clock 17-08-2017
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Transforming Cities for a Better and Sustainable Quality of Life

Returning for its 9th year, Kuala Lumpur hosted the ‘International Conference on World Class Sustainable Cities 2017 (WCSC 2017)' held on Thursday, 10th August 2017 at the Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Themed ‘TRANSFORMING CITIES: DESIGN, NATURE & HUMAN LIVES', this 9th WCSC series addressed and reflected on the current and future urban challenges faced in meeting the demands of an ever-increasing populous nation and achieving high-income economy status.

The 21st Century is a century of cities - Cities across the globe are swelling, compounding social and environmental sustainability challenges. Hence, cities have to transform, reinvent themselves and rethink policies that lead to solutions towards millennial challenges. Cities have become laboratories for innovation where innovative ideas, entrepreneurship and social dynamism are incubated, implemented and elevated to the broader national consciousness. The unprecedented growth in urban population will mean that the right strategies and actions need to be in place in order to have cities and towns that cater to the needs of the people towards providing a better and sustainable quality of life for all citizens.

WCSC 2017 featured 4 distinguished international World-Class speakers specially brought in from Canada, Denmark, Japan and Australia globally renowned for their innovative ideas and solutions towards present and future urban planning issues and challenges in providing a better and sustainable quality of city life.

These 4 esteemed international speakers include Ms Tina Saaby, Chief City Architect, Municipality of Copenhagen, Denmark; Mr Gil Penalosa, Director and Chair of the Board, 8 80 Cities, Toronto, Canada; Mr Takayuki Kubo, Senior Researcher, Fukuoka Asian Urban Research Center, Fukuoka, Japan; and Mr Stuart Mendel, Managing Director, TRX Lifestyle Quarter, Lendlease Malaysia.

The international speakers shared their knowledge and experiences with an expected participation of more than 500 delegates representing the built-environment industry professionals, City Managers, Government agencies, residents' groups, NGO's and city stakeholders.

The in-depth insight from the sharing of knowledge and experiences by past WCSC international conference speakers have had a positive and influential impact on knowledge sharing and shifting public mindsets and perceptions on the various benefits and challenges faced in becoming a World Class Sustainable and Liveable City.

Some of the major projects being implemented in Kuala Lumpur having learned and adapted from successful projects undertaken in other World-Class Cities include the transformation of Cheongyecheon River restoration in Seoul, Korea that was a great prelude to Kuala Lumpur's River of Life project; Brazil's Curitiba experience for its exemplary city transportation solutions; Hong Kong and Singapore's pedestrianization projects that include covered walkway systems to make cities for the people; the metamorphosis of Kaohsiung, Taiwan from an industrial polluter to an ecological tourist hub and demonstrating that livable cities are creative and competitive; and the Placemaking by creating and sustaining public spaces that build stronger communities; to name a few.

As part of the WCSC 2017 programme, a ‘MasterClass Session' led and moderated by Mr Gil Penalosa to study, deliberate and delve into greater attributes for the city transformation of Kuala Lumpur pertaining to the opportunities and challenges based on specific case study areas in Kuala Lumpur.

A ‘Photography Competition' with the theme ‘Transforming Cities: Design, Nature & Human Lives' has also been organized to capture the people, the lives, the places and the opportunities that Malaysians living in cities have or - DO NOT HAVE - places which can be better transformed into areas that enrich people's lives. The general public is welcomed and invited to share and join in this competition with attractive prizes to be won.

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