The Philips Livable Cities Award

Lately, I have come across a lot of new concepts and initiatives but one  initiative that I feel obligated to share is the Philips Livable Cities Award (PLCA).

Under the banner “better cities make better lives”, the PLCA is a global initiative which is designed to encourage individuals, community groups and businesses to develop practical, achievable ideas to improve the health and well-being of people living in cities. The award consists of three groups which will help translate these ideas into reality. The categories are well-being outdoors, independent living and healthy lifestyle at work and home.

The video below presents one of the concepts for urban development that has been selected as a finalist for the award ceremony ~ A “Design Your Own Park” competition uses neglected urban spaces in Binghamton, New York for city parks.

Other finalist ideas include (in no particular order):

  • IQare (Education in digital media) for elderly in Edinburgh, Scotland;
  • Using flat rooftops and storage tanks in Sana’a, Yemen to capture, filter and store water during rainy periods for later use during periods of scarcity;
  • Health education for deaf in Embu, Kenya, using Kenyan sign language;
  • A Neighborhood Network Scheme to help elderly citizens in Abeokuta, Nigeria access welfare services.
  • Plaza Movil Street Park, which would close Buenos Aires’ streets to traffic during weekends and public holidays, and also use and convert portable playground equipment and benches into recreational spaces;
  • Posting health-related information and education posters inside 45 new  Shade Stands, similar to bus shelters, across Uganda’s capital, Kampala, that will provide relief against both the hot sun and rain;
  • Using modular solar or wind-powered streetlights, connected to a “smart grid,” in New York City to light outdoor recreational facilities;

After watching the individual videos and reading about each concept, I was very much impressed and decided to vote for my favorite. You too can do the same. To watch all the contestants’ videos, and to vote for your favorite, please click here. Clearly this award is a very smart initiative and hopefully we will continue to see many more companies encourage global community development in the future.

Ufuoma Barbara Akpotaire is a Program and Research intern with the SISGI Group’s Research Division. To learn more about the SISGI Group please visit


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