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Global Mayors And City Leaders Share Vision Of Forging An Inclusive And Resilient Future For All

26 September 2023 --- Around 50 mayors and city leaders convened at the 12th World Cities Summit (WCS) Mayors Forum held in Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP), Seoul, Republic of Korea, to exchange ideas and share their experience in forging inclusive and resilient cities.

  1. Over the course of three days, from 24 – 26 September, participants from around the world, including senior leaders from the industry and international organisations, and Young Leaders both Singapore, Seoul and other cities engaged in lively and fruitful discussions on the theme “Liveable and Sustainable Cities: Forging an Inclusive and Resilient Future”.

  1. In his speech, Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for National Development and Minister-in-charge of Social Services Integration, Singapore, and the Chair of the WCS Mayors Forum, highlighted the importance in finding the right balance amongst competing needs and demands in cities, especially with the widening gap in income and opportunities exacerbated by the pandemic. He encouraged Mayors and city leaders to make deliberate efforts to pro-actively identify vulnerable groups who need more support, understand the challenges that they face, and put in place policies to facilitate better access to opportunities.

  1. Minister Lee also emphasised the importance of partnering citizens, communities and various stakeholders as valuable resource for effective and sustainable initiatives. He urged city leaders to encourage active citizenry and empower the community to make their cities more liveable and to tackle issues like climate change.

  1. Mr Oh Se-hoon, Mayor of Seoul, the host city of the WCS Mayors Forum, said shared his vision for Seoul to be a inclusive city. “We pledge to prioritise the vision of “Going together with the Socially Neglected” in all our policies as a commitment to the citizens of Seoul. Furthermore, we hope to actively participate in cultivating the sprit of “Going Together with the Socially Neglected” globally, fostering an international virtuous cycle of coexistence and growth,” said Mayor Oh.

  1. Mayors and city leaders reached the following conclusions after the four discussion sessions:
    1. Social inclusion and empowerment, particularly for underprivileged and vulnerable groups, are integral to building liveable and sustainable cities. Mayors and city leaders possess the capacity to lead transformational change through effective policies and actions to forge an inclusive and resilient future.
    1. A strong identity is a key foundation for socially resilient cities. Culture and heritage form the unique identity of any city, giving it character and a sense of rooted-ness. Hence, amidst rapid urbanisation, it is important for cities to conserve both tangible (cultural sites and landmarks) and intangible (morals and beliefs) culture and heritage to mould a strong and inclusive sense of identity for cities of the future.
    1. Mayors and city leaders recognise the important role of cities to drive solutions for a sustainable and climate-resilient future through innovation and creativity, especially to mitigate climate change, keep to net-zero commitments and plan disaster-resilient infrastructure. As such, mayors and city leaders should take the lead to strengthen and steward policy initiatives aimed at creating a conducive environment for ground-up innovation and participation; this can build inclusive solutions to future challenges.

World Cities Summit 2024, Singapore, 2 - 4 June 2024

  1. The next WCS Mayors Forum will reconvene in Singapore, as a key highlight of the World Cities Summit 2024, from 2 - 4 June 2024. The Summit will bring together city and government leaders, businesses and experts at the forefront of urban issues to discuss how cities can thrive as smart, resilient and regenerative ones now and in the future, to deliver high quality of life for their residents.

  1. The city of Vienna will host the WCS Mayors Forum in 2025 as the Lee Kuan Yew World Cities Prize laureate of 2020.

More details on the World Cities Summit may be found on our website https://www.worldcitiessummit.com.sg/

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