THE urban population of the world has grown to 4.2 billion in 2018 and 54% of the world’s urban population reside in Asia.
Despite its relatively lower level of urbanisation, it is where the world’s most densely populated cities are located.
Combined with the impacts from global climate change and extreme weather, sustainable urban development must be the way forward.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow delivered the powerful message during the 3rd Green Cities Forum at Royale Chulan Penang today.
The theme of the forum was Sustainable Urban Development of Coastal Cities.
Chow said that Penang consists of Penang island and Seberang Perai.
“Both are coastal cities. Their local councils face similar yet different challenges.
“Therefore, the development strategies as well as the urban governance challenges vary between the two city councils.
“It is important for cities to be planned based on its unique characteristics. I am a strong believer that a sustainable city relies very much on its citizens.
“It is crucial to consider the social wellbeing of the citizens, a family-focused plan with green initiatives and smart innovations in every policy that is planned,” Chow said in his speech.
Asian Development Bank (ADB) regional cooperation and operations coordination division, Southeast Asia Regional Department director Alfredo Perdiguero stressed the importance of countries working together to achieve a common sustainable goal.
“Cities are the key economic growth in Asia. It is crucial for us to work and act together. In this forum, we discover how to develop holistic plans to make cities more resilient,” he said.
The 3rd Green Cities Forum was organised under the framework of the Green Cities Initiatives of the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), and the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT).
The two-day forum, which was organised by the Penang Institute and ADB, ends tomorrow (Jan 14).
Also present were State Secretary Datuk Abdul Razak Jaafar, state Works, Utilities and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari and Penang Institute chief operating officer Ong Siou Woon.
Story by Christopher Tan
Pix by Darwina Mohd Daud
Video by Noor Siti Nabilah Noorazis