13-24 July 2019 | SEBERANG PERAI – UCLG ASPAC scales up its Public Space programme to Seberang Perai, Malaysia, providing support to the Municipal Council to address issues of inclusiveness, connectivity, and community empowerment, through public space revitalisation and community activation. Bringing community engagement element, UCLG ASPAC started to replicate the practice through community workshop held from July 13 to 24, 2019, to revitalise Parit Monsoon drain, a 1.2 km waterfront broadwalk.

Aiming at engaging community in a decision-making process, UCLG ASPAC, in collaboration with Municipal Council of Seberang Perai, organised a community workshop to promote a greater sense of belonging, to enhance community bonds, and to bring people to care more about their day-to-day environment. The community engagement workshop was conducted two times and attended by local experts and professionals such as Spirit of Perai initiative (SOPi), Pertubuhan Arkitek Malaysia (PAM), Institute of Landscape Architect Malaysia (ILAM), School of Creative Design QUT, and the Landscape Department University Putra Malaysia (UPM).

The first workshop was attended by 450 people. The first workshop was aimed at gathering the information from local people on their expectation of the revitalised public space. Result of the first workshop was further used to develop design, which was further discussed in the second workshop attended by 150 people, also coming from different background.

The revitalisation of Parit Monsoon drain is crucial.  It is a 1.2 km waterfront boardwalk crossing a low-to-middle income residential housings and connecting the upcycle park to a commercial zone. The area is located in the middle of the community housings and right next to MPSP headquarters, which gives this place many assets to attract the community and a lot of potentials as a social core point. To this day, the upcycle park, with its lake and jogger paths, has become community’s favourite as place to go to find some healthy or family outdoor activities after work during week days or in the weekend.