Santa Monica Named Community Laureate for NewCities' 2019 Wellbeing City Award

May 22, 2019 1:17 PM

NewCities, together with partners Novartis Foundation, Novartis US Foundation, and the City of Montréal, has announced the City of Santa Monica as the Community Laureate for the 2019 Wellbeing City Award.

The Wellbeing City Award is the first international initiative recognizing and honouring city governments placing wellbeing at the centre of urban planning and policymaking.

Santa Monica has been selected in the Community category for their Wellbeing Index. The Index is a measurement tool providing indicators that reflect on lived experiences and wellbeing of residents. The Index has helped inform city council decisions and led to the delivery of new policies to address specific needs of the population.

More than 100 cities from 27 countries were considered in this first year of the Award. Finalist cities submitted applications that were reviewed by an esteemed Jury of Experts, including Arianna Huffington, Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, and Daniel Libeskind. Santa Monica is the only North American city to be receiving the Award.

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

John Rossant said: “Wellbeing is enhanced by bold design, but not founded upon it. The foundation of happy and healthy cities and citizens is urban planning and policymaking that looks to wellbeing as the central organizing principle. Santa Monica’s work is not only measuring wellbeing but applying it as a standard for policy making and something I hope other cities will look to learn from. Congratulations to the city and Mayor Davis.”

Gleam Davis, Mayor of the City of Santa Monica said: “Santa Monica is proud to stand with global cities in governing through the wellbeing lens to ensure our policies, programs, and initiatives put people first. This is how we can be more impactful, more inclusive, and deliver on our values to improve citizens’ lives. Thank you to NewCities for recognizing Santa Monica’s Wellbeing Index and its role in shaping stronger communities.”

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 an opinion editorial by Mayor Davis, visit

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Constance Farrell
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