World Urban Forum Partner

Building Beauty is an official partner of the networking event Achieving Sustainability Through Inclusive Heritage Based Development in Asian Cities, which will take place in Kuala Lumpur on 12 February 2018. Organized by the International Centre for Sustainable Cities (ICSC) and SEHER INTACH  at the 9th Session of the  UN HABITAT World Urban Forum, these questions will be addressed:

  • What makes today's cities sustainable, resilient and vibrant?
  • What are most effective and grounded yet un-thought-of ways to meet the SDG and achieve the NUA targets?

An increasing number of assessments and ground level examples show that natural eco-systems, cultural distinctiveness and human scale can transform a city's living conditions. Yet, these seldom constitute the heart of today's urban development in Aisa.

Sergio Porta and Michael Mehaffy will represent Building Beauty at this event, and talk about the need for people in all cultures to value and maintain their building skills in order to restore and preserve their architectural heritage and build for the future.

Draft Agenda

Date: Feb 12(Monday)     Time: 15:00-17:00PM (2hrs)     Room #:305(Kuala Lumpur Convention Center)




15:00 – 15:05


15:05 – 15:10

Event Objectives

-       Welcome remarks and event introduction by ICSC and SEHER INTACH Olga Chepelianskaia (Program Manager, SEHER INTACH), Sameeha Sheth (Director, ICSC)

15:10 – 15:20

Key Note Address

Dato' Maimunah bt. Mohd Sharif (Executive Director, UN-Habitat, Former Mayor, City Council of Penang Island)

Awaiting Confirmation


15:20 – 15:50

Chair: Ajay Suri

Expert Panel

-       Opening Remarks: Urban Development and Heritage in Asia: Setting the context Ajay Suri (Regional Advisor Asia-Pacific, Cities Alliance)

-       Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY), Representative of NIUA, Govt. of India

-       Introduction to Inclusive Heritage Based City Development Program (IHCDP) for Indian cities  Prof. Saswat Bandyopadhyay (Coordinator, IHCDP)

-       Yangon Experience: web-based mapping inventory in Yangon,MyanmarAllison Lee (Professor, University of Hong Kong)

-       Q&A

15:50– 16:15

Chair: Ajay Suri

Sustainable Cities through Heritage Revival: SEHER INTACH

Building Beauty and Heritage of the Future

-       Transforming Asian Cities through Heritage Revival  Olga Chepelianskaia

-       "Our Birthright”, Foreshadowing the Heritage of Tomorrow. A Christopher Alexander's Reading. Sergio Porta (Professor of Urban Design, University of Strathclyde)

-       Q&A


16:15 – 16:50


Allison Lee

Olga Chepelianskaia

Sergio Porta

Open Forum and guided working session

Interactive discussion with and among participants. Stakeholders identify how they can contribute to reviving their respective historic cities and share with the audience. Stakeholders suggest how action can be taken at the regional level and how to strengthen the joint Community of Practice.


16:50 – 17:00

Summarizing the outcomes and overseeing the way forward

Olga Chepelianskaia and Sameeha Sheth

Event summary

Urbanization pressure brought Asian cities to a rapid and uncontrolled built infrastructure development. This process takes place at the expense of natural eco-systems, cultural distinctiveness and human scale which, in turn, significantly compromises poverty reduction, sustainability, resilience, social cohesion, inclusiveness and economic opportunities. This event will showcase how an integrated heritage city development helps stop these trade-offs and implement the NUA and the SDG through sharing successful methods, tools and strategies usedby cities, national governments and institutions, and focus on prospective collaborations andknowledge exchange.

The event will deliberate on the paradigm shift in approach to planning and management of heritage cities - from conservation of heritage precincts in isolation to heritage responsive urban and local economic planning and development, through regional and global discourses and practices. Heritage responsive city planning is essentially about managing the conflicts between multiple stakeholders involved in urban development, in order to promote heritage conservation and, the production of the heritage of the future. Most Asian cities face challenges related to administrative jurisdictions, multiple government, NGO and citizen needs and aspirations, which are to be addressed for heritage responsive interventions, sustainable urban development and making of future places.

To address this critical gap, ICSC and SEHER INTACH aim to bring together an international community of urban practitioners who focus on making heritage cities inclusive, sustainable and resilient harnessing on their unique cultural assets. Key city interventions to promote mixed use development, walkability, infrastructure upgrades and improve quality of life in decaying historic cores will be showcased and discussed.

The event will underline the critical importance of cultural heritage assets, values and patterns to make future Asian cities inclusive, sustainable and economically vibrant. It will foster a dialogue amongst participants and provide a communication and joint action platform to cities and stakeholders who aspire to implement the SDG, the NUA, and create sustainable and inclusive communities through urban heritage revitalization and valorization.

Dan Klyn