We are ecstatic to announce the launch of our new website for #BetterCities. The website has been a long time coming. Even as we make this announcement, we are well aware that our efforts to contribute to better urban living and better cities in Southeast Asia is still a colossal work in progress. Our vision and groundwork begun slightly more than a year ago, with a simple message that our cities should be people-centric, participation-rich and place-conscious.
Our year-long campaign (and behind-the-scene development) is finally taking shape and it is times like these that remind us why we started #BetterCities in the first place: to continue to shape and make our cities, its people and places, as vibrant and meaningful as possible.
What to watch out?
1. Our Manifesto
Our manifesto marked the birth of our campaign. The document was drafted in response to all of our city’s shortcomings, in response to a proliferation of growing frustration, and in response to a cacophony of rants and not resolutions. It is a living document, from time to time, focuses may change, priorities may shift, but ultimately, it distills our fundamental philosophy of taking charge of the neighbourhood and city we live in.
We do that first by embracing the complexities and challenges of our urban landscape, and then adopting smart and visionary ways of interacting with our city. We want to explore new possibilities.
Read our manifesto.
This is a selection of our projects since our inception. Our projects are typically collaborative. We also believe that urban projects should be able to be replicated elsewhere, given the right context, right place and right team.
Follow our blog for project updates and work-in-progress featurettes. We apologize if our content is not constantly up-to-date. For bite-sized updates, you may also follow updates from our Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages.
4. How to Collaborate
We want to join forces and collaborate with other stakeholders in our respective neighbourhoods and cities. If you are interested in our campaign, be it as a sponsor, a collaborator, a volunteer or an audience member, find out how.
“Too often, cities only look to big-budget projects to revitalize a neighborhood. There are simply not enough of those projects to go around. We want to encourage small, low-risk, community-driven improvements all across our city that can add up to larger, long-term change.” – Mayor AC Wharton
…and we have big plans for 2013!
Our big agenda this year is take on the issue of urban mobility and neighbourhood-level projects.
On the issue of urban mobility, there are approximately 5 million registered vehicles in Kuala Lumpur, with an overall increase of 11.74% in the nation since 2009 (source: here). The increasing reliance on private vehicles is a considerable factor that has contributed to urban traffic congestion. In addition, there is still a low ridership on public transportation in the city centre, largely due to lack of a well-integrated public transit system.
We want to encourage a city that is more bikeable and walkable.
We also believe that place-making is an important strategy to encourage individuals to take ownership of their neighbourhoods, thus creating vibrant communities around shared and public spaces. As Jane Jacobs eloquently said, “The best cities are actually federations of great neighbourhoods.”
Let’s take charge of our neighbourhoods. We can start by taking more activities out of our homes, our gated communities, and shopping malls and to shared public spaces.
Finally, please be patient as our lean team continues to populate the website with content in the coming days. This website, much like our cities, is a work-in-progress.
Send us a love note, if you have feedback or suggestions, to firstname.lastname@example.org.