Mastercard pushes for people-centric ideas to unlock the power of cities

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Hany Fam, Executive Vice President, Enterprise Partnerships, Mastercard

Mastercard has called on leaders in the quest of public private partnerships (PPP) to ride on people-centric ideas and disruptive innovations to unlock the power of cities.

Speaking during a media briefing at the biennial World Cities Summit in Singapore to address liveable and sustainable city challenges with a focus to offer integrated urban solutions, Mr. Hany Fam, Mastercard’s Executive Vice President, Enterprise Partnerships stressed on the need for people-driven solutions to better cities.

At the event themed “Liveable and Sustainable Cities: Embracing the Future through Innovation and Collaboration”, Fam laid emphasis on the fourth “P” (people) in the PPP equation.

“It is time the urban leadership shifted discussion from a national focus on how people live now and how they could live better as people coalesce around ideas  purposed to shape the destiny of the now must have and uphold interconnected smart cities,” said Fam.

Powerful leaps

Making reference to deliberate efforts being steadily actualised  through digital transformation Fam said: “The mix of people’s ideas in actualising evolving cities across the world is one of the most powerful leaps for deploying innovations and economic vitality. Indeed, cities will be central to reviving and sustaining global growth. So there is an urgent need to get urbanization right through people.

To meet its potential, urban infrastructure around the world needs to be updated on a large scale. Fam noted that in England transportation just which today could have been a nightmare was sorted in various people driven ways that included infrastructural all the way to changing the way of ticketing.

Fam is assertive that benefits of smart cities will be equitably distributed to rich and poor, and further manage how leaders will forge future cities in a digital age as the percentage of the world living in urban areas swell from 54 percent today to an expected 60 percent by 2020, according to the United Nations.

“At the moment citizens, the city leadership as well as government officials are racing to understand how the private and public sector can work together to improve people’s lives through technology. They seek to make cities more hospitable, stronger in the face of adversity, and better suited to a rapidly changing global environment.”

Hany Fam,  Executive Vice President, Enterprise Partnerships, Mastercard 

“At the moment citizens, the city leadership as well as government officials are racing to understand how the private and public sector can work together to improve people’s lives through technology. They seek to make cities more hospitable, stronger in the face of adversity, and better suited to a rapidly changing global environment,” said Fam.

Improve life

This new movement encompasses the full spectrum of work being done to improve life in urban areas. Whether its successes are referred to as smart cities, connected cities, future-proof cities or digital cities, the movement ultimately seeks to give citizens access to all of the networks that power the modern economy – including transportation, energy, education, finance and communication.

During the summit, Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance, Singapore, and Chairman of the Forum, called on delegates to help cities flourish by leveraging on disruptive innovation, while not losing sight of the need for good urban governance and integrated planning and development to glean positive outcomes for their citizens.

Rethink Infrastructure

Highlighting on the widening gap between cities’ infrastructure spending needs and investment, Wong also spoke of the need to rethink infrastructure financing strategies such as greater engagement with the private sector and other cities in a manner that is fair, integrated and well-structured.

The WCSMF 2018 is a key highlight at this year’s World Cities Summit (WCS), a biennial global platform for government and industry leaders to address liveable and sustainable city challenges, share integrated solutions, and forge high-level partnerships. Currently in its 9th edition, the WCSMF nurtures a global community of mayors and city leaders, to exchange ideas and best practices and explore solutions to address common challenges.

Discussions at the Forum centred on how mayors can embrace and capitalise on disruptive innovations, and the alternative models of financing for infrastructure projects. Mayors discussed the importance of being receptive to new technologies, their plans to build intelligent cities, and their experiences in obtaining private financing for public projects.

Minister Lawrence Wong announced that next year’s WCSMF will be held in Medellin, Columbia. The city was awarded the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize in 2016 for overcoming difficulties through several stages of transformation to achieve remarkable economic prosperity and preserving its celebrated cultural and historic heritage concurrently. H.E. Federico Gutiérrez, Mayor of Medellin, extended a warm welcome to the mayors and city leaders, on behalf of the city and people of Medellin, to attend the 2019 Mayors Forum.

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