The 2011 Mayors’ Class will “adopt” the Chinese town and make it a model for sustainable urban development.
Ms Lou Bing last year became the first female mayor in NTU’s renowned Mayors’ Class. She is now working to bring Singapore’s experience and her newfound knowledge to her city.
On 5 January, the Mayor of China’s Renhuai city signed a Memorandum of Understanding with NTU’s China Affairs Office Director Dr Wu Wei, under which the 2011 Mayors’ Class will “adopt” Maotai town in Renhuai and make it a model for sustainable growth. Currently, the town’s main claim to fame is its popular Maotai liquor.
This is the first such initiative by the Mayors’ Class, so named because it is often attended by Chinese officials earmarked to be mayors. These high-flyers attend either the Master of Science in Managerial Economics or the Master of Public Administration programme.
More than 1,000 Chinese officials have graduated from the programmes since 1998, and NTU President Dr Su Guaning says that the “calibre of the faculty, which includes several former Singapore government leaders” is part of the programmes’ appeal.
The Class of 2011 will visit Maotai in western China during their term breaks to share best practices in public administration, environmental management, and economic development with the grassroots leaders there.
Under the Memorandum of Understanding, NTU will also run short-term programmes in city planning for officials from Renhuai city.
Said Dr Wu, who oversees the Nanyang Centre for Public Administration, which runs the Mayors’ Class programmes: “The adopt-a-village initiative, which focuses on less developed regions in China, aims to broaden the globalisation perspective of the Chinese grassroots leaders, train more officials to catch up with the developed cities and close the gap between them.”
This effort will also help Renhuai attract more foreign investment.
Ms Lou, who recently completed NTU’s Master of Public Administration programme, said: “I want to bring the perspective of Singapore and the world back to my city, to help it develop faster under China’s blueprint for developing its west.”© Corporate Communications Office