YAB Tuan Chow Kon Yeow, Chief Minister of Penang (third from left), officially launched the Penang Bay Ideas Competition
The Penang Bay concept is one that envisions a new economic zone with a rejuvenated urban core to bring life back into Penang's historical and natural water-based assets -- enabling people and attracting capital to invest in a new city form. As part of Penang's recovery strategy, innovation is required to reshape the future, by transforming the waterfronts of the island and mainland in a way that builds social, economic and environmental resilience.
Hamdan Abdul Majeed, Managing Director of Think City, said the competition is happening at a pivotal time in world history where future cities have to be able to manoeuvre through global disruptors such as pandemics, technological disruptions and extreme climate change effects, among others.
"Penang Bay has a role to play in this. It offers a chance to create a future-proof and resilient township, that is balanced with the right solutions to rehabilitate the natural environment, mitigate the effects of climate change, kickstart a dynamic economy through thriving tech and cultural innovation industries, and more importantly -- provide livelihoods and quality of life for our people. It offers us a larger way to respond to any crisis thrown our way," he said.
Jagdeep Singh Deo, executive councillor of the Penang State Government for Local Government, Housing and Urban and Country Planning, said that Penang Bay would represent an opportunity for Malaysia to reinvent the way cities are developed.
"The aim for Penang Bay is to create a new economic zone, a seamless city core between Butterworth and Georgetown that will harness the synergies of what Penang is best known for: culture and technology."
The executive councillor explained that to accelerate the Penang Bay programme, a creative and technology precinct in George Town would further the cultural, creative and technology industries, while in Butterworth, an innovation hub was being planned around Penang Sentral and port facilities that would include vertical factories, purpose-built for industries of the future, transport connectors, education and recreation components. With infrastructure and a lifestyle incorporating arts, heritage and culture, the executive councillor said that Penang Bay would offer an appealing environment for investors. However, apart from economic and infrastructural success, the new zone would also require environmental rehabilitation and be future-proof.
"To maintain balance, the initiative is aligned with the UN-Habitat Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to ensure that what we build is resilient and sustainable, not just in terms of infrastructure but also economically, ecologically and more importantly, socially -- to build and support sustainable communities."
"This will help us achieve the tenets of the Penang 2030 vision of enhancing the quality of life, raising household incomes, empowering the people of Penang with opportunities, and enabling them to build new knowledge and find new vocations. Finally, investing in the built environment in new innovative ways to be more resilient and sustainable. In short, Penang Bay is a chance for us to reinvent the way we develop cities," he emphasised.
The Chief Minister of Penang, YAB, Tuan Chow Kon Yeow said, "One of the key tenets for Penang 2030 is to inspire and to make Penang a place that is even more enviable than it already is. I believe that Penang Bay has the potential to be the envy of Southeast Asia and possibly beyond, and this will attract not only Penangites or Malaysians from other states to make Penang their home, but possibly those from other countries as well."
"Penang Bay is fuel for the 2030 vision, but it has to be a shared vision that we can work towards, as a state," he added.
The Penang Bay Ideas Competition is run by the George Town Conservation and Development Corporation (GTCDC), a partnership between the Penang State Government and Think City, along with partners -- Seberang Perai City Council and Penang Island City Council.
Entries must address the key challenges of climate change, technological disruption and social transformation, with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as the foundation of their solutions. Winners are evaluated by originality and innovation, consideration of the SDGs, economic potential of the proposals and clarity of ideas.
Submissions will be evaluated by a panel of seven judges from local and international organisations namely, (in no particular order), the Penang State Government, Aga Khan Trust for Culture, UN-Habitat, Malaysian Institute of Planners, Global Development Incubator, International Landscape Architects, and Malaysian Institute of Planners.
Submissions are open from August 15th 2020 to October 19th 2020, while shortlisted candidates will be announced October 31st, 2020. Winning entries will be announced in December 2020, followed by a public exhibition in January 2021.
The selected top three winners with five more shortlisted participants will be placed with cash awards (in USD): first -- $20,000, second -- $8,000, third -- $4,000 and five shortlists with $1,000 each. Registration is USD25 and a detailed competition brief can be downloaded for free.
About George Town Conservation & Development Corporation
The George Town Conservation and Development Corporation Sdn. Bhd. (GTCDC) is a partnership between the Penang State Government's Chief Minister Incorporated (CMI) and Think City Sdn Bhd with technical services supported by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture. It is a Project Implementation Vehicle set up to improve the public realm following the George Town Special Area Plan. These include the Waterfront Precinct, the Clan Jetties and the Street of Harmony neighbourhoods. Among its key objectives are the regeneration, upgrading and activation of public spaces and selected heritage buildings in the UNESCO World Heritage Site including Fort Cornwallis and Syed Al-Attas Mansion.
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