2019 Wellbeing City: Milan

May 22, 2019 — Press

  • Milan, Italy has been named the 2019 Wellbeing City as part of the Wellbeing City Award – the first global award recognizing city-led action on urban wellbeing.
  • Five Award Laureate Cities have been announced as part of the Award and will be honoured at The Wellbeing Cities Forum in Montréal on June 19, 2019.

Montréal, Canada – May 22, 2019. NewCities, together with partners Novartis Foundation, Novartis US Foundation, and the City of Montréal, has announced the five Laureate Cities for the first edition of the Wellbeing City Award.

The 2019 Wellbeing City is Milan, Italy and was selected for its innovative Civic Crowdfunding project.

Four other cities have been announced as 2019 Wellbeing City Laureates within their categories:
Community: Santa Monica, USA for the Wellbeing Index
Economy and Opportunity: Pune, India for The Lighthouse project
Public Health: Kigali, Rwanda for the Kigali Car Free Day initiative
Sustainable Environment: Lisbon, Portugal for the Pedestrian Accessibility Plan

The prestigious Wellbeing City Award is the first international initiative to recognize and honour city governments placing wellbeing at the center of urban planning and policymaking.

The applications for the Award were reviewed by an esteemed Jury of Experts, including Arianna Huffington, Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, and Daniel Libeskind. More than 100 cities from 27 countries were considered in this first year of the Award.

A formal ceremony acknowledging the Wellbeing City and Laureates will be held at The Wellbeing Cities Forum in Montréal on June 19 and 20, 2019.

John Rossant, NewCities Founder and Chair, said: “To truly thrive, cities must become ecosystems for wellbeing through their planning, policies, and initiatives. Older cities are being refashioned and recast as havens of wellbeing, while new cities are increasingly placing people’s wellbeing at the heart of their planning processes.

We are delighted to see this in play from the first cohort of Wellbeing City Award Laureate’s. I congratulate them and look forward to formally celebrating their success at the Wellbeing Cities Forum in Montréal next month.”

Giuseppe Sala, Mayor of the City of Milan said: “The City of Milan is proud to be the Wellbeing City for 2019. Through the Civic Crowdfunding project we experimented an innovative way to implement 16 new projects with a high social impact for the community.

These bottom-up initiatives have been co-financed by the Municipality. They are increasing social cohesion and inclusiveness in different areas: from care services to regeneration of dismissed areas, and from sectors ranging from art to education.”

Dr. Ann Aerts, Head of Novartis Foundation said: “Our urban surroundings are one of the most important determinants of our health and wellbeing. With the largest part of the world’s population living in cities, the long term focus on urban wellbeing is critical.

The Novartis Foundation has been honored to support the 2019 Wellbeing City Award.”

Valérie Plante, Mayor of the City of Montréal said: “I would like to congratulate the Laureate Cities of the Wellbeing City Award. Their innovative practices will certainly contribute to enrich our thinking on our citizens’ wellbeing. I am pleased and proud to be co-hosting the first edition of The Wellbeing Cities Forum in Montréal next month”

The annual Award has been developed by NewCities in partnership with the Novartis Foundation, the Novartis US Foundation, and in collaboration with the City of Montréal, Toyota Mobility Foundation, Transdev, and the US Green Building Council.

For more information about the Award and Laureate Cities, including editorials by the city mayors, visit www.newcities.org/wellbeingcity-award.


Media contact
Ashlee Biggs
Senior Communications and Media Relations Manager
+1 438 833 7276 / +1 514 987 0029


About NewCities

NewCities is a global non-profit committed to shaping a better urban future. NewCities seeks the most progressive and innovative ideas to drive positive changes in cities large and small through events, research and urban innovation projects. NewCities creates a global dialogue and curates cutting-edge knowledge on the world’s most progressive urban issues to generate and scale ideas and solutions. The organization works with leaders from business, government, academia, civil society, the media and the arts. For more information visit www.newcities.org


About Novartis Foundation

The Swiss-based Novartis Foundation is a philanthropic organization which strives to have sustainable impact on the health of low-income communities through a combination of programmatic work, health outcomes research, and its translation into policy to address global health challenges. For more information visit www.novartisfoundation.org


About Novartis US Foundation

The Novartis U.S. Foundation supports nonprofit organizations and community-based programs addressing a range of social and health issues with a focus on patient care and access, education, and disaster relief.