SINGAPORE, June 18 /PRNewswire/ --

Mayors and senior officials around the world will join an expanding line-up of prominent speakers and delegates from governments, international organisations, private sector companies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) at the first-ever World Cities Summit this month.

This international conference on public governance and the sustainable development of cities, will take place in Singapore from 23 to 25 June 2008. Practitioner focussed, it will discuss the challenges of urbanisation and examine effective practices in governance, urban planning, infrastructure development and environmental management so as to build "Liveable and Vibrant Cities", which is also the theme of the conference.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will deliver the keynote address at the opening ceremony. Addressing the summit will be the mayors and ex-mayors of cities such as Melbourne, Yokohama, Wellington and Bogota:

-- Mr John So, Mayor of Melbourne. During Mr So's tenure, Melbourne has enjoyed a transformation marked by the rejuvenation of inner urban landscapes, strong tourism and retail sectors and progress in urban sustainability. Mr So's leadership led to his being named World Mayor in the international World Mayor Project in 2006. -- Mr Hiroshi Nakada, Mayor of Yokohama. In 2002, Mr Nakada, then 37, became the youngest person ever to head one of Japan's major cities when he was elected as the Mayor of Yokohama. Mr Nakada is known for his Yokohama Revival Plan. His city is consistently lauded for its environmentally-friendly urban transportation. -- Ms Kerry Prendergast, Mayor of Wellington. Under Ms Prendergast's leadership, Wellington was designated a World Health Organisation Safe City in 2006 following its efforts to prevent violence and increase citizens' sense of personal safety. Ms Prendergast is heading an initiative to turn Wellington into a carbon-neutral city by 2012. -- Mr Enrique Peñalosa, former Mayor of Bogota. Mr Peñalosa is the man behind the remarkable transformation of the Colombian capital into a clean, efficient and safer city. He is also an influential thinker on urban challenges, particularly those related to sustainability, mobility, equity, public space and well being.

Said Melbourne mayor Mr John So: "With continued population growth and urbanisation, city planners are under pressure to find sustainable solutions for housing, transport, energy, waste disposal and other needs. The World Cities Summit will be a good opportunity for us to focus on these issues and share our experiences."

"Good governance and economic competitiveness have a direct impact on a city's quality of life," added Yokohama mayor Mr Hiroshi Nakada. "The summit will allow for the exchange of best practices and ideas on how we can do better in these areas."

Other prominent overseas speakers at the summit, which has already attracted more than 600 high-level officials including ministers, governors and city mayors as well as leaders of private sector companies, international organisations and NGOs, include:

-- Mr Haruhiko Kuroda, President, Asian Development Bank -- Mr James Adams, Vice President, East Asia and Pacific Region, World Bank -- Mr Hans Rat, Secretary-General, International Association of Public Transport -- Dr Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Canada -- Mr Kevin Hydes, Chairman, World Green Building Council -- Mr Mah Bow Tan, Minister for National Development, Singapore -- Mr Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO, Gallup Organization -- Mr Narinder Nayar, Chairman of Bombay First

East Asia Summit (EAS) Conference on Liveable Cities

In conjunction with the World Cities Summit, Singapore will also be hosting the East Asia Summit (EAS) Conference on Liveable Cities.

During the EAS Leaders' discussions at the EAS session in Singapore in November 2007, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had proposed to convene a conference to address the interrelated issues of urbanisation, climate change, energy and the environment.

The EAS Conference on Liveable Cities aims to address these problems related to sustainable development and climate change. This conference will bring together Mayors and Governors from East Asian cities, who will share challenges, best practices and expertise in developing sustainable and ecologically friendly cities as part of the global effort against climate change.

Co-located Events -Behavioural Economics Forum and Healthy Cities Session Two other events will also be held in the week of the World Cities Summit: Behavioural Economics Forum and Healthy Cities session -- The Gallup Organisation will host its inaugural Global Behavioural Economics Forum on 26 June 2008, to explore how this new science can be employed in policymaking, urban planning and society-building. The keynote speaker is 2002 Nobel Prize winner (Economics) Daniel Kahneman. -- In its capacity as a WHO Collaborating Centre for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention, the Singapore Health Promotion Board is organising a sharing session on 23 June 2008, on "Healthy Cities for a Sustainable Future", to highlight the role mayors, governments and NGOs can play in building healthy communities.

About the World Cities Summit

The World Cities Summit is a premier international conference on public governance and the sustainable development of cities.

The inaugural summit, which takes place in Singapore from 23 to 25 June 2008, focuses on the theme "Liveable and Vibrant Cities". It brings together city leaders, senior government officials, experts and business leaders to discuss the challenges of urbanisation and best practices in effective governance, urban planning, infrastructural development, environmental sustainability, quality-of-life issues and economic competitiveness.

World Cities Summit 2008 is organised by the Singapore Ministry of National Development, Singapore Civil Service College and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

More information can be found at .

For further details, please contact: Andrew Wong ICON International Communications Tel: +65-6220-2623 Email: Charlene Lum ICON International Communications Tel: +65-6220-2623 Email:


Andrew Wong, +65-6220-2623,; Charlene Lum, +65-6220-2623,, both of ICON International Communications