Whanganui will be in the running defend its title of 'most beautiful' and those behind the bid believe enough has been done in the past year to give the city a shot at winning the award for a second year running.
Whanganui beat Hutt City in the finals to be crowed Most Beautiful City for the first time at the 2019 Beautiful Awards with judges saying: "It is clear that the Whanganui community has banded together over the past year and gone above and beyond to help their city".
This year Whanganui will be in the Most Beautiful Large Town category (for places with a population between 30,000 and 99,000) in the awards run by Keep New Zealand Beautiful.
Whanganui district councillor Helen Craig was keen for the district to enter again and said it was good for Whanganui's morale, to be as a marketing tool and also helped keep progress happening.
Whanganui's inaugural win last year largely came on the strength of work at the Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre.
A possible focus for this year's bid is recent work to restore or refurbish Whanganui's heritage buildings.
The awards look for moves toward protecting the environment, as well as beautifying streets and buildings.
Heather Cox, who has been contracted to pull together this year's bid said: "The trick this year is to talk about new things we are doing, not the old things".
She is finding plenty.
What stands out to her is work around protecting heritage buildings. Whanganui District Council's heritage adviser Scott Flutey has got earthquake strengthening funding for eight buildings, and the facades of other buildings are being restored.
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Cox points to the work done to turn the almost-derelict Ridgway Chambers into glass artist Katie Brown's studio and showroom.
Restoring buildings not only beautifies them, it makes the town more sustainable, Craig said.
Architects have told her it takes 80 years for a building to pay back its carbon footprint.
Along the same lines, a scoping study is looking at ways to re-use materials from demolition.
Work on St Paul's at Putiki, the fire watch tower in Cooks Gardens and the restoration of the Bushy Park Homestead are other examples of heritage restoration, Cox said.
Rangiora St in Castlecliff has been beautified with gardens and the addition of a library hub and bus stop with glass art.
There will be glass art on the new Intercity bus shelters in Taupō Quay too, Craig said.
As well as beautifying them it could encourage people to use more sustainable public transport.
She points to other work by community groups such as Castlecliff Coast Care, and Cox mentions Rutherford Junior High School's gardening and cooking project.
More energy efficient streetlights are being installed, and more recycling bins and drinking water fountains. Street trees in the city centre and some of the new heritage murals are lit up at night, and the Innovating Streets Fund is to put nearly $400,000 toward a project to liven up Drews Ave.
"I know there's a lot of other towns doing great things, but I think Whanganui is right at the top," Craig said.
Cox has a lot to record, and is looking for more. One thing she'd like to hear about is new initiatives that businesses have taken as a result of the lockdown, initiatives that make them more sustainable.
She can be contacted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The supreme winner across the towns and cities gets a $10,000 mural. Winners will be announced at an Auckland dinner on October 29.