THE 57th International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) World Congress & World Landscape Architects Summit kicked-off in a virtual manner this afternoon with Penang used as its backdrop during the live-streaming.
The event, which is jointly by the Institute of Landscape Architects Malaysia (ILAM), International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) and National Landscape Department, Ministry of Housing and Local Government of Malaysia, will be held over five days.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, in his address via a pre-recorded video, conveyed his vision of placing Penang at the forefront to inspire others as well as to become a leader in smart city status in Malaysia.
“IFLA2020 with its theme ‘Future Tense’ significantly associates with the Penang2030 vision, and I foresee the importance of landscape architecture as one of the crucial solutions in making Penang a smart city and an ideal living place for its people.
“We need to have various landscape architecture solutions to blend with our unique culture and lifestyle to create a more liveable environment for our family and society to flourish,’’ said Chow.
Chow added that the Penang government, together with the local council (Penang Island City Council) and the private sectors, through their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, are transforming and rejuvenating the George Town World Heritage Site.
“We have revitalised back lanes, providing people with comfortable pedestrian and bicycle linkages in an urban greenery setup.
“These are some examples of our efforts in achieving a ‘low carbon city’ while ensuring a better quality of life through green and intelligent city planning.
“With this, I am also eagerly anticipating Penang’s new landscape evolution that includes a smart landscape and smart park.
“I welcome more suggestions, ideas and innovations that will contribute to our efforts in improving the sustainability of our city to create a prosperous and ‘future inclusive’ environment for Penangites,’’ said Chow while thanking the organisers for successfully holding the event despite the challenging time.
Meanwhile, the interim Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who officiated the virtual congress though a pre-recorded video, said the event is the commitment portrayed by the Malaysian government to global efforts in strengthening the sustainability of development amidst the pandemic.
“I sincerely hope that this conference can explore new partnership and collaboration between public, private, people and professional stakeholders to achieve our shared goals.
“We have come together to inspire and engage ways on how landscape architecture can contribute to environmental, social and cultural well-being to create a better world for our future generations to live in,” Muhyiddin said.
Among the dignitaries who presented the opening remarks were United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN‐Habitat) executive director Datuk Seri Maimunah Mohd Sharif, IFLA 2020 organising chairman Assoc. Prof Dr Suhardi Maulan and IFLA president James Hayter.
Story by Tanushalini Moroter
Pix by Law Suun Ting