A people-centric approach

An aerial view of an artist’s impression of Gurney Wharf, the new seafront public park

Members of the public are urged to chip in their views and provide feedback over the mega seafront recreational area proposed for the Gurney Drive foreshore – Gurney Wharf.

State exco member Chow Kon Yeow said an exhibition on the Gurney Wharf project to gather public feedback would be held at Level Two, Komtar (next to Popular Bookstore) until Friday.

The exhibition will then be held at Gurney Plaza from Saturday until March 6.

“The public can give their feedback and views over this concept.

“The consultants will make the necessary adjustments based on feedback before having another round of public consultation. We will then exhibit the findings again.

“All this will be done in two or three months,” he said.

Earlier, Tanjung Pinang Development Sdn Bhd (TPD), a subsidiary of property developer Eastern & Oriental Bhd (E&O), gave members of the media a preview of the design and artist’s impression for Gurney Wharf to be created on a 24.28ha plot of reclaimed land.

It will encompass four distinct character areas – seaside retail food and beverage, water gardens, beach and coastal grove spanning some 1.5km along the shoreline.

(From left) Chai and Grant Associates landscape architect Mike Wood explaining some of the components of the Gurney Wharf concept masterplan to the public at Level Two in Komtar, Penang

The seaside retail would comprise a public waterfront promenade, dining facilities that would include Penang’s famed hawker fare and a pier walk.

The Water Gardens would be defined by lush gardens, ponds and wetlands, with its most distinctive feature being landscaped water gardens with innovative storm water filtration systems.

The makeover includes the creation of a 400m sandy beach, a skate park for youths while existing casuarina trees, a signature of Gurney Drive, would be preserved.

In enabling easy access to the waterfront, the plan calls for two pedestrian retail underpasses from Pulau Tikus.

There will be lifts and escalators for the underpasses, separate from pedestrian walkways and cycling paths as well as ramps for wheelchairs and strollers. The design board also includes 1,500 parking lots above and below ground level.

An interpretation of the Gurney Wharf beach promenade.

Chow said they were adopting a people-centric approach for the development ‘to ensure that the outcome is more than just a well-designed physical space’.

“Rest assured, there will be no high-rise development on this park. There will only be some single-storey kiosk and structure for the retail outlets.

“It will be where visitors can enjoy the island’s seafront, where communities gather for wholesome outdoor activities and most importantly, where pride of place and a sense of belonging is fostered,” he said.

E&O Group corporate strategy director Lyn Chai said they would install anti-climb fencing for public safety on Monday.

The 2km fencing would be erected along the shoreline, from the Gurney Drive roundabout to the other end in Jalan Pangkor.

“Instead of using the standard solid metal sheet hoarding commonly used by the property and construction industry, we have invested in a specially designed permeable mesh fencing material.

“The public will continue to have access to the Gurney Drive promenade and continue enjoying the sea view and breeze.

Penangites enjoying the hawker fare along the walkway.

“For aesthetic purposes, planter boxes will be attached to the fencing for creepers to grow and add greenery to the alignment,” she said.

“The RM1.3mil fence project will take about 12 weeks to complete.”

The cost of the proposed Gurney Wharf development has yet to be determined. - The Star

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