Friday, November 01, 2013

Casablanca a Finalist in Controversial "7 Wonder Cities" Competition

The names of the 28 Official Finalists of the New7Wonders Cities competition have been announced by Bernard Weber, Founder-President of New7Wonders. Casablanca is among the 28 finalists. The presentation of the shortlist marks the launch of the finalist stage of the global election, which will now run across three elimination phases and end on 7 December 2014. However, the competition has created a storm of criticism

Casablanca - a "Wonder City"

The organisation behind the "New7Wonder Cities" competition previously ran the "Official New7Wonders" competition described in their mission statement as "... the first worldwide democratic exercise in mankind’s history."

Critics claim that the commercial basis of the enterprise and its lack of scientific rigour render it pointless. As far back as 2007 the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), confirmed that it has no link with the "private initiative". The press release concluded: There is no comparison between Mr. Weber's mediatised campaign and the scientific and educational work resulting from the inscription of sites on UNESCO's World Heritage List. The list of the 8 New Wonders of the World will be the result of a private undertaking, reflecting only the opinions of those with access to the Internet and not the entire world. This initiative cannot, in any significant and sustainable manner, contribute to the preservation of sites elected by this public.

During the 8 New Wonders competition Egypt was outraged that the most famous ancient monuments, the pyramids and the Spinx were excluded. "This is probably a conspiracy against Egypt, its civilization and monuments", wrote editorialist Al-Sayed al-Naggar in a leading state-owned daily. Egyptian Culture Minister Farouq Hosni said the project was "absurd" and described its creator, Weber, as a man "concerned primarily with self-promotion". Nagib Aymin, an Egyptian expert on World Heritage Sites, has pointed out that "in addition to the commercial aspect, the vote has no scientific basis."

In fact, during the present competition voting figures have not been released and the 28 "finalists" were selected from the top 77 voted during the qualification phase - on the advice of the New7Wonders Cities "Panel of Experts".

Bernard Weber thanked the New7Wonders Cities Panel of Experts, who advised on the selection of the 28 Finalists, praising their choice as “particularly exciting in its variety.”

Bernard Weber

In their own words:

By leveraging the networked power of communications technologies and social media, Bernard Weber has created a virtual voting platform that enables millions of people to take part in democratic decision making. The Swiss-born visionary behind the New7Wonders campaigns is dedicated to creating “Global Memory” based on a “canon of 7″ chosen by a universal electorate through a process of worldwide dialogue. He grew up with architecture and urbanism, as his mother was one of the closest associates of the architect, artist and city planner, Le Corbusier, during his last 7 years. Le Corbusier also designed her private museum in Zurich, which today serves as the headquarters of New7Wonders.

Bernard Weber thanked the New7Wonders Cities Panel of Experts, who advised on the selection of the 28 Finalists, praising their choice - “This outstanding shortlist of 28 cities mirrors the diversity of urban society, especially when, for the first time in history, more than half of our planet’s population lives in cities. Going forward, the New7Wonders Cities campaign will encourage debate about how cities should respond to the challenges of the present and the future. By voting in this worldwide campaign, people everywhere can decide the 7 cities that best represent the achievements and aspirations of our global urban civilization.”

In alphabetical order, the 28 Official Finalists in the New7Wonders Cities campaign are:

Athens, Greece; Bangkok, Thailand; Barcelona, Spain; Beirut, Lebanon; Casablanca, Morocco; Chicago, USA; Doha, Qatar; Durban, South Africa; Havana, Cuba; Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam; Istanbul, Turkey; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Kyoto, Japan; La Paz, Bolivia; London, United Kingdom; Mendoza, Argentina; Mexico City, Mexico; Mumbai, India; Perth, Australia; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Prague, the Czech Republic; Quito, Ecuador; Reykjavik, Iceland; St. Petersburg, Russia; Seoul, South Korea; Shenzhen, China; Vancouver, Canada, and Vigan, the Philippines.

Further Links
See the other side of Casablanca - a city divided
Read more and make up your own mind:
See the Casablanca site; Casablanca
Check our the "panel of experts".

Print Friendly and PDF

No comments: