SINGAPORE - More than 60 young leaders from around the world will gather at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre on Saturday to exchange ideas on how cities can become more sustainable, liveable and desirable.
They will be part of the World Cities Summit's inaugural Young Leaders Symposium, which seeks to pool their knowledge to shape future urban development plans.
The United Nations estimates that more than five billion people, or six in 10 people, will live in cities by 2030.
The World Cities Summit, held once every two years, gathers mayors, city leaders and experts to discuss ways to build sustainable cities. It will be held from Sunday to Wednesday.
"The issues we aim to address at the summit and the solutions we hope to co-create will impact the world in the decades to come," said Mr Khoo Teng Chye, executive director of the Centre for Liveable Cities in Singapore.
"It is therefore very crucial to include the next generation in the conversation to ensure that their ideas and voices are heard."
Young Leaders Symposium participants are typically aged between 30 and 45, and they will come from 28 countries, including Australia, Britain, Denmark, Japan, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.
Their ranks will include government officials, industry experts, urban planners, architects, designers, economists and researchers.
Mr Ridwan Kamil, the Mayor of Bandung in Indonesia, and Mr Clayton Lane, deputy director of the non-governmental think-tank World Resources Institute, will be among the foreign delegates.
Singapore's representatives will include National Heritage Board group director Alvin Tan, and Mr Laurence Lien, chairman of the philanthropic Lien Foundation.
Ambassador Burhan Gafoor, Singapore's chief negotiator for climate change, will chair the symposium. The guest of honour will be Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee.
The young leaders are selected once every two years for three-year tenures. During their term, they will be invited to events and meetings to share best practices and start projects. They can mentor other leaders when their terms are completed.
Other events at the summit will include discussions on innovative urban solutions for cities, urban challenges in the next decade and a forum for mayors.
The Straits Times is the media partner for the World Cities Summit, Singapore International Water Week and the CleanEnviro Summit Singapore, all of which are taking place next week.
This article was first published on May 28, 2014.
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