Our challenge in Penang has three main parts: (a) to see if we can help to create and reinforce a “new majority” for equitable and efficient transport system reform; (b) build capacity for sustainable mobility, innovation, and new approaches in the sector; and (c) train and influence at last a small core groups future leaders. This article which has just appeared in Science Daily (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110725190044.htm) provides a good idea of the dimensions of the task before us. Continue reading
Smaller Cities in Asia: What, How Many and What to Do about it?
As we look at the city of George Town, with a population of some 750,000 living with the city limits of ca. 120 sq/km (roughly the size of the city of Paris), one of the things that comes most immediately to mind is that, despite the significant challenges posed by the current transportation arrangements, it is certainly not an example of a major Asian megalopolis, or even a “large city” by Asian standards. And even if we take into account the entire George Town Conurbation, the total population is just a bit more than 2.2 million.
So what can we call it? What about a smaller Asian city?
Think City Sdn Bhd is a special project vehicle established by Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the investment holding arm of the Government of Malaysia. We are a 100% owned subsidiary of Khazanah tasked with implementing and managing the George Town Grants Programme (GTGP).
Through the GTGP, we hope to transform George Town into a culturally vibrant and sustainable city through projects that are catalytic, encourage partnership, be developmental, inclusive and sustainable. We also encourage projects that are creative and innovative, particularly with regards to solving urban problems.
Too often when it comes to new transport initiatives, the practice is to concentrate on laying the base for the project in close working relationships with people and groups who a priori are favorably disposed to your idea (basically your choir). Leaving the potential “trouble makers” aside for another day. Experience shows that’s a big mistake. Instead from the beginning we have to take a . . .