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Programme Features

WCS Mayors Forum


Over the next decade, cities will face growing dislocations from climate change, social shifts, and new technologies. How cities adapt to these coming disruptions will be critical for their liveability and sustainability.

The WCS Mayors Forum is the platform for mayors to share their own experience adapting to the effects of climate, technological and social disruptions in their cities.

Through the interactive roundtable discussions, mayors will have the opportunity to directly engage their peers and learn from the best.

*Session is by-invite only

Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize

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Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Lecture

Inaugurated in 2010 and named after Singapore’s first Prime Minister, the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize is a biennial international award that honours outstanding achievements and contributions to the creation of liveable, vibrant and sustainable urban communities around the world.

The Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Lecture is one of the key highlights at the World Cities Summit. Delivered by the Mayor of the Laureate city, it celebrates the Laureate’s achievements in the creation of liveable, vibrant and sustainable urban communities with a high quality of life.

Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize Lecture

The Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize honours outstanding contributions by individuals or organisations towards solving the world’s water challenges. The Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize Lecture will be delivered by the Water Prize Laureate.

Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Forum

The Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Forum is a dedicated platform where the Special Mention cities share their insights and diverse urban development experiences as case studies for cities around the world.

Lee Kuan Yew Prize Award Ceremony Banquet

The Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Award Ceremony and Banquet celebrates the winners of the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize and the Water Prize.

*By-invite only

WCS Smart Cities Workshop

The WCS Smart Cities Workshop connects global cities with partners such as consultants, funders and solution providers to tackle their urban challenges and advance their smart city goals.

At the heart of the WCS Smart Cities Workshop is a series of half-hour ‘clinics’. In these clinics, each smart city team will be match-made with different smart city solution providers or funders. Together, they will brainstorm potential funding and technology solutions for their projects.

There will also be opportunities at the clinic sessions and closing lunch for cities and partners to share their experience on developing and implementing smart city projects.

*Session is by-invite only



WCS-SIWW-CESG 2020 Joint Opening & In Conversation

The Guest-of-Honour of the WCS-SIWW-CESG 2020 will deliver the opening address and participate in a moderated dialogue.

Cities Thriving to a Disrupted World

We are entering an era of global uncertainty. From the climate crisis, to digital revolution, to demographic shifts, our way of life is being transformed. How can we adapt to safeguard our cities and planet for future generations?

Facing the Future with Confidence

How can cities face the future with confidence amidst this new normal? The WCS Closing Lunch Plenary rounds off the discussion sessions of the day, as well as from the day before. It pulls together the insights and best practices in governance, planning, resilience and innovation, with a focus on developing liveable and sustainable cities for the future.

While challenges from social unrest, environmental deterioration and economic stagnation are inevitable, city leaders can translate plans into realities through good urban governance, prudent financing approaches and piloting of innovations. This session will reiterate the importance of collaboration between city leaders and urban stakeholders to co-create liveable, competitive and sustainable environments.

This session will be in the form of a programmed lunch. The audience, who are seated in banquet-style seating, will listen to the speakers and pose questions to them through online submission and voting, while lunch is being served.

Thematic Tracks

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Financing Infrastructure in Uncertain Times

The planning and development of successful urban infrastructure is a large undertaking, requiring substantial financial resources and human capital. But the global context is marked by uncertainty, with climate-driven risks; socio-political changes; technological disruptions and cyclical financial shifts.

How can city governments design and structure their infrastructural investments to insure them against such uncertainty? What are the development measures and approaches that would best allow governments to ensure the resilience and sustainability of their infrastructure projects?

Can Technology Help Cities Thrive Amidst Disruptions?

Cities are increasingly harnessing digital technologies as both a powerful tool and a formidable weapon. Cutting-edge technologies like big data, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things are creating new opportunities to improve the lives of people. At the same time, many fear that technology will destabilise livelihoods, raise costs and increase vulnerabilities.

Are technologies delivering the outcomes they promised? To what extent is technology driving change amidst global existential threats like climate change and social disruptions? How can governments and businesses work together to take greater responsibility in helping cities, and citizens, to adapt and thrive in an ever-changing environment?

Leveraging the Science of Cities for Resilience

Cities are complex entities where urban systems and people interact with one another in ways that are often out of sight and appear unpredictable. Can a science of cities help us understand how cities work, in a quantitatively predictable way? Can advanced analytics and modelling tools guide policymakers and urban planners to address complex problems in areas such as transportation, health and housing?

Engaging Communities, Building Resilience

Top-down solutions are increasingly inadequate in preparing communities for disruptions on the ground. Communities need to self-organise and self-mobilise as first responders and community movers. How can mayors and city leaders engage and work with their communities to nurture community leaders and create resilient communities?

Planning for a Rainy Day: Climate-Ready Cities

Our climate crisis is already having serious consequences for our cities – from dangerously high temperatures to flooding. How can city leaders, urban planners and designers develop and execute plans to prepare and protect our urban economies, infrastructure and especially our most vulnerable communities?