“CitiesPLUS" team of Canada awarded Grand Prix in SUSD competition
2003-6-28wgc2003 in Tokyo
    The Canadian team has won the first prize in the Sustainable Urban Systems Design(SUSD)international competition,a special feature of the WGC2003, for its 100-year development plan for Greater Vancouver.The announcement was made at the end of a Strategic Roundtable session on Wednesday in which members of the jury discussed their reactions to the proposals for future cities submitted by nine teams from eight countries.
    Also recognized with special jury awards were  the  presentations by “United States”team of the U.S.for the cross-national sustainability of its San Diego &Tijuana project,by“INDIA-GOA2100”team of India for its environmentally friendly plan for Goa,and by “tyo—e.2003.PRJ”team of Japan for its vision of Tokyo as a“light city”bursting with greenery.
    Proposals had to focus on an existing city with a population of at least l00,000 and demonstrate a capacity to deal with unexpected changes,as well as to make use of innovatives or leading-edge technologies in energy Systems.The jury also looked to see how urban problems such as congestion and pollution were addressed,as well as global issues like Climate change,water and food shortages,and energy consumption.
    Among the jurists,German parliamentarian Dr.Ernst Ulrich von Weizsaecker noted that seven of the nine designs were for ocean-based cities and had presupposed stable water levels.He said that with global warming worsening,the 21st century is heading for a man-made disaster of Similar proportions to the Biblical Flood.He also    mentioned some  of the teams for addressing the crucial problem of how to reconcile the world’s desire to double economic growth with the need to halve greenhouse gas emissions and“Factor4.”
    Dr.HaikyungShin,Special Correspondent for Korea’s JoongAng Ilbo newspaper,said the proposals were impressive but idealistic.She had wanted to see some evidence of what the catalyst factors may be in changing people’s behavior toward sustainability.It is easy to say people should abandon private cars for public transport,but individuals are in reality reluctant to give up their pleasures,she said.
    Prof.Stephen Graham from the University of Newcastle in the UK,lauded the entres as“visionary,positive and imaginative”and commended the Vahcouver and Goa projects for also looking beyond their environments to the outside world.He also raised a critical question about culture,saying that unless the behavior and psychology of people are addressed,it will not be possible to create sustainable cities.Dr.Shin took up this point,praising the teams from China and Japan for reflecting their cultural backgrounds in their plans and the Indian team for Stressing that success will depend on people and how we change our value systems.
    Dr.Shin also noted the optimistic Views at the heart of each proposal,and refreshingly commented that she had wanted to see a little more pessimism, pointing to the difficulty of predicting exactly how future generations,in a world of such rapid developments,will Spend their leisure time or what gender relations and working environments will be like.
    Grand Prix will be awarded at the WGC2003  Closing  Ceremony  on Thursday.