Lessons in Urban Planning: The Singapore Summit

The theme of the World Cities Summit 2022 is “Liveable and Sustainable Cities: Emerging Stronger”. This will be a four-day event from July 31 to August 3, 2022.

The Covid epidemic had practically closed the cities of the world, so much so that not only was a huge population locked away out of justified fear, but economic and social life became unsustainable. Millions lost their livelihoods. Billions of dollars have been eroded from businesses, particularly airlines and those that depend entirely on tourism like Sri Lanka. Somehow, saving your own life took precedence.
Based on this scenario, which leaves behind a bad dream but not the thought and willingness to face such an eventuality again, this Sunday will be the gathering of a large focused group of business leaders, mayors, governments and delegates from different regions of the world occur. at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Singapore to attend the 8th World Cities Summit (WCS). This will be a four-day event from July 31 to August 3, 2022.

Sands Expo & Convention Center.

The theme of WCS 2022 is “Livable and Sustainable Cities: Emerging Stronger”.
The Summiteers would discuss issues related to livable and sustainable cities, share integrated urban solutions, present case studies and also form new partnerships, as well as offer the first-ever WCS Smart Cities Workshop. It is a global biennial conference hosted by Singapore and jointly organized by the Singapore Center for Livable Cities and the Urban Redevelopment Authority. Strategic partners include the World Bank and several UN organizations, including UNESCAP.
As confirmed by the World Health Organization, almost 91% of the world’s population lives in areas where air quality exceeds guideline values, which negatively affects human health and the environment. One solution is a new generation of bus shelters with moss-covered roofs that help improve air quality for passengers and provide a natural cooling system, and have become an effective solution to urban heat islands in many parts of the world.
Similarly, intelligent data-driven traffic management solutions have not only become indispensable tools for transport authorities, they are also critical to reducing congestion and reshaping the way safer cities are planned and developed.
In the coming decades, the number of buildings worldwide is expected to double. City experts and thought leaders are concerned about the massive construction boom and its impact on the environment. It remains to be discussed how accurate carbon data will reduce environmental impact and reconcile it with sustainability.
June 5th was World Environment Day, June 8th was World Oceans Day. From raising awareness and promoting action to combat the climate crisis to reviving the ocean and managing human activities on it in a sustainable manner, the idea will be discussed in the plenary session entitled “Livable and Sustainable Cities: Combating the Climate Crisis”.
The earlier virtual summit in October 2021 brought similar interactions, such as an evolutionary process of redefining priorities and agendas to make cities more livable and hospitable to residents.
As we therefore discuss that global cities need equity, climate action and citizen focus.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham had stressed that the vulnerabilities of the low paid should affect everyone: “Inequality mattered before the pandemic, but I think the pandemic has made it clear why it really matters. It is obviously difficult for people in a position where they do not have secure employment to protect their own health. But it also affects the health of everyone else.”
Mr Ngatcha, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of international affairs and La Francophonie, observed: “Cities are strong when they learn from each other and ensure best practices.” He gave examples of Paris’ green recovery efforts, including building hundreds of new ones Bike connections, planting 170,000 trees and renovating 5,000 homes to reduce poverty and increase access to cleaner heating solutions.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who was invited by the hosts to attend the summit, was to present the case of the capital and its improved state schooling system, which means a lot to its vast population.
Pak Sandiaga Uno, Minister of Tourism and Creative Industries, Indonesia believes that “in the post-pandemic era, tourists will have much higher expectations in terms of cleanliness, health, safety and environmental sustainability. Many young millennials traveling to Bali want to engage in tourism activities that will offset the carbon they used to bring to Bali.” According to him, tourist destinations must meet the increasing environmental demands of the public and prioritize the well-being of their tourists and citizens.
Mayor Burnham had also noted that the average workweek now looks different given the mix of remote and face-to-face work, requiring a rethink of space. One lesson from the Covid pandemic is the pressing question of how to build cities that not only help residents live, but help engage as healthy and happy people. City and industry leaders are therefore likely to express confidence in prioritizing human-centric, nature-based, and flexible interdisciplinary approaches to city planning.
Let’s get to the happiness quotient and let’s not forget Thimpu, the capital of Bhutan. Professor Lam Khee Poh, Dean of the NUS School of Design and Environment in Singapore, said: “Happier people tend to be healthier because of the way they live. A healthy city must therefore create inspiring and conducive physical and social environments to support such decisions. So the focus has to be on the people that cities were built to house and care for.”
Brian Yang, Partner & Architect at Bjarke Ingels Group in New York and Copenhagen, believes we need to rethink how social connections are formed and strengthened in times of upheaval. During the lockdown in Copenhagen, bakeries, squares and parks became key spaces that allowed residents to still feel connected. Supporting the importance of community-centric design, he highlights the 8 House, an experiment in extending street life into buildings while creating a “unique sense of community and intimacy, but with the density and programming of an urban fringe”. .
Prof. Lam Khee Poh (Dean School of Design & Environment National University of Singapore) believes he asks his students to navigate Singapore’s apartment blocks in wheelchairs as part of his experiential learning pedagogy: “Once you do that, you never forget it! “
When you think of cities worth living in, the idea of ​​promoting flexible, interdisciplinary development approaches also comes to mind. Limited resources can be maximized and old infrastructure can be reused. After all, cities must be climate-resilient.

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