Penang Bay International Ideas Competition: open for entries

     Open to local and global innovators and thinkers


The Penang State Government officially announced the Penang Bay International Ideas Competition was open for submissions (August 15, 2020). The competition is open to local and global innovators and thinkers and, seeks to generate inspiring ideas and concepts for Penang’s waterfront assets in order to drive prosperity and build a resilient city-state over the next 50 years. The competition is organised by the George Town Conservation and Development Corporation (GTCDC), a partnership between the Penang State Government and Think City.


The Penang Bay concept is one that envisions a new economic zone with a rejuvenated urban core to bring life back into Penang’s historical and natural water-based assets – enabling people and attracting capital to invest in a new city form. As part of Penang’s recovery strategy, innovation is required to reshape the future, by transforming the waterfronts of the island and mainland in a way that builds social, economic and environmental resilience.


Jagdeep Singh Deo, Executive Councillor of the Penang State Government for Local Government, Housing and Urban and Country Planning, advised “The aim for Penang Bay is to create a new economic zone, a seamless city core between Butterworth and Georgetown that will harness the synergies of what Penang is best known for: culture and technology.”


     YAB Tuan Chow Kon Yeow, Chief Minister of Penang (third from left), officially launched the Penang Bay Ideas Competition


Entries must address the key challenges of climate change, technological disruption and social transformation, with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as the foundation of their solutions. “To maintain balance, the initiative is aligned with the UN-Habitat Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to ensure that what we build is resilient and sustainable, not just in terms of infrastructure but also economically, ecologically and more importantly, socially – to build and support sustainable communities,”noted Executive Councillor Jagdeep Singh Deo.


He further explained that to accelerate the Penang Bay programme, a creative and technology precinct in George Town would further the cultural, creative and technology industries, while in Butterworth, an innovation hub was being planned around Penang Sentral and port facilities that would include vertical factories, purpose-built for industries of the future, transport connectors, education and recreation components.  With infrastructure and a lifestyle incorporating arts, heritage and culture, Deo said that Penang Bay would offer an appealing environment for investors. However, apart from economic and infrastructural success, the new zone would also require environmental rehabilitation and be future-proof.


The Chief Minister of Penang, YAB, Tuan Chow Kon Yeow said, “One of the key tenets for Penang 2030 is to inspire and to make Penang a place that is even more enviable than it already is. I believe that Penang Bay has the potential to be the envy of Southeast Asia and possibly beyond, and this will attract not only Penangites or Malaysians from other states to make Penang their home, but possibly those from other countries as well. Penang Bay is fuel for the 2030 vision, but it has to be a shared vision that we can work towards, as a state,” he added.


Winners will be evaluated by originality and innovation, consideration of the SDGs, economic potential of the proposals and clarity of ideas. There will be a panel of seven judges from local and international organisations: the Penang State Government, Aga Khan Trust for Culture, UN-Habitat, Malaysian Institute of Planners, Global Development Incubator, International Landscape Architects, and Malaysian Institute of Planners.


The selected top three winners with five more shortlisted participants will be placed with cash awards (in USD): first — $20,000, second — $8,000, third — $4,000 and five shortlists with $1,000 each. Registration is USD25.


Submissions are open from August 15th 2020 to October 19th 2020, while shortlisted candidates will be announced October 31st, 2020. Winning entries will be announced in December 2020, followed by a public exhibition in January 2021.