A global campaign to name various new Seven Wonders of the World has announced the results of its Cities competition. The New7Wonders project was created by Bernard Weber in order to highlight some of the greatest natural and man-made wonders of the world not covered in the original list.
The Cities project is the third of Weber’s installments — in 2007, more than 100 million people voted in his New Seven Wonders of the World competition.
Weber’s latest campaign to find the best cities on Earth aimed to showcase the “cities that best represent the achievements and aspirations of our global urban civilization,” according to the New7Wonders website.
The global competition began with more than 1200 nominees from 220 countries. That list was reduced to 77, since there was a limit of one city per country. Then the 77 remaining cities were narrowed down by a panel of experts headed by Federico Mayor, former director-general of UNESCO, to 28 suggestions.
Following the announcement of the 28 finalists, the winning seven cities were chosen by voters from around the world.
The seven winning cities beat out finalists such as Istanbul, London, St. Petersburg, Seoul, Reykjavik, and Chicago. None of the world’s seven winning cities are in Europe or the US.
Below are the seven cities that have been named the new urban wonders of the world (in alphabetical order):
1. Beirut, Lebanon
The capital city of Lebanon has been rebuilt several times due to unrest. Beirut’s architecture is a stunning mix of modern, Ottoman, and colonial French.
The Middle Eastern hub is often referred to as “The Paris of the Mediterranean.”
2. Doha, Qatar
Qatar’s capital, Doha, first gained prominence when it began tapping into its expansive natural-gas reserves. Doha’s wealth of natural gas and oil have helped make Qatar one of the richest nations in the world — and Doha one of the world’s most beautiful cities.
3. Durban, South Africa
The beach city of Durban in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal is the busiest port in Africa, but it’s best known for its incredible beaches and surfing.
4. Havana, Cuba
Havana is a centuries-old city covered in vibrant colors. The historic center of Havana has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and for good reason.
5. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The cultural hub of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is known for its towering skyscrapers. The iconic Petronas Twin Towers are the tallest twin buildings in the world.
6. La Paz, Bolivia
Perched atop the Andes Mountains, La Paz is 11,975 feet above sea level. It is the highest capital city in the world.
7. Vigan, Philippines
Vigan is one of the few Hispanic towns lefts intact in the Philippines. Known for its cobblestone-covered streets and unique architecture, the city is a World Heritage Site.