SINGAPORE – Over 130 mayors and city leaders from global cities discussed the importance of good governance and community engagement, and how smart technologies will contribute to urban development at the World Cities Summit Mayors Forum (WCSMF) today. Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Trade & Industry and National Development and Chairman of the Forum, highlighted the importance of nurturing a global community of mayors and city leaders to share different approaches and plans in light of common challenges faced by cities, especially rapidly emerging cities in Asia.
The WCSMF 2014 is a key highlight at this year’s World Cities Summit (WCS), a biennial global platform for government and industry leaders to address liveable and sustainable city challenges, share integrated solutions, and forge high-level partnerships.
Currently in its fifth edition, the WCSMF nurtures a global community of mayors and city leaders, to exchange ideas and best practices and explore solutions to address common challenges. WCSMF 2014 features the largest gathering of mayors to date. Also participating in the forum were experts from international organisations, including the United Nations, World Bank, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and Asian Development Bank.
In Mr Lee’s closing remarks at the Forum, he said: “As city leaders, we have the heavy responsibility of mobilising the necessary resources and coordinating different programmes. More importantly, we need to engage the community and galvanise our people so that all can move towards our goals”.
Mayors and city leaders also agreed that it is most important to engage their community and put people at the centre of policy goals. Lord Mayor Damon Thomas of Hobart, Australia said: “Passion and people involvement are key… unless the people feel connected and proud, it’s not much use.” Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb from Rotterdam, the Netherlands said: “The key (to a sustainable urban ecosystem) is co-creation. No government is in a position to do it alone… The world needs leaders who are willing to share knowledge with corporations and societies.”
Cities also pledged their support for the United Nations Open Working Group’s Sustainable Development Goal that focused on Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements. This will focus the attention and resources of national agencies, local governments, the private sector and civil society towards managing urban challenges and creating more liveable and sustainable cities.
WCS Mayors Forum 2015
Mr Lee also announced that next year’s WCSMF will be held in New York City, USA. The city was awarded the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize in 2012 for reinventing and rejuvenating itself post-September 2001 to give residents and tourists renewed confidence and optimism for the city’s future. Mr Mitchell Silver, New York’s Commissioner of Parks and Recreation said: “We are excited that many of you will be coming to New York for the next Mayors Forum.”
The Centre for Liveable Cities (CLC) also launched the publication Liveable and Sustainable Cities: A Framework at the WCSMF, which distilled the key actors and principles of Singapore’s development journey into the CLC Liveability Framework. The book was presented to mayors and city leaders as a resource to help them develop liveable and sustainable cities. The book is available for download via CLC’s website: http://www.clc.gov.sg/