Better Cities Jul 2018

Better Cities Issue 91 Cover  

Better Cities | Jul 2018

Revealed: Creating Liveable, Innovative and Sustainable Cities

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BC Highlights 201807 Andrew Barr

Becoming Australia’s Digital City

Andrew Barr, Chief Minister of Australian, Capital Territory, Australia

“The CBRfree Wifi network is… we believe one of the largest [free public Wifi networks] in the world.”

Creating an extensive free public WiFi network, installing energy efficient street lights and building a carbon-neutral city—these are just some ways Canberra is using to become Australia’s leading digital city. By piloting a range of new technologies with the support of universities and the private sector, the city aims to be a pioneer for innovation that can be scaled up for larger cities in the country and around the world.

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BC Highlights 201807 Aisa Kirabo Kacyira

“Urbanisation is Not An Accident”

Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, Deputy Executive Director and Assistant Secretary-General, UN-Habitat

“There are areas that city leaders should lead, there are many other areas where they should just facilitate.”

City leaders play a catalytic role in planning and bringing on board the private sector and civil society in sustainable urban development. Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira shares how the UN Habitat has provided planning tools for governments in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan and Rwanda, as well as involved the private sector and civil society in the urbanisation process. Only by being as inclusive as possible can cities achieve the goal of sustainable development and ensure no citizen is left behind.

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Collaboration is Key to Achieving Sustainability

Peter Bakker, President,World Business Council for Sustainable Development

“Cities need... [businesses] to be brought into those conversations, civil society needs to be a firm part of it.”

Climate action plans will only work if city governments win the cooperation of the private sector, says Bakker. For example, a clean alternative like hydrogen cars needs the financing support of governments to build infrastructure, for private sectors to see a business case in investing in such cars and for citizens to be willing to drive them. This is why the World Business Council for Sustainable Development works with cities to understand their plans for sustainability and help them figure out how companies can help implement solutions.

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Urban Solutions #13 | Shaping the Hub of the Indian Ocean

Sri Lanka has made great strides towards becoming an attractive business hub in South Asia, with ongoing efforts to transform its capital Colombo and the surrounding region into a Megapolis. The country’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe shares how his government works with the private sector to drive growth, while keeping citizens at the heart of progress.

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bc-2018-07-highlights-06

Urban Solutions #13 | A Smart Nation for the People

A Smart Nation is about creating an ecosystem where the private sector can come in to mesh government data and their own to generate innovative services for the people, shares Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, who is Singapore’s Minister-in-Charge of the Smart Nation Initiative and also its Minister for Foreign Affairs. He emphasised that people are at the heart of this transformation to harness digital technologies that will make Singapore more liveable and economically competitive.

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