|Vietnam wants to become a front-runner in smart city development, Photo: Shutterstock |
According to statistics from HSBC Group, by 2080, 10 billion people will live in roughly 10,000 cities. Disparities in income often create cities that are less equal, and so the World Cities Summit (WCS) 2022, set for July 31-August 3, is deemed an ideal platform for Vietnam to showcase its vision and learn innovative lessons from Singapore and other countries.
Jointly organised by Singapore’s Centre for Liveable Cities and the Urban Redevelopment Authority, the biennial WCS returns to an in-person conference this year after a largely virtual summit in 2021.
WCS 2021 comprised a hybrid event and webinars and convened over 4,700 delegates from 566 cities. Over 1,100 senior level delegates attended the event, from the public and private sector, international and nongovernmental organisations, and the media. Nearly 40 per cent of its audience were overseas delegates.
Since its inauguration in 2008, WCS has been attended by hundreds of mayors and city leaders and supported by leaders from governments, businesses, international organisations, and academia.
WCS 2022 will be held in conjunction with its key partner, the Asia Infrastructure Forum. Themed “Livable and Sustainable Cities: Emerging Stronger”, this eighth edition of the summit will also see the inaugural in-person WCS Smart Cities Workshop, following the success of the virtual edition in 2021. WCS sessions, networking, physically co-located events, and partner events will also take place at the summit.
Through plenaries at the main conference, delegates will engage with the theme of how cities can emerge stronger from contemporary disruptions across five tracks: sustainable financing, smart cities, development and planning, urban resilience, and liveable future cities.
WCS 2022 is slated to take place at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Singapore. The expo provides the platform for cities, corporates, and others to profile themselves on a global stage through physical booths and pavilions on the expo floor.
Thus, Vietnamese industry leaders and policymakers can have a chance to learn best practices to address liveable and sustainable city challenges, thereby contributing to smart city implementation in Vietnam.
According to Do Thanh Huyen, Vietnam national policy analyst on Governance and Participation at the UN Development Programme, the country has been making significant progress, adopting smart city initiatives in 41 of its cities and provinces, and contributing to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. “Vietnam’s major cities should strive to become not only smart but also sustainable in order to meet the increasing demands for socioeconomic development and pressures as a result of population growth,” Huyen said.
“The challenge facing these cities is how to apply appropriate technological and non-technological solutions to accommodate all present and future needs – from all economic, social and environmental fronts – of their diverse urban populations,” Huyen added.
WCS 2022 has added a new section to the Smart Cities expo to present the latest advancements in various fields, including cybersecurity, energy, and health to smart buildings, transportation, and waste management. By participating in the expo, Vietnam can be exposed to more innovative technologies to speed up its smart city progress.
Meanwhile, the City Innovators Stage is a platform for sponsors, exhibitors, and startups to pitch the latest technologies and solutions to governments, industry leaders, urban solution experts, as well as trade investors.
The Industry Networking Night will also present an opportunity to unwind and meet fellow delegates and exhibitors over drinks and food. The event is suitable for visitors to forge meaningful partnerships and connect with the industry in a relaxed setting.