The 2014 World Cities Summit Mayors Forum, which took place last month in Singapore and was attended by 122 Mayors and over 100 senior officials and thought leaders in city government, has released a Summit report detailing the common challenges and many shared solutions for achieving sustainable and liveable cities.
One of the primary challenges facing cities that was discussed, was that of intensifying urbanisation and rural-urban migration which is placing additional strain on infrastructure and resources. This trend was discussed in the context of other related trends: climate change, rapid ageing and more affluent middle class that is demanding involvement in planning decision and enhanced transparency.
Involving people more in city government and gaining buy-in from citizens were acknowledged as important issues and critical factors in maintaining progress with regards sustainability inititiaves like recycling, energy efficiency, and the use of public and non-motorised transport. Natural, cultural and social capital were also acknowledged as the new “currency of liveability’ in cities.
Thematic discussions at the Mayors Forum centrered on high quality of life and vibrant city life; sustainable environment (water and waste management); the driving instruments for a competitive economy; intergated long-term planning and balancing stakeholder interests; dynamic urban governance and good governance; and intelligent cities. The focus of the thematic discussion was on identifying common challenges and shared solutions.
The Mayors Forum conclusions acknowledged the dynamic nature of cities and that city leadership is a critical resource in the quest for sustainable, liveable cities. The Forum will re-convene in June 2015 in New York.