The 2023 edition of The Liveability Challenge (TLC), a global crowdsourcing platform that accelerates the launch of innovative solutions to combat urban challenges in cities, was launched today at the Cities: Possibilities forum. Presented by Temasek Foundation, the sixth TLC will see a doubling of the total prize money to S$2 million, so that more game-changing projects can be supported to create a significant positive impact on society and the planet. 

Cities account for over 70 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, making them key contributors to climate change and also the lynchpins for climate action. Their transformation, through practical policies and solutions, is crucial to the effective implementation of headline pledges made by countries at the Glasgow Climate Pact last year.  

Held in the week before COP27, the global climate change meeting hosted by Egypt this year, the Cities: Possibilities forum is a flagship event organised by Eco-Business. Themed “COP27: The road to implementation”, it brought together key decision makers from the Asia-Pacific region to share their insights on how cities can implement their net-zero pledges.  

At the event, Temasek Foundation shared that the 2023 TLC will feature two tracks to seek innovative solutions from around the world — Climate Change and Food & Nutrition. A grand prize of S$1 million will be awarded to the winner in each track. 

Mr Lim Hock Chuan, Head of Programme at Temasek Foundation said, “As a platform for the sustainability ecosystem, The Liveability Challenge has been helping innovators grow their ideas and capture opportunities for their businesses as well as for the planet. With the doubling of the prize money and the support of key partners like the Singapore Food Agency, we hope that we will be able to support more such innovations and accelerate the development of solutions, and through them, secure a better future for our people and planet.” 

The two tracks of the 2023 TLC are: 

1. Climate Change 
The Liveability Challenge is looking for disruptive innovations that can decarbonise energy generation and industries, as well as capture and utilise carbon to create scalable products for global markets. We also want solutions that address ocean challenges, and innovative models that restore and regenerate coastal and marine ecosystems in Southeast Asia. 

2. Food & Nutrition 
The Liveability Challenge is looking for disruptive innovations that can establish a circular urban agriculture or aquaculture system, or alternative protein system.  We are seeking innovative and breakthrough technological solutions to maximise production efficiency and minimise resource requirements. 

The Food & Nutrition track, known as the Food Grand Challenge, is co-presented by the Singapore Food Agency, and seeks innovations that enable a circular urban agriculture or aquaculture system, as well as alternative protein industries. 

The Liveability Challenge Grand Finale will be held in partnership with Ecosperity Week 2023. Grand Finalists will get an exclusive opportunity to pitch their solutions to a team of Asia’s most sought-after investors at the finale in June 2023. The best solutions will be selected by TLC judges to win up to S$1 million each in the two tracks in project funding from the Temasek Foundation.  

TLC also announced strategic partners for 2023, which will feature investments of $100,000 each from impact investment firm PlanetRise, impact-focused family office Rumah Group, and venture capital funds Quest Ventures and TRIREC.   

“We are excited to be launching a sixth edition with our partners and focusing attention on food and nutrition, as well as bringing attention to less funded areas such as ocean ecosystem solutions. As global momentum on addressing climate and social issues rise, we need to ensure that capital is flowing into the right areas and to the deserving solutions,” said Jessica Cheam, founder and managing director, Eco-Business. 

“This year’s Cities: Possibilities forum is also focusing on how we can implement headline pledges. These roadmaps are challenging to create, execute and measure; and they involve the active participation of a wide range of stakeholders. We are excited that today’s event was able to convene decision makers in the region to outline actionable and measureable steps in specific areas such as food and agri tech, climate change and decarbonisation, nature- and ocean-based solutions, mobility, built environment and real estate,” she added. 

Key themes that emerged from the event are that coordinated action between different stakeholders is needed to finance the net-zero transition, and that a new approach is needed to funding and financing climate-friendly projects. There are huge opportunities in climate investment. According to 2022 figures from McKinsey, the addressable market size for green businesses in Asia is expected to reach between US$4 trillion and US$5 trillion by 2030.

The event's first plenary session opened with a keynote address by guest of honour, H.E. Sandra Jensen Landi, Ambassador of Denmark to Singapore, who highlighted the close ties between Denmark and Singapore on sustainability innovation. Denmark was one of the first countries in the world to announce a net zero pledge and "we are glad to see many other countries now making this commitment", she said.

Mr Vinamra Srivastava, CapitaLand Investment’s Chief Sustainability Officer, who gave a keynote at the forum, said: “As a leading global real estate company in sustainability, CapitaLand integrates environmental, social and governance considerations in everything we do, from our investment, design, operations to our financing efforts.

“We consistently measure the value created through our sustainability efforts as we seek to achieve Net Zero by 2050. CapitaLand believes that collective action through partnerships and innovation are key accelerators in the green transition. We are committed to galvanising industry partners and innovators to work together to build a climate-resilient future.”  

The forum also featured a panel discussion titled “How cities can make climate ambition a reality,” which takes stock of the concrete steps that Asian countries have taken towards net-zero, as well as the gaps in implementation. Speakers included Chintan Raveshia, Head of the Centre for Climate Action in Cities, Southeast Asia, Arup and Lam Wee Shann, deputy chief executive, LTA; and Foo Peng Er, Vice President, Group Sustainability, CapitaLand. The panel discussed the most effective ways of bridging these gaps so that cities can decarbonise across sectors such as energy, transport, and infrastructure.

After a breakout session with roundtable discussions by in-person and virtual participants, the forum closed with “Scaling Sustainability innovations for cities”, a panel discussion exploring the best ways sustainability innovations can be scaled so that they are widely adopted and generate the most impact.

Speakers such as Thomas Brzostowski, Director of Strategic Development, Asia Pacific, The Nature Conservancy; Mike Lim, Partner at venture capital firm TRIREC; and Jolene Lum, Head of Client Development, Nurasa, explored how innovations in climate change adaptation and mitigation, as well as food and nutrition, can become mainstreamed.

TLC’s call for submissions officially opened today and will close on 31 March 2023. Two steering committees on climate and food will convene to select the finalists, who will pitch their solutions to judges and investors at The Liveability Challenge Grand Finale on 8 June 2023. 

Some 100 decision makers gathered at the Four Seasons Hotel for Cities: Possibilities 2022 with more than 400 participating virtually, and the event being livestreamed on social media platforms. 


For more information, visit https://www.theliveabilitychallenge.org. 

Download the TLC 2023 media fact sheet here. 

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