4 Jul 2011
World leaders discuss future directions for urban development
What lies in store for humanity?
This question was top of the agenda at a joint opening plenary which brought together three concurrent conferences happening today: The World Cities Summit, The CleanEnviro Summit and the Singapore International Water Week. 15,000 top leaders, experts and delegates from around the world are expected to attend this joint event.
The plenary panel consisted of Professor Tommy Koh, Ambassador-at-Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore; His Excellency Kamal Nath, Minister of Urban Development, India; The Honourable Ama Pepple, Minister of Lands, Housing and Development, Nigeria; His Excellency Shintaro Ishihara, Governor, Tokyo, Japan; Ms Pamela Cox, Vice President (East Asia & the Pacific), World Bank; Mr Qian Min, Commissioner, Huai River Water Resources Commission, China; Mr Henri Proglio, Chairman, Electricite de France; Dr Roland Busch, CEO, Infrastructure and Cities, Siemens AG and Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister of Environment & Water Resources, Singapore.
According to Dr Balakrishnan, about 50% of the world population today lives in cities and by 2050, that number is expected to increase to 80%. But how do countries plan to meet the wants of today without sacrificing the needs of tomorrow? This and other related issues aimed at coping with rapid urbanisation were discussed at the session.
By Clarke Kent