First time event is held outside Singapore
1st June 2013, Singapore – The next annual World Cities Summit (WCS) Mayors Forum will be held in Bilbao, Spain, from 13 to 15 June 2013. A flagship event under the World Cities Summit, this is the first time that the WCS Mayors Forum will be held outside Singapore.
Co-organised by Singapore‟s Centre for Liveable Cities and Urban Redevelopment Authority, the WCS Mayors Forum has become one of the most important and biggest platforms in the world for city leaders to come together to discuss urban issues.
The fourth edition is themed “Liveable and Sustainable Cities: Common Challenges, Shared Solutions”, where close to 100 city leaders, international organisations and urban solutions companies will converge in Bilbao to discuss common urban challenges and share best practices in building liveable and sustainable cities. The city leaders hail from all regions, including North America, Latin America, Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Oceania, will be sharing their leadership experience in tackling issues ranging from urban planning, economic resilience, to sustaining the urban environment and community engagement at the peer-to-peer forum.
The forum is hosted by the City of Bilbao, the inaugural Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Laureate in 2010 for its efforts in its urban regeneration over 25 years.
Singapore‟s Minister for National Development Mr Khaw Boon Wan is the Chairman of the forum, and he will be speaking at the Opening and Closing Plenaries on 13 and 14 June 2013. Minister Khaw will also be visiting key sites within the city and in the region to understand Bilbao‟s urban development and governance experience.
Mr Ibon Areso, Deputy Mayor of Bilbao, will share on Bilbao‟s „Guggenheim effect‟ of urban and economic rejuvenation, while Dr Liu Thai Ker, Chairman, Centre for Liveable Cities, will also present the Singapore‟s story of urban transformation to become the liveable and sustainable city that it is today. Other keynote speakers include HE Lisa Scaffidi, Lord Mayor of Perth, Australia; HE Soichiro Takashima, Mayor of Fukuoka City, Japan; Alderman Patricia de Lille, Executive Mayor of Cape Town, South Africa; HE Atty. Francis N. Tolentino, Chairman of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority; and Mr Xavier Trias, Mayor of Barcelona, Spain.
Mr Khoo Teng Chye, Executive Director of the Centre for Liveable Cities said: “This is the first time that we are hosting the World Cities Summit Mayors Forum in another country, which shows that the forum is gaining traction internationally and is garnering interest from city leaders from regions further afield. Based on feedback, we have also extended the duration of the Forum from one day to three days.
“As the inaugural Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Laureate, Bilbao has shown that urban regeneration can be a powerful social and economic driver to catalyse change, strengthen the urban fabric, inject vibrancy and improve the quality of life for its citizens. Having the forum in Bilbao will help facilitate a rich exchange of experience between city leaders in general and Asian and European city leaders in particular, on creating liveable and sustainable cities.”
New highlights to WCS Mayors Forum
In addition to Plenary Presentations, discussion sessions and networking events, this year‟s WCS Mayors Forum will comprise several new additions:
Business Summit A Business Summit has been introduced for the first time, where urban solution providers and companies can articulate their ideas and strategies into real business solutions for implementation within cities. Speakers at this platform include Mr Harry Verhaar, Head of Global Public & Government Affairs at Philips Lighting, Mr Choo Chiau Beng, CEO of Keppel Corporation, Mr Lee Tzu Yang, Chairman of Shell Companies Singapore, Mr Jeff Rhoda, General Manager of Global Government & Education at IBM, and Dr Francisco Rincon, Siemens One Manager / Corporate
Development Sustainable Cities, Siemens. The business leaders will share on successful implementation of integrated urban solutions in response to urban challenges faced in cities.
WCS Young Leaders Meeting For the first time, an interest group of outstanding young leaders with established track records in urban development and governance fields will be participating in the forum discussions. They will network and exchange with their peers from diverse urban sectors and shape the agenda of future World Cities Summits. The group will also convene a discussion on the side-lines to discuss their proposed initiatives and work plan together. The discussion will be led by Singapore‟s Chief Negotiator for Climate Change, Ambassador Burhan Gafoor.
The WCS Mayors Forum will return to Singapore in June 2014, to be held in conjunction with the World Cities Summit (WCS) 2014, the Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) and the CleanEnviro Singapore Summit (CESS).