The present condition of urban life in Malaysia tells the simple fact that past plans did not go much beyond the mere listing of desired policy aspirations. This may have had to do with the strong concern with equitable distribution of development throughout the country. The 10th Malaysia Plan, however, appears to rely strongly on urban growth. This makes efficient town planning hugely important and puts the focus on urban liveability and its relation to economic growth.
The fuss about economic growth and cities
According to the Economic Intelligence Unit of The Economist, Vancouver topped the World’s Most Liveable Cities list in 2011 for the second consecutive year based on five main criteria: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.
Economics is a noticeably missing consideration, but by getting all of these criteria right, a growing economy should naturally fall in place. We may care less about this accolade given that Vancouver is far from Penang, but then again, Khazanah Nasional in collaboration with the World Bank spared no expense in researching and publishing the findings on Cities, People & the Economy: A Study on Positioning Penang.1
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