World Cities Summit 2012 Factsheet

About the World Cities Summit (WCS)

Held from 1 to 4 July 2012, the World Cities Summit is a biennial global event for world leaders and experts to exchange new ideas on liveable and sustainable urban solutions, explore the latest technologies and forge new business partnerships. Based on the theme of “Liveable And Sustainable Cities – Integrated Urban Solutions”, the third edition of the Summit is expected to share new insights and trends on urbanisation challenges around the world.

Since it started in 2008, this biennial high-level  global Summit has been attracting top government and industry leaders from around the world. The third run this year is timely given the urgent need for cities to step up their efforts to address mounting urbanisation challenges.

The Summit offers a platform for dialogue and learning through sharing of best practices, which offer new insights and perspectives to addressing cities’ unique problems and challenges.

The World Cities Summit is co-organised by the Centre for Liveable Cities and the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Refer to Annex A for an overview of the World Cities Summit programme.

Why focus on integrated solutions

Touching on a new direction for cities of the future, the Summit’s theme is “Liveable and Sustainable Cities – Integrated Urban Solutions”.

Explaining the focus on an integrated approach, Mr Khoo Teng Chye, Executive Director of the Centre for Liveable Cities said: “By 2050, 70% of the world’s population will be living in cities. This creates enormous pressure to ensure that infrastructure, housing, services and the environment are able to meet the needs of current and future generations. To tackle these pressures head-on, it is  increasingly insufficient to address fundamental challenges on water, environment, waste  and other components separately. What will now set cities apart is how they can creatively  address these separate components together as a whole for sustainable growth and a better quality of life.”

Integrated solutions is about taking a helicopter view towards urban planning as opposed to buying single solutions to meet single needs on water,  environment and waste.

Bigger turn-out

A bigger turn-out of more than 3,500 top global leaders is expected for this year’s Summit, which will be co-located for the very first time with two other events – the 5th Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) and the inaugural CleanEnviro Summit Singapore (CESS).

The co-location of the three events reflects this move towards integration, facilitating  deeper discussions on new solutions and ideas in this area.

Some of the key speakers for the World Cities Summit 2012 include Ms Helen Clark, Administrator of United Nations Development Programme, Kamal Nath, India’s Minister of Urban Development, and Dr Roland Busch, CEO of Infrastructure & Cities, Siemens AG. Highlevel industry experts, leading academics and representatives of international organisations from KPMG, IBM, Keppel, Harvard Business School, the World Bank and the World Health Organisation will also participate in the event.

Refer to Annex B for key speakers at WCS.

Deeper insights on pressing issues

The Summit is expected to generate new perspectives, insights and directions to be set for the future of sustainable cities. There will be discussions on urbanisation opportunities and challenges over the next 20 years. Other interesting topics that will be raised are investing in cities and new smart cities solutions. There will also be a special focus on development opportunities in India. Major topics that will be covered at the Summit are:

  • Intense Cities: Achieving levels of urban intensity, not merely density
  • Eco-Cities: Fad or a sustainable option for cities?
  • Biodiverse Cities: Sustaining a model of co-existence and conservation
  • Resilient Cities: Designing System-wide responses to external forces
  • Smart Cities: Harnessing technology, improving efficiency
  • Mobile Cities: In search of new urban mobility models
  • Inclusive Cities: Supporting & integrating a productive ageing community
  • Investing in Cities: Re-inventing and sustaining cities through public-private partnerships

Refer to Annex C for details on the major topics covered at WCS.

More business opportunities

One new aspect of this year’s Summit is a stronger facilitation of business collaborations. New In-Focus sessions will be offered as a platform for government leaders and industry solution providers to share opportunities and solutions on urban infrastructure and services for the emerging economies of Asia.

The World Cities Summit Expo will also showcase model cities’ best practices, innovative urban solutions and technologies for smarter cities of the future. Of the over 2,000 square metres of the Expo, 90% of the space has been taken up, with  3,000 attendees expected to visit. The Expo has also attracted strong participation from governments, including those from Saudi Arabia and Denmark, and the private sector, including Siemens, Keppel, IBM and Accenture.

Honouring achievements, sharing best practices

Mayors Forum

The Mayors Forum is an annual international platform for Mayors, government officials and urban experts to share best practices in urban development. This year, it will focus on solutions to high-rise, high-density living in cities. The forum is a key highlight of WCS and has gained international traction, with 54 Mayors already having confirmed their attendance, up from 32 Mayors in 2010. Half are new participants from ASEAN, Africa, South America, India and Russia.

Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize

Another major highlight of the Summit is the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize. The Prize honours outstanding contributions towards the creation of vibrant, liveable and sustainable urban communities around the world. This prestigious prize is named after Singapore’s first Prime Minister who was instrumental in transforming Singapore into a distinctive, clean and green garden city within a few decades. Bilbao City Hall  was named the inaugural Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Laureate in 2010 for its significant urban transformation over 25 years.

The Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize 2012 was awarded to New York City for its remarkable transformation since September 11.

Six other cities and organisations were given Special Mention:

1. Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, Ahmedabad, India
2. AHT Group AG & SUN Development, Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa
3. Brisbane City Council – Urban Renewal Brisbane, Brisbane, Australia
4. City of Copenhagen (and Lord Mayor), Copenhagen, Denmark
5. City of  Malmö, Sweden
6. City of Vancouver, British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

New York City and the six special mentions will share their success stories in a lecture and forum during the World Cities Summit on 2 July 2012. There will also be an award ceremony for the Prize Laureate 2012.

For more information, visit

Asian Network of Major Cities

Another major co-located event with WCS is the Asian Network of Major Cities. Led by Japan, it is a platform to promote collaboration amongst 11 member cities (eg. Seoul, Taipei, Delhi, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hanoi, Bangkok) on crisis  management, environmental countermeasures and industrial development. Singapore will host the 11th plenary meeting on 30 June 2012.

WCS registration

To register your interest to attend the World Cities Summit, visit


The World Cities Summit would like to thank the following sponsors: Keppel Corporation, Shell, Accenture Pte Ltd, Far East Organization, IBM, NCS Pte Ltd, Panasonic Asia Pacific Pte Ltd, Siemens, China Construction (South Pacific) Development Co Pte Ltd, EDF/VEOLIA, GDF SUEZ, KPMG Services Pte Ltd, Philips Lighting China, Qingjian International (South Pacific) Development Co Pte Ltd, Singbridge International Pte Ltd.

Media queries

For media queries and media registration, please contact:

Ikram Zainy
H+K Strategies Singapore for World Cities Summit
DID: +65 6390 3334
Mobile: +65 9655 3441

Lin Kuek
H+K Strategies Singapore for World Cities Summit
DID: +65 6390 3363
Mobile: +65 9336 5080

For annex(s) refer to:

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