WALD International Brand Cities Summit that was co-organized by United Cities and Local Governments Middle East and West Asia Section (UCLG-MEWA) and World Academy for Local Government and Democracy (WALD) took place on 8-9 September 2015 under the auspices of Konya Metropolitan Municipality.

A great number of local government representatives from many countries participated in the two-day meeting. Mehmet Duman, UCLG-MEWA Secretary General who made an opening speech at the meeting, stressed that Konya is rapidly proceeding to become a brand city with its services and investments, and cited examples of brand cities in the world. Mr. Duman, also stated that “nowadays, technology usage is spreading everywhere and every city in the world. However, we have to answer the question of ‘Does technology usage really make cities smart?’ A city can be a brand city only if the smart technologies provide benefit to its citizens and when the citizens have enough equipment to use these technologies. “

Tahir Akyürek, Mayor of Konya, started his speech by mentioning that Turkey is experiencing sad events nowadays and presenting his condolences to the families of the martyrs, then he stated that they, as Konya Metropolitan Municipality has launched many investments in order to become a brand and smart city, and that International Brand City Summit will contribute to the urbanism not only in Turkey but also in the world in general.

Ziya Altunyaldız, Member of the Parliament from Justice and Development Party (AK Party) for Konya, mentioned the importance of brands and explained the elements of brand cities. Mr. Altunyaldız, presented his appreciation to the Mayor of Konya, mayors of the districts and the staff who are constantly working on elaborating Konya in line with its historical mission, and serving to the city. Moreover, the participants had the chance to share and discuss their experiences with regards to “Smart City Applications” during the panels and sessions that were taken after the speeches.

In the second day of the summit, topics such as Best Practices of Brand Cities in the World and in Turkey, Brand Cities and Energy Efficiency, Infrastructure Solutions and Cyber Security were discussed. UCLG-MEWA Media and Public Relations Department made interviews with mayors and municipality representatives from Syria, Palestine, Libya, and Jordan about the meeting, and these interviews will be shared on the website of UCLG-MEWA in the following days.

You may reach the photos from the meeting through the following UCLG-MEWA Flickr account:

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