Compass expertise on urban innovation sought internationally

14 Sep 2018

Compass expertise on urban innovation sought internationally

Group Managing Director of Compass Housing, Greg Budworth has just returned from Surabaya, Indonesia for a meeting of the Technical Committee for the Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation.

The committee created a list of 45 deserving initiatives from cities around the world, then shortlist to 15. The shortlist will be submitted to an independent jury to select five winners.

Greg said it was an honour to be invited to be involved. He said the experience will allow him to bring back knowledge of international best practice in innovation in urban renewal to share with other organisations and governments in Australia and the Hunter.

“The award is also an important platform to support the implementation of the New Urban Agenda (NUA) and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” Greg said.

“SDG 11 is about making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

“The NUA and the SDGs are highly relevant for Australian governments and business, including in regional areas, because they provide a very useful framework for driving innovation to make cities more sustainable and work better for everyone.”

Greg is the only Australian on the committee. He is the 2017 Hunter Business Leader of the Year Award recipient. In his role as Vice President of the UN General Assembly of Partners, he is leading international efforts to implement the NUA, the outcome document from the 2016 UN Habitat lll global planning conference. Greg and Compass Housing have been instrumental in organising Australia’s first conference on implementing the NUA, held in Melbourne in 2017, and a second one planned for Newcastle later this year.

The Guangzhou Award is co-sponsored by the United Cities and Local Governments, the World Association of the Major Metropolises (Metropolis) and the Chinese City of Guangzhou. The bi-annual award has been held three times. It aims to recognise innovation in improving social, economic and environmental sustainability in cities and regions that advances the prosperity and quality of life of citizens. The 2016 winners were Boston, Copenghagen, La Paz in Bolivia, Qalyubeya in Egypt and Songpa-gu in South Korea.

The winning cities will receive US$20,000. They will be announced at the Guangzhou International Urban Innovation Conference and International Innovation Festival in December.