Urban Studies

What is Urban Studies?

The Urban Studies research cluster develops research and evidence for the formulation of policy which can promote the long-term sustainable development of Penang. The thematic areas of focus; sustainable urban development, housing and transport are brought together holistically to promote more joined up policy thinking.

  • Promote sustainable urban development and smart city growth – Research focuses on how the state can reform its approach to planning, land use, urban management and enforcement. How it can develop urban regeneration and renewal strategies to promote more compact urban growth and develop a public realm strategies which ensures a more liveable city for all.

  • Develop a more equitable housing market - Research has focused on developing a more detailed understanding of the local housing market along with demographic and household trends to project future housing need and demand. Housing and housing related policies can be developed to encourage a more sustainable approach to delivering future housing.

  • Develop an efficient and effective public transportation system – Researching the factors which influence the travel behaviour of the Penang public in order to support improvements in bus based public transport, pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, providing inputs into planning for future transport infrastructure (e.g. light rail, dedicated bus lanes).

Who are the team members?

Evelyn Teh, Senior Analyst
Background in Environmental Management and Marine Biology; with technical trainings in environmental impact assessment, natural resource sustainability and climate change impacts (coastal vulnerability). Research focus on implications of global population and urban development on natural resource. Merges science and technology with management; via conceptual framework, assessing wicked problems and design thinking.  https://my.linkedin.com/in/evelynteh

Christina Oon, Analyst
She holds degree in Social Sciences (Development Planning and Management) from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). During her admission at USM, she had been actively involved in many research project at Penang Institute. One of the notable ones includes mygeorgetown project. She was also engaged in Creative Cities project at USM. Currently, she is pursuing a Master's degree in Social Sciences (Development Planning and Management) in USM. Her research interest lies in urban development. Her latest research interest is related to small public urban green spaces and liveable cities.

Tan Lii Inn, Analyst
Graduated from University of Malaya and obtained Master's Degree from Korea University. He was a recipient of POSCO Asia Fellowship. Through his academic background and practical experience gained from international organizations and research institutes, he has developed knowledge and understanding on issues range from international, political, to urban development. His research interests include, but not limited to, smart city, smart transportation system, cultural heritage, and sustainable urban development via ICT and disaster risk management.

Current projects

‘Cleaner Greener Penang – No free plastic bag campaign’ and ‘Senior Citizens Appreciation Programme’ evaluations
The Penang Institute is currently engaged in an Impact Study for the State Government of Penang. This study looks at two policy initiatives which were launched by the State government in recent years. The first is the ‘Senior Citizens Appreciation Programme’ and the second is the ‘No Free Plastic Bags Campaign’. The purpose is to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the policy initiatives and make recommendations for their improvement.

Asian Well Being Survey
The Penang Institute is working with Civic Exchange, a Hong Kong based think tank to construct a “wellbeing” index for Asian cities that harnesses the power of indices and engages citizens on issues of civic importance. Penang is one of 5 pilot cities, which include Hong Kong, Delhi, Manila and Chengdu.

Taman Sri Pinang Feasibility Study
MPPP commissioned Penang Institute to conduct a feasibility study for increasing the uptake of commercial units in its Taman Sri Pinang flats located on Jalan Veterinari and Jalan Sungai. The development consists of two 23 storey blocks of low-medium cost residential units, with 3 storeys of commercial lots at the base.

Housing Penang 2030 - A strategy going forward
Part of a detailed study on behalf of Penang Development Corporation, this part seeks to provide an overarching strategy to guide future housing development in Penang. Building on the evidence and policy review, this project will highlight the challenges and opportunities for meeting housing demand in the state of Penang into the future.

Low Cost Housing Audit
This study seeks to develop a more detailed understanding of the low cost housing stock in the State of Penang, by first developing a comprehensive database of the stock, followed by a visual audit of the oldest stock, a solid evidence base can be developed to inform more effective policies for addressing the challenges faced in low cost housing.   

George Town Public Realm Study
Penang Institute is working with George Town World Heritage Incorporated and Think City to document the daily rhythms of the George Town World Heritage Site, with the aim of bringing new insights into to the everyday life of George Town’s public spaces while developing a detailed map of the quality of the built environment, focusing on connectivity, walkability and accessibility.

Travel Behaviour Study
Penang Institute is working with the Penang Transport Council and Rapid Penang to develop a richer understanding of travel behaviour in Penang, which can support more effective implementation of transit strategies, in particular public transport initiatives.

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Penang Institute
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Tel : (604) 228 3306   |   Fax : (604) 226 7042
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