City leaders from the Prize cities met in Seoul to share about their cities’ progress and goals. From Seoul’s tech ambition to Antwerp’s housing priorities, these insights will help shape the future of liveable cities.
Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Alumni Breakfast 2023 © World Cities Summit
The seventh run of the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Alumni Breakfast, co-organised by Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore (URA) and Centre for Liveable Cities (CLC) took place on 25 September 2023 in Seoul, South Korea during the World Cities Summit Mayors Forum. City leaders of the Prize Laureates and Special Mentions gathered for an informal session, hosted by Minister for National Development Singapore, Mr Desmond Lee, and joined by Minister of State for Culture, Community, and Youth and Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Ms Low Yen Ling, and Singapore’s Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, Mr Eric Teo.
The session provided a platform to catch up on the progress of these cities since their recognition. Representatives from Seoul, Vienna, Bilbao, Antwerp, and Brisbane shared valuable insights, fostering connections that will shape the future of urban development.
- Seoul envisions Yongsan as South Korea’s ‘Silicon Valley’ and Yeouido as its financial hub. The city is addressing social stratification and prioritising nature in city planning.
- Antwerp’s ‘City for Everyone’ initiative focuses on public access, social equality, infrastructure, community connections, and urban greenery. The city aims to boost home ownership through affordable housing, with units priced around 20 percent below market rates within residential developments. Qualification criteria include residency duration and support for specific groups, such as young single mothers, with an annual waiting list reset.
- Vienna emphasises urban planning and strategy, acknowledging the limitations of city diplomacy in addressing societal tensions. The city aims to increase its population to 15 million while prioritising affordable housing, using 100-year land leasing in some developments instead of selling freehold land. The focus is on renting two-thirds of affordable housing, considering climatic, social, and economic sustainability.
- Bilbao’s key lesson from the pandemic was the transformation of the Bilbao Centre into a community hub with counsellors and assistants serving residents.
- Brisbane faced both challenges and opportunities due to COVID-19, as more people relocated from Melbourne. The city prioritised housing affordability and supply. Additionally, Brisbane grappled with the effects of climate change, aiming for carbon neutrality for several years. Urban planning emphasised enhancing green and blue spaces, such as transforming a golf course into a park. O