International prizes for Smart City urban innovation
On Friday 2 June, the Le Monde–Smart Cities international award ceremony offered a thought-provoking day for dialogue at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore. The event brought together executives, private and public players, start-ups and researchers from around the world for a day dedicated to major urban transformation. The Le Monde–Smart Cities international prizes for urban innovation were awarded during this ceremony, organised in partnership with The Straits Times and Business France and held in the presence of Vivian Balakrishnan, the Singaporean Minister of Foreign Affairs.
BNP Paribas Grand Prix Le Monde-L'Atelier was delivered by Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan (@VivianBala) to Wecyclers (@realwecyclers) and Guillaume Degroisse awarded the Urban Innovation Prize to Jugnoo (@jugnoose).
What is a Smart City?
Smart Cities are lively cities that take initiative, move forward and transform themselves. They must overcome a number of challenges relating to demographics (by 2050, two-thirds of our planet’s inhabitants will live in urban areas, according to the UN) climate, energy, technology and governance. Cities innovate, experiment, spring to action. Together, they form a body which is more agile than any government. They provide solutions and accelerate change.
Greater concentration of people in cities irreversibly causes them to preserve and optimise their resources and organisation. The following two observations help depict this context:
- Currently, half of the world’s population lives in cities. By 2050, that figure will increase to 70%.
- Cities make up 2% of the Earth’s surface and produce 80% of greenhouse-gas emissions.
The goal of cities, metropolises and territories is to help overcome this societal, political and environmental challenge. Generally speaking, Smart Cities offer cost-optimisation, organisation and better well-being for inhabitants.