2 years ago

Service - Leadership in Government - Issue 75

  • Text
  • Government
  • Leadership
  • Urban
  • Leaders
  • Pandemic
  • Transition
  • Digital
  • Infrastructure
  • African
  • Economic
  • Global
  • Cities

S service report 2020

S service report 2020 Global Cities Report creating a dialogue on a specific topic, and exchanging insights and practices related to common challenges. As cities become smarter and more digitally enabled, they will be even better equipped to find global solutions that can be applied in their own areas. Elsewhere, global advocacy networks amplify important city-level issues that can only be solved with broader input, for example where city leaders lack the political authority to make necessary decisions. The ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability) is one such city network. It and other networks like it have access to decision-makers at a range of international authorities and organisations such as the United Nations, giving cities a voice they would otherwise lack at a global level. This enables city leaders to help garner global-level resources for challenges of a global scale that are experienced at a local level. Forging international economic partnerships. Complementary economic partnerships between cities also deliver mutual advantages that augment traditional ways of generating economic value. Rather than traditional sister city relationships, which tend to be bound by political or cultural ties, partnerships based on economic well-being can help cities develop new specialisations, spark market opportunities, attract foreign investment, support industry collaboration, and become more visible on the world stage, even where national flows are faltering around them. Arrangements such as these open up partner cities as gateways for foreign investment, supporting key local industries and workers, and boost their standing in global markets and industry value chains. Guiding the transformation of urban space. As we have seen, the latest pandemic has triggered widespread changes in behaviour and accelerated several preexisting urban trends. People are spending more time online than ever, and remote working looks set to stay. The untethering of work from the office has led some to worry about the suburban sprawl that city planners have spent so long combatting. The Covid experience has also highlighted some of the deep-rooted inequalities in urban centres, pointing Marina Bay, Singapore to how they must change. Overwhelmingly, the people carrying out “essential services”, who are at greater risk from the virus, are of low-income and minority groups. They also live in more cramped conditions than wealthier residents, and are more likely to suffer from chronic health conditions related to lack of access to clean water or poor air quality. REBUILD TRUST IN PUBLIC TRANSIT While rebalancing population density is a long-term effort, cities need economic relief now, and that means getting residents moving more freely again. To do that, they will have to rebuild trust in public transport, and give people the confidence it is safe to use. Many cities have already taken action: in Paris, artificial intelligence has been deployed to measure compliance with the requirement to wear masks, and employers in New York City have been asked to allow flexible start times to reduce travel during peak hours. The next frontier will be real-time mapping platforms with comprehensive travel information, to help citizens minimise wait times and avoid crowds, and give providers and authorities the information they need to make transit systems even more flexible and resilient over time. The Transit app aims to do just this, and is already available in 200 cities, where those with contactless payment systems provide valuable data to feed the system. With the fabric of cities having unravelled so decidedly during the crisis, and unlikely to resume its former shape, leaders now have a compelling reason and unique opportunity to transform the urban environment into something more sustainable, more resilient and more equal. With strategic investment of capital and political will in key areas, progress could be accelerated in a way that has not been seen before, by binding urban planning more closely with economic and social needs, and longterm trends such as climate change. However, city leaders must act quickly as the window of opportunity is narrow. WHERE TO NEXT? For global cities, the current crisis and emerging future demand significant adaptive change. Some of the fundamental factors that have historically enabled them to create value have been painfully disrupted, many of the connections between them are teetering on a knife’s edge, and the ways in which they use and allocate space require an urgent rethink. However, not only do the tools for tackling this new environment exist, but the pandemic and its aftermath have also created a rare openness to doing things differently. Seizing this opportunity won’t be easy, or a short-term affair. But if we can be certain of anything, it’s that cities will adapt and evolve, and that they have the potential to come back stronger. The proposals outlined in this report are intended to help city leaders take the concrete, practical action needed to create what is next for their cities and define what a global city now looks like. S 30 | Service magazine

announcement small business S The Foundation of Economic Recovery and Sustainability Following the unprecedented challenges of 2020, SMMEs will be the crucial drivers of economic recovery SMME VIRTUAL ROADSHOW The SMME Roadshow, supporting developing businesses since 2014, is being relaunched by Global Africa Network in a virtual format in 2021. • Focus Hubs will cover key topics covered including: • Access to funding • Access to markets • Covid-19 relief • Training and skills development • Compliance and regulatory • Business and technology support WHY A VIRTUAL EVENT? · Increased flexibility and access · Greater opportunity for interaction · Monitoring and recording of attendance and interaction Regional Hubs will provide provincially-specific support and information Virtual rooms allow organisations to present their offerings to the SMME community. The SMME Virtual Roadshow will be an important driver of economic growth and job creation Contact for further information on participation (for SMMEs) and sponsorship opportunities (for organisations providing support to SMMEs)

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