World Cities Summit: Building Better Cities for People

The fourth edition of World Cities Summit has just concluded in Singapore where it was held together with Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) and CleanEnviro Summit Singapore (CESS). These events attracted a record participation of over 20,000 delegates from 118 countries – with over 130 Mayors and city leaders, together with representatives of international organisations, researchers and urban planners discussed strategies to develop smart cities at the World Cities Summit 2014. 

PM Lee interacts with the touch-sensitive table in the shape of Singapore at the Sustainable Singapore pavilion that showcased Whole-of-Government projects.

PM Lee interacts with the touch-sensitive table in the shape of Singapore at the Sustainable Singapore pavilion that showcased Whole-of-Government projects. Photo credit: World Cities Summit, Singapore International Water Week and CleanEnviro Summit Singapore.

 

The Summit provided a platform to address urban sustainability challenges and develop solutions — and concluded yesterday with new partnerships forged and a stronger collective resolve to develop liveable, more resilient and attractive cities for urban residents around the world.

Creating a “Smart” and Liveable City

A key theme that was discussed and debated during the Summit was the issue of what makes a “smart city”. There was broad agreement that a smart city is a green city and should be sustainable and liveable. Cities have to provide a high quality of life to their people and sustainability was agreed as no longer being an option – but rather a necessity.                                                             

Collaborations and Partnerships Formed to Improve Lives

Participants at the World Cities Summit also stressed the need for governments to collaborate more closely with businesses, academia and citizen networks to create more holistic and cost-effective solutions and improve quality of life. Several announcements made at the Summit have set the goal into action.

Mr Larry Ng, Managing Director of the World Cities Summit said: “I am delighted that a number of public-private-partnerships have been forged at this year’s World Cities Summit. This underscores the Summit’s growing significance as the premier platform for global thought leaders across the urban planning spectrum to have meaningful conversations, and work together to find innovative solutions to address real global problems.” 

Young Leaders Seeding Change 

This year’s Summit introduced the inaugural WCS Young Leaders, aimed at cultivating the next generation of urban leaders from the world’s governments, industry and academia who are committed to help shape urban development agendas in cities around the world.

About 60 of these young leaders were involved in the WCS Young Leaders Symposium on 31 May 2014, where they shared their ideas and vision to transform their own cities and be effective agents of change. 

World Cities Summit 2015 and the World Cities Summit Mayors Forum 2015

The next World Cities Summit will be held from 10 – 14 July 2016 at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore. The World Cities Summit Mayors Forum 2015 will be held in New York City, USA.

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