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Future Cities

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What are the new frontiers for urban life?

New cities are being built from scratch, while other cities are developing new regions and districts on greenfield sites.

How can planners, developers, businesses and the community take the opportunity to jointly develop “cities of the future” on a clean slate, with revolutionary urban and social paradigms that support the liveability of cities across generations?

Plenary I: What are the paradigm shifts needed to build future cities?

The world is facing resource constraints, climate stresses, and new divides are forming along values and generational lines. This plenary discusses how new approaches in the way we live and work. Further deep dive into how play, learn, move, consume and interact are needed to build liveable cities now and for future generations.


Chadchart Sittipunt
Governor, Bangkok


Khoo Teng Chye
Director, NUS Cities


Eldar Azizov
Mayor, Baku
Jiang Xiaoqun
Chief Engineer, Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, People's Republic of China
Dr Bree Trevena
Australasia Foresight Leader and Associate Principal, Arup
Angelene Chan
Chairman, DP Architects
Hari V. Krishnan
Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, PropertyGuru Group

Plenary II: From Vision to Reality: Developing Future Cities

This closing plenary explores how partnerships across all stakeholders, from national level leaders to businesses, local communities and residents, should be included in planning processes and governance approaches in the development of future liveable cities.

Opening Address

Indranee Rajah
Minister, Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for Finance and Second Minister for National Development, Singapore


Dr Chris Luebkeman
Leader, Strategic Foresight Hub, Office of the President, ETH Zurich


HE Nga Kor Ming
Minister of Housing and Local Government, Malaysia
Vincent Karremans
Vice Mayor, Rotterdam
Edith Hsu-Chen
Executive Director, New York City Department of City Planning
Cheng Hsing Yao
Member, Advisory Panel for Centre for Liveable Cities;
Group Chief Executive Office, GuocoLand Limited
Michelle Goh
Public Policy Lead for Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and India, Airbnb

Closing Summary

Prof. Cheong Koon Hean
Chair, Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities and Chair, CLC, AP, Ambassador to Finland

Track Sessions

These are deep dives within each thematic track, featuring panel discussions, special convening sessions and roundtables

Future Cities – Rejuvenating Urban Spaces

(led by the Housing Development Board, Singapore)

As cities continue to grow and evolve, their existing infrastructure would be put under greater stress. This plenary session aims to address the challenges posed by growing communities on ageing infrastructure and explore sustainable approaches to rejuvenate our urban spaces.

The session will delve into innovative architectural and design approaches that have successfully revitalised ageing infrastructure. From adaptive reuse to futuristic urban designs, our experts will share insights on how cities can reimagine their built environment to meet contemporary needs while preserving historical and cultural elements. Real world examples of urban rejuvenation through public housing initiatives will emphasise the importance of collaboration between government, communities, and private organisations. Case studies from Singapore’s Housing and Development Board will also demonstrate how sustainable building materials, renewable energy integration, and smart infrastructure solutions can transform public housing into sustainable, resilient, and inclusive homes.

Opening Remarks

Sim Ann
Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs & National Development, Singapore


Fong Chun Wah
Advisor, Housing & Development Board 


Ernst Woller
President of Provincial Parliament, Vienna
Raf Tuts
Director of the UN-Habitat Global Solutions Division
Lee Wai Kin
Group Director (Strategic Planning Group), Urban Redevelopment Authority
Choo Chin Hua
Group Director (Design Development), Housing & Development Board
Wong Mun Summ
Founding Director, WOHA Architects

Future Cities – Future of Liveability: Redefining Urban Indices

As cities face unprecedented global challenges and adapt to the evolving needs of diverse populations, the concept of "liveability" – reflecting residents' quality of life – has gained paramount importance. Liveability indices, measuring various urban life aspects, play a pivotal role in pinpointing critical intervention areas.

These indices are now essential in assessing, benchmarking and enhancing urban liveability. City governments and policymakers can use them to guide decisions and policies, fostering cross-city learning by drawing insights from global benchmarks and other cities' initiatives.

As global trends shape urban landscapes, there is a need for new indicators that accurately reflect evolving aspirations and concerns.

This panel discussion brings together perspectives from leading index houses to discuss the future of urban liveability. The conversation explores the role of data and indices in shaping more liveable urban futures.

Keynote Speaker

Sally Capp
Lord Mayor, Melbourne


Ritu Bhandari
Manager, Policy & Insights , Economist Impact


Andy Hodgson
Global Advisory Services Leader, Arup
Sumana Rajarethnam
Director, Economist Intelligence Corporate Network, South-East Asia
Anupam Yog
Director, Resonance Placemaking Pte Ltd
Rosa Daniel
Dean, Culture Academy Singapore

Future Cities – Urban Leaders Roundtable: Building Tomorrow’s Cities Today

(led by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, Singapore)

Urban planning is a multidisciplinary field that aims to address multifaceted challenges, ensuring cities evolve sustainably and thrive amidst the complexities of the 21st century. This dynamic forum will discuss dimensions of resilience planning, encompassing not only environmental considerations but also social, economic, and infrastructural aspects. Join us in exploring cutting-edge strategies to design cities that are not just functional but vibrant, sustainable, inclusive and resilient to climate change.

Opening Address

Adele Tan
Chief Planner, Urban Redevelopment Authority


Dr Chris Luebkeman
Leader, Strategic Foresight Hub, Office of the President, ETH Zurich
Sima Xiao
President, Urban Planning & Design Institute of Shenzhen
Edith Hsu-Chen
Executive Director, New York City Department of City Planning
Lungelo Mbandazayo
City Manager, City of Cape Town
Maria Buhigas
Chief Architect, Barcelona City Council

Future Cities – From Today’s Challenges to Tomorrow’s Cities: Female Leaders Driving Urban Innovation

(led by the United Nations Development Programme - UNDP)

In the face of rapid urbanisation and escalating challenges, traditional short-term approaches are proving inadequate, underscoring the necessity for a shift towards innovative and long-term strategies for urban resilience and adaptability.

In this session, female city leaders will share their pioneering experiences on essential capabilities, guiding principles, and collaborative strategies on how to navigate and lead the transformation towards resilient and thriving cities in the face of future uncertainties.


HE Maimunah Mohd Sharif
Special Envoy for Sustainable Urbanisation, Malaysia


Diana Torres
Governance Advisor, UNDP


Danela Arsovska
Mayor, Skopje
Ma. Josefina G. Belmonte
Mayor, Quezon City
Dorothy Kisaka
Executive Director, Kampala Capital City Authority

Future Cities – Roundtable on the Future of Downtowns

Downtowns worldwide are affected by the growth of hybrid and remote work while evolving smart technologies and quality of life aspirations compel Downtowns to reinvent themselves to remain competitive and vibrant in an environment of uncertainty. Even as Downtowns move towards having more mixed-uses, they face challenges like rising costs of living, increasing demand for green buildings, and the need to repurpose and retrofit ageing buildings to cater to changing expectations.  Given the need for Downtowns to adapt and evolve, this session will bring together participants from various cities and different professions to discuss how we can reimagine the Future of Downtowns.


Chintan Raveshia
Principal, Southeast Asia Cities Business Leader, Arup


Carlos Fernando Galán Pachón
Mayor, Bogotá
Chief Councillor Susan Aitken
Leader of the Council, Glasgow
Liu Ya-Ting
Chief Public Realm Officer, New York City
Koen Kennis
Vice Mayor, Antwerp
Kate West
Co-Chair, Australasia Region, Arup