• “Essentially, this area (DTKL), where the city was founded at the confluence (of rivers), will be the pathway towards how we will reshape KL as a confluence of ideas, confluence of people, confluence of culture, and confluence of civilisation.”

KUALA LUMPUR (Apr 1): The nation’s capital city will facilitate a convergence of ideas towards socio-economic progress, said experts in city shaping.

Think City recently held the Creative KL Talks series with Charles Landry, an international authority on urban creativity, to discover “What Makes A Creative City Work”, particularly for Kuala Lumpur.

Think City managing director Hamdan Abdul Majeed stated in his opening speech that the organisation has been focusing on remaking Downtown Kuala Lumpur (DTKL), an area that’s critical in reshaping KL as a city.

“Essentially, this area (DTKL), where the city was founded at the confluence (of rivers), will be the pathway towards how we will reshape KL as a confluence of ideas, confluence of people, confluence of culture, and confluence of civilisation,” he said.

Landry concurred, saying: “It’s bringing differences together, and it’s bringing potentials together in a way that is incredibly powerful. [It’s] a powerful concept that’s building the story of KL that is to be, which is the confluence of nations, people, ideas, projects and innovations”.

Potential of data in creating a creative city

When it comes to the digitalising world of AI (artificial intelligence), Landry noted that data is important and a potential to be tapped into in making a creative city as long as there’s human sovereignty in it.

“Data-rising or sensorising the city can be very good. In terms of [helping] local authorities and municipalities in making decisions, clearly AI in many ways can simplify things. However, the key question is, how is data being used?” he told EdgeProp during the media interview.

He then highlighted that Taipei is the best city for KL to compare itself to, particularly Dihua street, a Chinese-medicine street with heritage architecture.

“How did they persuade the developers and everybody to preserve it (heritage architecture)? By transferring air rights elsewhere to protect it, thus maintaining the intimacy of the place, which is key in city making,” he said.

Landry said there’s no formal discussions yet on his plans with Think City, but believes that he could be helpful in giving comparison insights from other places that have learned or not learned based on his 40 years of experience.

The Creative KL Talks is a series of sharing sessions where Think City brings in experts to share their knowledge and aspirations for KL as part of its initiative under the KL Creative and Cultural District (KLCCD) strategic masterplan.

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