Penang Bay is an ambitious programme to rehabilitate, regenerate and rejuvenate the waterbased assets of George Town and Butterworth into a seamless and dynamic space aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
It is in a highly dense, urbanised and multicultural part of the state of Penang and a decade of analysis concludes that the future of Penang rides on a new spatial economy, based on the rehabilitation of its natural core, waterfronts and most connected areas. It also needs to build capacities in its economy and urban form to absorb future shocks.
Penang Bay will be a New Economic Zone and the following SDGs have been identified as key to its success. Goal 3 Good health and well-being, Goal 4 Quality education, Goal 7 Affordable and clean energy, Goal 8 Decent work and economic growth, Goal 9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure, Goal 10 Reduced inequalities, Goal 11 Sustainable cities and communities, Goal 12 Responsible consumption and production, Goal 13 Climate action and Goal 14 Life below water.
Penang Bay offers us the opportunity to invest in the built environment to improve resilience
and create a future-proofed city. It also presents prospects in building on a green lifestyle,
using nature to adapt to the effects of climate change, and to make new strides towards
sustainable living. Furthermore, it aligns with the strategic blueprint of the state, Penang2030, and its vision of ‘A Family-Focused Green and Smart State that Inspires the Nation’.
Key areas in the economic realm to support this New Economic Zone is the push for industries of the future that leverage on Penang’s unique qualities and enhancing the ‘stickiness’ of Penang for talent and capital by enhancing its liveability and investment opportunities. Other areas of focus would be the rich culture in Penang as an enabler to further economic development.
Environmentally, Penang Bay aspires to create viable opportunities for environmental
rehabilitation, minimising carbon emissions and preparing for the possibilities of climate
change. Work has already started through projects that protect the UNESCO World Heritage
site of George Town by rebuilding the seawall that helps to stave off the impacts of climate
Socially, Penang Bay will generate opportunities for equality and the democratisation of space in the face of social transformation associated with technological and demographic shifts. It will also showcase ways in which cities can be planned to deliver the SDGs through the collective actions of government, private sector and civil society.
The SDGs will be the basis of measuring the outcomes and impacts of the various programmes that form Penang Bay. These include the George Town World Heritage Site Seafront, Butterworth Harbourfront, Gurney Wharf, Northern Connector, Jelutong Landfill, Rayston Reclamation and the George Town Creative and Digital District.