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WCSC 2010 to focus on enhancing connectivity

KELANA JAYA: The second International Conference on World Class Sustainable Cities 2010 (WCSC) to be held in Kuala Lumpur on Oct 19 will focus on the need to enhance connectivity within Kuala Lumpur City.

The event is jointly organised by the Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) Wilayah Persekutuan KL Branch, the Malaysian Institute of Planners (MIP) and Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM), and will carry the theme “Going for growth, engaging the people”.

Co-organising chairman Chen Kin Meng said the conference will feature nine keynote speakers and panelists. Among them include Luciano Ducci, Mayor of Curitiba City who will share strategies and practices that have helped the city attain recognition for sustainable, world-class planning initiatives; Eduardo Guinaraes, Secretary of International Relations, Curitiba City Council; Dr Liang H. Wang, Chairman of Ho Wang SPB Ltd, Hong Kong; Ahmad Suhaili Idrus, Director of Program & Data Management, Performance Management & Development Unit (Pemandu), Malaysia; as well as Andy Davison, chief executive The Expat Group, Malaysia.

“This year, we have an interesting case study by a representative from Curitiba City, Brazil to show us how they have transformed a congested city into a model green city for sustainable living recognised by Unesco,” Chen told reporters on Thursday, Sept 30.

Curitiba City has a population of about 1.8 million in a city area of 430 sq km, which is comparable to Kuala Lumpur city. The Curitiba Master Plan was adopted in 1968 and it has gone through several major urban planning projectsm. It has become an example for global major cities like Los Angeles and Shanghai.

The topics covered in this one-day conference are also in line with the Greater Kuala Lumpur (KL) proposals by Pemandu presented in the recent Economic Transformation Programme (ETP). 

The proposals include turning KL into a pedestrian-friendly city, which includes covered walkways such as a 2.5km covered walkway from Bukit Bintang to KLCC.

Under the Greater KL Strategic Development Project, an initiative under the 10th Malaysia Plan, the government is to revitalise the city by re-developing strategic federal assets including the Sungei Besi military airport, Pudu Jail, Kuala Lumpur Financial District and the planned township development on the Rubber Research Institute (RRI) land in Sg Buloh.

The plan for Greater KL is to have a population of 10 million, compared with the current 6.4 million. Accessibility and public service infrastructure will be incorporated to support the pace and scale of Greater KL’s growth. This project will improve the city’s livability and provide the engine of growth for the entire country.

Malaysian Institute of Planners’ Chairman of International Affairs Committee Norliza Hashim said enhancing connectivity within a city involves not only the public transportation system but also the study on effective land use planning, livability and quality of life as well as private and public engagement.

“Also, in the transformation process, Curitiba City links all the issues like transportation, poverty, job opportunities and recycling. Everything is integrated and it is relevant to the Greater KL plan,” Norliza said.

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