mssi logo

MSSI at the 9th World Urban Forum

Young people between ages 9 to 16 years old along with their guardians discussed creating places for children and women.

The Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute supported University of Melbourne’s training event on Placemaking at the 9th World Urban Forum (WUF), the premier global platform to discuss urban issues. The Forum held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, attracted about 22,000 participants from 165 countries.

On the 9th of February, MSSI’s Derlie Mateo-Babiano and Joyati Das, Thrive Hub’s Cris Hernandez-Santin and Prof Gini Lee, Joanne Taylor of Place Leaders Asia Pacific, and Action for Children’s Environment’s Sudeshna Chatterjee conducted a well-attended Placemaking Sandbox training event which attracted around 70 participants coming from 28 countries. Participants including young people representing Save the Children and Plan International, grassroots women members of Slum Dwellers International as well as a diverse group of design experts, civil society representatives, and local government officers were engaged in an experiential, participatory and creative “fun and play” design thinking exercise.

A collaborative, negotiated model building 

Participants were asked to reimagine their Future Cities by designing a place where young people and women alike can have fun, feel safe, and make new friends. A common thread amongst several groups was the promotion of safe, inclusive, accessible, green and quality public spaces. Participants collectively modelled and drew their ideas for ideal public spaces notably referencing the importance of connection to nature, shelter and freedom to activate the space. Each group developed practical design strategies in the meeting room which was then trialled in a laneway near Medan Pasar. Participants highlighted how the diversity in each group resulted in rich discussions as well as promoted a culture of respect for diversity and equality, concepts that are truly central to humanizing our future cities and settlements.

Several organizations from Hong Kong and Malaysia have expressed their interest to advance collaborative linkages with University of Melbourne on the placemaking project.

52 out of the 70 participants who joined the event in reimagining the laneway in Medan Pasar.