Inaugural WCS Mayors’ Forum Creates a Community of Best Practices in Sustainability
1 The inaugural WCS Mayors’ Forum was convened successfully on 30 June 2010. Organised by the Centre for Liveable Cities (CLC), the WCS Mayors’ Forum represents a key highlight of World Cities Summit 2010. Over 40 Mayors and Governors gathered at the Forum to discuss the most pressing issues faced by cities around the world today. They included representatives from Tangshan, China, Melbourne, Australia, Lagos state, Nigeria, Freiburg, Germany, and Phoenix, USA.
2 The Forum was held at an opportune time, with many global cities finding themselves at a challenging junction, where they have to mitigate economic concerns, population growth, climate change, growing needs of the community, and related issues brought forth by urbanisation. The Forum witnessed engaging discussions on the importance of good governance and leadership in guiding cities through the present, priorities for cities in the new century, and the possibilities for cities to achieve high growth while remaining eco-friendly and liveable. Delegates also discussed how global platforms such as the WCS Mayors’ Forum could provide opportunities for the development of peer-to-peer learning network that explore exchanges, showcase and share knowledge and best practices to create liveable cities in a systematic way.
3 Mr. Ilmar Reepalu, Lord Mayor of Malmo (Sweden), believes the Forum is a good platform for exchanges of best practices. “The WCS Mayor’s Forum is an excellent opportunity for me to exchange experiences and interesting best practise solutions with Mayors from other cities”, he said.
4 Mr. Abdulaziz Bin Abdulrahman Al-Hussiyen, Mayor of Al-Madinah Al-Munawarah (Saudi Arabia), believes that such a Forum is useful to the work of Mayors and is beneficial to cities. “Participating in such an international Forum is very important to share with other Mayors challenges that Cities manage and the different approaches in solving these challenges. This will help Cities save the cost and time,” he remarked. “That will be high standard continuing learning and training methods for Mayors. In all Cities, there are some common programs and projects. With such Forums, Mayors can share the best practices.”
5 Mr. Philip Gordon, Mayor of Phoenix City (USA) is delighted that the forum created rare opportunities for cities to network and develop economic opportunities. “I am extremely excited to come to Singapore and participate in the forum. This is a rare chance to exchange ideas with leaders from all over the world and to make business contacts that can further the City of Phoenix’s economic development efforts”, said Mr. Gordon.
6 Moving forward, the Centre for Liveable Cities will partner World Bank (WB), UN-HABITAT and Asian Development Bank (ADB) to develop the WCS Mayors’ Forum into a global network that promotes best practices and peer-to-peer learning among cities based on three key objectives. First, to provide a strategic platform for Mayors to converge and discuss challenges faced by cities, share lessons learnt, and deliberate possible joint solutions. Second, to facilitate the learning of best practices on leadership and governance, and to identify solutions that are practical, scaleable and replicable to build sustainable and liveable cities and foster harmonious and sustainable communities. Third, to identify key areas for further study and collaboration between Cities.
7 Ms. Fumiko Hayashi, Mayor of Yokohama City Government (Japan) has high hopes on the development of the Forum into a global peer-to-peer community of best practices. “Today, we are facing many issues that we must resolve from a global perspective, such as global warming, poverty, and disaster. It is extremely important that we overcome national borders and coordinate regional approaches when dealing with these problems. I have high hopes that this forum will become a model for inter-city collaboration towards the resolutions of these global issues”, she said.
8 Mr Robert Doyle, Lord Mayor of Melbourne, was upbeat about the contribution that the forum could contribute to the growth of cities. “In my experience, city leaders can be more ambitious, courageous and imaginative than some of their national governments. By coming together at world mayors meetings such as the WCS Mayors’ Forum, much can be achieved to help ensure our cities’ future health. This is precisely how city Mayors work together”, said Mr Doyle.
9 “It’s important for city leaders to converge and discuss important issues arising from urbanization”, said Mr. Andrew Tan, Director of the Centre for Liveable Cities, one of the organisers of the World Cities Summit. “It is even more crucial for city leaders to mindshare best practices and identify common interest to collaborate. One of CLC’s work is to facilitate the sharing of best practices and learning among cities in the region and globally through conferences, forums, seminars and workshops. The WCS Mayors’ Forum is one such avenue. We are happy to see that cities are supportive to develop the WCS Mayors’ Forum into a learning network of cities and delighted to partner UN-HABITAT, World Bank and ADB in this new initiative”
10 Given the strong support of the participating cities at WCS Mayors’ Forum and the strategic partnership between CLC, UN-HABITAT, World Bank and ADB, the WCS Mayors’ Forum is well-poised to serve as a leading global platform to network cities and promote communities of best practices.
In addition, Minister for National Development Mr Mah Bow Tan in his opening speech spoke about:
- Leadership and governance in turbulent times
- Eco-friendly and liveable communities
- Promoting Communities of Best Practices among Cities