Do you know what is placemaking? To me, this is single most important point for all developments. Please note that if a space is made into a community space, then it becomes valuable, it adds value to the whole development and suddenly a mere property is now a home sweet home. I think this award will reveal to us many of these successful placemaking initiatives across ASEAN and let’s continue to build upon these. Please refer to the first ASEAN REGION PLACEMAKING AWARD press release below. Header Image is a very nice community place, Armenian Park in Georgetown, Penang.


Award for best practices in placemaking across all communities

PETALING JAYA, 31 MAY 2021: Businesses, corporations, communities, and individuals who are seeking to make the world a better place, one space at a time, can take heart that their efforts will be recognised soon. 

The inaugural Placemaker Awards ASEAN 2021 (PAA 2021) will be unveiled this year to honour the best of placemaking projects and give due recognition to community-building in Southeast Asia.

The awards, meant as a platform to showcase the best of placemaking projects is the brainchild of placemaking consultancy Nextdor Property Communications Sdn Bhd and
Think City, a social purpose organisation focused on urban rejuvenation.

“Good placemaking is important, given the rising rate of urbanisation within Southeast Asian cities,” said Imran Clyde (image below), co-chair of the organising committee for Placemaker Awards ASEAN.

Imran Clyde

With the COVID-19 pandemic creating havoc in many parts of the world, the need to create public space that is safe, inviting, and sustainable has never been more urgent as the world also needs to concurrently tackle things like urban decay, job creation, as well as the negative side of climate change. 

Placemaking is way more than just decorating a wall with murals or cleaning up a litter-strewn back lane somewhere. Viewed in totality, placemaking is a multi-faceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces that create vibrant spaces offering local stakeholders a sense of wellbeing, safety, and comfort.

In the spirit of encouraging more local councils, urban planners, non-governmental organisations, community organisations, architects, developers, or just groups of determined individuals seeking to transform their neighbourhoods into something better, PAA 2021 hopes to be that platform for entities within the Southeast Asian region to exchange or share best practices in placemaking. 

The regional award is aimed at showcasing the best placemaking projects and inspire aspiring placemakers, besides supporting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 11 (SDG 11).

Other than spurring each other on towards better placemaking, the effort to submit one’s effort for regional and global evaluation will raise the profile of participants and help them gain industry-wide recognition. Even if no profits or personal gain are involved, this concerted effort to undertake good placemaking will only lead to better publicly accessible spaces for all.

“We hope that having such an award programme will drive greater competitiveness in the activation of spaces in which communities live, work and play, thereby promote authentic efforts to improve the community through the initiation of projects that add to the public realm,” said Imran. 

Six categories will be accepted for evaluation: 

  1. Best Placemaker: Government (public space)
  2. Best Placemaker: Private (public space)
  3. Best Placemaker: NGO or non-governmental institutions (public space)
  4. Best Placemaker: Government (private public space)
  5. Best Placemaker: Private sector or body corporates (private public space)
  6. Best Placemaker: NGO/NGI (private public space)

Depending on the region or country, public spaces are generally government-owned, such as parks, waterfronts, public squares, streets, public thoroughfares, and buildings that are generally open and accessible to the public.

Privately owned space are typically venues that are open for public use, whether a fee is charged or not. Privately owned public spaces include plazas, arcades, small parks, atriums, and shopping centres.

The competition will be judged by Imran Clyde, founder of Nextdor, Hamdan Majeed, managing director for Think City, Anne Lourdes, co-founder of Nextdor, Lee Jia Ping, partner of Tempatico, Hans Karssenberg, partner of Stipo, Datin Mazrina Datuk Abdul Khalid, vice president at the Malaysian Institute of Planners, Ethan Kent, executive director of PlacemakingX, Nani Kahar, principal of LabDNA, Ahmad Jefri, director of Garis Architects & AJC Planning Consultants Sdn Bhd, Michael Stott, partner as well as lead for Design and Strategy at Isocarp, Dr. Dwinita Larasati, co-founder of the Bandung Creative City Forum, Rui Izumiyama, assistant professor at Nihon University, and founder of Sotonoba, Mardiana Rahayu, chief operations officer of Kai Assets Sdn Bhd, Stella Gwee, co-founder and director of Shophouse & Co, and José Chong, programme management officer at UN-Habitat.

Placemaker Awards ASEAN 2021 is co-presented by UN-Habitat, Stipo, and the Malaysian Institute of Planners, with the support from Taylor’s University, the Kuala Lumpur City Hall, Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB), PNB Merdeka Ventures, Citi Foundation, Project for Public Spaces, PlacemakingX, Lendlease, Tempatico, Placemaking Malaysia (a centre under the Malaysian Institute of Planners), Laguna De Bay, Real Estate Housing Developers’ Association (REHDA)  Institute, Isocarp, The ASEAN Post, and PR Newswire. 

Submission deadline is September 21st, less than four months away. The finalists will be announced on October 21st, while the winners will be unveiled virtually at Malaysia’s first and largest virtual expo on town planning and development, City Expo Malaysia 2021 this November 25th

For more information about Placemaker Award ASEAN 2021, visit

— end of press release —

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