KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 23 — The diverse and cultural heritage of Kuala Lumpur will be one of the main highlights at the 9th World Urban Forum 9 (WUF9) here, which is expected to garner 25,000 participants nationwide.
The WUF9 Village, which is located at Medan Pasar or Market Square here, will exhibit ideas and innovation that can help in creating better cities, complete with two full-scale micro houses to illustrate the concept of communal living.
Urban renewal project ThinkCity’s programme director Neil Khor said the communal living concept is a social experiment installation aimed at studying the conversion of under-utilised spaces or older commercial buildings in the city centre into micro housing as a means to repopulating the city.
“We developed the idea as something to be explored and for the public to the give their feedback. This was brought up since housing is one of the issues that is ongoing globally, especially on access to affordable housing.
“We have shortlisted two out six design applications and the designers themselves will be living in the space for 24 hours to better understand their proposed solution,” he told the press at a media briefing here.
Themed “A desirable place to live, work and play”, Khor said the WUF9 Village was designed to continue on beyond the forum by developing a vibrant and fun space with activities that is accessible to the public.
He said the ninth installation of the international event will be held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre from February 7 to 13, and will be the first to implement both the New Urban Agenda (NUA) which was adopted at the Habitat III in Ecuador in 2016, as well as the Sustainable Development Goals.
Meanwhile, urban think tank Urbanice Malaysia’s chief executive Norliza Hashim said the mega forum will hold over 500 events, which includes assemblies, plenary meetings, policy dialogues, high-level roundtables, trainings and networking events throughout the seven-day forum.
“This is a non-legislative event, so there will be no negotiations or fightings, but it will be very technical and we hope to see more Malaysians and those from neighbouring countries participate as this is the first time it is to be held in this region. The last event closest to our country was in China in 2008.
“For the past one year, we have worked very hard to make this happen and what is most interesting is we have also managed to translate the NUA into Bahasa Malaysia as well,” she said.
WUF is a biennal non-legislative forum convened by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) since 2002.
Prior to Kuala Lumpur, other world cities which had hosted WUF include Naples, Rio de Janeiro, Nanjing, Vancouver, Barcelona and Nairobi.