Alice Charles’ mission at the World Economic Forum is promoting public-private cooperation to improve people’s lives in cities. In that regard, although environmental and energy issues are shared challenges for cities today, one size does not fit all. Problems manifest differently in different parts of the world –and solutions should respond accordingly.
From the public sector perspective, Alice Charles sees a clear global trend. “Mayors look for solutions that are easily implemented and can result in huge benefits to the city”, she tells us. However, how to optimize urban planning so it can both meet cities’ economic needs and respond to global challenges? Integration and scalability are key to answer this question, but also an area of great potential in terms of collaboration between cities and the private sector.
Alice Charles highlights the integrated mobility scheme of Quito, the capital of Ecuador, as a successful example resulting from this approach. In addition, she points out sustainable mobility as a crucial factor for cities to become ‘future-proof’. “In the future, I hope that we will see a carless city, where people are cycling and walking”, Charles concludes.