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This was one of the clear messages to come out of the World Economic Forum’s inaugural Urban Transformation Summit, an initiative which aimed to forge a path for more sustainable and inclusive cities.

A new global initiative has underscored the requirement for increased public-private collaboration to support the development of more sustainable and inclusive cities.

At the World Economic Forum’s inaugural Urban Transformation Summit, city leaders singled out the “unique opportunity” for public-private collaboration to capitalise on new infrastructure funding and tackle growing urban challenges around the world. Urban economies

“Our cities and our communities are changing right before our eyes. Digitisation is transforming urban economies, public health and safety concerns are tearing at the social fabric of communities – and trillions of dollars of new infrastructure funding across the globe holds the potential to transform the physical environment,” said Jeff Merritt, head of urban transformation at the World Economic Forum.

“Now more than ever, it is critical that public and private sector stakeholders come together to shape a future that does not just work for the privileged few but delivers for all residents.”

The summit, which comprised both in-person events in Detroit and virtual convenings, included more than 350 mayors, business executives, community leaders and experts in urban development from 38 global countries.

The event also marked the official launch of the WEF’s new global Centre for Urban Transformation and spurred a series of initiatives toward accelerating public-private collaboration to build more sustainable, inclusive cities.

Among the outcomes and commitments announced at the summit were the addition of Stockholm and Lisbon to the roster of City Strategy Dialogues planned for 2022.

In collaboration with MIT, these convenings, which include both public-facing events and more intimate workshops, pair mayors and senior city leaders with global experts and business leaders to forge new approaches to pressing urban challenges.

In addition, eight cities in Latin America, Africa, and Asia – Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Lagos, Dhaka, Jakarta, Kigali, Nairobi, and Rio de Janeiro –have designated neighbourhoods as urban testbeds for new businesses, products and services that can improve quality of life for local residents and mitigate social and environmental challenges associated with rapid urbanisation.

Following a four-month review of key barriers to public-private collaboration in cities, the WEF and its partners announced plans to develop new resources and tools to help cities better coordinate place-based strategies and accelerate community partnerships.

Design Core Detroit will lead a participatory design process in collaboration with the forum to design a fellowship programme in Detroit. The design process will identify and map new opportunities to scale community-based solutions that will connect WEF business partners to contribute technical assistance towards achieving community-led goals.

The next Urban Transformation Summit will convene in Detroit, 11-13 October 2022.

Mobility study

In a separate release, a new report from the World Economic Forum pinpoints how cities can use mobility options to improve social equity and economic growth.

The white paper, How Mobility Shapes Inclusion and Sustainable Growth, identifies some 40 potential solutions to improve inclusivity in mobility, with simulations of 40 million daily trips, global benchmarking and in-depth interviews with key stakeholders.

Prepared in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group and University of St Gallen, the study identifies transportation “pain points” in three cities – Beijing, Berlin and Chicago. Using a six-step transportation equity methodology, the white paper analyses the mobility challenges each city faces, their affected communities and how transportation is driving, or failing to drive, economic growth and well-being. It also offers recommendations that result in real gains.

According to WEF, this methodology fills a void in current transportation analysis and can serve as the centrepiece of a strategy for developing mobility-based social inclusion programmes and policies in the identified cities and elsewhere.

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Quelle/Source: Smart Cities World, 14.12.2021

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