Young leaders share ideas on future cities

Young leaders share ideas on future cities
Participants at the World Cities Summit Young Leaders' Symposium, a gathering of young leaders and city planners from around the world, posing for a group picture.

SINGAPORE - Some cities need ultra-modern technology; less developed ones just want decent public transport. However 57 "young leaders" in Singapore yesterday agreed that the best way to improve a city is good governance.

The World Cities Summit's inaugural Young Leaders Symposium took place at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre.

It featured government officials, urban planners, industry experts, architects, economists and researchers from 28 countries.

All were aged between 30 and 45 and took part in a discussion on how to make cities of the future better places to live.

For the Lord Mayor of Adelaide, Australia, 43-year-old Stephen Yarwood, the day of exchanging views with digital-savvy delegates was inspiring.

He intends to put on trial a way to track parking spaces in real time so prices can be adjusted depending on how empty or full a car park is.

Emptier lots would mean cheaper parking for motorists, but those same prices would rise during periods of congestion, encouraging more to use public transport.

"Just as cars defined the 20th century spatial dynamic of cities, the 21st century city will be manipulated and controlled through technology," he said.

The mayor of Taguig City in the Philippines, Ms Maria Laarni "Lani" L. Cayetano, 32, took more modest, but no less fundamental, lessons from the exchanges.

"Many delegates talked about technology and IT a lot, but we all have to go back to basics," she said.

She will return home reminded of the importance of "genuine" governance - listening to the needs of people.

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