Malaysian delegation aims to learn from Aberdeen

A Malaysian delegation, which was keen to learn how Aberdeen City Council manages the city in terms of urban governance and revenue, visited the Town House today (Wednesday 09 August).

The Lord Provost of Aberdeen Barney Crockett welcomed the delegates, which included directors of urban wellbeing, planning, and valuation from city, district and municipal councils, the Housing & Local Government Institute and the Ministry of Local Government.

The delegation wanted to hear about the Council’s experience particularly in how it is transforming Aberdeen and making it a great place to live and work.

Presentations from council officers included an overview of the projects and services delivered by the Economic Development service; an overview of strategic planning within the City Council and the relationship with the Scottish Government; and the City Centre Master Plan and the funding behind it.

The Lord Provost said: “There is a great deal going on in Aberdeen at the moment and it is pleasing to see our leadership on a number of projects being noticed at an international level. We have always been an outward looking, international city and I was very pleased to welcome the delegation from Malaysia to Aberdeen and to share our experiences with them.”

Khairul Nizam Bin Othman, head of centre of town planning and urbanisation studies, Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Institute, said: “Aberdeen is an ambitious city, and I was interested to hear about the importance of communities and the innovative ideas for transport particularly the use of hydrogen buses.

“I like how the council is working to maintain its ancient buildings and considers these when planning new developments. I think modern cities should encourage people to come to the city. Aberdeen is a very impressive place.”

Ismail Bin Muhamad, Director of Urban Planning, Subang Jaya Municipal Council, said: “To me Aberdeen is a combination of old and new, which you can see from the buildings. In terms of the economy the city is now moving from oil and gas to commerce and I think this is a good move as the city could become an education hub like Subang has become an education hub for Malaysia. During our visit to the University of Aberdeen yesterday we heard many economic benefits being an education hub would bring to the city.

“Subang doesn’t have hydrogen buses yet but we are committed to reducing carbon emissions and are keen to find out more and further exchanges between the two councils would be very beneficial I’m sure.”

The delegation is also due to visit London and Paris.