NewCities Announces Major International Urban Wellbeing Forum To Be Held In Montréal, June 19 & 20, 2019

  • The Wellbeing Cities Forum: a Global Conversation and Celebration of Wellbeing in Cities will honour the 2019 Wellbeing City Award laureates.
  • The event will be held in partnership with the City of Montréal and under the auspices of Mayor Valérie Plante.

Dubai, the United Arab Emirates and Montréal, Canada – February 11, 2019.  NewCities has today announced “The Wellbeing Cities Forum: a Global Conversation and Celebration of Wellbeing in Cities” will be held, in partnership with the City of Montréal and under the auspice of Mayor Valérie Plante, from June 19 to 20 in Montréal, Canada.

John Rossant, Founder and Chairperson of NewCities made the announcement in Dubai during an address today to the 2019 World Government Summit. His address was about the essential movement from ‘smart cities’ to ‘wellbeing cities’.

The Wellbeing Cities Forum and Award Ceremony is expected to attract more than 200 senior leaders from around the world to explore best practices in city-led action to improve citizen wellbeing.

The two-day event will include workshops, panels, and debates with senior leaders from government, private, and non-profit sectors. The formal ceremony to honour the 2019 Wellbeing City Award laureates will be held on June 19.

NewCities takes a strong position on the importance of prioritizing urban wellbeing and the Wellbeing City Award is one of their recent initiatives that has been developed with Novartis Foundation and Novartis US Foundation. It is the first international Award of its kind and recognizes cities placing wellbeing at the centre of urban design, planning and policies.

John Rossant says: “Historically we have measured a city’s success mostly by quantitative data such as their gross domestic product. While this is obviously an important indicator, what it doesn’t take into account is the quality of life for its citizens.

Currently, cities are home to more than half of the global population, and in another 30 years predictions are that 70 percent of the world’s population will live in cities. Cities need to take an active role in the continuous improvements of citizen wellbeing. One of the best ways of doing this is to look at and consider exemplary programs and policies from around the world.

The wellbeing of citizens is challenging and complex to measure, but through initiatives such as the Wellbeing City Award, we can look at cities that are doing this well and establish key performance indicators that could be applicable at a global scale and for cities of all sizes.

I’m looking forward to this event and two days of dedicated opportunities to explore, share, and collaborate on ways to improve wellbeing in all cities.”

Valérie Plante, Mayor of the City of Montréal said: “Montréal is a progressive city open to the world, culturally rich, and known worldwide for its exceptional quality of life. We are delighted to be partnering with NewCities and hosting this important forum and the first ever Wellbeing City Award Ceremony.

Personally, I am looking forward to meeting and reconnecting with fellow city Mayors to discuss how, as senior leaders, we can sustainably improve wellbeing for our constituents.”

More detail about the event, including a registration of interest, is available via




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Ashlee Biggs
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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


About the Wellbeing City Award

NewCities, together with Novartis Foundation and Novartis US Foundation, launched the Wellbeing City Award in September 2018. The prestigious international Award is the first of its kind. It recognizes cities placing wellbeing at the centre of urban design, planning and policies.

16 finalist cities for the 2019 Award were announced on February 4, 2019. These cities, in their categories, are:

Community: Bogotá (Colombia), Milan (Italy), New Haven (USA) and Santa Monica (USA)

Economy and Opportunity: Amaravati (India), Chicago (USA), Ljubljana (Slovenia) and Pune (India)

Public Health: Gothenburg (Sweden), Kigali (Rwanda), Los Angeles (USA), Vancouver (Canada)

Sustainable Environment: Avià (Catalonia, Spain), Curridabat (Costa Rica), Lisbon (Portugal), Moonee Valley (in Melbourne metropolitan area, Australia)

As part of the final phase of the Award, an esteemed Jury of Experts, including Arianna Huffington, Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, Daniel Libeskind, and Ede Jorge Ijjasz-Vasquez will judge detailed applications. One laureate in each of the four categories, and one overall 2019 Wellbeing City laureate will be announced April 2019.

The annual Award has been developed by NewCities in partnership with the Novartis Foundation, the Novartis US Foundation, and the City of Montréal, and in collaboration with Toyota Mobility Foundation, Transdev, and the US Green Building Council. It is supported by HuffPost Canada, OpenGov Asia, Design Exchange, and Icons of Infrastructure.

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