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Global City Leaders Will Discuss How to Build Resilient Cities and Adapt to a Disrupted World in First Virtual World Cities Summit

9 June 2021

              The 7th edition of the biennial World Cities Summit (WCS) will be held this year from 21 to 23 June, in a largely virtual format. This is the first time that WCS will feature both physical and virtual sessions in its programming, with speakers and audience dialling in remotely from locations worldwide. Guests based in Singapore will be invited to attend select sessions in-person at the Sands Expo & Convention Centre.

Liveable and Sustainable Cities: Adapting to a Disrupted World

2           Inaugurated in 2008, WCS has successfully brought together key global leaders in the urban sectors, enabling cities to learn from one another’s’ shared experiences to better prepare for the future. Themed "Liveable and Sustainable Cities: Adapting to a Disrupted World", WCS 2021 will explore the urgency of building a resilient city, to tackle disruptions like COVID-19 and other unexpected crises, and the fundamental need for cities to take a long-term view to ensure sustainable and equitable development. Over 3,500 participants have registered for the upcoming WCS 2021 in June, which will feature a mix of hybrid sessions and a suite of virtual plenaries accessible virtually by a global audience.

Key event features

3           WCS will kick off on 21 June, with a mix of panel discussions, fireside chats and dialogues with mayors, city leaders, and senior leaders from the private sector, academia and international organisations. The discussions will focus on structuring public infrastructure projects for resilience and sustainability, nurturing community leaders to better adapt to disruptions, and sparking ideas on how cities can respond to various crises, such as pandemics and climate change. This will be followed by fully virtual panel sessions on 22 June with speakers sharing their views on the post-pandemic outlook. Notable speakers at WCS 2021 include:

  • Mr Heng Swee Keat, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies;
  • Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for National Development & Minister-in-charge of Social Services Integration;
  • Ms Indranee Rajah, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Finance and National Development;
  • Ms Sally Capp, Lord Mayor of Melbourne;
  • Mr Juan Mari Aburto, Mayor of Bilbao;
  • Mr David Malpass, President of World Bank;
  • Ms Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of UN-Habitat;

4           “The world is a very different place since the last Summit in 2018, but I am glad we are still able to convene global leaders in the urban sectors for a sharing of knowledge and experience. In fact, this is probably the first time so many cities around the world are facing a common challenge. We hope this will lend impetus for cities to learn from one another’s shared experiences to better prepare for the future, albeit virtually.” said Mr Hugh Lim, Executive Director of the Centre for Liveable Cities (CLC), a co-organiser of the WCS.

5           “The hybrid format of the World Cities Summit is an example of how we can adapt despite a global pandemic. This works in our favour as we will be able to unlock access to a much wider global audience and facilitate more vibrant discussions on sustainable urban development and reimagining the future,” he added.

Other programme highlights

6           The WCS 2021 programme will be complemented by partner events that deep dive into topics such as building smart and sustainable cities, net zero carbon cities, and the science to building social resilience. Some of these topics will be covered in a list of publications which CLC is launching at WCS in June.

7            Beyond June, WCS 2021 will continue with a series of webinars from July to November 2021, focusing on topics such as transforming cities through technology, planning for climate-ready cities and how to build healthy and happy cities. We look forward to welcoming over 5,000 participants for our events spanning June to November 2021.