Channel NewsAsia

S'pore continues to develop innovative solutions to make it liveable & sustainable: PM Lee

Singapore is developing itself as a liveable and sustainable city, and at the same time learning from other cities to improve the lives of its people, said PM Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday.

SINGAPORE: Singapore is developing itself as a liveable and sustainable city, and at the same time learning from other cities to improve the lives of its people, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the opening of the World Cities Summit on Sunday.

Speaking to ministers and mayors from around the world, Mr Lee said urbanisation is moving at an unprecedented pace.

Mr Lee noted that since the last World Cities Summit two years ago, more than 100 million people have moved to cities.

He said Singapore has taken the long-term view of developing itself as a liveable and sustainable city.

"(We are) planning over generations, implementing programmes over several election terms, and rallying Singaporeans to forgo some immediate gains for future dividends," Prime Minister Lee said.

Mr Lee said Singapore's efforts have been recognised internationally, but improving the country is a journey without an end.

Singaporeans' expectations are rising, he added.

To meet these expectations, Singapore is developing better homes by making housing more affordable, and having reliable public transport.

It is also integrating green spaces and blue waters in its urban surroundings.

Mr Lee noted that other cities are also continuing to move ahead, developing innovative solutions and setting new standards.

He said Singapore is studying these cities carefully.

He cited examples of how the Republic is learning from London's public transport system, Copenhagen's integration of "pocket parks" downtown, and Bilbao's management of its arts and cultural spaces.

In addition, Singapore is harnessing technology to become a "smarter nation".

The island is being wired up to ensure ubiquitous connectivity and to enhance the business environment.

Singapore is also using data better to improve sustainability and piloting green technologies.

Mr Lee said the country is learning from other cities' experiences too.

The prime minister cited Rio de Janeiro, which is working with computer giant IBM to be a "smart city".

In Manhattan, the city has a central hotline and a dashboard for municipal services.

Mr Lee added that technology can facilitate strengthening ownership by engaging citizens and residents. This can be done through crowd-sourcing and location-based services.

Mr Lee said this year's Lee Kuan Yew prize winners are good examples of successful cities in action.

The World City Prize goes to Suzhou which developed a thriving economy while protecting its cultural landmarks, while this year's Water Prize goes to the US Orange County Water District. Its water reuse schemes are adapted in Singapore when it embarked on the NEWater programme. 

Tweet photos, videos and updates on this story to  @channelnewsasia