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Beijing, 4 Jun 09

An international jury has announced the first Habitat Business Awards for best practices.

Meeting on 25-26 May 2009, the jury panel considered the impact of each initiative, its sustainability, the level of innovation, and its affordability taking into account the environment. For details, click here.

The awards:

Category 1: Affordable Housing Solutions

The Mexican cement giant CEMEX was awarded for the Community Blockers and ‘Patrimonio Hoy’ initiatives for helping poor people build their own homes. The two outstanding initiatives are innovative business models that demonstrate the social and economic returns at the bottom of the pyramid in the housing sector. http://www.cemexmexico.com/

Category 2: Sustainable Water, Sanitation, Waste Management and Urban Infrastructure Solutions

The Indian IT giant, WIPRO Ltd., won the award for its initiative to design and build energy efficient buildings. The objective is to reduce energy and water conservation, and to manage pre- and post-construction waste for all its new facilities across India.

Adopt a Light, a private-public partnership project to light-up the streets and slums of Nairobi, Kenya, was rewarded for its unique business model that allows the financing of installation and maintenance of efficient public lighting infrastructure in slums, streets and other public areas to reduce crime, enhance road safety and improve the urban environment. http://www.adopt-a-light.com

Category 3: Clean Urban Energy Solutions, Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change

China Merchants Property Development impressed the jury for its development of “The Hills” project, which is described as “a green, creative and international community.” Based on an ‘Integrated Community Development’model, the initiative seeks to impact the regional economy, industry and lifestyles, create local employment opportunities by attracting a number of small and medium-scale companies from the creative industries to settle in. http://www.gzcmpd.com

Category 4: Innovative Information and Communications Technology Solutions

Safaricom was awarded for its M-Pesa Money Transfer Service, a state-of-the-art mobile phone based service that enables customers, especially the unbanked population, to transfer funds amongst each other and to their families in the rural areas in a fast, secure, efficient and cost effective manner. The initiative boots urban entrepreneurship and clearly demonstrates the role and impact of innovative IT solutions for sustainable urbanization. http://www.safaricom.co.ke


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