ARI Working Paper Series
WPS 259 Towards Multispecies Flourishing: Landscape Preservation and the Fight for Sustainable Futures in Penang’s Urban Transition
Publisher : Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore
Publication Date : May / 2017
Author/Speaker: Creighton CONNOLLY
Keywords : urban development, urban governance, civil society, resilience, metabolism, Malaysia

This paper aims to tease out the numerous connections between urban planning, landscape preservation and civil society governance in Penang Island, Malaysia, through the lens of multi-species flourishing. In doing so, the paper offers an empirical examination of increasing development pressures on the forested hillsides of Penang, and the significant environmental and socio-cultural implications associated with this activity. In tracing local resistance to these developments, the paper takes a metabolic approach to analysing urban sustainability and resilience, which places questions of socio-ecological justice and human-nonhuman relations at the center of analysis. The research for this paper has been conducted in collaboration with local civil society groups, and aims to evaluate the role of these actors in working with the state government to control this development and prevent further socio-ecological injustices. This governance aspect is important, given Penang’s considerable civil society sector which is unique not only within Malaysia, but also amongst most developing countries in the Asian region.