UTM Johor Bahru, 28 April 2015

 A 10-member-strong team from The Singapore-ETH Centre for Global Environmental Sustainability (SEC), led by SEC Director Prof. Dr. Peter Edwards, paid a courtesy visit to the Department of Urban and Regional Planning (JPBW), Faculty of Built Environment (FAB), UTM. On campus to receive the SEC delegation were FAB Deputy Dean (Academic), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mohamad Rafee Majid and JPBW Head of Department, Assoc. Prof. Datin Dr. Norsiah Abdul Aziz.

The courtesy visit was a result of a 3-year collaboration (2011-2014) between the SEC’s Future Cities Laboratory (FCL) Program’s Architecture and Territorial Planning Project, led by Assistant Prof. Dr. Milica Topalovic, and UTM’s JPBW, led by Prof. Dr. Ho Chin Siong and Mr. Chau Loon Wai. As a result of the fruitful collaboration, SEC and JPBW sought to formalise and strengthen the academic relationship between the two institutions.

Through a cordial knowledge sharing and exchange of research projects undertaken by both institutions, building on their academic strengths and expertise, four strategic research areas have been identified to be further explored:

  1. Urbanisation in ASEAN+; building on FCL’s research in Singapore, SIJORI, Indonesia and UTM’s research in Malaysia (including the Iskandar Malaysia region);
  2. Shared data repository; common data medium such as Open Streetmap and crowd-sourcing data;
  3. Sustainable tourism planning and development; tourism flows as an expansion of FCL SIJORI work; and
  4. Urban-rural relationships; links between UTM sustainable rural planning and FCL’s urban-rural housing research.

The Singapore-ETH Centre for Global Environmental Sustainability (SEC) was established in Singapore in 2010 as a joint initiative between ETH Zurich and Singapore’s National Research Foundation (NRF). ETH Zurich (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich, or the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich) is one of the leading international universities for technology and the natural sciences. It was founded in 1855 and has since nurtured 21 Nobel Laureates, including Albert Einstein.

Partners to the SEC include internationally distinguished institutions such as The École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, or the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne), the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) of Singapore.

The continuous development of strong academic links between UTM’s JPBW and various internationally renowned institutions bears testimony to the Department’s consistent commitment to enhancing its teaching and research quality in urban and regional planning as well as the international recognition.