New Cities Summit Concludes in Jakarta with Call to Harness Urban Innovation

  • Over 800 participants from 50 countries attend the New Cities Summit on June 9 -11 at the Ciputra Artpreneur in Jakarta
  • Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus appeals for “a completely new civilization”

Jakarta, Indonesia – Thursday, June 11, 2015. 800 urban leaders and thinkers from 50 countries have concluded three days of intensive discussion at the fourth annual New Cities Summit, the leading global event on the future of cities. The Jakarta meeting was the first time the Summit has convened in Asia.

The final day began with a compelling keynote speech by Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Founder of Grameen Bank, who said “We can create a completely new framework in order to create a completely new civilization.” Yunus held out hope that technological innovation and the power of young people around the world will make a critical difference.

Yunus’ speech was part of a dynamic speaker program centering round the theme “Seizing the Urban Moment: Cities at the Heart of Growth and Development”. The event brought together over 80 speakers from a spectrum of fields including governance, technology, mobility and infrastructure, finance, architecture, design, urban planning, art and culture. The red thread that emerged from discussions was the need to identify and support innovative, grassroots solutions to perennial urban challenges.

John Rossant, Chairman of NewCities, said: “Each year, we come away from the New Cities Summit compelled by the vision and energy of our host city and our local and global participants. This was particularly the case with this year’s Summit in Jakarta. I thank the Governor and all of the team at the City of Jakarta as well as all our valued members and partners for helping make it a stimulating, inspiring event for all participants and our wider global community. We now look forward to witnessing how the different urban solutions showcased this week might be scaled and adapted in Jakarta and other cities worldwide.”

Jakarta Urban Challenge: winner announced

The Summit culminated with the announcement of the winners of the Jakarta Urban Challenge, a US$20,000 contest championing effective, homegrown solutions to mobility and transport in Jakarta, organized by NewCities and Connect4Climate and presented at the Summit. The winners are as follows:

First Prize (US$10,000): Squee Mobile App: A sharing app that unifies pedestrians and cyclists to travel together on shorter, safer non-motorized routes across Jakarta’s urban kampongs (villages).

Arlene Nathania from Squee said: “We believe that our concept – walking and biking through shorter and non-motorized routes via urban kampongs – will enhance our accessibility, freedom of movement, and create a social value in mobility.”

Second Prize: (US$6,000): Jalan Aman (Safe Passage): A mobile application that focuses on the safety of female commuters, allowing users to share their location, report incidences of assault and access information on safe transportation options from other users.

Paulista Surjadi from Jalan Aman said: “We can’t wait to work with community members to bring about change and improvement to the city of Jakarta. A lot of the Jalan Aman proposal is based on our personal experience of commuting on Jakarta streets. They have been challenging and frightening even. We aim to offer a targeted solution to this issue.”

Third Prize: (US$4,000): Cyclist Urban System: A plan to create dedicated “cyclist hubs” across Jakarta, where cyclists can park their bikes, get dressed, buy refreshments, repair their bikes, obtain first aid assistance and route information, and eventually rent bikes.

Ucha Kautsar from Cyclist Urban System said: “We wanted to stop complaining about our city and be a part of the solution. We believe CUS can encourage cycling if we can provide bike parking facilities, lockers and showers for cyclists. By doing this we hope we can make a positive contribution to Jakarta.”

The winners and runners-up will put the prize money towards implementing their projects in Jakarta. Find out more about the Jakarta Urban Challenge:

Spotlight on the world’s top urban innovators

One of the most talked-about strands of the New Cities Summit was WhatWorks, a series of shorttalks by some of the most promising urban innovators from across the world. They took to the main stage to tell the story of the urban solution they have developed in their city. Jakarta-based initiatives GO-JEK and PetaJakarta were two of the ten innovations featured. The sessions were moderated by Jason Pomeroy, Founding Principal, Pomeroy Studio. Information on each WhatWorks innovator can be found at:

Global Cultural Districts Network – second global meeting

Representatives of cultural districts from many countries including Australia, China, Malaysia, America, Indonesia and the UK convened at the Global Cultural Districts Network ( pre-conference meeting on June 8 to discuss issues of common interest and concern. As well as case studies from Shanghai and Montreal, the wide-ranging discussion included the metrics of success, governance, programming alliances and the striking the balance between cultural tourism and a strong relationship to local communities.

These discussions spilled over into the main conference in Summit sessions on animating public spaces and managing cultural tourism. For more information, visit


Press contact:
Thomas Ledwell
Director of Communications
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About the New Cities Summit

Organized by NewCities, the New Cities Summit is the premier global leadership event on the future of cities. Fostering positive urban change, the high level gathering advocates cross-sector collaboration through network building, cutting-edge forums and lively discussion. The Summit showcases and disseminates the best ideas on the future of cities and generates concrete, scalable solutions capable of being adopted and replicated across the world. The speaker program is constructed by NewCities, with the support of its members and partners, to reflect the most incisive, innovative thinking on the future city. The New Cities Summit 2015 took place in Jakarta. Previous editions of the Summit took place in Dallas (2014), São Paulo (2013) and Paris (2012).

Twitter: #ncs2015

About the Jakarta Urban Challenge

The Jakarta Urban Challenge is a USD $20,000 contest championing the most effective solutions to mobility and traffic problems in Jakarta. As Jakarta grows, mobility is becoming increasingly challenging while congestion is worsening, an issue that many large metropolises face. The Challenge is designed to find local solutions to improve mobility in Jakarta, one of the world’s most congested cities. The Challenge is organized by NewCities in collaboration with Connect4Climate.

The three finalists were announced on May 27, 2015 following judging by NewCities and Connect4Climate. They were selected out of a total of 226 applications as the best projects that aim to achieve at least one or more of the following objectives in Jakarta:

  • Improve traffic congestion
  • Reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
  • Reduce air pollution
  • Improve safety and accessibility Each finalist had five minutes on stage at the New Cities Summit.

The international judging panel selected the winner and two runners-up. The international judging panel featured:

  • Ke Fang, Urban Transport Specialist, The World Bank Group
  • Sarwo Handayani, Head of Governors team for Development Acceleration, City of Jakarta
  • John Rossant, Chairman, NewCities
  • Sutanto Soehodho, Jakarta’s Deputy Governor for Industry, Trade, and Transportation
  • Neli Triana, Senior Editor/Deputy Head of Metropolitan Desk, Kompas Muda
  • Yuan Xu, Country Manager for the Philippines, International Finance Corporation
  • Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize recipient and Founder, Grameen Bank

Twitter: #JKTUrbChallenge

About NewCities

NewCities is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to making cities more inclusive, connected, healthy and vibrant. Focusing on people, places and policies, we bring together a global network of public and private sector leaders and Urban Tech innovators to foster results-oriented collaboration. We also produce actionable research that can be implemented by decision-makers across sectors.
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