Over 100 governors, mayors and top leaders from 98 cities and regions discussed challenges and innovative solutions to build liveable cities and foster harmonious communities at the World Cities Summit Mayors Forum (WCSMF). At the forum which was themed “Liveable and Sustainable Cities”, Chairperson of the Forum and Minister of State for National Development and Trade & Industry Mr Lee Yi Shyan highlighted the four ‘C’s as hallmarks of well planned and sustainable urban development:
- Courage to do the right things and take risks, sometimes against public opinion so as to build the foundations of a good city;
- Capacity of municipality and cities in terms of organisation, financial resources and competence;
- Continuity to ensure consistency of policy; and
- The need to engage the Community to engage residents and seek public support
City officials echoed Mr Lee’s sentiments about the importance of continuity of strategic plans and policies and the need to take a long term view. They also shared the need to involve all stakeholders such as government, civic organisations, academia and the private sector to discuss socio-economic issues in relation to transparency and trade-offs in the planning process. Compact cities, rather than sprawling cities, represent a good model for achieving economic growth, social inclusion and environmental sustainability as they promote connectivity and mobility. Lastly, officials agreed that community engagement is required to build trust between people and the government through feedback and ideas from residents.
To document the sharings and knowledge gleaned from the WCSMs, the Centre for Liveable Cities (CLC) has compiled a collection of member cities’ best practices into a publication titled “City Portraits”. City leaders who wish to continue remain in touch with their peers or solution providers after the Forum can do so via a new virtual network called “Connect@WCS”.