Lille and Sydney in race to become World Design Capital 2020

The two cities in France and Australia have been shortlisted to take the title, with the winner expected to be announced this October.

The shortlist has been revealed for World Design Capital 2020, which will see a city crowned with the accolade for two years.

The biennial competition is organised by the World Design Organisation (WDO), with a different city named WDC every two years. Mexico City is the current WDC 2018, while previous cities have included Torino, Seoul, Helsinki, Cape Town and Taipei.

Lille, France and Sydney, Australia have been shortlisted in the 2020 bid, for their use of design “to drive economic, social, cultural and environmental development” in their cities, according to WDO.

Using design to improve citizen’s lives

Mugendi M’Rithaa, president at WDO and member of the WDC selection committee, says: “We are inspired by the way these cities have used design to improve their citizens’ lives.

“Both have demonstrated their commitment to the design process – its focus on the end users and the environment in which they live – as a critical tool for resolving some of our biggest urban challenges.”

The selection committee for the competition is made up of professionals working in design, urban planning and economic and social development.

If it wins the bid, Lille will focus its work under the theme Eldorado: the greatest design experiment, which would see the city engage its 2.1 million-sized population in social design projects aimed at improving its economy, environment and overall society.

“assessing scope and capacity”

Sydney will focus on its programme Inclusive, Resilient, which would look at the environmental impact of living in an urban city, and would work with residents, policy-makers and designers worldwide.

Before the winning city is chosen, the two regions will be visited to “assess the scope and capacity of the cities’ proposed programmes”, according to the WDO.

The winner will be announced on 14 October 2017 in Torino, Italy during WDO’s 30th General Assembly conference.

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