SINGAPORE, June 1 – Over 130 mayors and city leaders from around the world discussed the importance of good governance and community engagement, and how smart technologies could contribute to urban development, at the World Cities Summit Mayors Forum (WCSMF), here, Sunday. Lee Yi Shyan, Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and National Development and chairman of the forum, highlighted the importance of nurturing a global community of mayors and city leaders to share different approaches and plans in light of common challenges faced by cities, especially rapidly emerging cities in Asia.

The forum is a key highlight at this year’s World Cities Summit (WCS), a biennial global platform for government and industry leaders to address liveable and sustainable city challenges, share integrated solutions, and forge high-level partnerships. Currently in its fifth edition, the WCSMF nurtures a global community of mayors and city leaders, to exchange ideas and best practices and explore solutions to address common challenges. Also participating in the forum were experts from international organisations, including the United Nations, World Bank, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and Asian Development Bank.

In Lee’s closing remarks at the forum, he said: “As city leaders, we have the heavy responsibility of mobilising the necessary resources and coordinating different programmes. “More importantly, we need to engage the community and galvanise our people so that all can move towards our goals,” he said. The mayors and city leaders also agreed that it is most important to engage their community and put people at the centre of policy goals. The participating cities also pledged their support for the United Nations Open Working Group’s Sustainable Development Goal that focuses on Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements.

This will focus the attention and resources of national agencies, local governments, the private sector and civil society towards managing urban challenges and creating more liveable and sustainable cities. Lee also announced that next year’s WCSMF would be held in New York City, USA. The city was awarded the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize in 2012 for reinventing and rejuvenating itself post-September 2001 to give residents and tourists renewed confidence and optimism for the city’s future. Mitchell Silver, New York’s Commissioner of Parks and Recreation said:

“We are excited that many of you will be coming to New York for the next Mayors Forum.” The Centre for Liveable Cities (CLC) also launched the publication Liveable and Sustainable Cities: A Framework at the WCSMF, which distilled the key actors and principles of Singapore’s development journey into the CLC Liveability Framework. The book was presented to the mayors and city leaders as a resource to help them develop liveable and sustainable cities.