Our collaboration with the UN-Habitat agency, this year, led us to the ninth World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur.
We were therefore lucky enough to have an active role in the debate on the New Urban Agenda, to get in touch with important international players active in the field and to get to know the country Emilio Salgari had dreamt of: Malaysia.
Despite a tense political situation, a very unique gastronomic tradition and the presence of buildings that are iconic of global culture, we have noticed at least one profound difference between our peninsula and the Malaysian one: the weather.
The warm and humid tropical climate with sudden (always at the end of the conference days) and indomitable downpours.
Of course our analysis could (and perhaps should) be more accurate but the pressing pace of the event forced us to the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center (and its immediate vicinity) for almost the entire duration of our stay.
Zero local tourism then, but great global debate.
The main theme of the Forum was the implementation of the New Urban Agenda, i.e. what has been done so far and what can be done in the future to translate the 175 paragraphs of the document (adopted by more than 180 countries worldwide) into specific actions and projects to achieve Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
In the days spent at KLCC we met new friends such as the Aussies of Urban Synergies, engaged in designing cities for children, the Spanish guys of Boa Mistura and the Peruvian of Lima còmo vamos who, creatively and from below, create urban places on a human scale.
We had the fortune to meet Giulia (Mundus Urbano fellow) from Craterre who introduced us to the digital project Sherpa to facilitate sustainable housing development worldwide and Jeffrey who, as an urban designer, is working to transform Kuala Lumpur mobility.
We were among the first to play MetroGame, the board game designed by Antonella and Alessandro from Politecnico di Milano for the metropolitan cities of the future; a sort of Monopoly for planners and policy makers that aims to build urban parks or hydroelectric power plants instead of the classic hotel in Parco della Vittoria.
Thanks to our friend Simone we were able to have dinner at the home of the Italian ambassador in Malaysia, where we met the Italian “official” delegation at the World Urban Forum (among others, the heads of the Municipalities of Milan and Bologna, Raffaele from UIA and the former Malaysian ambassador in Italy who loves Sicily).
Finally, on the penultimate day of the conference we offered our training “Design Sprint for Urban Innovation”: an original and new format resulting from our research process.
The participants to our workshop – members of international development organizations, government technicians in the housing or energy field, professors in the planning sector and young researchers from all over the world – all appreciated the methodology (complaining, in fact, only about the absence of breaks and coffee).
This training event would be really meaningful for Vietnam urban designers, planners
Pham (Hanoi – Vietnam)
Let’s build this bigger!
Brian (Taipei – Taiwan)
Great training experience! A complex issue could easily been tackle through this methodology with genuine design solutions
Mohd (Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur)
I think it was upbeat, well planned and yet spontaneous, very informative in how it organizes thoughts and ideas into realistic plans. And it was all done in a fun and creative way. Absolutely innovative! Loved it. Thank you.