DETROIT: Good City Foundation Spoke in the WEF Urban Transformation Summit Hosted on Public Spending to Spur District Innovation

Emerging Knowledge
6 min readNov 1, 2022
In Detroit Downtown, Michigan State.

October 2022 — Founder of the Good City Foundation, Andre Kwok, was invited to attend the Urban Transformation Summit on 11th — 13th October, hosted by the World Economic Forum, as Fire-starter Speaker in the panel “Spurring Innovation through Public Spending”. As Institutional Partner of the G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance (an initiative of the Global Urban Transformation Hub) and the Official Collaboration Partner of the World Economic Forum, the Foundation also supported to curate a group of corporate representatives of Hong Kong (Nan Fung Group and Sino Group) with Beijing Office of the Forum to explore the next milestone towards the development of the Urban Transformation Hub for Hong Kong and Asia.

Urban Transformation Summit (UTS) was curated in collaboration between the World Economic Forum and the Mayor Office of Detroit City through the collaboration initiative of establishment of Global Centre for Urban Transformation in November 2021.

The City of Detroit was a legacy city as “City of Motors” as a motor manufacturing hub for The US since the 1900s. The city faced economic collapse due to the globalization shocks of manufacturing supply-chain shift from local assembly. With the economic decline, the city currently hosts only 600,000+ population while being the largest city in the Michigan State by geographical area.

The World Economic Forum was commissioned by the State Authority and City Government to engage and curate a series of urban economic rejuvenation programs to strategically attract foreign investments and business activities to boost the economic vibrancy with job creations and talent attractions.

Upon the success of the Urban Transformation Summit, the team in WEF, in collaboration with the UN-Habitat is launching a few task-forces in new initiative “Global Partnership for Local Investment” that provides a platform for city leaders, business leaders and other stakeholders to collaborate, commit expertise and mobilize action in support of cities and urban economies.

The Good City Foundation, with the support of key partners, as the task-force committee, strive to commit with valuable use cases and experience in Hong Kong that could be more of a reference to the sustainable development in emerging Asia in the public private collaboration.

Photos of Event Highlights in the Urban Transformation Summit Panel Session “Spurring Innovation through Public Spending”

The Summit was designated as the Level II of the World Economic Forum. Over 150 C-level leaders in the private and public sectors were invited to participate and speak in the Summit on agenda issues such as the next generation of public private partnership; urban economics development through innovation districts; sustainable urban transformation with old building retrofitting and city development through sustainable energy and micro-mobility.

With the on-site team of the Urban Transformation Summit (top row), Yamin Xu (WEF Beijing Office) and Andrew Young (Sino Group) (left); Hong Kong corporates representatives (middle) and the Business Luncheon Roundtable hosted by the Global Head of the Urban Transformation Hub, Jeff Merritt (right).

Hong Kong representatives including Nan Fung Group (The Mills Fabrica), Sino Group and the Good City Foundation were invited and attended the Summit, and attracted high attention of the foreign business leaders to explore collaborations and aspirations on the rejuvenating images and brands of Hong Kong as a whole.

While mayors and city leaders from various cities in The US and Finland such as New Jersey, Detroit (Host City) and Helsinki attended and came for exploring further public private partnership, more expectations would have been posted to receive city political leaders from Hong Kong in the soon future for rebuilding global connectivity.

QLine Streetcar/Link (M-1 Rail), LINK e-Scooters, MoGo (non-profit bike share system) and Detroit cyclist meters.

Roadmap to HK: Legacy Rejuvenating — “Little Dragon Rise Again”

Riding on the success and content of the Urban Transformation, to boost the agenda and advocacy of the goals of “Global Partnership Local Investment” (GPLI), the Good City Foundation keeps to host the 7th Annual Meet of the Future City Summit in Hong Kong on 13th December, with the key result objective this year to engage deeper key stakeholders in Hong Kong and Asia on the unique positioning of Hong Kong in global market, and the values where Hong Kong shall platform in the metrics of cultural values, city branding, strategic industries and mind-flow of young talents.

Meanwhile, the Annual Meet will also be hosted across 4 cities besides Hong Kong — Phnom Penh, Bandung and Jakarta, in the special format of business and government sessions including business luncheons, facilitated focus group, research photo exhibitions and business delegation trip.



Emerging Knowledge

Fostering better public private partnership through foundation stewardship model in emerging cities.