CHAIRMAN’S SPEECH

Welcome to this year’s ‘World Class Sustainable Cities Conference’, also known as ‘WCSC 2017’, the 9th edition of the WCSC series with the theme on ‘TRANSFORMING CITIES: DESIGN, NATURE & HUMAN LIVES’. Since the inaugural Conference in 2009, it has been a distinct privilege to be a part of the Organizing Committee and witness the progressive urban transformation of Kuala Lumpur and other cities in Malaysia brought about by this conference.

WCSC series has indeed gained recognition and prominence among the built-environment industry professionals, City Managers, Government agencies, residents’ groups and stakeholders on the benefits and challenges faced in becoming a World Class City.

As the current Branch Chairman of the Real Estate & Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur (REHDA KL), I am most honoured to be appointed as this year’s WCSC Organizing Chairperson and privileged to jointly collaborate with the 2 Partner Organizations: the Malaysian Institute of Planners (MIP) and the Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM).

WCSC Organizing Committee records its heartfelt appreciation to the Honourable Mayor of Kuala Lumpur, Yang Berbahagia Datuk Seri Hj Mohd Amin Nordin bin Abd Aziz and Kuala Lumpur City Hall for their continued support and endorsement of this conference.

A note of appreciation also goes to all the esteemed Corporate Sponsors for your valuable support and continued backing in making this international conference event possible.

Ladies and Gentlemen, WCSC conference series is an aspirational and constructive platform, one that is unique in that it has successfully brought together 3 professional bodies namely, MIP, PAM and REHDA KL to initiate and collaborate in organizing this annual conference.

Furthermore, it also brings together all the relevant stakeholders of the city of Kuala Lumpur and in Malaysia – our city officials, town planners, architects, Residents’ Associations, professional consultants, academicians, students and property developers – to share in global best practices, and to jointly discuss how we can implement some of these ideas. Since the first WCSC Conference, it has been inspiring to be able to share in the experiences of the many international speakers that we had hosted. What is truly heartening is to see the collaborative effort of all the stakeholders of Kuala Lumpur in adopting many of the ideas presented in previous WCSC Conferences.

We are honoured to feature a distinguished line-up of eminent international speakers from near and far – globally renowned and acknowledged in their respective fields, for their innovative ideas and solutions towards present and future urban planning issues and challenges in providing a better and sustainable quality of city life. Additionally, a speaker from the Young People’s Lab (YPL) features once again in the conference programme – the future generations of our society will inherit this city, so it is only appropriate that WCSC and this platform that facilitates the sharing of best practice ideas for the growth of our city, includes the views of the young citizens of Kuala Lumpur.

So what has been the impact and benefit of WCSC series? Some of the major projects being implemented in Kuala Lumpur having learned and adapted from successful projects undertaken in other World-Class Cities include the transformation of Cheongyecheon River restoration in Seoul, Korea that was a great prelude to Kuala Lumpur’s River of Life project; Brazil’s Curitiba experience for its exemplary city transportation solutions; Hong Kong and Singapore’s pedestrianization and bicycle-friendly projects that include covered walkway systems to make cities for the people; the urban regeneration of cities such as Bilbao, Spain and the metamorphosis of Kaohsiung, Taiwan from an industrial polluter to an ecological tourist hub and demonstrating that liveable cities are creative and competitive; and the Placemaking by creating and sustaining public spaces that build stronger communities; to name a few.

With that in mind, I invite every city stakeholder to join us at WCSC series to learn and share best practices and experiences – with an open mind and a teachable heart, which together we can steer the course of Kuala Lumpur and the nation’s growth to become a true world-class, sustainable city that each and every one of us will be proud to call home.

Ladies and Gentlemen, WCSC Organizing Committee wishes all delegates an engaging, productive and fruitful Conference, and we sincerely look forward to your support and participation at this upcoming WCSC 2017.

DATO’ WAN HASHIMI ALBAKRI W.A.A. JAFFRI