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Liveability as a Vehicle Towards Achieving Urban Sustainability

Mohd Zainuddin Jumaat



Monday, June 27, 2022


Multifunction Hall: SDGs in Action area
Planmalaysia, Federal Department of Town and Country Planning, Ministry of Housing and Local Government


This SDGs in action event aims to understand and discuss deeper the perspectives of liveability and wellbeing as one of the key factors towards achieving sustainability in a more holistic manner. Therefore, the session targets to provide a platform for intellectual discussion, experience sharing, and knowledge dissemination from various multi-stakeholders and panellists from diverse background i.e. - mayor of the most liveable city award recent recipient, a liveable city ranking body on the story behind the liveability city assessments at international level, and to showcase a localised effort in establishing its own liveability city index as a platform to evaluate the liveability status and way forward to further enhance the liveability status of cities. As liveability refers to the subset of sustainability impacts that directly affect people in a community, such as economic development, affordability, public health, social equity and environmental consequences, it has become more important for urban managers to understand how liveability relates to sustainability specifically to bridge the gap on more complex urbanization issues and challenges that we are facing now. It is indeed crucial to relate liveability with sustainability as liveability interventions serve as incremental steps that collectively increase the potential for long-term sustainability. In short, liveability is about tackling the current situation, focusing on interventions that can have immediate influence on the needs of the locality while recognizing the demands of current and future generations which describes sustainability concept. All these concepts of liveability and sustainability are always centred to the people as the people is what makes happy and liveable cities, thus this SDGs in action session also aims to listen on the voices and aspirations from the communities that shapes and unites the liveability bond of its environment. Engagement with the communities and a platform for their voices to be heard is very important to ensure the goals of liveability and sustainability to be achieved because it’s not only achievable through a top-down or bottom-up approach but also through consensus in the middle that links both aspects. In conclusion, although liveability is neither a new term nor a new concept, it is important to dive deeper on how does this concept fits to remain relevant towards achieving the Global Goals-particularly the 17 goals and the New Urban Agenda especially now with the rapid phase of urbanisation, climate change and the post pandemic period of COVID-19. How does the adaptation of liveability factors juggles in between and across all these global phenomenon and especially more important now than ever as desperate times needs desperate measures, hence paving the path towards bouncing back better for a cleaner, greener and more sustainable future can be achieve through one of its vehicles of liveability in this new era.


(i) To understand the definition and concepts of liveability across the board- how that it differs within and from various continents, culture and heritage perspective, socio-economic status and other related factors; (ii) To showcase best practices on liveability of a city - what makes it liveable? Understanding some assessments behind the liveability city ranking; (iii) To share Malaysia’s experience in developing Malaysia Liveability Index or the acronym -iDAM as a tool for liveability measurements at the local level; (iv) To understand how people-centered liveability concerns can be prioritised. Does a liveable city a happy city?; and (v) To describe the development, coordination, and learning outcomes from the best practices and experiences shared from top ranked Most Liveable City- Vienna (world level) and Singapore (ASEAN level)

Session speakers

Ms. Chee Ping Ngag
TPr Dr
Mr. Alias Rameli
TPr Dr
Mr. Slagin Parakatil
Mr. Michael Ludwig
Mayor of Vienna
Mr. Cheong Koon Hean
Center for Liveable Cities