media release AkzoNobel offers unique opportunity to experience Human Cities initiative in Venice June 10, 2014 People need to better connect with their surroundings in order to make city life more inspiring, which is why AkzoNobel has launched a global competition encouraging people to embrace what they love about their favorite urban space. Part of the company's newly launched Human Cities initiative, people around the world are being challenged to take a selfie showing what they find special about their own city. The winner, along with a companion, will travel to Venice in September to experience Human Cities for themselves by helping to transform a Venetian piazza.The #myurbanstory competition, which closes on June 30, is designed to inspire people across the world to connect with their cities on an emotional level and contribute to making city life more energizing, inspiring and vibrant.There are two ways to enter, either by sharing a selfie via Twitter or Instagram using #myurbanstory, or by visiting the special tab on AkzoNobel's Facebook page. Entrants are also being encouraged to include a few brief words explaining the story behind the shot.Half the world's population already lives in cities and, according to research, by 2050 that figure will climb to 75 percent. With cities growing faster all the time, the main focus is usually on the functional aspects, while not enough attention is paid to how a city is experienced. Yet it's the emotional connection between a city and its citizens that gives cities their identity. This is what builds a human city.AkzoNobel launched its Human Cities initiative last week at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia. During the event, AkzoNobel CEO Ton Büchner also announced a partnership with renowned architect Rem Koolhaas and leading architecture firm OMA to conduct global research into the link between color and economic development.For more information about Human Cities, visit www.akzonobel.com/humancities.