Eindhoven has been voted as a runner-up by a group of leading architects, planners and developers in the 2017 European City of the Year.

The award is one of five given out annually by built environment network The Academy of Urbanism to recognise the best urban environments. Each award covers social, economic and environmental factors including governance, commercial success, health and wellbeing.

The award was presented to Copenhagen, Denmark, at a ceremony in London on Wednesday attended by the Mayor of Eindhoven, John Jorritsma.

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    The Academy’s assessment team, which visited during the summer, praised the city’s success in reinventing its economic heartbeat following the scaling back of major industries, such as Philips. The team welcomed the city’s approach to leadership, which it considers “consistent, committed and visionary”, along with the standard of living, which it says is “high quality yet affordable”.

    Steven Bee, chair of the Academy, said: “With remarkable composure and resilience, Eindhoven faced the inevitability of major industrial closures and the loss of 35,000 jobs. Over the last 20 years it has rebuilt its economy and its urban fabric to become a world-leading centre of new technology and culture. It has forged new partnerships with other cities in the Netherlands, its European neighbours and global counterparts that enable it to look forward with confidence to sustained and sustainable growth.”

    “Our finalists this year are a collection of places that offer lessons for all urbanists – and we are all urbanists. The Academy of Urbanism takes this opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our 15 finalists and the lessons they offer to other places seeking to emulate their success.”

    The other winners were: Copenhagen, which won The European City of the Year; Clonakilty in Ireland, which scooped The Great Town Award; Ashley Vale, Bristol which won The Great Neighbourhood Award; Wood Street in Walthamstow, London which picked up The Great Street Award; and Waterford’s Viking Triangle won The Great Place Award.

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    Author profile picture Bart Brouwers is co-founder and co-owner of Media52 BV, the publisher of innovationorigins.com.