Held for the first time globally, WUF9 Village to encourage change for the future of urban living in cities

23 January, KUALA LUMPUR – Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and Think City announced their programmes in support of the World Urban Forum 9 (WUF9) Village that will highlight regeneration efforts in the historic core of Kuala Lumpur. These activities will transform Downtown KL into a lively, dynamic and vibrant place brimming with activity.

Dubbed as a living laboratory to showcase the future of urban living in Kuala Lumpur and other metropolitan cities, the WUF9 Village will be hosted at Medan Pasar and 2 Hang Kasturi.

A collaborative effort by WUF9 local organizer Urbanice, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and Think City, this will be the first time an urban village concept is being introduced alongside the main World Urban Forum event.

Executive Director of Think City, Hamdan Abdul Majeed said “We hope to enliven the WUF9 experience with a series of activities that include an experiment in communal living to be presented as installation. Other WUF 9 Village events and activities will take place within a heritage building – 2Hang Kasturi. Visitors will also be able to see other regeneration projects throughout the historic core including parklets, a reimagined bus stop and a mural painting activity.

“Think City’s aim through the WUF9 Village is to highlight the potential of Downtown KL through these regeneration projects and to seek public feedback and the people’s support”, he added.

Among the notable initiatives at the WUF9 Village is a social experiment involving communal living. Think City together with DBKL are seeking feedback from the public on the idea of a lifestyle based on sharing spaces and amenities.

Hamdan commented that the communal living prototype is quite interesting as it combines small private residential spaces with facilities that can be accessed by the whole community.

“The basic premise is to foster a closer sense of community by possibly offering shared meals, shared gardens and community spaces. Residents can eat and sleep at home, or take advantage of commercial-grade facilities and do things together”, Hamdan added.

He also added, “The idea also looks at the possibility of repurposing commercial buildings. In Kuala Lumpur for example, demand for Grade A buildings continue to rise whilst occupancy rates for Grade B and C buildings continue to decline. An opportunity may exist to revitalize these buildings while at the same time addressing the crucial issue of housing affordability.”

There is a need for a wider range of housing options at affordable prices to attract more citizens to live in the city.

Transformed alongside Medan Pasar is also 2 Hang Kasturi, a vibrant creative and cultural community space. Built in 1937, this Art Deco heritage building will host a social enterprise market hall, a co-working space, interactive exhibition on Liveability and a sensory urban experience. There will also be screenings of award-winning documentaries produced by Malaysian directors.

Hamdan concluded by inviting members of the public to visit the WUF9 Village and share opinions on the communal living prototypes as well as participate in the many activities taking place throughout WUF9.

The WUF9 Village is part of UN-Habitat’s 9th World Urban Forum (WUF9) that Kuala Lumpur is hosting in February (7 – 13 February 2018) at the KL Convention Centre (www.wuf9.org). WUF9 is the world’s premier conference on urban issues and this year, the ninth session will be themed “Cities 2030, Cities for All: Implementing the New Urban Agenda”.

WUF9 places the forum’s focus on the New Urban Agenda (NUA) as a tool and accelerator for achieving Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals.

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