More than 250 people will participate from tomorrow in the fourth edition of the World Cities Summit Mayors Forum, an international encounter where representatives from cities all over the world, international organisations and companies specialising in urban solutions will discuss “Sustainable and Habitable Cities: Common challenges, shared solutions”
The World Cities Summit Mayors Forum, which was held for the first time in Singapore, constitutes a unique opportunity to share experiences and “good practices” between cities and metropolitan regions in the whole world, on matters related to competitive economy, environmental sustainability, improvement in the quality of life, urban governance and the elaboration of flexible urban plans that favour the balanced progress of cities.
For the first time, the World Cities Summit Mayors Forum will expand its duration from one to three days, and includes two new events which will make it possible to get to know, at first hand, technological proposals and new business niches of prestigious international companies specialised in the development of urban solutions (WCS Business Summit), and new points of view about urban development from young urban leaders from all over the world (WCS Young Leaders).
Participating in the IV World Cities Summit Mayors Forum will be a total of 80 delegations, among them 54 cities and metropolitan areas from all over the world, namely Houston (USA), Moscow (Russia, Cape Town (South Africa), Puebla (Mexico), Tunisia, Cairo (Egypt), Perth (Australia), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Batam (Indonesia), Barranquilla (Colombia), Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Quezon City (The Philippines), Jakarta (Indonesia), Tashkent (Uzbekistan), Busan (South Korea), Sao Paulo State (Brazil) and the kingdoms of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, among other.
By continents, nearly half of the participating administrations (26) correspond to Asia, followed by America (10), Africa (10), Europe (6) and Oceania (2).
The World Cities Summit Mayors Forum Bilbao 2013 will be held tomorrow, Thursday and Saturday 15 June in the Culture and Leisure Centre AlhondigaBilbao whose exhibition hall has been refurbished to accommodate the plenary sessions of the encounter.
The Forum will begin at 12.30 pm with the inauguration of a business exhibition in the Atrium of AlhondigaBilbao, followed at 1.00 pm by the welcoming address given by the authorities of Bilbao and Singapore.
The first plenary of the Forum will be held tomorrow at midday, from 1.30 to 3.30 pm to analyse the “Common challenges” of cities today, by presenting the experience of Bilbao and an analysis of the specific cases of Cape Town (South Africa), Fukuoka (Japan), Cairo (Egypt) and Sozhou (China). Next there will be two sessions to discuss “Integrated planning and dynamic governance” and “The construction of a competitive economy”.
The day will conclude with an official reception in the “Arabian Room” of the City Hall of Bilbao, commencing at 8.30 pm.
On Friday 14th between 9.00 and 10.20 am there will be a plenary session on “Shared Solutions” in which experiences in Singapore and the specific cases of Perth (Australia) and Jakarta (Indonesia) will be presented. Subsequent sessions will discuss “Guaranteeing a sustainable environment” and “The achievement of high quality life”.
Finally, at 1.00 pm there will be a concluding plenary session of the World Cities Summit Mayors Forum with the Prince of Asturias in attendance.
All this events will have the collaboration of different international organizations that are involved in developing solutions for the future of the cities, such as, Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy of the European Union, the World Bank, The Global Network of Cities, Local and Regional Governments (UCLG), the German Marshall Fund of the U.S.A, Financial development entity for the Territorial Development (Findeter) of Colombia, or the George Washington University.
The World City Summit Mayors Forum Bilbao 2013 would also have 25 important companies and corporations from all over the world that would take part actively on the different activities.
This first World City Summit Mayors Forum organized outside Singapore is going to last longer than usual in order to have more events that will give the companies that are specialized in developing urban solutions the chance to give their opinion and points of view about the future of the cities.
The fist event, the WCS Business Summit, is a small business summit that will be celebrated on the 14th from 15:30 to 18:30. It will have three big thematic blocks:
- Collaboration in investigation between the Welcoming and Development Committee of Singapore, the energetic corporation EDF and the multinational company Veolia.
- Urban solutions: 1st Panel (Singapore), with the participation of senior positions of Shell Companies, Keppel Corporation, IBM, Siemens, Surbana and Philips.
- Urban solutions: 2nd Panel (Bilbao), with the participation of senior positions of BBVA, CAF, Iberdrola, Idom, Sener and Mondragon Corporation, moderated by Alfonso Vergara, chief executive of Fundcion Metropoli. They will provide different urban solutions developed by their companies all over the world and they will also discuss about future business niches.
The companies taking part in this firs WCS Business Summit edition will have an exhibition area in the Atrium of AlhondigaBilbao, with different panels where they will expose their lines of action and of business regarding sustainability and urban solutions.
On the other hand, on the 15th Saturday, between 08:45 and 12:00 there will be a meeting for nine urban leaders of 35-45 years that have been nominated as candidates for the new WCS Young Leaders Program. This program´s goal is to foster the transformation of the cities and shape the agenda of the next World City Summit.
This first meeting between young leaders from different urban sectors will start with a summary of the first conclusions reached in the fourth World Cities Summit Mayors Forum concerning the sustainability of the future´s cities. Some brainstorming sessions will be made in order to analyze the way to boost the change in the cities.
The meeting between young urban leaders will also help expose the main goals of the new WCS Young Leaders and give in advance some of the topics that will be analyzed in the next World Cities Summit Mayors Forum´s edition, that will be in Singapore in June 2014.
The celebration of the fourth edition of the World Cities Summit Mayors Forum in Bilbao is part of the Collaboration agreement signed in November 2012 between Bilbao´s City Council and the Center for Liveable Cities of the Republic of Singapore and its aim is to show the whole world the potential Bilbao has as a reference of sustainability, habitability and urban conversion.
Bilbao, which took part for the first time on the World Cities Summit Mayors Forum in 2010, maintains since then a strategic future alliance with the Republic of Singapore. That same year, Bilbao was awarded with the Lee Kuan Yew Word City Prize – considered as the Nobel Prize for the cities – as recognition for the leadership in favor of the creation of a “vibrating, livable and sustainable” urban community.
In this regard, the World Cities Summit Mayors Forum Bilbao 2013 will allow to build stronger relationships not only with emerging cities such as Mexico, Russia or Colombia but also with important international companies that are developing new urban models such as the German Marshall Fund (USA) or the Financial development entity for the Territorial Development (Findeter) of Colombia.
Furthermore, the Basque companies related to livability, sustainability, innovation and urban solutions will have the chance to explain their experiences, projects and services with greater emphasize in emerging markets, in the conviction that internationalization is nowadays one of the warranties for competitiveness and a fundamental pillar to grow, generate wealth and create work.