Boston Recognized by Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize 2020

Downtown Boston / Photo courtesy of the Boston Planning & Development Agency

Boston – The Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize announced that Boston has been honored as a Special Mention for the 2020 World City Prize, based on the city’s holistic work on climate resilience, improving housing affordability and mobility options, and fostering civic participation.

Boston’s submission was led by the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA), which hosted the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize nominating committee for a visit in 2019 with City of Boston agencies, nonprofit organizations, institutions, business leaders, and community stakeholders. The committee called Boston a visionary city where close partnership and trust is delivering significant results. The committee noted Boston’s foresight in climate resilience, and urged other waterfront cities to take a similar, proactive approach to tackle climate change.

Specific projects and planning efforts highlighted include:

  • Imagine Boston 2030: a citywide plan that prioritizes inclusionary growth and puts forth a comprehensive vision to enhance neighborhoods, encourage a mixed-use core, support employment and housing growth, create a waterfront that sustains future generations, and concentrate investments to reduce disparities and expand opportunities.
  • Climate Ready Boston: the city’s initiative to prepare for the short and long-term impacts of climate change.
  • Resilient Boston Harbor: a comprehensive vision that is investing in Boston’s waterfront to protect the city’s residents, homes, jobs, and infrastructure against the impacts of rising sea level and climate change.
  • The Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building, Nubian Square: Redeveloped to revitalize the once thriving square, the preservation of the iconic Ferdinand Furniture Building is now the headquarters of Boston Public Schools, and includes a green roof, office space, retail, civic spaces, and community meeting space.
  • The Rose F. Kennedy Greenway: Created following the Central Artery/Tunnel Project widely known as the “Big Dig,” the public park reconnects Boston’s neighborhoods and today hosts millions of visitors annually.

Boston was the only U.S. city recognized in the 2020 Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize awards cycle. The World City Prize was awarded to Vienna, Austria. Boston joined Antwerp, Belgium and Lisbon, Portugal with Special Mentions. The 2020 awards cycle was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are honored that the Lee Kuan Yew Prize Committee has selected Boston for this prestigious ranking, based on important work the BPDA has led on waterfront resiliency, housing affordability, mobility solutions, and civic engagement,” said BPDA director, Brian Golden. “These are the priorities we focus on every day to build a better future for all Boston residents, and it is a privilege to be acknowledged alongside other innovative global cities.

The Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize is a biennial international award that honors outstanding achievements and contributions to the creation of livable, vibrant, and sustainable urban communities around the world. The prize is awarded to cities and recognizes their key leaders and organizations for displaying foresight, good governance, and innovation in tackling the many urban challenges faced, to bring about social, economic and environmental benefits in a holistic way to their communities.

To facilitate the sharing of best practices in urban solutions that are easily replicable across cities, the prize places an emphasis on practical and cost effective solutions and ideas, for the benefit of cities around the world. Through the prize, Singapore hopes to promote exemplary thought-leadership and exchange of ideas among cities, to spur further innovation in the area of sustainable urban development. The prize is co-organized by the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore (URA) and the Centre for Liveable Cities (CLC).