Malaysian ‘Forest City’ Wins Sustainability Award
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Forest City, a high-profile greenfield smart city development in Johor, Malaysia, won the 2019 Asian Townscape Jury’s Award for its ‘Feathers of the Sea’ international business complex.
The project, funded by China’s Country Garden Group and local partner Esplanade Danga 88 Sdn Bhd (partially owned by Sultan Ibrahim Ismail of Johor), was commended for its green construction design, smart solutions and measures to protect the ecological environment.
The Feathers of the Sea project also garnered the Innovative Design Award from the Asia Townscape Design Society.
The tenth edition of the Asian Townscape Awards was held at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan. Almost 300 government officials, business executives and representatives from academic institutions across Asia attended the event themed around ‘resilient urban landscapes that adapt to climate change’.
The annual award aims to honour projects and activities that make important contributions to sustainable townscape construction.
The Asian Townscape Award was jointly launched by the UN-HABITAT Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Asian Habitat Society, the Fukuoka Asian Urban Research Center and Asia Townscape Design Society in 2010. The annual award aims to honour projects and activities that make important contributions to sustainable townscape construction.
Feathers of the Sea
The first phase of the Feathers of the Sea project within Forest City was completed in summer. The developers hope the Feathers of the Sea will become popular for tourism and shopping in Johor Bahru. In the future, there are plans to attract large-scale duty-free shops, international brand flagship stores, high-end supermarkets, speciality foods, children’s entertainment and more.
The Asian Townscape Award jury said Forest City’s Feathers of the Sea development not only shows a unique way of thinking when it comes to architectural design but also improves the fragile ecological environment of the coastal area through the construction of a wetland park and the development of a seagrass restoration plan. The complex helps protect biodiversity and sets a good example for the future construction of buildings in other countries, they said.
Last year, the Forest City development was pinpointed by Forbes as one of five new cities that are set to shake up the future. Described as “Malaysia’s answer to Singapore,” the development will be four times the size of New York’s Central Park and is slated for completion in 2035. The $100 billion project is set to eventually house up to 700,000 people and could create as many as 220,000 jobs. According to plans, the city will be filled with greenery, with roads and parking built underground to keep the main living areas car-free.
The Forest City development was pinpointed by Forbes as one of five new cities that are set to shake up the future.
Forest City will be based on four artificial islands rising up from the sea and use shipped-in sand. With this in mind, the development’s sustainability credentials have been questioned by some, alongside its economic viability. Further, it has been noted that if 700,000 people did live on the 14 square km of the four islands, Forest City would have the highest population density on the planet.