Plans afoot to make George Town a more sustainable and resilient heritage city



THE Penang Tourism and Creative Economy (PETACE) has planned to develop George Town World Heritage Site as a resilient heritage city and lift the state’s economy to greater heights in line with the Penang2030 vision.

During the launching of the reports of George Town World Heritage Site Population & Land Use Census 2009-2019 : A City in Transition and Scenario Planning : Possible Futures for Penang’s Economy in 2030, state Tourism and Creative Economy Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin was pleased with these two innovative and important publications initiated by Think City and its partners.


On the George Town World Heritage Site Population & Land Use Census 2009-2019 : A City in Transition, Yeoh pointed out that it bookended the history of heritage site from 2008 until prior Covid-19 pandemic.

“The data show a significant investment in new businesses and physical conservation after a decade of heritage listing.

“With this data, we have a robust framework to plan for the future of George Town, which is aligned to Penang2030 vision.

“These data, alongside Think City’s contribution, have influenced the revision of George Town Special Area Plan.

“We will be focusing on reviving tourism and creative sectors that have suffered losses in this pandemic.

“Our 5R approach – Rethink, Reset, Recover, Rebrand and Restart – builds the foundation to accelerate the state’s tourism and other creative sectors.

“The cultural and technology assets are the window of opportunities for the future growth of Penang,” he said in his speech before launching the event at Think City multipurpose hall in UAB building today.

Speaking of the future in relations to the launching of Scenario Planning : Possible Futures for Penang’s Economy in 2030 report, Yeoh said this was developed in response to the global socio-economic shocks and technology changes impacted by pandemic.

Yeoh and Dr Matt Benson exchanging views after launching the two reports.

“This report identifies the key drivers of change, outlining possible futures and providing recommendations on how Penang can position itself post-pandemic.

“I would like to thank Think City, Penang Institute and Penang Green Council (PGC) for developing this insightful body of work that allows us to imagine the paths that Penang future could be.

“It is important to keep the aim in line with the Penang2030 vision.

“I would like to thank Think City and its partners on the completion of these two reports and I encourage anyone who has interest in the future of Penang to download the reports from Think City’s website,” he said.

Think City senior director Dr Matt Benson hoped these reports would make a positive contribution on the future of Penang, particularly George Town World Heritage Site’s sustainability.

“We look forward to a continued collaboration with the state government and other institutions, including Penang Island City Council (MBPP), Digital Penang, Penang Institute and PGC,” he said.

On the possibility of reopening the international borders next year, Yeoh said the state’s tourism players were all well prepared.

“We also anticipate the number of domestic tourists will increase next month,” he said when asked by reporters on the state’s tourism outlook.

Also present were Chief Minister Incorporated (CMI) deputy general manager S. Bharathi, Penang Green Council (PGC) general manager Josephine Tan, Penang Heritage commissioner Rosli Nor and Digital Penang chief executive officer Tony Yeoh.

Story by Edmund Lee