of an entrepreneur called Vicky who starts her own business. A typical course runs for two to three hours, during which students watch episodes of the soap opera while being coached on business management and personal development.
The program is on track to meet its initial target to improve the business capability of 100,000 women in three years.
Belo Horizonte City Council
The City Council of Belo Horizonte in Brazil is spearheading the first public private partnership in the country’s education sector in collaboration with IFC and the Brazilian Development Bank. Under a concession awarded last year, a private contractor will build 37 state nursery and primary schools by 2014 — creating places for 20,000 students, particularly in low-income communities.
The concession includes operation and maintenance of the schools for the next 20 years, which puts the onus on the building company to ensure that high-quality, durable materials are used.
This and other efficiencies not normally generated by public sector operators means that schools can concentrate on teaching their students, thus boosting the quality of education in the city.
Fundación Calicanto, a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring the historic and human heritage of Panama City’s Casco Antiguo (or old town), has created CAPTA, a program that provides the area’s many unemployed and underprivileged women with vocational training for entry-level jobs in the hotel and tourism industry, as well as entrepreneurial skills training for self-employment.
A five-week course in personal and psychological development is followed by a two-week hotel internship, assistance with resume preparation, and job placement. The goal is not only to help women find jobs, but also to give them the inspiration and self-esteem they need to bring their families out of poverty.
Launched in 2006, CAPTA trains 120 women per year, with over 80 percent of graduates securing permanent employment, even in businesses outside the Casco Antiguo.
IBM, in cooperation with the City of Rio de Janeiro, has created a data management center that integrates information from multiple government departments and 30 different city agencies to improve safety and responsiveness to various types of emergency incidents, such as flash floods and landslides.
The Rio Operations Center applies analytic models developed by IBM to predict emergency incidents and help officials manage traffic movement, public transportation, and the efficiency of power and water supplies. The center, for example, can predict heavy rains up to 48 hours in advance.
Since the center was set up in 2010, after a torrential storm caused landslides and flash floods, the new alert system has improved emergency response times by 30 percent.
NORTH AMERICA & CARIBBEAN
Vacants to Value is an initiative by the Mayor of Baltimore and the Baltimore Housing Authority to eliminate vacant properties quickly, efficiently and economically through a combination of demolition and rehabilitation.
In neighborhoods with just a few scattered vacant properties, $900 administrative citations are used to incentivize owners to fix their properties or sell them quickly. In severely distressed neighborhoods, the City pursues targeted demolition and greening, so that underutilized properties can be transformed into community assets.
Since the program began at the end of 2010, 1,302 vacant houses have been rehabilitated and 660 more have been demolished. The City plans to tear down 1,500 more vacant properties and renovate another 1,500 by 2016.
The Competitiveness Company
The Competitiveness Company, an NGO focused on improving the lives of underprivileged urban youth, has developed an ornamental fish farming and export project that is offering young people in Jamaica’s most violent inner-city slums a chance to escape poverty and gang life.
The initiative, which takes advantage of growing global demand for ornamental aquarium fish, involves technical training in aquaculture and the introduction of small scale production technology that allows budding entrepreneurs to efficiently grow thousands of fish in small backyard spaces at very low cost.
More than 130 young people are now grouped into urban farm clusters, sharing information and resources to achieve lower production costs and grow better quality fish which are then sold to local exporters and marketed internationally.
National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC developed a program that targeted underserved urban teenagers — often accused of disturbing the peace by local residents, including on the Gallery’s own steps – and empowered them with skills for the creative economy.
Local teenagers serve as a firm of “creative consultants,” spending months conceiving, planning, marketing, staffing, managing and evaluating a “Project Runway” type fashion show at the Gallery. The program was created in partnership with ARTLAB Plus, a teen space in the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.
The show, held in the summer of 2011, galvanized the partner organizations to begin planning for a long-term, sustainable network to support Washington DC teens’ learning objectives, career development and life goals.
SeeClickFix — launched in New Haven, Connecticut four years ago and now used in more than 130 cities across the US — is a website and mobile app that empowers citizens to address everyday problems in their neighborhood by publicly documenting and routing them to their local government.
At the same time, it facilitates a more efficient and transparent response from governments to these requests through a customized dashboard.
In addition to hundreds of thousands of issues that have been resolved by local governments through the program, SeeClickFix has led to citizens solving problems on their streets they would previously have left to the city.
SeeClickFix enables municipalities and citizens to interact in a collaborative and transparent way that builds trust and enhances civic spirit, while pragmatically improving their communities.
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About Citi for Cities:
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About the FT/Citi Ingenuity Awards:
More than half the world’s population lives in cities today, a number that is expected to rise in the decades ahead. As a result, cities have a pressing need to address the challenges of urbanisation and find solutions that modernise infrastructure, improve efficiency and enhance quality of life and foster sustainable growth and development.
The FT/Citi Ingenuity Awards: Urban Ideas in Action, a global programme sponsored by Citi, was developed to recognise leaders, teams, organisations and community groups who have developed innovative solutions to urban challenges that benefit cities, citizens and urban communities.
Top candidates will be profiled in two FT global magazine supplements and invited to participate in events to further dialogue on urban challenges and solutions. Finalists will be selected by region. One winner will be chosen for each region. A global winner will be announced at an awards dinner in New York in December 2013.
Submissions will be reviewed based on a range of criteria, including originality, impact, efficiency and outcome. Criteria were developed by INSEAD, one of the world’s leading and largest graduate business schools. All entries will be reviewed by the FT and INSEAD for qualification. A panel of global subject matter experts will select winners. As sponsor, Citi will not review or judge submissions. Eligibility criteria and additional program details are available at www.FTCitiawards.com. Follow the conversation at #FTCitiAwards.