Advancing sustainable growth in the United States and China

Paulson Institute Launches the Fourth Annual Paulson Prize for Sustainable Cities


Beijing, China—The Paulson Institute today launched the call for nominations for the Fourth Annual Paulson Prize for Sustainable Cities. NGOs, businesses and other institutions with a project in China that demonstrates a best practice in sustainable urbanization that advances China’s transition to a more sustainable economy are encouraged to apply.

The purpose of the Prize is to inspire the spread of environmental and economic solutions to the challenge of achieving ambitious climate, air quality, and economic growth goals while China continues to urbanize at a rapid pace. The competition is designed to promote these efforts to a wider audience and to recognize the achievements of outstanding projects selected by a jury of experts from both the United States and China.

“This Prize is intended to incentivize leaders and innovators to push for practical solutions to China’s sustainability challenges by highlighting unique and scalable new approaches,” said Paulson Institute Chairman Henry M. Paulson, Jr. “Our aim is to inspire the spread of these solutions. Since the Paulson Institute first awarded the Prize in 2013, we’re already seeing that winning projects are being approached by others who have been inspired to study and replicate their best practices.”

“The Prize program has raised local and central governments’ awareness of sustainable urbanization and the environment, enhanced public recognition, and provided a great contribution to collaboration and communication between China and the world,” said Ye Qing, chairman of the Shenzhen Institute of Building Research, and representative of the 2014 Prize-winning Shenzhen International Low-Carbon City project.

Eligible projects will fall into at least one of three categories that are designed to recognize the range of potential contributions to China’s sustainable urbanization: The Built Environment, Circular Economy, and Natural Capital. Criteria include the ability to reduce greenhouse gases, to scale up quickly, to engage the private sector, to produce social co-benefits, and to demonstrate creativity. The most qualified projects will fit all of the criteria, but projects that fit at least some are still encouraged to apply.

Projects should be submitted by October 28, 2016. The application form can be accessed through the Paulson Institute website at www.paulsoninstitute.org/prize. Any questions regarding the Prize can be directed to prize@paulsoninstitute.org.

As part of the evaluation process, the Prize Jury Committee will visit finalists in January 2017 to evaluate the projects against the set of selection criteria.  The winning project will be notified in February 2017, and Paulson Institute Chairman Henry M. Paulson, Jr., will present the award to the winner at a ceremony in Beijing in March 2017.

This year’s Jury Committee is comprised of the following business, nonprofit and academic leaders:

  • Richard M. Daley, Former Mayor of Chicago and Jury Committee Chairman
  • Hal Harvey, CEO, Energy Innovation
  • HUANG Nubo, Chairman, Beijing Zhongkun Investment Group
  • NIU Gensheng, Founder and Honorary Chairman, Lao Niu Foundation; Founder, Mengniu
  • Lynn Scarlett, Former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Interior and current Global Managing Director for Public Policy, The Nature Conservancy
  • ZHAO Jiarong, President, China Association of Circular Economy
  • ZHUANG Weimin, Dean, Architecture School, Tsinghua University

The 2015 Paulson Prize for Sustainable Cities was awarded to Anheng Group’s Sustainable City Water Supply Network Leakage Control Solution. The Anheng project stood out for its use of cloud and big data technology to solve a common problem worldwide: urban water supply leakage. The project manages leakage control in urban pipeline infrastructure and provides safer water to China’s urban residents. It steeply reduces the amount of time required to detect leakage points, thus reducing water waste and lowering the risk of pipeline explosions. In China, where the annual water deficit is over 50 billion cubic meters and the average urban water supply leakage rate is 15%, water waste is a growing social and economic concern.

The 2014 Paulson Prize for Sustainable Cities was awarded to the Shenzhen International Low-Carbon City project. Located in an underdeveloped neighborhood of Shenzhen, the Low-Carbon City project was recognized because its planners took into careful consideration the people living in the district as they planned its rejuvenation. Instead of tearing down existing buildings and moving residents out to build new towers, the project made key investments to upgrade buildings and old factories, while improving the environment. Those improvements are encouraging the organic development of high-end, low-carbon industrial projects and economic development that focuses on the needs of the local people.

More information on past Prize winners is available at: www.paulsoninstitute.org/prize.

About the Paulson Institute: The Paulson Institute is a non-partisan, non-profit “think and do” tank grounded in the principle that today’s most pressing economic and environmental challenges can be solved only if the United States and China work in complementary ways. Our mission is to strengthen U.S.-China relations and to advance sustainable economic growth and environmental protection in both countries. Our programs focus on advancing the transition to more sustainable, low-carbon economic models in China and the United States through industrial transformation, sustainable urbanization programs, and environmental conservation. We also promote bilateral cross-border investment that will help create jobs and strengthen U.S.-China relations. Our Think Tank publishes prescriptive and analytical papers from leading scholars and practitioners on the most important macroeconomic and structural reform issues facing China today. Founded in 2011 by Henry M. Paulson, Jr., the 74th Secretary of the Treasury and former Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs, the Institute is based in Chicago and has offices in Washington, San Francisco, and Beijing. For more about the Paulson Institute, visit paulsoninstitute.org.