Beijing, China—The Paulson Institute and the China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE) today awarded the inaugural Prize for Cities of the Future to the Nanhu Country Village project in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province. Former US Secretary of the Treasury and Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs Henry M. Paulson Jr. and Xu Kuangdi, Adviser for CCIEE and Vice Chairman of the 10th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference presented the award to Zhao Shumei, Vice Mayor of Jiaxing, at an award ceremony held at the Park Hyatt in Beijing.
The Paulson Prize will be awarded annually to a municipal level sustainability project in China that offers a creative and effective solution to promoting sound ecological development. Welcoming a crowd of political figures, business people, and media, Mr. Paulson said “We are thrilled to present this prize today. This prize provides an incentive for developing innovative, sustainable solutions and promotes collaboration between China and the US. It is about encouraging leaders – economic, political, and otherwise, to push for practical solutions to real challenges.” Vice Chairman of CCIEE Wei Jianguo added “This prize captures the spirit of what both CCIEE and the Paulson Institute want for the future of China, the US, and the world – economic growth that improves, not sacrifices, quality of life.”
The crowd looked on as former Mayor of Chicago and Jury Committee Chairman Richard Daley announced the winner. Beating out submissions from across the country, Nanhu Country Village was chosen by a jury of experts on urbanization and sustainability, including Mr. Daley; Lu Mai, Secretary-General of the China Development Research Foundation; Yi Jun, Chairman, China State Construction; Huang Nubo, Chairman, Beijing Zhongkun Investment Group; Hal Harvey, CEO, Energy Innovation; Zhuang Weimin, Dean of the School of Architecture at Tsinghua University; and James Hexter, Director, McKinsey.
The Nanhu Country Village met and exceeded the prize’s dual requirements of demonstrating a creative approach to solving a critical urban challenge as well as offering a new approach and showing demonstrable progress by offering an alternative to “edge development” in the Shanghai area. The village preserves the agrarian sector with modern farming techniques and positions the village to become a main agricultural supplier to Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Suzhou.
Reflecting on the project, Mr. Huang commented, “The Nanhu Country Village approaches rural development and the effects of urbanization in a new way by actively implementing modern, sustainable technologies to promote energy efficiency while allowing for the village to be commercially successful. This project is an excellent example of what cities and villages everywhere can do to have a positive impact on our collective economic growth and development.”
The Paulson Institute, an independent center established by Henry M. Paulson Jr. promotes sustainable economic growth and a cleaner environment by facilitating cooperation between the U.S. and China.
Founded by Zeng Peiyan, former Vice Premier of the State Council, China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE) promotes international economic research and exchange and provides consulting services.