Singapore, 10 June 2014: Over 130 Mayors and city leaders, together with urban partners, discussed strategies to develop smart cities at the World Cities Summit 2014. The Summit — a premier platform to address urban sustainability challenges and develop solutions — concluded with new partnerships being forged and a stronger collective resolve to develop liveable, more resilient and attractive cities for urban residents around the world. The Fourth World Cities Summit that took place in early June was organized by the Centre for Liveable Cities and the Urban Redevelopment Authority, and held in conjunction with Singapore International Water Week and Clean Enviro Summit Singapore. It was attended by a record participation of more than 20,000 participants from 118 countries including ministers, mayors, government officials, business leaders, academics, representatives from international organizations and civil society. The World Cities Summit Pavilion, together with the Water Expo, Waste Met Asia and Clean Met Asia, also showcased the latest developments and technologies from almost 1,000 companies globally.
In his opening remarks, Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Trade & Industry and National Development and Chairman of the Forum, said, ‘We too will share Singapore’s own urban development experience in these discussions. Singapore was a fledgling nation struggling with urban slums, poor infrastructure, lack of sanitation, high unemployment and an unskilled labour force in the 1950s and 60s. Today, Singapore is a global city with a vibrant city life; and we are continuing to do more to promote vibrancy.’
In her presentation on sustainable development goals, UN Assistant-Secretary-General and UN-Habitat Deputy Executive Director, Dr.Aisa Kirabo Kacyira reminded the city leaders of over one billion slum dwellers who do not have access to basic services in cities.
Some of the highlights of the summit included the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Award Ceremony with a view to honouring outstanding contribution towards creating liveable and sustainable urban communities around the world. The Chinese City of Suzhou was awarded in recognition of remarkable transformation over the past two decades.
This year also introduced the World Cities Summit 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 Young Leaders Symposium on 31 May, where they shared their ideas and vision to transform their own cities and be effective agents of change.