Vienna Mayor Ludwig Accepted Prize for Sustainable and Smart Urban Development in Singapore

Lifestyle & TravelMore+ ♦ Published: August 2, 2022; 18:06 ♦ (Vindobona)

The Republic of Singapore awarded the "Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize 2020" to the City of Vienna. Mayor Michael Ludwig accepted the internationally renowned award, during the World Cities Summit 2022 in Singapore.

During the World Cities Summit 2022 in Singapore, Mayor Michael Ludwig accepted the award for the "Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize 2020". / Picture: © Magistrat der Stadt Wien / Christian Jobst / PID

The biennial award, presented by the Southeast Asian city-state, recognizes outstanding achievements and contributions to the creation of livable, vibrant and sustainable urban communities around the world.

"By receiving the award, I feel confirmed that our Viennese way of urban and future planning is leading in the right direction. For example, in the area of housing: 62 percent of Vienna's population lives in subsidized apartments or municipal housing," said City Chief Ludwig at the award ceremony in front of numerous fellow officials from around the world.

But Vienna is also a city of "social inclusion", "no one is excluded or left behind", said Mayor Ludwig, who cited the "Grätzln" model as an example of this. "In addition to already existing ones, new local centers are being created - with everything you need in daily life. A welcome side effect is that this also makes people want to walk and cycle more," said Ludwig.

In the future, everyone should also have access to sufficient green space within a maximum distance of 250 meters from their residential address - which "seems quite plausible" in a city with 53 percent of its surface area as green space or bodies of water, noted city leader Ludwig.

Current problem areas such as climate change and the issue of impending energy shortages, which have been particularly pressing since the outbreak of war in Ukraine, are being addressed with the "Smart Climate City Strategy," he said. To achieve the goal of this program - to make Vienna CO2-neutral by 2040 - a whole package of measures has been put together: "In the expansion of photovoltaic systems alone - on meadows, but also roofs and facades - 1.2 billion euros are being invested. In addition, we have spectacular projects underway for the use of geothermal energy - at a depth of 3,000 meters under the lakeside city of Aspern - as well as the establishment of a local hydrogen value chain," says Vienna's mayor.

In his speech, Ludwig emphasized that "valid answers are being sought and found to urgent problems and challenging questions". As was already the case 100 years ago in the era of "Red Vienna", there is only one credo that should guide all municipal measures: "The focus is on people".

World Cities Forum 2025 in Vienna

The jury was particularly impressed by Vienna's combination of history and modernity. The city builds on its strong cultural and historical foundations, while at the same time modern innovations make it a sustainable and livable metropolis. The fact that Viennese citizens can actively participate in the development of their city was also positively highlighted, as was the city's long tradition of public services and the high quality of services for all citizens.

Previous award-winning cities include Seoul, Medellín, Suzhou, New York City and Bilbao. The award is named after Singapore's first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who was instrumental in Singapore's development into the green garden city it is known for today. The prize money is the equivalent of more than 200,000 euros, plus a gold medal worth the equivalent of more than 35,000 euros. Furthermore, the "World Cities Forum 2025", an international summit with more than 150 mayors and other top-level participants, will take place in Vienna.

Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize

An international award honoring outstanding achievements in the creation of liveable, vibrant, and sustainable urban communities, the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize is presented biennially.

In order to address the many urban challenges facing communities in a holistic way, the Prize recognizes cities' key leaders and organizations for their vision, good governance, and innovation.

Wien Holding

City of Vienna

Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize