'Leaders of tomorrow' to meet at global summits to solve future cities' problems

Two major global summits hosted by Singapore to tackle the problems growing cities face, such as climate change and resource shortage, will for the first time, host not only today's leaders but up and coming ones as well.

The World Cities Summit (WCS) and Singapore International Water Week (SIWW), which happen every two years and will be held from 1 to 5 June this year, will organise conferences for a hand-picked group of about 150 younger policymakers, academics and industry representatives under the age of 45. They will discuss how to "catalyse change" toward more sustainable, resilient cities.

Those invited include architect-engineer Carlo Ratti, director of the Singapore-based Massachusetts Institute of Technology Senseable City Lab, and managing director of the philantropic organisation World Future Foundation Lu Bo.

The United Nations estimates that more than five billion people, or six in 10 people, will live in cities by 2030.

Mr Khoo Teng Chye, executive director of the Centre for Liveable Cities, the co-organiser of WCS together with the Urban Redevelopment Authority, said: "We do want to see a new group of people with fresh ideas and solutions."

"We think that they will form the core of a group of young, dynamic city leaders who will have many ideas... to share with (older) leaders."

In 2012, together with the CleanEnviro Summit, the three events held at Marina Bay Sands drew some 19,000 government leaders and urban experts from 100 countries to focus on issues such as city planning, the environment, wealth gaps, social stability, and solutions to energy, water and waste issues.

This year(2014), about 20,000 delegates are expected, including OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria and World Resources Institute chairman, Dr Andrew Steer.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will open the three summits.

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