The City of Cape Town recently made the shortlist for the top 15 in the fifth Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation.
This global award aims to recognise innovation that improves social, economic and environmental sustainability in cities and regions and, in so doing, advances the prosperity and quality of life of their citizens.
According to the Guangzhou Award’s 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.
“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.
It is said that 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.
Over the past six years, the cumulative impact of WISP includes diverting 104,900 tons of waste from landfills; 309,200 fossil greenhouse gas emissions saved (equivalent to the annual electrical usage of 39,800 households in SA); over R120 million (US$8.1 million) generated in financial benefits; creating 69 permanent jobs in member companies and 25 temporary positions; and creating 218 economy-wide jobs in supply chains.
Other shortlisted cities include: City of Unley, Australia; Vienna, Austria; São José dos Pinhais, Brazil; Chongqing Municipality, China; Capital Region of Denmark; Quito, Ecuador; all 114 urban local bodies (ULBs) of Odisha, India; Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BeMC), India; Bandung City Government, Indonesia; Union of Municipalities, Lebanon; Municipality Of Antananarivo (Commune Urbaine d’Antananarivo), Madagascar; Breda, the Netherlands; Departmental Council of Saint Louis in Senegal; and Los Angeles, USA.
Shortlisted cities will be invited to present their urban innovation initiatives at an international seminar. The date of the seminar is yet to be announced.