After facing tight competition with the cities of Aarhus and Turin, Rotterdam recently received the top winning title of the European City of the Year in the 2015 Urbanism Awards. Established to promote and learn from the best cities, the award is one of five given by the Academy of Urbanism to the most enduring or most improved urban environments.
In selecting the winner, the Academy votes on the city with the best standings in multiple social, economic, and environmental factors, as well as good governing practices and commercial success.
Awards were also given to the best Town, Neighborhood, Street, and Place.
More details below.
"Speaking about Rotterdam's victory, chairman of the Academy Steven Bee said: '[Rotterdam] has a predominantly young, open, tolerant community that is embracing innovative architecture and urban design and new business models. Its strategy is to attract families and businesses to the central area with a variety of housing, excellent public transport and a lively public realm.'
According to the Academy, Rotterdam was voted as the winner for its unique approach to governance. Appointed for six years by central government, the role of mayor sits outside of political structures and with no portfolio, allowing greater engagement with citizens and businesses."
Here are the 2015 Urbanism Awards finalists in each category (winners are asterisked):
THE EUROPEAN CITY OF THE YEAR
- Aarhus (Denmark)
- Rotterdam (Netherlands)*
- Turin (Italy)
THE GREAT TOWN AWARD
- Aberystwyth (Ceredigion, Wales)*
- Beverley (Yorkshire, England)
- Bury (Lancashire, England)
THE GREAT NEIGHBORHOOD AWARD
- Broughty Ferry (Dundee, Scotland)
- Devonport (Plymouth, England) Holbeck Urban Village (Leeds, England)*
THE GREAT STREET AWARD
- Bridge Street / North Street (Taunton, England)*
- High Street Berkhamsted (Berkhamsted, England)
- Elwick Road (Ashford, England)
THE GREAT PLACE AWARD
- Bishops Square (Spitalfields, London, England)
- Christmas Steps (Bristol, England)
- St. Pancras Station (London, England)*
In the coming week, the 15 finalists will be added to the Academy’s online archive of Great Places.
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