- The full-day conference addressed critical aspects that contribute to an enhanced quality of life, including social inclusiveness, providing equal opportunities and access to resources for all residents, solutions and policies to make housing more accessible to diverse socioeconomic groups and strategies to improve public transportation systems and reduce congestion.
KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 26): The 14th International Conference on World Class Sustainable Cities (WCSC) 2023 commenced today at M Resort & Hotel here with a focus on "Resilient Urbanisation Planning Towards Malaysia MADANI". The event brought together experts, government officials, industry professionals and stakeholders from various sectors to deliberate on critical issues related to urban development, sustainability and resilience.
The central theme of WCSC 2023 reflected the importance of proactive measures required for cities to achieve resilience, sustainability, and liveability. In the face of increasing climate challenges, cities must pivot their focus to establish resilient urbanisation strategies that prioritise flood-resistant infrastructure and sustainable water management systems.
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WCSC 2023 Chairman Chan Jin-Wy, in his opening remarks, noted the importance of WCSC as a platform to facilitate needle-moving actions and forward-thinking approaches to city planning and development that takes into account the complex challenges and uncertainties faced by modern cities.
The event was officiated by Deputy Local Government Development Minister Haji Akmal Nasrullah Bin Mohd Nasir, who emphasised the importance of planning how cities are built and designed to better respond to current and future crises.
He noted that presently there are 320 cities and towns in Malaysia contributing to approximately 70% of the national gross domestic product (GDP), while urban population is projected to rise from 79% in 2020 to 87% by 2050.
“This calls for concerted efforts between government, businesses, civil societies, youth and academia to create a better foundation for growth and productivity,” he said in his officiating speech.
Akmal applauded the WCSC committee for aligning the conference with the government’s policy framework and slogan “Malaysia MADANI” and its six core values of sustainability, care and compassion, respect, innovation, prosperity and trust. He added that adopting these values in the urban planning can manifest good city design, affordable homes, resilient public transport, green building index, centralised green lung, Sustainable Development Goals and walkable cities.
Recognising the need to sustain positive urban development, Akmal outlined five initiatives the government has embarked on as the nation races to balance urbanisation with environmental and social sustainability and meet the Nationally Determined Contributions. These are the National Energy Transition Roadmap, Smart City Reconnaissance Programme, Urban Renewal Act, Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Guideline and Ease of Doing Business.
The first, National Energy Transition Roadmap will outline Malaysia’s effort towards achieving a sustainable and inclusive energy system, and shifting away from the traditional fossil fuel-based economy to a high-value creation economy. The Smart City Reconnaissance Programme is based on 87 targeted indicators under the ISO 37122:2019 and aims to reward the efforts of local governments in implementing smart city initiatives. At least five cities will be recognised as Smart City early adopters by 2025.
Akmal also noted that the third initiative – Urban Renewal Act, which is scheduled to be tabled next year, will help hasten the development of old properties which will facilitate the redevelopment, regeneration, revitalisation and conservation of 139 old developments that have already been earmarked.
“Currently, urban renewal is being carried out through nine existing legislations and laws. Among them are the National Land Code, Town and Country Planning Act, Contracts and Land Acquisition Act. So you can imagine how difficult it is for us to redevelop a certain place,” he told EdgeProp.my during a press conference after the launch ceremony.
10,000 charging stations by 2025
To achieve sustainable cities, the government is stepping up efforts to increase the availability of charging infrastructure for EVs, which is crucial to transforming the carbon-intensive automotive sector.
“The EV Charging Station Guideline aims to introduce 10,000 charging stations nationwide by 2025 in line with the Low Carbon Mobility Blueprint. The guideline will be revisited to enable this,” he said.
At present, Akmal said there are about 1,300 to 1,600 charging stations nationwide.
The deputy minister also emphasised the importance of ensuring ease of doing business and efficient development processes in order to support the economic strength required for resilient urbanisation planning.
“In doing so, the ministry is proactive in ensuring the service of the local government is above par and the timeline for development is according to schedule,” he said.
Earlier, the conference kicked off with the first keynote speaker, Sylvia Halim, deputy for Facilities & Infrastructure, Nusantara National Capital Authority, Indonesia, who provided a comprehensive overview of the Nusantara development and the initiatives taken to create a fully sustainable city.
The WCSC features seven expert speakers from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia, each providing valuable insights into sustainable initiatives undertaken. The full-day conference addressed critical aspects that contribute to an enhanced quality of life, including social inclusiveness, providing equal opportunities and access to resources for all residents, solutions and policies to make housing more accessible to diverse socioeconomic groups and strategies to improve public transportation systems and reduce congestion.
The conference is endorsed by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), and jointly organised by Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda) Wilayah Persekutuan KL, Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM) and Malaysian Institute of Planners (MIP), while EdgeProp.my is the media partner.
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