Singapore Prize 2013 Winners and Finalists Announced

The Singapore Prize is an award for outstanding ideas that can be replicated worldwide to build more sustainable and liveable cities. Launched by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the Centre for Liveable Cities, the prize honours best practices in cities across the world that focus on accelerating the solutions to our most pressing challenges and driving scalable action for people and the planet.

This year’s winners and finalists were celebrated at a ceremony hosted by Emmy-winning actress Hannah Waddingham and three-time Emmy winning actor Sterling K Brown, featuring performances from some of the most exciting artists and performers in the world including Bastille, OneRepublic, and Bebe Rexha. It was attended by leading global figures, including Cate Blanchett, Robert Irwin, Lana Condor and Donnie Yen, among others.

In its first edition, the Prize honoured innovative, scalable solutions and ideas that can be replicated across cities to address our most pressing global challenges. The inaugural Prize was awarded to projects from five countries, led by organisations from the private, public and civil society sectors.

The winners and finalists were selected by a jury of experts from various fields, chaired by renowned NUS Asia Research Institute distinguished fellow Kishore Mahbubani. The panel included novelist Meira Chand, economist Lam San Ling, historian Peter Coclanis and archaeologist John Miksic.

Miksic won the top prize for his book, Singapore and the Silk Road of the Sea, which lays the foundation for a fundamental reinterpretation of Singapore’s history. It also confirms, through concrete archaeological evidence, that the city existed more than 700 years ago — long before Sir Stamford Raffles set foot in Singapore in 1819.

The book, which was published in 2013, also unearthed glass shards, coins and pottery revealing that the city had become a trading hub around the 1300s. It was a labour of love that took Miksic more than 10 years to complete. He was invited to Singapore in 1984 to conduct a test excavation of Fort Canning and ended up staying on for work at NUS’ Department of History.

Other winners included two authors who clinched the popular Readers’ Favourite category. The winner in each of the 12 categories — Chinese, English, Malay and Tamil — received a cash prize of $3,000 as well as a personalised trophy. Four writers – Ali bin Salim, Daryl Qilin Yam, Pan Zheng Lei and rma cureess — also walked away with the Readers’ Favourite awards in their respective languages. It is the first time that the awards has included a Readers’ Choice award in addition to its other three categories. The winners will receive their prizes in December this year.