WHOSE OPINION MATTERS? Commentary on report of Dr. Minal Pathak

Lessons from a Stakeholder Engagement Process for Penang, Malaysia
Author: Minal Pathak • MIT-UTM Malaysia Sustainable Cities Program 2017

 – Commentary by Eric Britton, Professor of Sustainable Development, Institut Supérieur de Gestion Paris

“Recommended reading for anyone who cares about Penang and Democracy”

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A Walk along the Street of Harmony in Penang

Penang Street of Harmony Project celebrates mutual tolerance illustrated by this amazingly cosmopolitan microcosm.

 – Anwar Fazal takes us for a walk down the Street of Harmony in Penang.

The island of Penang, Malaysia, has long been a magnet for a multitude of people from all over the world and has over the last two centuries succeeded in integrating countless cultures and religions into its very fabric.

Penang  is very special.  It was a place that opened up for all the communities of the world. That particular special flavor, sometimes in many places in the world, is all too often lost over history. But in Penang, uniquely, it continued.

There is much Penang can teach the world today about acceptance and harmony in diversity.

* * * Walk down the streets of Penang with Anwar Fazal. |  View: https://vimeo.com/219493364

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Op-Ed: On-street parking fees despite zero public transport?

India Pune parking chaos

Can on-street parking fees really help places with poor public transport?

 – Paul Barter, Adjunct Associate Professor, LKY School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore
I was asked this many times in Pune, India, while I was there on mission three weeks ago*. Parking is a hot topic in this Maharashtra city of about 5 million people because many Pune streets have extreme parking problems and because the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has a new and progressive draft parking policy awaiting approval. However, public transport in Pune remains unappealing for vehicle owners. Hence the question.

The short answer is yes! 

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Groupstorm: Laying the base for the Penang Bicycle Master Plan

two-cyclists-white-figures-against-blue-backdrop
To build on our recent Op-ed “Time for more Strategic Citizen Impatience for a Bicycle Master Plan for Penang” ay, let me try to be a bit more concrete with a quick brainstorm note for critical discussion. Bear with me please.

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OP-ED: Time for more Strategic Citizen Impatience for a Bicycle Master Plan for Penang

penang-bfc-better-cike

Penang has waited long enough, too long I would say, to have a real cycling program, which starts on and will transform the streets to ensure safe and abundant cycling for all ages. As far as I can see (I hope I am wrong) the State government of has not announced strategic program for a cycling renaissance, no comprehensive audit, no specific commitment, no explicit goals, no announced global budget, no open working group, and no timetable or metrics again which success or failure could be judged. Yes, you have some activities and improvements going on here and there– but these are fragmented and there is no overarching MASTER PLAN FOR CYCLING IN PENANG.

 * Eric Britton: Notes from a group discussion on the Sustainable Penang WhatsApp forum of the lack of a structured bicycle plan for Penang, 17 Feb. 2017

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Op-Ed: Make Penang the cycling capital of Malaysia

penang-public-bike-station

This article by De. Lim Mah Hui, Penang Island City Councillor, first appeared in The Star Online on Sunday, 22 January 2017, and is reproduced here with thanks. For the orignial article please lick to http://www.thestar.com.my/metro/views/2017/01/22/make-penang-the-cycling-capital-excouncillor-more-needs-to-be-done-following-success-of-bikesharing/

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Archives: The struggle for local democracy in Malaysia

This is one of those special times for Malaysia when change and ideas are most  welcome. So there is hope and opportunity.  And it is one of those special times when change, even paradigm shifts are possible, and local governments given a new and more central place in the lives of our citizens. If we can together constructively, creatively and systematically build and add to the many promising initiatives , and if civic engagement leads an upsurge of citizen interest, we will surely see the emergence of an efficient, effective, equitable, democratic local government system in Malaysia that is socially, ecologically and economically sustainable.  And make a marked improvement in the quality of life of all Malaysians.
* Anwar Fazal, Penang. In Malaysiakini, 12 April 2001

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