Penang Bay – A potential SDG City Zone to unlock opportunities


Penang is preparing itself for the next phase of growth and development by incorporating innovative ideas to transform the Penang Bay area into a new Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)-compliant and economic zone.

The Penang Bay area includes the George Town and Butterworth waterfronts.

Think City managing director Hamdan Abdul Majeed said that Penang is land-constrained, hence, the state was looking at how to regenerate and reuse what it has.

“The keyword here is ‘regenerate and reuse’. We are equipping ourselves and creating an enabling environment for the digital age.

“We see George Town as the launchpad for the proposed Penang Bay project. We see the emerging digital sector; new tech companies are already located in George Town, not just co-working spaces but firms that are involved in analytics, designs and technology.

“We are trying to create an ‘intersection’ between culture and heritage with technology and design, by providing infrastructure and improving public realm,” he said after the Penang Bay International Ideas Competition awards ceremony at Wisma Yeap Chor Ee in China Street Ghaut today.

The awards ceremony was conducted virtually, enabling the judges and winners from other countries to take part in the event.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the objective of the competition was to solicit ideas for development of the Penang Bay area.

“It is an idea competition. We are not launching a particular project.

“The development potential of the waterfronts has long been neglected.

“We saw the opportunity for a new type of economic development; incorporating the SDG concept and promoting our heritage and creative industry.

“George Town and Butterworth have great potential as logistic hubs. We have been looking at the redevelopment of facilities at the north seafront over the past few years.

“The Penang Bay can considered as a future potential for Penang, spearheaded by the creative economy.

“Investors who have land at the Penang Bay area can look at the potential together,” Chow said.

Earlier in his speech, Chow said it was the state government’s aim to have the Penang Bay listed as an SDG City Zone to unlock opportunities and scale up the initiative.

“It will be the first in Malaysia and an opportunity to transform the urbanisation process for Penang to a more sustainable manner,” he said.

Chow commended the tireless effort of the seven-member jury who evaluated the entries in terms of idea clarity, originality, innovative ideas, economic potential and the consideration of the relevant SDGs.

Penang Local Government, Housing, Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said a total of 79 submissions from 20 countries were received.

“Thirty six were shortlisted in a blind judging process by the technical committee and their submissions were then assessed by our jury,” he said.

The members of the jury were Jagdeep, Penang Deputy State Secretary (Development) Datuk Azhar Arshad, Aga Khan Trust for Culture general manager Luis Monreal, UN-Habitat head of knowledge and innovation Eduardo Moreno, Malaysian Institute Planners president Ihsan Zainal Mokhtar, Global Development Incubator’s Wadzi Katsidzira, and Wageningen University international landscape architect Sanda Lenzholzer.

“The quality of the submissions was outstanding. Many innovative ideas have been put forth for us to consider. We are very proud that there were many Malaysian entries with revolutionary ideas,” Jagdeep said.

A total of US$37,000 in prize money was allocated to the finalists – with US$20,000awarded to the first prize winner(s), US$8,000 for the second prize and US$4,000 for the third. The five honourable mentions received US$1,000 each.

The two-member team from Qhawarizmi Architect was the winner of the competition while the five-member team from MPlan City Planning, Bartlett School of Planning, University College London was the runner-up. The four-member team from Arkitek Kashaf and Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Puncak Alam was third.

Two teams from Malaysia, and a team each from the Netherlands, Indonesia and India were the five honourable mentions.

Visit https://penangbaycompetition.com.my/winner/ for further details of winning entries.

The competition, launched in August last year, is an initiative by the George Town Conservation and Development Corporation (GTCDC), a partnership between the Penang government and Think City; along with partners – Seberang Perai City Council and Penang Island City Council.

Source: Buletin Mutiara

  1. Sammy
    March 10th, 2021 at 12:39 | #1

    That narrow napkin area ? Very soon all will clamp up like sardine !

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