Urban Studies Programme - Projects

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.

 Previous projects

Lebuh Armenian & Lebuh Acheh Street Survey
Think City and GTWHI commissioned Penang Institute to conduct a public survey in the area of Lebuh Armenian and Lebuh Acheh, George Town. The aim of the survey was to consult with residents and businesses about the quality of the local area and develop awareness and gain feedback on development proposals for Armenian Street park.

Foreign workers housing
This study helped to establish an evidence base of foreign worker residential patterns in Penang (both documented and undocumented), developing a more detailed understanding of the extent and impact of social problems resulting from foreign workers within specific communities. Findings were shared with the Housing Division to inform their emerging policies on foreign worker housing.

Penang Housing Policy - A framework for the future
This projected reviewed all housing policies in a holistic manner proposing revisions to address the challenges posed by poor quality low cost housing and a housing affordability for low and middle income groups. A wide range of recommendations are presented which move through evidencing need, planning and land use, to the housing delivery system to regeneration and renewal.  

Solid Waste Management Strategy
The Penang Institute worked alongside PE Research to undertake a study on the potential for an integrated solid waste management system for Penang. The entire spectrum of solid waste management, starting from collection and haulage to options for waste treatment and disposal were analysed and various options underwent economic modelling to indicate the cost benefit of each.

Penang Paradigm – Liveability & Sustainability
The ‘Liveability & Sustainability’ section is one of three core pillars proposed in the Penang Paradigm to direct the state's development agenda for the next decade. The Liveability and Sustainability sets out a publically endorsed vision for Penang where its economic potential and its liveability are developed simultaneously and to their fullest extent. This section critically analyses the current situation and proposes a strategy to improve the overall planning system, transportation, environment, public spaces, housing and culture heritage& arts.

Armenian Street Market Survey
This survey was conducted in and surrounding Armenian Street within the World Heritage Site enclave. Contracted by George Town World Heritage Inc. (GTWHI) in August 2013, the purpose was to assess the public response to a proposal to implement a regular street market.

Back Lane Mapping in George Town
The Urban Studies team took to the streets in July 2013, locating and mapping the back lanes of George Town. The purpose of this project was to map the potential of the back lanes to provide a safe and accessible pedestrian network and to develop into new public spaces for Penangites, city dwellers and visitors alike.

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