While it is true that liveable city rankings do not always consider what the locals think, it is also not always a good way to let city planning to be dictated at public gatherings. Creating liveable cities is not rocket science, and there are no secrets. But there are crucial socioeconomic and political realities.
As liveable city rankings become popular globally, there is a growing interest to make Malaysian cities move up the scales. For instance, the former mayor of Kuala Lumpur, Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail, promised to put Kuala Lumpur among the top 20 liveable cities in the world come 2020 (The Star, January 28, 2012); and Penang state leaders were proud that Penang was ranked eighth among cities of Asia in the ECA liveable city index for 2012.
It was, therefore, not surprising that there was much interest in Penang Forum 5 on August 4, 2012 when Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng was slated to speak on “A Vision for an International Liveable City”.
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