GEORGE TOWN, September 7 – Penang Island City Council and Seberang Perai City Council, located in the State of Penang, Malaysia, have taken a significant step towards enhancing urban resilience. They have partnered with the Resilient Cities Network (R-Cities) and received support from the Micron Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Micron Technology, Inc., a leading company in innovative memory and storage solutions. The move aims to strengthen the cities’ resilience and ensure the well-being of their residents in the face of climate change, future pandemics, and inequity.

Zairil Khir Johari, Penang State Executive Councillor for Infrastructure, Transport, and Digital Development, emphasized the importance of building resilience in densely populated areas like Penang. He stated, With climate change, aging infrastructure, and inequity rising around the globe, we must get ahead of these issues for our residents, communities, and for our future. Penang Island and Seberang Perai are committed to enhancing resilience through various initiatives, including safeguarding infrastructure, bolstering community-level resilience, adapting to climate change, and preparing the economy for future challenges.

To tap into global resilience expertise, both cities have joined the Resilient Cities Network (R-Cities), a premier urban resilience network comprising nearly 100 cities across six regions worldwide, including prominent cities like Paris, Cape Town, New York City, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney, and Singapore. Lauren Sorkin, Executive Director of the Resilient Cities Network, welcomed Penang Island and Seberang Perai, commending their dedication to reducing vulnerability and improving residents’ well-being. She highlighted the urgency of this work as cities in Asia and the Pacific confront unprecedented risks from climate change and other resilience-related challenges.

The Micron Foundation’s grant will enable both city councils to join the Network, create a Resilience Strategy, and appoint and train Chief Resilience Officers (CROs). Additionally, the collaboration between R-Cities and the Micron Foundation will provide young leaders in government and communities with access to an interactive urban resilience curriculum, fostering safety and equity in communities over the long term. These investments will assist Penang Island and Seberang Perai in embedding readiness within their governance systems, advancing urban adaptability practices, and creating opportunities to benefit Penang state’s most vulnerable communities through planning and climate adaptation.

Antara Lahiri, Director of Micron Gives Asia and EMA, expressed enthusiasm about working with the city councils and R-Cities to enhance resilience and adapt to environmental risks. She emphasized the importance of upskilling young government and community leaders involved in resilience management, promoting safety and equity for all. Both city councils will begin identifying the primary acute shocks and chronic stresses affecting resilience. This effort will pave the way for the development of a joint comprehensive urban Resilience Strategy, ultimately ensuring a more secure and resilient future for the residents and businesses of Penang Island and Seberang Perai.

Pocket News