SERI KEMBANGAN, Oct 13 ― Malaysian cities must be prepared to meet future challenges in line with rapid urbanisation and advances in technology and innovations.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau said research and planning for future cities were necessary to address the challenges of urbanisation and other disruptive global forces, including in the areas of technology, knowledge and commerce.
“With urbanisation currently at 76 per cent of Malaysia’s total population, and an annual rate of urbanisation at 2.19 per cent, our cities must be prepared to meet the challenges of the future.
“As we move towards 2050, our cities will be a reflection of the country’s aspirations and we must ensure that we put our best foot forward if we were to reinforce our place in the world,” he said in his opening speech at the “Shaping Smart Cities and Future Lifestyles” Forum here today.
Madius said advances in science, technology and innovation had the potential to change existing industries and create new ones, including urban manufacturing, renewable energy projects, the widespread use of drones and robots and the internet of things.
“In terms of cities like Greater Kuala Lumpur, which currently has a population of 7.25 million and contribute about RM263 billion to the nation’s gross national income, we should be mindful of future trends and disruptive global forces to better prepare our industries, city managers, developers and citizens,” he said.
Meanwhile, Academy of Sciences Malaysia Chief Executive Officer Hazami Habib said with urbanisation as global trend, governments needed to have a very integrated plan in the cities to provide a quality of life.
“The density of cities is getting higher and higher. In Malaysia, there are challenges to integrate all the megatrends, including rapid urbanisation, as well as demographic and social change. You cannot work in silos anymore.
“(The development) is not integrated and well-planned. More money needs to be spent to make it more integrated. To mend it is much more complicated rather than to build it,” she told a press conference later.
Organised by the Malaysia Biennial 100YC, the half-day forum gathered about 300 property developers, academics and representatives of local authorities.
The forum was held in conjunction with the five-day National Innovation and Creative Economy 2017, which started yesterday. ― Bernama