PM Lee: Let's learn from other cities

PM Lee: Let's learn from other cities

Improving Singapore is a "journey without end", and we can learn from other cities as new challenges emerge, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday.

"People's expectations are rising," he said at the opening of the World Cities Summit, Singapore International Water Week and CleanEnviro Summit at Marina Bay Sands.

"Other cities continue to move ahead, developing innovative solutions and setting new standards."

In the past two years, more than 100 million people have moved to cities, he said. That is about 20 times the population of Singapore. As much as 70 per cent of the world's population is expected to live in cities by 2050.

And new challenges such as climate change have surfaced, producing floods in London and Cairo's first snowfall in a century.

Singapore has tried to manage water, energy, and nature carefully and transformed Marina Bay from a "dirty river dotted with pollutive industries and slums", but it can still learn from other cities' experiences, Mr Lee said.

He gave the examples of Manhattan, with its central hotline for municipal services, Copenhagen with its "pocket parks" downtown, and the Spanish metropolis of Bilbao with its arts and culture spaces.

Singapore is also engaging citizens and residents by preserving Pulau Ubin's nature through the Ubin Project, which asks for public ideas to protect the rustic island, and carrying out public consultations to review its sustainable-development blueprint.

At the three major biennial events this week, which run till Wednesday, government leaders, experts and other delegates are meeting to discuss solutions to the world's urban issues.

City leaders from around the world discussed governance and community engagement at the World Cities Summit Mayors Forum yesterday. Delegates also discussed sustainable urbanisation and water management.

This article was first published on June 02, 2014.
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