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Dubai, UAE, 24 Nov 08

An independent international jury, chaired by Ms. Banashree Banerjee of India, has announced the winners of the 2008 Dubai International Awards for Best Pactices to improve the Living Environment.

An international jury of experts meeting in Dubai, earlier this month chose 12 winners deemed to have made outstanding contributions to improving the quality of life in cities and communities.

The jury reviewed some 436 submissions for the 12 awards which each carry a USD 30,000 prize. The prize money, a trophy and a commemorative certificate will be presented to the winners at an award ceremony still to be scheduled.

The five-member jury, chaired by Ms. Banerjee, an urban management specialist, included Dr. Beacon Mbiba of Zimbabwe, who lectures at Oxford Brooks University, UK; Dr. Paolo Salvida, a professor at Sao Paolo University in Brazil; Dr. Roberto Ottolenghi, an urban development expert from Italy; and Mr. Abdulla Mohammed Rafia, Assistant Director General of Dubai Municipality. The Chair of the Technical Advisory Committee which undertook the pre-selection, Dr Jose Antonio Corraliza from the University of Madrid, Spain, assisted in the deliberations.

The jury based their decisions on criteria of tangible impact, partnership, and sustainability and also took into account additional criteria of leadership and community empowerment, gender equality and social inclusion, and innovations that can be replicated. They also looked at responsiveness to climate change and inclusive technology.

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