Malaysia Property News is a free resource website sharing Daily Property News & information about Property in Malaysia, which related to, Property Market, Property Investment, Commercial Property , Hot Properties Malaysia, Real Estate, Retail Shop, Business Park, Condominium Malaysia, Terraces & Apartment Malaysia, Houses, Residence, Resort and many more.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Add beauty to city planning

BUILD a city where you would like to walk in with a person you’ve just fallen in love with.

That was the advice of Charles Landry, an authority on creative cities, during his recent ‘Creative Cities: Lessons for Penang’ forum in Komtar.

Urging the state to strive for a “humane” city concept, Landry said it was time to reintroduce the word ‘beauty’ into the vocabulary of city planning.

“When thinking about which direction you want to take the state in, liveability should be the overall driving force. Ask yourself if your city or state is an emotionally-satisfying place on the ground,” Landry said.

He said in most cases, city planning took place “in the air,” but what makes sense on paper does not necessarily translate into good ideas on the ground.

“When we look at cities with the highest ‘liveability’ scores, we see places like Vancouver, Melbourne, Bilbao, Zurich, Geneva, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Singapore.

“Aside from being resilient, robust and having a high level of adaptability, these cities are great in terms of ‘walkability’.

“That is what Penang should strive for — creating places that make sense to the people and building areas where people want to be in,” he said.

Saying that market forces alone could not create this type of city, Landry urged the state and local authority to adhere to a new type of thinking in urban development.

“The old paradigm of thinking always emphasised quantity where bigger, higher and longer were considered better. Now, people are looking at questions like ‘what is the right size for what we want to do?’

“To achieve this, I believe a public-private partnership is needed along with a greater involvement (with the community),” he said.

Landry, whose work in creating creative cities has taken him to over 45 countries, also advised the authorities to not be confined by rules and regulations, but instead push the bar on what was acceptable.

“Instead of thinking about what the guidelines allow, we should think about what makes a place liveable and attractive, and shift those guidelines to incorporate those things,” Landry said, adding that issues like aesthetics and beauty should be put into planning guidelines.

“You have to look at each building and ask yourself if it contributes materially and spiritually to the city.

“If you really want to follow your slogan of ‘Penang leads’, raise your expectations to something better and make that standard non-negotiable,” he said.

The ‘Creative Cities: Lessons for Penang’ forum was organised by Think City Sdn Bhd and Khazanah Nasional Bhd.

By The Star

Affordable homes a state priority

The Penang Government will provide incentives to encourage developers to build more low and medium-cost (LMC) houses as well as mid-range units on the island.

State Town and Country Planning and Housing Committee chairman Wong Hon Wai said the government would ensure there was sufficient supply of mid-price range housing to meet people’s needs.

He said there was a gap in mid-range housing in the island’s north- east district, adding that the state Planning Committee had on June 28 last year revised the plot ratio guidelines which provided for the construction of more housing units per acre.

To date, Penang Muncipal Council has approved seven applications under the revised guidelines.

“We need to strike a balance of LMCs, mid-range and high-end property in the state,” he told a recent press conference in conjunction with the three-day Penang International Property 2011 Expo starting this Friday.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is scheduled to open the fair at the Penang International Sports Arena (PISA) the same day. The first 100 visitors will receive door gifts daily.

Event director Ong Ban Seang said the expo would be a good networking platform for the real estate industry along with the talks arranged for the public over the three days.

“The demand for high-end property in Penang exists because of the strong economy which attracted RM12.2billion in capital investments last year,” he said.

Ong added that the buoyant market was sustained by the developers’ innovative property products and the good response of foreign retirees under the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H).

Raine and Horne senior partner Michael Geh (pic) said the expo would feature two roundtable conferences.

One will be on MM2H and it will have Tourism Malaysia deputy secretary-general Dr Junaidah Lee and MM2H president Jeremy Yeong among the panellists.

The other will be on ‘Salvaging Abandoned Housing Projects’, to be moderated by Dr Goh Ban Lee from Penang’s think tank Social Economic Research Institute.

A delegation from Indonesia will also visit the expo for business networking with local developers.

By The Star