Wrapping up the World Cities Summit Mayors Forum in Bilbao, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan says if cities choose to rely on practices from the past, they will be overtaken by other emerging cities.
BILBAO, Spain: National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan has urged cities to continuously transform themselves to stay relevant.
Wrapping up the World Cities Summit Mayors Forum in Bilbao on June 14, Mr Khaw said if cities choose to rely on practices from the past, they will be overtaken by other emerging cities.
He said change is part of the process that enables cities to rejuvenate and to revitalise themselves but cities must manage change sensitively to enable their people to feel that their lives have become better with change, and not be overwhelmed by change.
Mr Khaw believes technology will be key to a city's sustainability.
"Technology will continue to prop up to assist us in how to run the economy in a more sustainable way. Another good example is traffic, cars. Technology in that area will change and we hope there will be more electric cars"
This year's forum includes a business summit for the first time.
Urban planners and service companies shared ideas and strategies, and discussed turning them into business solutions for implementation within cities.
Singapore company Surbana said the land scarcity in Singapore has not deterred urban planners from innovating.
An example is the integrated town hub where retail malls, public transport facilities and residential property are housed under one roof.
Surbana's CEO Pang Yee Ean, said: "Whether Singapore has enough land, as professionals, we discuss internally. We are quite confident that Singapore has enough land to house the population projection. It's more of how to do it. It's about having the determination to do it."
During the business summit, public housing provider Housing & Development Board (HDB) signed a research collaboration agreement with energy giant Electricite de France and leading environmental services player Veolia Environnement Recherche et Innovation.
They will work together on a complex system modelling tool that will improve HDB's town planning.
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