Overheard at the summit

4 August 2015

Asia Pacific Cities Summit

#2015APCS featured some fantastic speakers and unique personalities. If you didn’t get the chance to attend Asia Pacific Cities Summit sessions at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre between 5 and 8 July, here’s your chance to catch up on some of the more interesting statements made during the four-day event.

Lord Sebastian Coe – Chairman 2012 London Olympics Organising Committee  

  •  I would always encourage a city to stage a major event because done properly the impacts are profound.
  • The impact goes way beyond simply the economic stats.
  • The biggest challenge every city now has when staging a Games … the most demanding stakeholder to satisfy … are the people that live in the city. And they are profoundly more demanding and sophisticated than ever before.

Councillor Adrian Shrinner – Deputy Mayor, City of Brisbane

  • The future for Brisbane is the Asia Pacific region. We are not Melbourne or Sydney and we don’t want to compete with them either.

Ben McAdams – Mayor, Salt Lake County/

  • (We want) the future we choose, not the future which chooses us.

Mark Jamieson – Mayor of Sunshine Coast

  • There is no competitive advantage in imitation.

Rachel Catanach – Senior Vice President, Senior Partner, and Managing Director, Fleishman Hillard Hong Kong

  • Cities are about stories. Tell your stories.

Professor Tim Foresman – Professor and SIBA Chair in Spatial Information, Institute for Future Environments – Science and Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology

  • Are there such things as smart cities? There are certainly things we call dumb cities.

Brett Bundock – Managing Director, Esri Australia

  • We’re not using geodesign to its full potential yet.

SY Lau – Senior Executive Vice President, Tencent (China’s largest and most-used Internet service portal)

  • 22 of the world’s super cities in 2025 will be in China. This creates problems but also opportunities for the Asia Pacific region.
  • Internet technology will be an elevator of problems and more importantly an agent of change.
  • All of us are familiar with the concept of IT but most of us focus on the T and not the I for Information. 
  • Just picture the entire population of Australia packed into an area twice as big as Brisbane – that’s what we call Beijing.
  • There were 226 million tablet users in China in 2014.
  • For the first time, in 2011 more than half of China’s population were urban dwellers.
  • When I see the videos done by my team I almost want to take a selfie myself!

Allen Lew, CEO, SingTel-Optus, Singapore

  • It took 38 years for radio to get 50 million users and it took Facebook and Twitter just one.
  • By 2040, one in four people in advanced economies will be aged 65 or older.

Cat Matson – Chief Digital Officer, City of Brisbane

  • It is easy to get caught up in the technology of the smart city or what I call the geekery but the question we need to ask is how do we add value?

Krishna Prasad – Senior Director, Asia Pacific and Japan Smart+Connected Communities Cisco, Bangalore

  • A smart city is much bigger than the residents that live and work in it.

David Finn – Managing Director, Tritium, Brisbane

  • I am passionate about what electric vehicles can do for cities.

Neil Glentworth – Managing Director, Glentworth Consulting Pty Ltd

  • Privacy is mine to give, not for others to take.

Asaf Zamir – Deputy Mayor, Tel Aviv Yafo

  • We have no natural resources but 1758 bars, clubs and discotheques.
  • It is trendy to now live in cities, but they still demand the quality of life living in suburbs offers.
  • You pay your city bills through your phone. You can send your kids to kindergarten through your phone. You can fix a pothole through your phone. It is an era in which the public demand to take part in decisions. Use mobile technology to have residents take part in the decision-making.

Tyler Brule – Editor-in-Chief, Monocle & Chairman, Winkreative

  • If you’re going to get shot, it’s probably going to ruin your day. London does not make the (quality of life) ranking because of the sheer number of break-ins and the doors are made of toilet paper.
  • We need icons to inspire great cities.
  • Kinky laneways create intrigue. Add a curve here and there. We like the serendipity. We like that sense of discovery.
  • I think there is just too much technology.

Kaoru Kobayashi - Mayor, Fukushima City Office

  • We will revive Fukushima. 
  • Decontamination work will be completed this year.

Todd – Youngcare client

  • The biggest pain of disability is the loss of choice.

Randi Zuckerberg – Founder and CEO, Zuckerberg Media, San Francisco

  • Our society really needs a digital detox when people think their family members live inside the computer!
  • Give kids some tech but don’t go too wild. Still make sure they go outside – I heard the graphics rock out there!
  • Think of yourselves as a media company. 
  • I call this the age of the entre-ployee. 
  • (Facebook) was maybe the least glamorous place I had ever seen but I did see this incredible passion.

The Asia Pacific Cities Summit is the region’s largest gathering of city leaders.

Delegates from more than 100 cities from across the world attended the July 2015 summit, including leaders of government and business from across The Americas, Australasia, East Asia, Middle East, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia and South Asia.