Havana voted one of the 'New 7 Wonder' cities of the world

Posted: 23-Jan-15 18:05

Havana has been voted one of the 7 wonder cities of the world in a vast international poll, proudly winning its place alongside cities like Durban, Doha and Kuala Lumpur and beating over a thousand nominated cities from over 200 countries.

Havana voted one of the 'New 7 Wonder' cities of the world

The popular holiday destination of Havana has been voted one of the New7Wonders Cities in a vast international poll.

Bernard Weber, Founder-President of New7Wonders, said of the winners, which included Durban in South Africa and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia:

"We have seven [winners] that represent the global diversity of urban society. For the first time in human history, more than half of our planet's population lives in cities and this election emphasises the dramatically challenging character of our changing world."

More than 1,200 cities from around 220 countries entered the New7Wonders Cities as nominees during the nomination phase. Voters worldwide narrowed the selection down to 28 final official finalists.

The organisation's other campaigns to select the man-made Official New7Wonders of the World and the New7Wonders of Nature were highly successful, garnering "hundreds of millions" of votes, taking "democracy to a new, global level".

'Achievements and aspirations'

According to the website, the New7Wonders Cities campaign was intended to "encourage debate about how cities should respond to the challenges of the present and the future. By voting in this worldwide campaign, people everywhere can decide the 7 cities that best represent the achievements and aspirations of our global urban civilization."

Candidates for the Official New7Wonders Cities award "must be recognised cities, however large or small, however famous or lesser known (until now)".

All the finalist cities had to meet a list of general criteria, such as having "...current strengths and/or potential for sustainable growth, in terms of cultural, environmental, economic and tourism potential; historical legacy and/or potential for growing and sustaining a historical legacy in the future; city strategy that aims for a balance of infrastructure, living, working and recreation spaces".

Whittled down to the final seven winners from a list of 28 official finalists, the nominees were assessed by a panel of seven esteemed experts including Weber himself; Professor Federico Mayo, former Director-General of Unesco; architect Zaha Hadid; Professor Winy Mass, independent policy advisor Simon Anholt; social entrepreneur and community organiser Kennedy Odede, and Professor Amitabh Kundu.

What happens next?

The millions of votes received worldwide are still being verified; as they were mainly telephone votes the verification process will take a lengthy several months. This year there is an inauguration ceremony in Havana anticipated; but authorities and New7Wonders are yet to confirm exactly when this will be.

New7Wonders Cities is the third and final in the historical series.


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