Sunday 20 October 2013

Singapore maintains 5th position in Global Power City Index

By Olivia Siong, Channel NewsAsia, 17 Oct 2013

Singapore has maintained its fifth position in the latest Global Power City Index, a ranking of the world's cities by a Tokyo-based think tank.

The Index evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to their ability to attract creative people and businesses from around the world.

This is the sixth time the Global Power City Index is being announced by the Institute for Urban Strategies at The Mori Memorial Foundation.

Overall, London came in first for the second year in a row, followed by New York, Paris and Tokyo.

While Singapore retained its number five spot, a place it has held since 2009, it was ranked 11th in 2008 -- the first time the Index was announced.

In the survey, a total of 40 major cities were assessed on various components such as the economy, research and development, and liveability.

Other factors considered include cultural interaction, the environment and accessibility.

The survey was done from the viewpoints of various groups like managers, artists and residents. Researchers and visitors were also surveyed.

Singapore fared the best among managers, coming in second place, but it ranked the lowest among artists at 39th.

Singapore's highest ranking was in the cultural interaction component, where it came in fourth, while the city’s lowest ranking was in liveability at 34th place.

Heizo Takenaka, chairman of the Institute for Urban Strategies at The Mori Memorial Foundation, said: "Singapore is consolidating their power at the base of education. Singapore is the education hub in the Asia Pacific, I think, that is one factor.

“Also, Singapore is very innovative in many fields. The government -- you have a very smart government actually, and they have a very positive mind towards reform."

At a conference on urban living in Singapore, experts were asked how urban living should be managed to ensure cities are liveable and sustainable.

Some 120 delegates from around the world attended the event.

One of the points raised during the conference was how urban living goes beyond just the infrastructure of a city; it also includes another element -- its people.

Eric Chu, the mayor of New Taipei City, said: "More importantly, is the people, especially to take care of newborn babies and ageing people. People is the key of the society, people is the key of the city."

And in Singapore, getting people engaged in public consultations also involves having to manage a variety of views.

Cheong Koon Hean, chief executive officer of Housing and Development Board, said: "We've always had public consultation for all our plans but I think now it's even more. You need to talk even more, and you need to give it time because they (the people) need to understand the plan and need to think about it."

Dr Cheong added time is also needed to consider the different trade-offs and to strike the right balance when it comes to implementing the development plans.

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