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Vancouver named finalist in global wellbeing award

The city's public spaces plan is drawing international attention.
Vancouver was named a finalist by the Wellbeing Cities Awards.

Vancouver is often recognized as a good city for wellbeing, and another accolade has been announced.

On Wednesday, June 23, Vancouver was named a finalist in the Wellbeing Cities Award in recognition of its Downtown Public Space Strategy. It was one of five cities recognized, alongside Bogota (Colombia), Chennai (India), Ramallah (Palestine) and Strasbourg (France). The awards are organized by the NewCities Foundation, a global not-for-profit based in Montreal focusing on "a better urban future."

Bogota ended up winning, in recognition of its District Care System which works on inequality and vulnerable populations.

"The five cities chosen, out of the many submissions, stood out for their commitment to urban wellbeing," says John Rossant, chairman of NewCities, in a press release. "Their projects focus on health, education, inclusion, mobility, public space, and sustainability, advancing the standard of urban planning and design achievable by city governments for the wellbeing of their citizens.”

Vancouver's public spaces initiative demonstrated a good way to address a variety of challenges cities are facing, according to NewCities, including climate, affordability and the pandemic.

"It establishes a 30-year vision for a complete public space and public life network that promotes the downtown as a place for all people to enjoy and participate," the organization states in the press release.

The awards were voted on by a jury of urban planners and municipality experts.