The Penang Project
Penang is a key industrial and innovation hub in Malaysia, but the route to its desired future of becoming one of the best and most ‘liveable’ of such hubs in the world, is unclear. Instigated by Dato Ken Yeang, and sponsored by the Malyasian Government think-tank Khazanah, an expert workshop was held in Georgetown, Penang in July 2011 to address the sustainable future of the State of Penang.
Dr Mike Wells, Director, attended the workshop and presented a proposition that suggested a significant change towards environmental restoration and re-evaluation of ecosystem services. He suggested that the re-planning of the State on sustainable lines be called ‘The Penang Project’ given the fact that it represented a reconstructional seachange in approach to development in the region. Subsequently in 2012 Biodiversity by Design was invited to another key workshop by Alfonso Vegara, founder of the renowned Fundación Metropoli, to assist in preparation of a new vision for the State. Biodiversity by Design collaborated in this endeavor with Studio Engleback (under the joint banner of ‘Savia Nueva’) - a leading sustainable landscape and masterplanning practice in the UK.
The final overall report produced by Fundación Metropoli was presented to the Prime Minister of Malaysia. The Penang Project is being taken forward, and it is hoped that it may become a model for redevelopment of other Malaysian States.