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    Southeast Asia
     Jun 6, '14

Urban planning key in Singapore talks
By Kalinga Seneviratne

SINGAPORE - With over 20,000 international participants, a triple summit wrapping up today in Singapore is generating an abundance of ideas on sustainable cities.

Combining the World City Summit, Singapore Water Week and the CleanEnviro Summit into one mega-event (at one venue), the

country has brought together urban policy-makers, environmentalists, water experts and business people to discuss the future of urban planning, even as UN-Habitat warns that the number of city dwellers could double by 2050 to nearly 6.5 billion people.

"Unless we make a concerted effort to change the way we live and operate, the world is on course to enter uncharted, potentially dangerous territory,” warned Choi Shing Kwok, permanent secretary of Singapore's Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, addressing a Business Forum at the World Cities Summit here this week.

One of the major themes on the table has been the issue of environmental sustainability and the urgent need for better communication between local government authorities and community members to create more transparent and participatory governance at the grassroots level.

Few can miss the significance of Singapore as a location for the triple-header: an island nation of 4 million people, it is now among the world’s top three richest countries in terms of gross domestic product, clocking roughly US$274.7 billion in 2012, according to the World Bank. More ...

(Inter Press Service)



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