Cape Town has made the shortlist for the top 15 in the fifth Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation. The award recognizes innovation that improves environmental, social and economic sustainability.

“We have identified the green economy as a high growth sector that will contribute to sustainable jobs in the near future. As a Strategic Business Partner of the City, we fund GreenCape to unlock the manufacturing and employment potential in the green economy. GreenCape focuses on unlocking investment opportunities, as well as removing barriers to entry and expansion, thereby facilitating growth for Cleantech companies in Cape Town,” said James Vos, the City’s MayCo Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management.

According to the Guangzhou Award official news release, Cape Town is shortlisted in the Top 15 for its partnership with the Western Cape Industrial Symbiosis Programme (WISP), delivered by GreenCape, out of 273 initiatives from 175 cities and local governments in 60 countries and regions.

The award’s technical committee commended WISP for its promotion of sharing resources between companies, thereby cutting costs, increasing profits, improving business processes and learning from each other about how to operate more sustainably.

“We are very pleased that our partnership with GreenCape to implement WISP is getting international recognition for the impact that it has on promoting a circular green economy that promotes investment and creates jobs in the city. They confirmed what we believe to be true – that WISP is needed in the country, and the region, and across the globe,” Vos added.

“We are grateful for the recognition of our partnership with the City of Cape Town, and will keep working towards improving resource efficiency and resilience in the economy. Hopefully this can inspire others to do the same through more uptake of circular economy practices,” said Emmanuel Kasese, WISP Programme Manager at GreenCape.

The cumulative impact of WISP over the last six years includes:

  1. 104 900 tonnes of waste diverted from landfill;
  2. 309 200 fossil GHG emissions saved (equivalent to the annual electrical usage of 39 800 households in SA);
  3. Over R120 million generated in financial benefits (additional revenue, cost savings and private investments);
  4. 69 permanent jobs in member companies, as well as 25 temporary positions, and 218 economy-wide jobs in supply chains have been created.

The 15 shortlisted cities of the fifth Guangzhou Award are:

– City of Unley, Australia;

– Wien, Austria;

– São José dos Pinhais, Brazil,

– Chongqing Municipality in China;

– Capital Region of Denmark in Denmark,

– Quito, Ecuador,

– all 114 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) of Odisha in India,

– Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BeMC) in India;

– Bandung City Government in Indonesia;

– Union of Municipalities in Lebanon;

– Municipality Of Antananarivo (Commune Urbaine d’Antananarivo in Madagascar;

– Breda in the Netherlands;

– Departmental Council of Saint Louis in Senegal;

– City of Cape Town, Western Cape in South Africa;

– Los Angeles in the USA.

The 15 shortlisted local governments will be invited to the International Seminar on Learning from Urban Innovation to present their urban innovation initiatives. The date is to be announced.

Picture: Pixabay

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Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.