C40 Cities Houston, Paris and Tokyo Recognized at the 2012 FT/Citi Ingenuity Awards

This week the Financial Times (FT) released its annual Urban Ingenuity Magazine, marking the end of a year-long process with the announcement of the 2012 FT/Citi Ingenuity Award winners. These were selected from a group of finalists including C40 cities Houston, Paris and Tokyo. The awards—honoring a winner and runner-up in the categories of education, energy, healthcare and infrastructure—accepted entries from municipalities, community groups, charities and businesses proposing original solutions to urban problems.

“These awards have proved something most of us already suspected,” said FT Special Reports Editor, Michael Skapinker. “Cities are dense networks of systems and people…They come up with ideas, technologies and systems that benefit us all. It is their endeavours that we celebrate with these awards.”

This year’s finalists included Houston’s Green Office Challenge and Tokyo’s cap-and-trade system for CO2 emissions, programs that create new institutions to push business towards greater energy efficiency. While Tokyo’s program was ultimately awarded as the runner-up within the Energy category, both programs were recognized for their demonstrated resilience to changing conditions and the ability to meet multiple objectives by allowing businesses to save money while cutting pollution. 

Among the C40 finalists, Paris took home the gold, winning the Infrastructure Award for its Vélib’ bike sharing program operated by JC Decaux. The Vélib’ program, launched in 2007, combines old fashioned pedal power with the best digital technology to allow bike trips across the city that reduce traffic congestion and public transport overcrowding, as well as promote fitness. “The Paris Vélib’ scheme set the standard for urban bike-hire schemes in cities worldwide”, said financial journalist, Yann Morell y Alcover.

To find out more about the Urban Ingenuity Magazine and the 2012 FT/Citi Ingenuity Awards, check out their online publication here.