Transforming Urban Landscapes with Nature-Based Solutions
Think City, a visionary impact organization focused on sustainable urban development, has launched a groundbreaking initiative in Penang Island – the George Town and Bayan Lepas Urban Greening Grants Programme. This ambitious project, part of the larger Nature-Based Climate Adaptation Programme for Penang Island (PNBCAP), is set to revolutionize urban spaces with grants of up to RM 100,000 available for each qualifying application. The initiative specifically targets the integration of green facades and rooftops into the urban fabric of George Town and Bayan Lepas.
Tackling Urban Heat and Climate Change Head-On
The programme’s main goal is to combat the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect, which significantly contributes to rising temperatures in urban areas. By promoting the establishment of green spaces, Think City aims to lower street and building temperatures, enhancing the aesthetic and ecological value of urban landscapes. This is particularly crucial given the data indicating higher temperatures in these areas compared to other parts of Penang.
Community Involvement and Climate Change Mitigation
Successful grant recipients will be expected to not only demonstrate the effectiveness of their greening projects in mitigating the impacts of climate change but also to actively involve local communities. These initiatives are designed to empower residents, fostering a sense of ownership and responsibility towards their local environment.
A Visionary Approach to Climate Adaptation
Hamdan Abdul Majeed, Managing Director of Think City, emphasized the importance of this initiative, stating, “This urban greening grants programme leverages nature-based solutions to address rising temperature in George Town and Bayan Lepas. Oftentimes, people think we need to take big initiatives to make a significant difference but we would like to demonstrate the power of small in addressing a complex issue such as climate. We believe this grants programme, bolstered by our experience and PNBCAP’s foundation, will ignite a wave of urban greening initiatives across Penang.”
Expanding the Scope of Environmental Resilience
Think City’s expertise extends beyond this grants programme. The organization has been at the forefront of pioneering Nature-based Solutions (NbS) in Malaysia and the region. These approaches utilize nature and functioning ecosystems as infrastructure, providing solutions that benefit both society and the environment. Other notable projects include the Climate Resilient Street Tree Species Study and the development of Sponge Cities concepts for Shah Alam.
Collaborative Efforts and Future Prospects
PNBCAP, a 5-year programme developed in collaboration with numerous agencies, including UN-Habitat and the Penang State Government, has secured substantial funding for its implementation. The programme, which is also supported by the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Climate Change (NRECC), encompasses various components like stormwater management and strengthening institutional capacity. It stands as a potential model for climate adaptation that could be scaled and adapted in other cities.
Call for Applications and Supportive Framework
Interested parties are invited to apply for the grants by 12 January 2024, with mandatory attendance at one of the grant briefing sessions scheduled on 29 November, 7 December, and 14 December 2023. Think City will provide strategic advice and support throughout the application process.
For more information on this transformative initiative and how to apply, visit www.thinkcity.com.my.