CEM 2021 was officially launched today, kicking off a month-long expo showcasing 16 urbanism themes revolving around sustainability and emphasising diverse objectives
City Expo Malaysia (CEM) 2021, organised by Nextdor Property Communications in partnership with Malaysian Institute of Planners (MIP), was officially launched today, opening its virtual doors to the public. CEM director Imran Clyde said Nextdor’s partnership with MIP was born from a vision to better Malaysian cities as they mimic an intricate ecosystem, and it is crucial to consider the impact of every decision that goes into city planning. “Decisions made today can have significant, far-reaching impacts so it’s important to think about how we plan, design and manage our cities. We now have the tools, however we need as many citizens and stakeholders to come on board to explore and connect with us to look for ideas and solutions to tackle urban issues,” he said.
The month-long exhibition which kicked off on November 8, 2021 will see over 120 presentations by speakers from around the Southeast Asian region throughout its five-day forum, as well as five local and international events, most notably the Placemaker Awards ASEAN (PAA) 2021. The first of its kind in the region, PAA 2021 is aimed at recognising the best creators and managers of vibrant and inclusive public spaces as well as celebrating the diversity of places in Southeast Asia. Other major events are the National Planning Congress hosted by MIP, Young Planners Forum, CAP Awards and Mayors Forum which is by invitation only.
In his welcoming speech, CEM chairman Hj Ihsan Zainal Mokhtar said even with advancements in communication technology, hosting an expo during the recovery phase from the aftereffects of the global pandemic remains a challenge, but it is essential to overcome the obstacles in order to keep learning and sharing knowledge. “Despite the challenges, we are adamant that they should not impede the progress and efforts we have made towards realising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). “To ensure we do not lose momentum and stray from our true north to establish a “Prosperous, Inclusive and Sustainable Malaysia” in accordance with the 12th Malaysia Plan, a sharing and learning platform such as CEM 2021 is fundamental,” he said. Ihsan also expressed his hope that CEM 2021 would encourage a deeper and global support and comradeship for cities throughout the recovery period. “The intellectual brainstorming, open discourse and sharing sessions by professional advocates is the crux to a mitigation plan, especially when faced with a novel challenge that is still foreign to us,” he added.
CEM 2021 coincides with the 100th year of town planning established in Malaysia and the World Town Planning Day which falls on November 8, when planners in over 30 countries celebrate by hosting and engaging in activities to raise awareness about the importance of town planning in the communities. MIP president Hjh Noraida Saludin said in her opening address that urban planning is essential in helping cities to grow, improving quality of life, transforming the economy and even predicting disasters. “We need to listen better, especially to the communities and those likely to be affected by our planning, and be open and honest about what works, and what doesn’t. We need to look at innovative ways to create a holistic planning approach, that utilises technological innovation and data analytics, with a very conscious mind that whatever we do, it is in the interest of the local communities and the public at large,” she said.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) secretary general Datuk M. Noor Azman Taib in his officiating speech said the drop in income and living standards, mental health issues and domestic violence have become more apparent, leading the ministry to focus on living standards of the poor and urban sustainability to ensure a conducive living environment for the community and making Liveable Malaysia or Malaysia Berdaya Huni as its main agenda towards a successful “Malaysian Family” concept. “Liveability is no longer about adequate provision and affordability of housing but availability and conduciveness of the living environment. Pursuant to that, reviving abandoned housing projects and reviewing issues currently impeding the completion of housing projects is currently our priority,” he said. Azman added that Malaysia has made a commitment to become carbon neutral earliest by 2050 with “advancing sustainability” as one of the RMK 12 themes. “Thus, KPKT is supporting the “Waste Eco Parks” (WEP) initiative; targeting waste recycling, recovery and treatment activities by the solid waste processing industries. With the WEP in place, we hope it will generate investments in facilities and infrastructure towards holistic waste management activities which in turn will also contribute to the national economy,” he said.
During the launch, CEM also awarded its Star Awards for individuals identified and recognised for their impactful contributions to sustainable city planning in Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur City Hall mayor Datuk Seri Haji Mahadi Che Ngah was awarded the CEM Gold Star Award, while Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) CEO Datuk Ismail Ibrahim was awarded the CEM Platinum Star Award for their major contributions in developing their respective cities to be liveable and sustainable. CEM 2021 consists of 16 urbanism themes which revolve around sustainability, emphasising diverse objectives ranging from liveability to low carbon city. To attend the one-month virtual expo starting from 8th November till December 8, 2021, visit www.cityexpomalaysia.com to register and you’ll be taken right into the virtual expo for free! 😉