The Singapore-France Joint Seminar on Integrated Urban Development began on 3rd November at ESSEC Asia-Pacific. Organised with the strong support of the Singapore Cooperation Programme and the French Agency for Overseas Development Aid, the Joint Seminar brought together the expertise and knowledge of experts from ESSEC Asia-Pacific, Nanyang Technological University and industry, providing a platform for sharing of knowledge and experience between participating ASEAN officials.
The opening ceremony of the Joint Seminar on Integrated Urban Development on 3rd November was graced by Prof Hervé Mathe, Dean of ESSEC Asia-Pacific, Mr Antoine Chery, Head of Regional Economic Services at the Embassy of France in Singapore, Mr Dominique Hautbergue, French Agency for Overseas Development Aid (AFD), Ms Pearle Kuan, Assistant Director, Technical Cooperation Directorate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Singapore, Mr Nicolas Ledoux, Senior Manager at Algoé Consultants and Mr Sylvain Remy, Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development and Smart Cities at ESSEC Asia-Pacific.
Mr Antoine Chery, Head of Regional Economic Services at the Embassy of France in Singapore, noted that sustainable urban development is at the core of the relationship between France and Singapore, as it is a domain where companies from both countries have strong expertise in. The Joint Seminar provided a platform for exchange of knowledge and expertise between representatives from participating countries. To Mr Chery, cities need strategies to ensure a sustainable approach is taken. He added that although Southeast Asia is highly diverse, the region’s countries face common challenges in meeting growing population needs.
The Joint Seminar involved the sharing of best practices from France and Singapore as well as exchanges and discussions on solutions for challenges faced in areas such as urban planning, waste management and intelligent transportation systems.
Mr Dominique Hautbergue from the French Agency for Development spoke about how the Agency is centered on three dimensions of integrated urban development, including financing budget of local authorities, transportation systems, utilities, energy and housing. He explained that the cross-cutting objective is the climate, and to promote well-balanced development between regions and countries.
Lastly, Ms Pearle Kuan, Assistant Director, Technical Cooperation Directorate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, introduced the Third-Country Training Programmes through which Singapore jointly provides technical assistance and HR related training to other countries. She explained that the Joint Seminar would address the main issues in integrated urban development including urban planning, waste management and transportation systems, with the hope of helping participants make better decisions in terms of city development and urban planning.
Through lectures by academics and industry experts from Alstom, Bollore, Bouygues, EDF, Jacques Ferrier Architecture, Schneider, Thales, Transdev, and Veolia, as well as site visits to the Singapore City Gallery at the Urban Redevelopment Authority, TreeLodge@Punggol New Town, the HDB Centre for Building Research and the Singapore Sports Hub, Ms Kuan hoped that participants would be able to adapt the knowledge gained and share their experience from their respective countries.
On the first day of the programme, participants were hosted by Mr Julian Goh, Director, Centre for Liveable Cities, at the Singapore City Gallery at the Urban Redevelopment Authority for an insight into Singapore’s physical transformation over the past 50 years, and got a taste of city planning and insights into Singapore’s conservation efforts.
Mr Cliff Lee, Director (Physical Planning) at the Urban Redevelopment Authority, also shared experiences from cities on Creating Healthy Cities through Active Mobility.