In the Malaysia development, we need to consider the likely future cities development which have significant role in locally and globally. In this respect, there are some possibilities that may develop into opportunities for the betterment of mankind and some that may cause difficulties, if not resolved properly. One area which poses both opportunities and threats is globalisation. Globalisation, almost a flogged horse, brings not only new economic opportunities but also new political, social, technological, and institutional complexities. Therefore, it would be safe to say that in order to benefit from more open and widespread economic interaction we need an efficient city that supports an economic system that promotes and facilitates the ability of business enterprises to compete effectively in international markets and ensure the betterment of standard of living locally.
ADAPTING TO CHANGES & CHALLENGES
However, these initiatives are no longer sufficient to face the challenges and opportunities posed by globalisation, rapidly evolving technologies, changing demographics and rising citizen expectations. We need the skills to pre-empt future challenges and move beyond our laurel’s comforts. Two main possible threats of our cities tomorrow are:-
• Expansion of E-Commerce and Taxation. We will without doubt see the increasing proliferation of e-commerce cause difficulties for nations to identify which business transactions occurred within their legal jurisdiction for taxation purposes.
Are we prepared for this expansion?
• Ensuring Access to Clean Water. Much of the world lives without access to clean water. Privatisation of water resources, promoted as a means to bring business efficiency into water service management, has instead led to reduced access for the poor around the world as prices for these essential services have risen. How the Service deals with this is essential in addressing poverty issues?
With these threats, we also see three areas of opportunities:
• Growth from Digital Media - The media landscape is changing at a breakneck pace. Media can now be consumed over a plethora of devices anywhere, anytime, and on-demand. The advent of digital convergence and broadband wireless technology creates enormous opportunities to fulfill pressing public needs in areas such as education and workforce development, civic discourse, and public health. This allows for local authority to give better service without borders – be it borders of time or geography.
• Dependency on Public Goods - Everyone depends on “public goods”; neither markets nor the wealthiest person can do without them. Clean environment, health, knowledge, property rights, peace and security are all examples of public goods that could be made global. An efficient city has and must continue to enhance its role in this area for the betterment of societies.
OUR CITIES OF THE FUTURE
We face today with the scenarios of the past, present and future before us. However
· What makes the Our Cities of the Future?
· Is it driven by digital expansion will reduced urban dweller problems?
· Is it in the intellectual rise with eradication of poverty?
· Is it perhaps in the death of bureaucracy that thrives on customer driven space?
· Could it be on an efficient city that drives Climate and Environmental Agenda?
Our Cities of the Future is not only that empowers local authority as development controller and service provider but to balance development to respond to the threats and opportunities of the times locally and globally. We need to collectively reflect if today, we have an underlying model of continuous improvement to see all these scenarios. But the questions are:
· Have we the mechanism for best practices, and effective accountability to enable us to deal with the future of all faces and facets?
· Have we built the Cities of the Future for our children and grand children?