KATOWICE, Poland (June 28): The Malaysia Liveability Index (iDAM), will help cities benchmark their levels of wellbeing, quality of life and liveability, said Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican.

Sharing his insight on iDAM at the 11th World Urban Forum (WUF11) here on Monday (June 27), Reezal Merican said this high-impact measuring tool was developed by the Town and Country Planning Department (PLANMalaysia) to gauge the effectiveness of the measures in making the country more liveable.

“Among the core aspirations of iDAM are the development of a prosperous and future-proof economy, improvements in environmental quality and conservation, efficient urban governance and inclusive infrastructure and facilities,” he said at the launch of the Malaysia Pavilion and the soft launch of iDAM at the WUF11.

WUF was initiated by the United Nations (UN) in 2001 to study one of the most pressing issues facing the world today, namely rapid urbanisation and its impact on communities, cities, the economy and climate change.

Organised and convened by UN-Habitat, WUF is the most inclusive international gathering on urban issues that brings together representatives of national, provincial and local governments, academics, business people, community leaders, town planners and civil societies.

On the WUF11 themed “Transforming Our Cities, For A Better Urban Future”, Reezal Merican acknowledged the forum was an ideal platform for discourse, knowledge-sharing, exchange of ideas and best practices for Malaysia's pursuit of a sustainable and liveable environment for its communities post-pandemic.

In Malaysia, he said the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) is responsible for overseeing, coordinating, and implementing sustainable agendas in ensuring the well-being of its 25 million urban population, which is about 78% of its 32 million population.

“We are committed to building affordable housing, providing quality urban services and intensifying our efforts towards a sustainable waste management ecosystem in Malaysia.

“We are also on a mission to fulfil our national vision of making Malaysia a beautiful ‘garden nation’.  As such, local authorities back home have been encouraged to focus on urban greenery and landscape development,” he said.

Reezal Merican said Malaysia’s presence in the WUF11 was also an opportunity to showcase the country’s initiatives and achievements in promoting and implementing sustainable urban development.

“We are determined to see equitable growth and increased resilience. We will balance urban expansion with environmental sustainability and inclusivity in our quest,” he said, adding that Malaysia's theme “Liveable Malaysia: A Liveable Green Urban Nation” at the WUF11 resonates with its commitment to realising the New Urban Agenda (NUA) and the Sustainable Development  Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

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