Synergy: Aga Khan Trust for Culture & Malaysia build framework to protect George Town’s heritage sites

“They  [AKTC] found that Penang was the ideal place for them to promote their programme. That was how this venture came about.

It was not motivated by the idea of development, but the philosophy of sharing their global expertise and bringing world-class ideas to Penang.”

– Hamdan Abdul Majeed, Think City CEO

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng

A new planning and design guide for public areas will be used by the state government in deciding whether to approve or reject future proposed developments.

This additional guideline will help transform the city into a premiere cultural and creative hub in Southeast Asia while attracting quality tourism and investment.”

– Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, Government of Malaysia

New guide to protect George Town’s heritage sites in future developments
By LOOI SUE-CHERN Published: 2 February 2015 5:15 PM

The guide, which will be incorporated to the Special Area Plan (SAP) for Penang’s George Town Unesco world heritage site, includes expanding waterfront walkways, improvements to public buildings, pathways and pedestrian promenades, relocating structures and upgrading of the sewage system and infrastructure at the stilt villages or the clan jetties, which stand over the water.

The guide was first prepared based on a recommendation by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), which is famous for its heritage conservation work in Egypt and other countries in the Middle East and Europe.

Care for Penang’s heritage areas and their renewal will also be managed by a special purpose vehicle between the AKTC and Think City, the organisation that manages the George Town Grants Programme.

Think City chief executive officer Hamdan Abdul Majeed said his organisation had inked a Memorandum of Understanding with AKTC in November 2013 to conduct a study to see how George Town could be enhanced into a globally significant cultural site.

Well-known conservation architect Lawrence Loh, who had worked with Aga Khan for many years, said the internationally-acclaimed organisation showed strong interest particularly in Penang, although it was also considering other sites of Malaysia and the region, when approached by Think City.

The long-awaited SAP will be used to guide and control development within the George Town World Heritage Site, which has over 90 Category 1 heritage buildings (monuments, ancient buildings gazetted under the National Heritage Act 2005 and formerly the Antiquities Act 1976) and over 4,000 Category 2 buildings of special interest that need to be preserved.

Discover, Explore and Learn more at: The Malaysian Insider | New guide to protect George Town’s heritage sites in future developments


Aga Khan Trust for Culture to provide technical assistance to Penang’s Historic Town in Malaysia (Think City Project)

Aga Khan Trust for Culture – Think City Malaysia’s International Partners

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