Issue 15: High Trust Cities

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In This Issue

Interview

HEALING WOUNDS WITH TRUST
FEDERICO GUTIÉRREZ

BUILDING A HIGH TRUST AND RESILIENT CITY
DESMOND LEE

Opinion

THE MAKINGS OF A TRUSTWORTHY CITY
TOMMY KOH

USING URBAN DATA, SECURING PUBLIC TRUST
DANIEL L. DOCTOROFF

Illustration

WHAT DOES A HIGH TRUST CITY LOOK LIKE?
CITIES FOR ALL

Essay

WHY AND HOW PUBLIC TRUST MATTERS
DAVID CHAN

MAKING A TRUST PLANNING ASSET
LOUISA-MAY KHOO

City Focus

ENABLING AND ENGAGING CITIZENS
SURABAYA

Case Study

A SHARED VISION FOR TRANSFORMATION
MEDELLÍN | UNIVERSITY, ENTERPRISE AND STATE COMMITTEE

HIGH RISE AND HIGH TRUST
SINGAPORE | PUBLIC HOUSING ESTATES

CIVIC PARTICIPATION ON-THE-GO
BANGALORE | iCHANGEMYCITY

NOT ALL WHO WANDER ARE LOST
SINGAPORE | DEMENTIA-FRIENDLY COMMUNITIES

Message from the Executive Director

Trust in Sustainable Cities


Distrust has been growing in urban communities in recent decades. Cities such as Chicago and Cali are recovering from past crimes and breakdowns in citizen-government relations. In places like Toronto and Barcelona, privacy concerns have grown due to the prominence of urban data and the rise of corporations that collect such data.

Connections between neighbours are the ties that bind society in times of crisis, but how are such bonds formed and nurtured? This issue of Urban Solutions explores the importance of trust in interactions between citizens and governments, and how urban communities can develop trust at multiple levels.

Behavioural scientist Professor David Chan tells us that public trust plays a critical role in any city because it is difficult to attract investors, pass legislation or manage crises in an environment where trust is low. Diplomat and international law expert Professor Tommy Koh explains how good governance, rule of law and a low level of corruption make a city trustworthy.

When trust is low, rebuilding it is key to urban regeneration, as several cities demonstrate. Medellín Mayor Federico Gutiérrez recounts how his city overcame a troubled past by bringing together stakeholders in a collaborative, long-term transformation process. In Surabaya, people-centric efforts to reduce corruption and boost liveability have transformed it into a thriving metropolis.

Singapore Minister Desmond Lee shares how city leaders can involve people and private institutions to strengthen social capital and trust. When community engagement is done right and trust is present, says Louisa-May Khoo, conflict between civil society and government can be a creative opportunity.

Technological advancements and the growth of public urban data are already improving citizens’ lives. But there are also privacy concerns: who should collect and manage such data, and how should it be used? Daniel L. Doctoroff of Sidewalk Labs argues that competing concerns can be reconciled by establishing clear governing principles. Meanwhile, the iChangeMyCity mobile app in Bangalore improves municipal service delivery and trust by enabling civic participation.

What does a city that bridges social and cultural differences look like? How do safe and inclusive public spaces strengthen community spirit and build a sense of ownership?

The Japanese concept of group reliance creates strong social responsibility, while cultural diversity is literally built into the streets of San Francisco’s Castro District. In Singapore, public housing designs enhance ties between neighbours, and neighbourhood networks drive dementia-friendly communities.

Our main takeaway? Trust is fundamental to partnership, which is crucial for liveable and sustainable cities. We hope this issue inspires you to strengthen trust in your city. I wish you all an enjoyable read.

Khoo Teng Chye
Executive Director
Centre for Liveable Cities




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