‘Shanghai Global Award for Sustainable Development in Cities’ (‘Shanghai Award’) is a global initiative led by UN-Habitat and jointly operated by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of the People’s Republic of China and the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government. Specifically targeting cities, ‘Shanghai Award’ is dedicated to recognising the outstanding progress and achievements of cities and municipalities around the world in their implementation of the 2030 Agenda as well as the New Urban Agenda.

Every year, an overall award will be granted to one city that demonstrates outstanding achievements in advancing sustainable urban development in general. Several thematic awards will also be presented to recognise cities progress in particular area. The year 2022 is the very first cycle of ‘Shanghai Award’. The winning cities will be invited to international platforms and events to receive the award as well as introducing their experience to the world. 

This newly built and pioneer global award aims to see the progress, strategy and action of cities in its own context with a holistic approach. An independent International Jury will assess the applications and make recommendations for the winners. The Executive Director of UN-Habitat will endorse the list of winners of the year based on the recommendations and reports submitted the International Jury. 

Cities and municipalities around the world are eligible to apply. Member States and other UN agencies are invited to nominate cities and municipalities. Organizations and institutions that have consultative status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council are welcome to make recommendations.

Call for Applications 2022 will be open in this website. Cities interested can sign up in the website first. The Application Forms and related materials will be available soon. 

Dedicated to recognising the achievements of CITIES and municipalities around the world

Home to 55 per cent of the world’s population, cities are a transformative force to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Understanding the importance of sustainable urbanisation, this initiative aims to promote a shared vision of sustainable urban development through cooperation and recognition of excellence at the city level globally. Standing at the beginning of the Decade of Action, UN-Habitat, in cooperation with its partners, highlights the critical role of cities in realising the SDGs, and incentivises cities around the world to accelerate the implementation of the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda. Specifically targeting cities and municipalities, the Shanghai Award is dedicated to recognising and promoting the outstanding progress and achievements of cities around the world in advancing sustainable urban development.

Assess cities in their own contexts and focus on their progress 

Shanghai Award fully recognises the unique situations, opportunities, challenges, resources and capacities of different cities around the world. Therefore, it is utmost important to recognise the achievements of a city in its own context. In line with this principle, the goal of Shanghai Award is to focus on the progress of a city as compared to itself. Shanghai Award will take into account the complexity of cities and adopt holistic approach evaluating a city and thus better recognise the relative strength and achievements of different cities.

Shanghai Award 2022


  • Overall Award - Best Achievements in

    Sustainable Urban Development

  • Thematic Award - Outstanding Progress in

    Local Actions for Inclusive Urban Development