The 2014 International Making Cities Liveable Lewis Mumford Award has been awarded to Mayor George Ferguson and Bristol City Council for leadership in creating a 'Healthy Bristol for All'.
The award citation recognises Bristol's outstanding leadership in 'Working to enhance streets for social life and celebration, for pedestrians, bicyclists and public transit, and reducing the negative impacts of the car - these measures will improve the health of all residents, especially children.'
This award is global recognition of the efforts of everybody in the city, but there is still lots to do. The award provides a strong foundation that Bristol Health Partners and initiatives like the Supporting Healthy Inclusive Neighbourhood Environments Health Integration Team (SHINE HIT), working with the city council's Healthy Urban Team, can build on in the future.
The award is to be announced at the 51st International Making Cities Liveable Conference in Portland, Oregon, USA, on June 10 2014. The Mayor was invited to speak at the international conference but has sent a filmed presentation and will accept the award via a live video link, as it coincides with the Bristol City Council's Annual General Meeting and his annual statement.
The IMCL Awards recognise exemplary leaders and cities dedicated to the IMCL mission, which is: 'to enhance the well-being of inhabitants of cities and towns, strengthen community, improve social and physical health, and increase civic engagement by reshaping the built environment.'
Bristol City Council is leading a wealth of initiatives designed to improve the health and quality of life of its communities. Active transport programmes such as £11m investment in cycle links including the first 'Dutch-style' segregated cycle route on Clarence Road; investment in public transport schemes such as Metrobus and MetroRail; travel to work schemes with communities, businesses and schools; the roll-out of 20mph schemes and residents parking schemes will all make roads safer, improve air quality and traffic flow and encourage more children and adults to cycle and walk to school and work. SHINE HIT has helped contribute to many of these initiatives.
Also, health programmes such as the first Mayor's award for Healthy Improving Schools which sets schools high standards to enable pupils to live healthy, fulfilled lives; creative campaigns to tackle obesity, smoking and ovarian cancer; growing recognition for improving food quality such as the Bristol Good Food Charter underpin the city's Health and Wellbeing strategy which aims to reduce health inequality and enable people to live healthier lives.
Mayor George Ferguson said: "It is a real honour to receive this unsolicited award from a panel of global experts. Tackling health inequality and making Bristol a healthier place to live is central to my vision for the city and for our programme for European Green Capital next year. This award demonstrates the widespread impact the work of the council and its partners is already making.
"However there is much more to be done and I see this as much as an encouragement to do more as a reward for that so far achieved. From my Healthy Schools scheme to the improvement of our cycling links to the growing number of projects around decent, affordable food, Bristol is making great headway. Whether we're opening up our streets to people, or working with local firms to test new safety technology such as pedestrian and cyclist detection for bus drivers, this is a city which is being innovative and doing new things to help people lead healthy, happy lives."
The award is one of a number of accolades recognising Bristol's status as one of the best cities in the world to live in. In March it was voted the Sunday Times Best City to Live in Britain, and last October a survey by Moneysupermarket, Bristol was named the UK's top city for wealth and happiness. The Rockefeller Foundation has awarded Bristol the status of a World Resilient City.
Previous IMCL Award winners have included: Mayor James Brainard, City of Carmel, IN (2013); Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr., City of Charleston, SC (2010); Mayor Catherine Trautmann, City of Strasbourg, France (1994); Oberbürgermeister Rolf Böhme, City of Freiburg, Germany (1993); HRH The Prince of Wales (1991); and Mayor Bob Cools, City of Antwerp, Belgium (1989).
The IMCL Conferences were founded in 1985, and are held biannually in the United States and Europe. They are unique in enabling city officials, architects, planners, developers, community leaders, behavioural and public health scientists, artists and others responsible for the liveability of their cities to exchange experiences, ideas and expertise.