World City Winners Share Insights

Insights were plentiful from the world city prize winner & runners-up at the #WorldCitiesConference here in Singapore. Winning city Seoul’s Mayor Park Won-Soon (recently re-elected to a record 3rd term) said his city’s success was less about the celebrated built environment projects (some images below) and more about the approach:

1) Use data wisely to make genuinely bold decisions (fixing problems is harder and more costly otherwise). Mayor Park set up what’s called the first digital mayor’s office – although Michael Bloomberg May disagree.

2) Drive innovation by demanding and incentivising public/private cooperation

3) Implement a formal rigorous engagement and negotiation with conflicting parties to get, if not an agreed result, at least much greater understanding

4) Rediscover the landmarks cities already have (cheaper than building new monuments)

5) Bust bureaucratic top down decision creating a genuinely inclusive, open participatory approach (citizens directly control 5% of city budget)

I also love that he provided shelter and water for protestors (image).

The runner-up cities were Hamburg, Kazan (1.2m population east of Moscow) in Russia, Surabaya (2.3m popn in East Java, Indonesia) and Tokyo.

Auckland was a runner-up in 2016 but unfortunately missed the Summit this time.

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