Contest to transform eyesore


Filepic showing the BORR flyover in front of Penang Sentral where homeless people used to spend their nights.

Filepic showing the BORR flyover in front of Penang Sentral where homeless people used to spend their nights.

A CASH prize of RM10,000 awaits the lucky winner of the design competition for the vacant dead space under the Butterworth Outer Ring Road (BORR) below the flyover about 250 metres from Penang Sentral.

Previously, dozens of vagrants had turned the empty space under the flyover and abutment into their resting and dwelling place.

The competition is organised by the Seberang Prai Municipal Council (MPSP) and Think City Sdn Bhd.

Think City programme director (Urban Solutions) Dr Matt Benson said MPSP and Think City with Institute of Landscape Architects Malaysia (ILAM) were excited to be part of this competition.

“We will bring together some of the most creative architects and urban designers to convert the vacant space into a community asset.

The Star report on Jan 9 about the plight of vagrants living beneath the flyover.

“We will then pick the best proposal to utilise dead space,“ he told reporters at the launch of the competition at the site recently.

ILAM vice-president Assoc Prof Dr Nor Atiah Ismail said working with Think City would allow the BORR underpass to become a beacon of greenery, bio-diversity and community resiliency.

“We hope that the competition will allow the participants to come out with great solution that is holistic in nature and be the catalyst for future landscape spaces and development in Butterworth.

“Through this urban space revitalisation, crimes may be prevented and the visual quality of the area improved,” she said.

(From fifth left) MRCB chief operating officer Shireen Iqbal, Dr Nor Atiah, Dr Benson, MPSP councillor K. Kumaran, MPSP Butterworth Baru unit chief Normaira Abdul Rahman and others at the space beneath the BORR flyover to announce the design competition.
(From fifth left) MRCB chief operating officer Shireen Iqbal, Dr Nor Atiah, Dr Benson, MPSP councillor K. Kumaran, MPSP Butterworth Baru unit chief Normaira Abdul Rahman and others at the space beneath the BORR flyover to announce the design competition.

Think City programme executive Ooi Shi Ying said as of Dec 6, there were already 115 registrants, who can participate as an individual or in a group, for the competition.

The competition that is open to Malaysians and foreigners who can join as a member of a group with other Malaysians.

The closing date for registration is Jan 25.

The announcement of the winner will likely be in March or April.

Over the years, The Star has been reporting about homeless people seeking shelter under the flyover and messing up the space with their belongings and trash.

Northern Region