George Town unveils Linear Garden, a green oasis for sustainable living

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THE Linear Garden at the Esplanade is now open to the public, strengthening the commitment of the state to promoting health, fostering economic development, and creating sustainable urban environments in George Town.


The project’s upgrading efforts commenced in May last year (2023) and reached completion in December last year (2023).


Penang Island City Council (MBPP) mayor Datuk A. Rajendran said several key infrastructural facilities and park accessibility features have been established.


“They include the planting of 60 new local trees, guided by the ACRest (Atlas of Climate Resilient Tree Species) list developed by MBPP in collaboration with Think City.


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The Linear Garden at the Esplanade.


“These new trees provide ample shade, creating a substantial green lung in the area.


“The installation of a Unesco World Heritage Site emblem crafted by local blacksmiths from George Town, prominently placed at the centre of the Linear Garden. Similar emblems can be found at various Unesco World Heritage sites worldwide, and we take pride in having our unique emblem in George Town,” he said in his speech before the launching ceremony at the Esplanade this morning.


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Chow (forefront, second from right), H’ng (forefront, third from right), Lim (forefront, fourth from right), together with other guests checking out the Unesco World Heritage Site emblem at the Linear Garden.


Rajendran added that the use of terrazzo flooring surrounding the emblem and Shanghai plaster for pedestrian walkways, both crafted by local traditional flooring artisans.


“Additionally, classic park benches have been intricately designed by local craftsmen,” he emphasised.


Rajendran said the setting up of the Linear Garden aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including Goal 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), Goal 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), and Goal 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities).


“The Linear Garden project also involves upgrading the Cenotaph area, a key component of the project.


“In line with the new design, the Cenotaph now has a refreshed appearance, removing the existing iron fence to allow the public to approach and appreciate the monument more closely, acknowledging the history and sacrifices of the fallen soldiers.


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Chow (centre), H’ng (sixth from left), Lim (sixth from right), Rajendran (fifth from right), Bharathi (fourth from left), and other dignitaries taking a group photo in front of the Cenotaph.


“The Cenotaph site was opened earlier on Dec 10 last year, providing a venue for the Penang Veterans Association to conduct a ceremony in commemoration of Remembrance Day.


“The event was attended by military officials and veterans from Commonwealth nations. It is with pleasure that we announce the positive reception of the Cenotaph site upgrade by all parties involved,” he said.


Penang Local Government, Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jason H’ng Mooi Lye said the state and MBPP have strived to implement green programmes such as upgrading the public realm.


“Since 2010 until 2023, MBPP has upgraded 23.62ha of public spaces on Penang island, at a cost of RM10.215 million.


“In 2024, MBPP is set to enhance 10 neighbourhood parks, allocating RM6.5 million for public leisure and recreational purposes.


“The state government and MBPP will persist in their efforts to establish additional parks as green lungs, aligning with the Penang2030 vision of A Family-Focused Green and Smart State that Inspires the Nation.


Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the Linear Garden project is one of the 14 projects under the RM140 million North Seafront Masterplan.


The masterplan was developed by the George Town Conservation and Development Corporation (GTCDC), a partnership between the Penang Chief Minister Incorporated (CMI), Think City, and Aga Khan Trust for Culture.


“The Linear Garden project was implemented by MBPP, following the state government’s initiative in allocating RM1.5 million through the State Development Budget,” he said.


Chow also highlighted another project under the North Seafront Masterplan – the restoration of the moat of Fort Cornwallis – which was scheduled for completion in 2025.


“Once completed, the Fort Cornwallis stands to attract many visitors to the George Town World Heritage Sites,” Chow said.


He also touched on the necessary upgrading of the Dewan Sri Pinang.


“The Dewan Sri Pinang was built in 1972. This iconic building has served Penang for the past 52 years.


“Its upgrading project is one of the 14 projects under the RM140 million North Seafront Masterplan.


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The Dewan Sri Pinang.


“The proposal to conserve Dewan Sri Pinang has received public feedback.


“The Penang executive council (exco) has also deliberated and will invite Think City and GTCDC to present the outcome of the work done earlier as well as the public feedback,” he said.


Chow added that the estimated cost was over RM50 million, which is a huge amount.


“We hope that the Federal Government can assist us on the matter,” he said.


Chow also extended his appreciation to GTCDC, MBPP and all other relevant bodies for their efforts in realising the masterplan.


Also present were at the Esplanade were state Social Development, Welfare and Non-Islamic Religious Affairs Committee chairman Lim Siew Khim, CMI general manager Datin S. Bharathi, Think City chairman Datuk Seri Dr Anwar Fazal, Think City managing director Hamdan Abdul Majeed, and other dignitaries.



Story by Christopher Tan

Pix by Alissala Thian

Video by Law Suun Ting