Envisioning KL’s future in 20 years

Ra Adrina (fifth from right) showing Jan Gehl’s book to (fifth from left to fourth from right) Ihsan, Rehda KL past chairman NK Tong and Tay as WCSC committee members and sponsors look on.

IT TAKES time to turn Kuala Lumpur into a sustainable and liveable city but it is not impossible.

World-Class Sustainable Cities (WCSC) 2019 organising chairman Ra Adrina Muztaza said Kuala Lumpur was set to embark on a new journey to the future through its new KL City Plan 2020 to 2040.

“Re-planning for the next 20 years has started with Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) looking into the long-term for its development plans and the challenges they will be facing, from demographic changes to climate change, technology disruptions and scarcity of land,” she said.

She said the WCSC conference series would explore how the Malaysian capital city could prepare for those challenges.

Elaborating on WCSC 2019, she said it aimed to focus on the future of Kuala Lumpur by providing a constructive and inclusive platform as well as a strategic working arena for various parties, including city managers, engineers and other stakeholders in the city, to address how Kuala Lumpur as well as other cities in Malaysia should move forward to create a more sustainable city.

The 11th series of the international conference, themed “Next: KL 2040”, will be held on Sept 19 at Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur.

It is organised by a tripartite collaboration between Malaysian Institute of Planners (MIP), Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM) and the Kuala Lumpur chapter of Real Estate and Housing Developers Association Malaysia (Rehda KL).

International and Malaysian speakers at the one-day event are Victorian Planning Authority chief executive officer Stuart Moseley, UNStudio principal urban planner Caroline Bos, Gehl Architects founder and senior advisor Jan Gehl and Think City urban solutions programme manager Dr Cecelia Long.

“Over the past 11 years, WCSC is truly gratified that its partner organisations have continued with efforts to educate and change public mindsets and perceptions on the benefits as well as challenges faced in becoming a world-class city that is sustainable and liveable,” said Ra Adrina.

She highlighted some of the positive initiatives that were picked up from the previous WCSC conferences, such as the KL River of Life (RoL) project.

She explained that RoL came after the transformation of Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon river restoration, pedestrianisation projects of covered walkway systems in Singapore and Hong Kong, and Taiwan’s ecological tourist hub.

PAM president Lillian Tay said WCSC was a place where town planners, architects and stakeholders could gather to discuss what they could do for the city, as it was important in creating sustainable city planning.

She said this year’s line-up of speakers was well curated and hoped participants would be able to learn and adopt suitable projects in the next KL City Plan.

Meanwhile, MIP president Ihsan Zainal Mokhtar said WCSC would be able to assist DBKL in visualising the local government’s aim to be a world-class city, through tips and ideas shared by participants.

Other activities planned for WCSC include two exclusive masterclass workshops, a youth workshop entitled “Young People’s Lab” and a photography competition.

The masterclass workshops will see participants visiting two sites in Kuala Lumpur – Jalan Sultan near Petaling Street and Jalan Ikan Emas – which DBKL plans to redevelop in the future.

Prior to the event, a special book launch will be held on Sept 17 for the Bahasa Malaysia edition of Jan Gehl’s book called Cities for People to be published by Universiti of Malaya Press.

For details and to register, visit www.wcsckl.com

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