Opening today, the World Cities Summit (WCS) Expo is set to showcase the latest and most innovative solutions for liveable cities of the future, and has attracted around 50 participating companies and agencies. The Expo will be officially opened on the evening of 28 June 2010 by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Mr Teo Chee Hean. With nearly 100 percent of the available exhibition area already taken up, it is ready to welcome an expected 3,000 trade visitors from 29 June to 1 July.
Organised as an integral component of the second biennial World Cities Summit, the WCS Expo will focus on practical, scalable and replicable solutions to challenges faced by cities today and tomorrow. It aims to feature model cities and innovative urban solutions that can enhance economic value, whilst addressing environmental challenges.
The WCS Expo will comprise three distinctive components – the Cities Pavilion, the Singapore Inc Pavilion, and the Urban Solutions Pavilion.
a) The Cities Pavilion will feature leading cities from around the world, such as Suzhou in China and Lagos in Nigeria, illustrating how they have adopted sustainable practices in their urban development.
b) The Singapore Inc Pavilion features novel features and comprehensive displays by local agencies involved in various sustainable development initiatives. They include the Housing and Development Board (HDB), the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), the Economic Development Board (EDB), JTC Corporation, the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), etc.
c) The Urban Solutions Pavilion profiles the innovative projects by major integrated city solution providers, such as Siemens, IBM, Keppel Corporation, and SMRT Corporation.
Expo Highlight: WCS Centrepiece
Taking prime position, a WCS Centrepiece has been specially commissioned by URA and HDB to highlight the key components of the Expo, which includes exhibits belonging to HDB, URA, and Bilbao, Spain. Bilbao City Hall will be conferred the inaugural Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize at the Lee Kuan Yew Prize Award Prize Ceremony at the World Cities Summit.
Expo Highlight: R&D for the Future
Seventeen innovative solutions developed by researchers from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (ASTAR) will be presented at the ASTAR booth. Some examples of these cutting-edge technologies that aim to advance healthcare delivery, enhance lifestyles, and make urban living more sustainable include flexible electronics technology to improve healthcare delivery, linguistics technology to enhance television news viewing, and alternative energy production from organic waste.
Commenting on the displays, ASTAR’s Deputy Managing Director for Research Prof Low Teck Seng said: “The technologies showcased here at the World Cities Summit demonstrate the importance of R&D in tackling global challenges facing our society today as well as in the future. By integrating the wide spectrum of capabilities in the ASTAR research institutes, we have been able to carry out high quality research and produce innovative solutions that will not only make urban living more ‘liveable’ and sustainable, but will also help to generate new economic activities and even open up new markets in areas, such as healthcare, alternative energy and green products.”
Expo Highlight: EDB-JTC “Singapore: Future Ready” Showcase
As the rate of urbanisation increases exponentially around the world, cities face multiple challenges in areas, such as urban planning and public transportation. To demonstrate Singapore’s ingenuity and spirit of partnership at the World Cities Summit, Singapore: Future Ready seeks to provide a platform for urban solutions providers and policy-makers to network, share information and collaborate. Helping stakeholders uncover interesting opportunities, and more innovative answers for tomorrow’s most challenging urban questions.
“WCS offers a good platform for participants with diverse expertise to share their ideas and viewpoints. Through the use of interactive digital media, visitors to the joint EDB-JTC booth will be able to engage in live conversations regarding challenges and opportunities that come with urbanisation,” noted Dr Beh Swan Gin, Managing Director of the Singapore Economic Development Board. “We will also be sharing examples of how Singapore has overcome some of our own challenges, and how companies are partnering Singapore to develop sustainable urban solutions for cities of the future.”
Commenting on JTC Corporation’s contributions, CEO Manohar Khiatani said, “As Singapore’s first eco-business park, CleanTech Park will push the boundaries of green sustainability, serving as a test-bed and icon for the development and application of clean technologies. Environmental sustainability will be the natural direction that businesses will take in order to move forward. CleanTech Park will be emblematic of how businesses can achieve both economic vibrancy and environmental sustainability; functioning in harmony with nature. WCS is an excellent international platform to showcase Singapore’s CleanTech Park. We look forward to sharing and exchanging ideas on fostering harmonious and sustainable communities.”
Expo Highlight: City of the Future by Siemens
Meanwhile, at the Siemens “City of the Future” showcase at the World Cities Summit, which focuses on an interactive overview about Siemens’ offerings and solutions for cities, visitors can expect a video wall illustrating solutions to urban challenges such as emergency preparedness, and the “Megatrends” game, where players can learn to manage a city over 40 years.
“Cities are the growth drivers of the future, but increasing urbanisation poses enormous infrastructure and environmental challenges. As an integrated technology company with the world’s largest environmental portfolio, Siemens offers a wide array of sustainable infrastructure solutions in areas such as energy, healthcare, transportation, water, and waste water treatment that can help cities minimise their ecological footprint, as well as cope with future challenges. We are looking forward to sharing these solutions at World Cities Summit,” said Mr Jens Wegmann, CEO of Industry Solutions, Industry Sector, Siemens AG.
Expo Highlight: SmarterCities by IBM
Equipped with its own business science and technology insights and the innovative work already underway for its clients, IBM has announced five predictions about how cities will get smarter in the next five to ten years, and its booth at the WCS Expo will underscore the five thrusts that:
a) Cities will have healthier immune systems;
b) City buildings will sense and respond like living organisms;
c) Cars and city buses will run on empty;
d) Smarter systems will quench cities’ thirst for water and save energy; and
e) Cities will respond to a crisis - even before receiving an emergency phone call.
At the same time, various Networking Forums will take place in the WCS Expo. These forums, comprising representatives from government, trade and research organisations, key technology providers, financial institutions and urban authorities, will allow speakers to share their insights in relevant areas including city management, development projects, and opportunities in the global urban sector.
The WCS Expo will also, for the first time, present displays from student groups, including architectural and planning designs, as well as digital games on sustainable development and environmental awareness. Selected students will be invited to attend the Expo on the last day on 1 July.
“The WCS Expo provides an integrated platform for our public and private sector agencies to showcase their best ideas, expertise and technologies. The take up of the Expo has exceeded expectations,” said Mr Andrew Tan, Co-Chair of the WCS. “Visitors will be able to see some of the latest eco-city projects from the Middle East, Latin America, China, Africa and Singapore.” Mr Tan is also the Director of the Centre for Liveable Cities, one of the co-organisers of the World Cities Summit, and concurrently the CEO of Singapore’s National Environment Agency.