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Sunday, Jun 1, 2014

Singapore

Putting people at the centre of policy goals key to sustainable urban development

AsiaOne | Sunday, Jun 1, 2014

Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of National Development

SINGAPORE - Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Singapore's Senior Minister of State for Trade & Industry and National Development, stressed the importance of engaging the community so that all can move towards achieving policy goals.

Speaking at the World Cities Summit Mayors Forum (WCSMF) on Sunday, where he was also the chairman, Mr Lee said: "As city leaders, we have the heavy responsibility of mobilising the necessary resources and coordinating different programmes".

Mayors and city leaders also agreed that it is most important to engage their community and put people at the centre of policy goals, according to a statement by World Cities Summit (WCS). Lord Mayor Damon Thomas of Hobart, Australia said: "Passion and people involvement are key… unless the people feel connected and proud, it's not much use."

Mr Lee also 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 WCSMF 2014 is a key highlight at this year's WCS, a biennial global platform for government and industry leaders. Over 130 mayors and city leaders from global cities, the largest gathering of mayors to date, met to discuss the importance of good governance and community engagement, and how smart technologies will contribute to urban development at the forum.

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.

Mr Lee also announced that next year's WCSMF will 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.

natlim@sph.com.sg

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