Glasgow has been shortlisted for an award in a top international competition.
The Wellbeing Cities Award, organised by NewCities in partnership with Novo Nordisk, the City of Montréal, the Toyota Mobility Foundation, and Transdev, recognises cities across the world which are placing their residents' wellbeing at the heart of urban policy and planning - and Glasgow is one of them.
The city has been shortlisted in the Prioritising Wellbeing category for its Thriving Places programme - an intensive neighbourhood approach that targets specific areas of the city to make better use of existing assets and resources and establish more effective partnership working with local agencies within the area.
Each Thriving Place has a 10-year plan outlining the needs and circumstances of the area and sets outs achievable goals identified by the local people, local organisations and local services.
The programme is locally led and aims to strengthen community engagement.
Each Thriving Place neighbourhood funds a Community Connector to bring local community groups, services and organisations together to address local priorities. Community Connectors are employed by an organisation that already works within the local area and has good links with local people.
Council Depute Leader, David McDonald, said: "The Thriving Places approach to tackling inequalities in areas across the city has been a massive success and has helped change lives. Thriving Places is not a one-off project - it's a long term programme which evolves through time as community relationships are forged. To be shortlisted for such a prestigious award highlights all that has been achieved in the areas over the past few years. I am delighted to see the work being recognised."
Thriving Places approach emerged from years of action on health inequalities and took two years to develop. Local partners were involved in determining when and how the approach would be developed and were able to prioritise which areas based on deprivation data profiles and an understanding of what was already happening locally. In 2008, Govanhill (now a Thriving Place) became one of the national 'Equally Well' test sites. The hypothesis was that simultaneous action is required on all health determinants to impact effectively on health inequalities. The test concluded that complex and interlinked solutions are required.
City partners devised an approach to address both the entrapment of poverty and challenges of reducing health inequalities through a community response. The success and learning from the approach taken was the driver for getting involved in the awards.
The Thriving Places approach reflects Scotland's Community Empowerment Act, which gives responsibility to agencies for a municipal area to work together with communities on community action. A number of agencies are involved including public services, community organisations, businesses, academia, housing and others.
There are currently ten Thriving Places in Glasgow: Drumchapel; Easterhouse; Gorbals; Govan; Govanhill; Lambhill & Milton; Parkhead, Dalmarnock & Camlachie; Priesthill & Househillwood; Ruchill & Possilpark; and Springboig & Barlanark.
The Wellbeing Cities Forum 2020 is an international event organised by NewCities, in partnership with the Ville de Montréal and Novo Nordisk, and brings together cities that invest in the wellbeing and quality of life of their citizens. The Award creates a global platform for cities to share their experience and best practices, and inspire others to act on urban wellbeing.
Cllr McDonald added: "Glasgow is a city with a global reputation for using innovation to respond to challenges past and present. To be shortlisted in the New Cities Network awards is great recognition and testament to the hard work of everyone involved in making our communities stronger, safer and better for all. Sharing knowledge and collaboration will be a crucial part of global recovery and I'm proud Glasgow is contributing to this."
Winning cities will be selected among twenty semi-finalists in the following categories at an event to be held in September:
● Building a vibrant urban economy: Brno (Czech Republic), Curitiba (Brazil), Fortaleza (Brazil), and Lahore (Pakistan)
● Integrating nature and biodiversity: Bordeaux (France), Braga (Portugal), Florence (Italy), Nottingham (United Kingdom)
● Planning for better urban health: Adelaide (Australia), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Cape Town (South Africa), and Philadelphia (USA)
● Prioritizing wellbeing: Curridabat (Costa Rica), Edinburgh (United Kingdom), Glasgow (United Kingdom), and Tirana (Albania)
● Supporting cohesive communities: Brussels (Belgium), El Paso (USA), Ljubljana (Slovenia), and New York City (USA)