Competing against 37 projects from over 35 countries such as Denmark, Canada, China, USA and Russia, the "Bridging the Green Divide 2010" Greening Joburg Legacy Project, received special mention by the judges for its cutting-edge concept, design, consultation, maintenance, implementation and monitoring - all aimed at addressing environmental disparities in the City of Johannesburg.
Lead project judge Gus Stahlmann (USA) said the award-winning project had impressed the judges because of its impact on daily lives. “The Greening the City Legacy Project seeks to balance the distribution of the urban forest throughout the entire city, bringing a green environment to the entire population of Johannesburg.”
"The Bridging the Green Divide 2010" Greening the City Legacy Project supports Johannesburg City Parks' mission to develop, maintain and conserve the green environment and cemeteries for present and future generations. The development of parks, planting of trees, beautification of road islands and installation of outdoor recreation nodes were implemented in close consultation with community groups and individuals. Residents and learners were particularly encouraged to participate in the actual implementation, as this promotes civic ownership and custodianship of both the concept and its physical realisation. The project, which was launched in September 2006, seeks to improve the quality of life and advocates for a clean, green and aesthetically-pleasing Joburg.
Geoffrey Cooke, the Acting Managing Director attributed the award to the strong and committed collective collaborations of the City of Johannesburg, City Parks, business, residents, schools, donor funders and the media and, maintained that Johannesburg City Parks will continue to offer visitors a unique experience within its botanical gardens, nature reserves, bird sanctuaries, butterfly reserves, environmental education centres, indigenous gardens, cultural parks, health parks, sports areas and passive leisure parks to make Joburg one of the most liveable cities in the world.
Maropeng Bahula,the Chairperson of the Board of Directors at Johannesburg City Parks extended his congratulations to Johannesburg City Parks and added, “I really felt proud to be South African during the presentation and during the awards as we were the only city from Africa and we secured first prize amongst many established nations.”