PUBLISHED — 7th, November 2023

In an opening ceremony of the 2023 World Cities Day China Observance organized by the UN Habitat, Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of the People's Republic of China and Shanghai Municipal People's Government held in Shanghai from 28 to 31 October 2023, Kampala was listed among the five cities from around the world that won the inaugural Global Award for Sustainable Development in Cities (Shanghai Award). 

The award recognizes outstanding progress and achievements of cities and municipalities around the world in their implementation of the 2030 Agenda and was jointly established by the UN-Habitat and the Shanghai government.

A total of 54 cities from 16 countries across the globe submitted applications for the award, representing varying levels of urban development, income, and demographics. Applications were assessed against the progress and achievements of cities with regard to economic vitality, urban prosperity, green urban development, urban safety and resilience, and capacity building for sustainable urban development.

The five winning cities include; Kampala in Uganda, Salvador in Brazil, Brisbane in Australia, George Town in Penang Malaysia, and China's southeast Fuzhou City.

Maimunah Mohd Sharif, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN-Habitat, and Chinese Vice-Premier He Lifeng presented the Shanghai Award to representatives of the winning cities. 

“What the award recognizes is action on the ground. Let me express our thanks to all the cities that applied for the award. Your dedication to a better quality of life for all in our cities is truly commendable,” Maimunah said.

“I would like to encourage more cities to join the Shanghai Award initiative. This is a platform to exchange your vision, experience, successes and setbacks so that we can help other cities build capacity, attract investments and find innovative pathways to achieve a sustainable urban future” Maimunah said.

Kampala was honored for its forward-looking schemes on sustainable social, economic, and environmental development.

Wu Zhiqiang, a member of the international judging panel for the "Shanghai Award" and a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering said it is not just about how glorious these cities' history is, how prosperous their appearance is, or how developed their economy is. It's about aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

He further noted that this requires cities intending to participate to define sustainable development goals, strategies and implementation methods, as well as provide successful experiences that can be shared, disseminated and promoted.

The award ceremony took place as part of the national Chinese observance of World Cities Day held in Shanghai under the global theme “Financing Sustainable Urban Future for All”. 

Development partners