S’pore World Cities Summit 2010 engages the youth

The World Cities Summit 2010, to be held this year from 28 June to 1 July, will see greater participation from students in Singapore. For the first time, the WCS Expo will showcase displays from various student groups, and these include architectural and planning designs, as well as digital games on sustainable development and environmental awareness.

In addition, the winners and grand finalists of the 2010 NUS Chancellor’s Challenge Shield will get to meet high-level Summit speakers to discuss issues of interest to today’s urban youth. Meanwhile, the doors to the WCS Expo will be widened to include visits from selected student groups.

The Expo, created to complement the proceedings at the World Cities Summit, will showcase the latest and most innovative solutions devised to meet the most pressing challenges faced by cities today. Besides the contributions from leading companies and business, pavilions from Singapore agencies and from top international cities will be erected as well.

The exhibition space will cover an floorspace more than three times the area set aside in the inaugural Expo at WCS 2008.

“Our youths will shape the cities of the future. Hence, we wanted WCS to reach out and involve local tertiary institutions that are nurturing the vision, passion and attitudes of our youths towards sustainable urban development,” said Mr Lionel Yeo, Dean and CEO of the Civil Service College and also the Co-Chairman of the WCS.

“Students will be given the opportunity to showcase their ideas and creativity around the theme of liveable and sustainable cities. Through interactions with key speakers, we hope to engage students in conversations on the cities of the future.”

Mr Yeo added, “Educational institutions are placing greater emphasis on the issue of sustainability, and a good example is the recently launched Diploma Plus Certificate in Sustainability introduced by Singapore Polytechnic.”

From academic year 2010/11, all Singapore Polytechnic students with good results can apply for the Diploma Plus Certificate in Sustainability to value-add to their specific diploma course. “Last year, the Government launched the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint, and earmarked $1 billion for sustainable development efforts.

This year, the focus of the World Cities Summit Exhibition is on urban solutions. The signal, locally and internationally, is clear, and the demand for expertise in sustainability issues will only grow,” said the Principal of Singapore Polytechnic, Mr Tan Hang Cheong.

Mr Tan further noted that Singapore Polytechnic was proud to be amongst the earliest educational institutions to recognise these important trends, and to include components of sustainable development in its educational programmes.

Fifty students out of more than 200 applicants have been selected to take up this inaugural run, commencing on 19 April 2010.

Mr Choo Xin Wenn, 18, is a student studying for a Diploma in Architecture who has been selected to take up the Diploma Plus in Sustainability. He said, “I relish the opportunity to explore a new area, and Singapore Polytechnic has made it possible for us to pick up relevant skills, and better prepare ourselves for the job market. We also look forward to our visit to the WCS Expo, and to interact with leaders from all over the world.”

Additionally, at the WCS Expo, students from Singapore Polytechnic’s School of Architecture and the Built Environment will be showcasing their architectural designs for an imagined new Islamic cultural centre in Singapore, a joint conceptual project undertaken in conjunction with MUIS. Visualized to be located next to the Jamae Mosque in Chinatown, the design of the Centre will also fit well within the rich multiracial diversity of the area, which includes the Sri Mariammam Temple, a Buddhist temple, and a predominantly Chinese community.

First WCS and NUS Digital Games Project

For the first time, WCS is collaborating with the NUS Communications and New Media programme to design digital games related to issues of sustainable development and environmental awareness. Three games, titled “Green Roof”, “Trash Frenzy” and “Energy vs Waste” have been devised.

When fully developed, the games will be launched online at the WCS Expo. Through the light-hearted and interactive game-play, WCS hopes to generate a better awareness of the sustainable development cause amongst youths and Expo visitors alike.

Mr Ang Yan Ning, 24, an NUS student working on the project, commented, “Through the process of research to designing the mechanics of the game, we have learnt a lot about sustainable development. We have compiled many facts about Singapore that we previously never knew, such as the landfill area off Pulau Semakau.

Given the land and resource limitations of Singapore, sustainable development is the key to our future.”

About the World Cities Summit 2010

The World Cities Summit is a premier international event organised jointly by the Centre for Liveable Cities and the Civil Service College, with support from various Singapore government agencies.

To be held at Suntec City between 28 June and 1 July 2010, WCS 2010 will bring together over a thousand distinguished delegates to confer on issues relating to leadership and governance, the building of sustainable and eco-friendly cities, and the fostering of harmonious and sustainable communities.

Now in its second run, the Summit aims to serve as a leading platform for global cities to identify practical, scalable and replicable solutions to the urban challenges of today and tomorrow.

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