NEW YORK – At the awarding ceremony in New York, the World Resources Institute (WRI) presented the trophy of the 2021-2022 WRI Ross Center Prize for Cities to Iloilo City, represented by Ms. Sonia Cadornigara, Regional Coordinator of the Homeless People’s Federation of the Philippines, Inc. (HPFPI) for Iloilo City. Ms. Cadornigara was the main proponent of the initiative in collaboration with the Philippine Action for Community-led Shelter Initiatives, Inc. (PACSII). Iloilo City was one of five finalists for the 2021-2022 Prize cycle chosen among 260 submissions from all over the world under the theme “Thriving Together in Turbulent Times.”
Iloilo City’s Participatory Housing and Urban Development project entailed providing affordable housing and creating flood-control infrastructure to benefit the city’s urban poor without uprooting households from their communities, jobs and support systems.
Ambassador Ariel Peñaranda, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Philippine Mission to the United Nations in New York, attended the awarding ceremony to support the delegation representing Iloilo City.
In receiving the award, Ms. Cadornigara said that community groups and the local government of Iloilo City under Mayor Jerry P. Treñas worked together to find inclusive solutions for delivering much-needed flood-resilient infrastructure in vulnerable areas while respecting the needs of the urban poor communities living on the water’s edge. Building citywide relationships and combining multiple community-led strategies have made Iloilo City a model for other housing initiatives in marginalized communities across the Philippines.
American business leader, philanthropist and Prize Jury Chairman Stephen M. Ross presented the runner-up trophy to Ms. Cadornigara at the Ford Foundation for Social Justice in New York on 01 February 2023. Four additional finalist projects, from Barranquilla, Colombia; Odisha, India; Paris, France; and Peshawar, Pakistan were also represented at the awarding ceremony. The Todos al Parque project of Barranquilla, Colombia won the grand prize of $250,000, with the runners-up receiving $25,000 each.
“Cities hold the key to green transformation,” said Ross, Chairman and Founder of Related Companies. “Recognizing what is working and encouraging others to do the same is fundamental to real and positive urban renewal. All of the Prize finalists demonstrate the leadership and ingenuity necessary to lead the world to a brighter future beyond the pandemic, even as we face climate change and other urgent crises.”
WRI Ross Center recognized the confluence of challenges facing cities today - from COVID-19 recovery to climate change and growing urban inequality – so it sought diverse responses to disruption and crises for the 2021-22 Prize cycle. To determine the winner, each of the finalists demonstrated an innovative approach, impact on residents’ lives and scalability to other cities.
The Ross Center for Sustainable Cities is WRI’s program dedicated to shaping a future where cities work better for everyone. It enables more connected, compact and coordinated cities. The Center combines the research excellence of WRI with two decades of on-the-ground impact through a network of more than 400 experts working from Brazil, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, India, Mexico, Turkey and the United States to make cities around the world better places to live in.