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Athens, September 30, 2013.

The Financial Times and Citi today announce the finalists for the second annual FT/Citi Ingenuity Awards: Urban Ideas in Action programme. The awards aim to recognise individuals, teams, organisations and community groups that have developed groundbreaking solutions to urban challenges that benefit cities, citizens and urban communities. 

Submissions were received from 44 countries and judges selected the finalists by region, based on the most innovative solutions enabling urban progress across city administration, transport systems, energy and utilities, education and resource management, housing, health, social services, mobile technologies, community engagement and collaboration platforms.

One winner will be chosen for each region and a global winner will be announced at an awards dinner in New York on December 10, where Edward Glaeser, Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics at Harvard University, will deliver the keynote address.
"This year's entries included inspiring and effective solutions to key issues plaguing local communities,” said Michael Skapinker, assistant editor and editor of special reports for the Financial Times. “All of the impressive work submitted by the finalists has great implications for innovative solutions to urban challenges around the globe.”

“The demands on individual cities to prepare for growth and to be competitive in the global economy are tremendous. We are proud to recognize those striving to develop innovative urban solutions that enable progress for their communities and ultimately society as a whole,” said Ed Skyler, Executive Vice President of Global Public Affairs, Citi. “These finalists inspire us as we work to provide the world’s top 150 urban centers with the financial support they need to modernize, support economic development and create jobs.”

The 2013 judging panel includes:

  • Professor Abhijit Banerjee, Economist
  • John Bowis, OBE, Honorary President, Health First Europe
  • Sir Terry Farrell, CBE, International Architect & Design Champion and Director, Terry Farrell and Partners
  • Edwin Heathcote, Architecture and Design Critic, Financial Times (co-chair)
  • Bruno Lanvin, Executive Director, European Competitiveness Initiative, INSEAD (co-chair)
  • Janice Muthui, Foundation Manager, Community Cooker Foundation, 2012 FT/Citi Ingenuity Awards global winner
  • Professor Carlo Ratti, Italian Architect and Engineer
  • Professor Anne-Marie Slaughter, President, New America Foundation
  • Luanne Zurlo, Founder and President, Worldfund

For more details on the FT/Citi Ingenuity Awards, please visit or follow the conversation at #FTCitiAwards.




3Space is a London-based charity that works with landlords and leaseholders to unlock the value of empty commercial properties -- making them available for a limited period to other non-profit organisations free of charge for start-up projects benefiting the community.

3Space has managed the short-term use of property in 45 buildings across the UK since 2010, giving space to 140 charities, community groups and social enterprises. Landlords benefit from reduced insurance, maintenance, business rates and security costs and can take their properties back at short notice.   

3Space provides a scalable approach to the management of vacant commercial space, reducing waste while delivering tangible social and economic benefits and driving urban renewal.

BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group 
Superkilen, lead-designed by Danish architects BIG, is a modern park  -- with trails for pedestrians and cyclists, and outdoor recreation areas -- in one of the poorest and most ethnically diverse districts in Copenhagen.

The conceptual starting point is the park’s division into three zones and colors – the red square, the black market and the green park. To celebrate the area’s multi-cultural heritage, BIG has worked with the local community to source street furniture, play equipment, sculpture and lighting from the 62 countries that were originally home to the district’s residents.

The project has helped rejuvenate the area by uniting residents into one global neighbourhood.

BlaBlaCar, based in Paris, allows drivers with empty seats in their vehicles to connect with passengers and share intercity journeys. Drivers utilise the website and mobile app to publish a planned journey. Passengers can then search available offers, and contact the driver of their choice.

BlaBlaCar provides a range of features to create a secure, reliable, trust-based community and easy connections between drivers and passengers. Members rate one another after travelling together, allowing them to build reputations in the community.

By enabling over 600,000 people a month in ten countries across Europe to share intercity journeys, BlaBlaCar is increasing the efficiency of road transport, and reducing its environmental impact.

Trees for Cities
Edible Playgrounds, a program organised by London-based charity Trees for Cities, engages children in inner-city schools in gardening activities centered on the positive aspects of fresh food.  Growing fruit and vegetables in school yards and playgrounds not only introduces underprivileged children to the delights of nature but raises their awareness and understanding of the link between nature and what constitutes a healthy diet.

Edible Playgrounds also facilitates and empowers local communities to transform their outdoor spaces by delivering green-skills workshops and training sessions to school children, youth groups and adults.

Edible Playgrounds offers a potential long-term solution to food poverty in the UK while also educating people to lead a healthy lifestyle from a young age.


Bicycling Empowerment Network
The Bicycle Empowerment Network, initiated in response to demand for affordable bicycles and maintenance services, has created small business opportunities in urban areas of Namibia, while also helping to finance community services.

Each Enterprise Box set up by the Network is run by entrepreneurs newly trained in technical and business skills who sell refurbished bicycles, spare parts and repair services. Revenue is used for working capital as well as development of new business opportunities, ranging from solar energy products and electric grain milling to office services, computer training and internet access.

A network of 30 Enterprise Boxes has created over 100 full-time jobs, and in 2012 distributed nearly 6,000 affordable bicycles to disadvantaged communities. Profits from two projects in Windhoek support employment training for women and a centre that runs a kindergarten and after-school program.

LEAP Africa
The Leadership, Ethics and Civics program, launched by Leap Africa in 2008, equips public secondary school students in Nigeria with the life and leadership skills they require to serve as agents of social change, implementing a range of projects focused on improving lives in their local communities.

To achieve its aim, LEAP trains secondary school teachers through a Train the Trainers Program that enables them to deliver the curriculum to Senior Secondary Class 1 students over a one-year period.

With the support of the International Youth Foundation and Nokia and in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, the program has reached over 14,000 students in five states. By the end of the 2011-2012 school year, students had implemented 499 social change projects, ranging from improved street lighting to medical testing, positively affecting over 60,000 people.

Sanergy provides sustainable, hygienic sanitation in Nairobi’s slums through an innovative toilet franchise system that generates additional income by recycling human waste to create electricity as well as organic fertiliser for farmers.

The initiative involves establishing networks of small-scale high-quality water-free toilets, manufactured using local materials and operated in the slums on a pay-per-use basis by resident micro-entrepreneurs.

Waste is safely collected into sealed 30-liter airtight containers and transported every day to a central processing facility. Sanergy converts the waste into safe and reusable by-products, including organic fertiliser sold to farms and electricity sold to the grid. The program creates jobs and business opportunities, while tackling serious environmental, social, and economic challenges.

Shack/Slum Dwellers International Alliance (Cape Town)
The Shack/Slum Dwellers International Alliance has established a programme that enables impoverished communities in Cape Town and Johannesburg to proactively upgrade their informal shack or slum housing and reconfigure the layout of their settlements.

The project aims to facilitate access to roads, provision of water, sanitation, waste removal and electricity, while encouraging the creation of public open spaces through utilisation of previously unexploited areas. The social cohesion and unity that is needed to implement such transformations builds and strengthens communities and creates a platform and voice for the urban poor.

For further information, please contact:

Ryann Gastwirth
Financial Times
T: + 1 917 551 5094

Liz Fogarty
T: +1 212 559 0486

About the Financial Times:
The Financial Times, one of the world’s leading business news organisations, is recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. Providing essential news, comment, data and analysis for the global business community, the FT has a combined paid print and digital circulation of more than 600,000 (Deloitte assured, Q2 2013). Mobile is an increasingly important channel for the FT, driving more than a third of traffic and a quarter of digital subscriptions. FT education products now serve 25 of the world’s top 50 business schools.

About Citi:
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
Additional information may be found at | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: | Blog: | Facebook: | LinkedIn:

About Citi for Cities:
Citi for Cities is an initiative that harnesses the best of Citi across the globe to enable cities to become more efficient, by providing financing that facilitates commerce and modernization, and by empowering citizens to access services that enhance liveability and prosperity. Citi aims to help cities achieve their ambitions across the key ecosystems that power a city including administration, roads and transit, ports of entry, energy and utilities, workplace and education, health and safety and regeneration and development. Citi’s span of engagement with cities includes public and private sectors, the financial sector and citizens and the communities in which they live. For more information, please visit

About the FT/Citi Ingenuity Awards:
More than half the world’s population lives in cities today, a number that is expected to rise in the decades ahead.  As a result, cities have a pressing need to address the challenges of urbanisation and find solutions that modernise infrastructure, improve efficiency and enhance quality of life and foster sustainable growth and development. 

The FT/Citi Ingenuity Awards: Urban Ideas in Action, a global programme sponsored by Citi, was developed to recognise leaders, teams, organisations and community groups who have developed innovative solutions to urban challenges that benefit cities, citizens and urban communities.

Top candidates will be profiled in two FT global magazine supplements and invited to participate in events to further dialogue on urban challenges and solutions. Finalists will be selected by region. One winner will be chosen for each region. A global winner will be announced at an awards dinner in New York in December 2013.

Submissions will be reviewed based on a range of criteria, including originality, impact, efficiency and outcome. Criteria were developed by INSEAD, one of the world's leading and largest graduate business schools. All entries will be reviewed by the FT and INSEAD for qualification. A panel of global subject matter experts will select winners. As sponsor, Citi will not review or judge submissions. Eligibility criteria and additional program details are available at Follow the conversation at #FTCitiAwards.


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