Quzhou, a prefecture-level city in Zhejiang province, won the Gold Medal Award and the Whole City Award for Enhancement of the Landscapes and Public Spaces at the finals of the 2018 International Awards for Livable Communities (LivCom) held in Cairo, Egypt, on Dec. 15. Quzhou was the only city that received two awards at this competition.
Dubbed the"Green Oscars," the LivCom Awards is a competition for cities around the world to measure with one another on environmental management and the creation of livable communities. The competition's categories cover varies characteristics of cities such as ecology, human and nature, sustainable development.
By winning the top honors, Quzhou is recognized as an"International Garden City." The green city prides itself with its rich natural resources and 71.5 percent forest coverage. In recent years, Quzhou has seen stable economic growth underpinned by ecological development. In 2017, the city's GDP increased by 7.3 percent over the previous year.
With a history of more than 1,800 years, Quzhou is an inclusive cultural city, where historical relics have been well preserved, traditions of many religions can still be seen, and people of 41 minority ethnic groups live together in harmony."Quzhou, home of southern Confucianism, a model city of virture" has become the city's brand.
Quzhou won the awards this year as the competition returns from hiatus that started in 2013. Inaugurated in 1997, the relaunch of the competition this year attracted more than 100 cities and 200 projects from over 30 countries. After the fierce early rounds, 20 cities from over 20 countries made their way to the final round, including Quzhou and Kunming of Yunnan province.
The LivCom Awards revamped its judging criteria during its hiatus. There are now five population categories in the competition. Communities are not compared with others within their population category, but are rather judged as to their progress and problems in promoting urban development. The aim is to share best practice and experience for building livable cities.
The Awards recognize good practices of a city in promoting urban development. In the final round, the judges gave their assessment based on the cities' video introductions, PowerPoint presentations, and responses to questions.