4th International Conference on World Class Sustainable Cities 2012


On Tuesday, 25th September 2012, Kuala Lumpur will once again host the ‘4th World Class Sustainable Cities Conference’ (WCSC 2012). This year’s conference will feature two world class speakers from two cities globally renowned for their livability and transformation – Copenhagen, Denmark and Bilbao, Spain.

Award-winning Danish architect, Dr. Jan Gehl of Gehl Architects, will share on the topic of “Cities for People”, bringing his rich experiences on his work in transforming cities such as New York, London, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Auckland and Christchurch. Mr. Alfonso Vegara of Fundacion Metropoli, himself an architect-planner, will share on “Bilbao Next – Regenerating Cities”, illustrating the transformative work that the city of Bilbao has undertaken to bring it to its enviable status among global cities today.

Co-organised by the Real Estate & Housing Developers’ Association Wilayah Persekutuan (Kuala Lumpur) Branch (REHDA KL), the Malaysian Institute of Planners (MIP), and the Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM), WCSC 2012 will be held at the Grand Ballroom of the JW Marriott Hotel Kuala Lumpur, and expects to attract about 500 participants this year.

“This conference is unique because it brings together all stakeholders of the city together,” said N.K. Tong, Co-Organising Chairman of WCSC 2012 for REHDA KL. “Besides developers, planners and architects, through DBKL’s endorsement and support, city authority officials and representatives from residents’ associations throughout Kuala Lumpur will also attend as participants in the conference.”

While WCSCs from past years have focused on various topics, including the transformation of Cheongyecheon River in Seoul, Korea, the city transportation solutions for Curitiba, Brazil, and the metamorphosis of Kaohsiung, Taiwan from an industrial polluter to an ecological tourist hub, this year’s WCSC 2012 will focus, as the theme suggests, on Cities for People. The two keynote speakers will help refocus our attention on creating streetscapes friendly to people living in urbanised environments.

As Pn. Norliza Hashim, Co-Organising Chairman for MIP also highlighted, “It will be exciting to see the outcome of this year’s conference on Kuala Lumpur city’s development. In previous years, our conference speakers have had an influential impact in shifting public perceptions to the Kuala Lumpur projects that followed. The Cheongyecheon river restoration was a great prelude to our KL River of Life project, and the Curitiba experience, in transforming our city’s MRT and covered walkway systems.”

In conjunction with WCSC 2012, a Photography Competition and Essay Competition were launched at the press conference, entitled “Cities for People”. Co-Organising Chairman for PAM, Ar. Saifuddin Ahmad said, “Last year’s photography competition attracted a lot of attention and we are introducing an essay competition this year for undergraduate and graduate students. It is great to view from the eyes of the public what our cities should be like, and to encourage the young in their aspirations for the cities that they call home.”

Attractive cash prizes will be given for winners of both competitions and the photos will be featured during the WCSC 2012 conference itself. The essays will eventually be published in a book together with the photos, to further disseminate and promote ideas on cities for people.

“WCSC 2012 will continue to engage people in shaping cities for the future, and I would encourage all city dwellers in KL and other cities in Malaysia to join us, listen to best practices around the world, and share their views during the panel discussions and question time,” concluded N.K. Tong.

This year’s conference and competitions information and registration forms can be downloaded at www.rehda.com, or call Mr. Soon Teck Giap (WCSC 2012 Conference Secretariat) at Tel: 03-7803 2978 or e-mail at stg@rehda.com / kul@rehda.com

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