ST: Experts in town to discuss liveable cities, water solutions

This week is an exciting week for the environmental industry, with World Cities Summit and Singapore International Water Week events taking place back to back in the locale of Suntec Convention Centre.

See The Straits Times article below.

Experts in town to discuss liveable cities, water solutions

Ministers and mayors here for World Cities Summit, Water Week

By Robin Chan

INTELLECTUALS, businessmen, scientists and bureaucrats will descend on Singapore this week with sustainability, water and urban solutions on their minds. 

The second World Cities Summit (WCS) and Expo and third Singapore International Water Week kick off today at Suntec City. 

For the first time, there will be a WCS Mayors’ Forum, which has attracted some 25 ministers and 45 mayors and governors from 20 countries around the world, including mayors from Tangshan, Melbourne and Freiburg as speakers. 

They will discuss best practices and solutions to building liveable and sustainable cities. 

The forum on Wednesday will explore the role of good governance in urban development, and look at how cities can develop in a more environmentally responsible way. 

This week will also see the presentation of the first Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize to Bilbao City Hall, which was named as the winner last month for its success in transforming the Spanish city. 

The Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize, won by China’s Yellow River Conservancy Commission this year, will also be presented. 

And at the WCS Expo, displays from various student groups will be showcased for the first time. 

These include architectural and planning designs, as well as digital games on sustainable development and environmental awareness. 

Key highlights of the expo, which has attracted over 50 participating companies and agencies, will include exhibits by the Housing Board, the Urban Redevelopment Authority and the city of Bilbao. 

A robot that does household chores will be a highlight at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research’s expo booth. 

The WCS will also feature a ministerial dialogue with 10 ministers from emerging countries and cities to discuss their priorities after surviving the economic crisis, and their vision for a liveable and vibrant city. 

Some of the highlights of Water Week, which ends on Friday, one day after WCS, include a forum with water ministers, as well as a first ever river basin and delta management workshop. 

The PUB also spells out its long-term water plans for the next 50 years today. 

Throughout the four days of the summit, there will also be a series of ‘learning journeys’ when international delegations will be taken to see some of Singapore’s latest urban achievements including Marina Bay Sands, the Southern Ridges, Pinnacle@Duxton and Chek Jawa Wetlands at Pulau Ubin. 

Mr Andrew Tan, co-chairman of the WCS and the director of the Centre for Liveable Cities, said: ‘There is currently no platform like this where you can have practitioners gathering to address these issues and not only look at it from a policy perspective, but also look for solutions. 

‘I think Singapore can provide that niche, in this platform, where we are in a way, almost like a test bed and almost a living laboratory of some of these things that we have done here. 

‘It may not be relevant in other parts of the world, but at least the lessons that we have learnt, both the good and the bad, can be shared with others just as we learn from the others.’



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