Cambodia: Phnom Penh Dialogue Day in The 7th Annual Future City Summit Concluded with a Deeper Discussion on Pedestrian Transformation and Sustainable Landscape Design on the Proposed Preah Sisowath Quay: Riverside Heritage Walk

Event Poster: Phnom Penh Dialogue Day

With the theme of Legacy Rejuvenating — “Little Dragon Rise Again”, the “Phnom Penh Dialogue Day’’ took place on 18th December 2022 at the Friends Futures Factory in Phnom Penh, Cambodia as a side session of the 7th Annual Meet of Future City Summit. The event was organized in collaboration with Future Forum, sponsored by Invest Hong Kong and Tsangs Group, and supported by Knight Frank, Realestate.com.kh, Impact Hub, Global Shapers Phnom Penh, and various key media partners, including Roth2Talk, Cambodia Investment Review, and Ahladang.

A group photo of “Phnom Penh Dialogue Day” on 18th December 2022

The Cambodia session “Phnom Penh Dialogue Day” was an Open Day (Day 1) for the “Preah Sisowath Quay: Riverside Heritage Walk” Research Photo Exhibition (18th — 25th December). It consisted of a series of commentaries, accompanying illustrations and a photo essay on the topic of pedestrianizing Preah Sisowath Quay in the Capital City of Phnom Penh. The redesign of the riverside area into a human-centric space was the main focus of the content. In addition, urban policy, economic benefits, social, and environmental impacts have also been discussed. The dialogue day was attended by 100 delegates from architects, real estate professionals, urban planners, scholars, and other relevant communities.

The event began with a thoughtful research presentation on the key agenda of the proposed pedestrian transformation in Capital City Phnom Penh’s riverside area.The following research proposal covered by the young researcher of Future Forum including our city partner, Ms. Pichmonyka Chan on Pedestrianizing Phnom Penh’s Riverside Could Be Economic Masterstroke, Mr. Aronsakda Ses on Riverside’s Reinvention: The Case for Car-Free Sisowath Quay, Mr. Norak Prak on Beyond Beautification: Riverside Must Adapt to Climate’s Heat, and Mr. Piseth Keth on Placemaking Possibilities Are Endless if Riverside Is Transformed, and Mr. Natvathnak Chanrith focused on Photo Essay Design & Illustration of the proposal. Key highlights of the research proposal:

  1. Phnom Penh’s most valuable urban space is dominated by traffic that makes a mess between the riverfront and Royal Palace. In the first of a four-part series campaigning for a car-free Sisowath Quay, the first proposal highlights the idea’s potential for civic activity and commuters.
  2. Pedestrianizing Phnom Penh Riverside would bring economics value including, benefits to local business, real estate benefits, tourism advantages, and reducing public costs.
  3. Pedestrianization efforts to increase the share of public space along the riverside must go hand in hand with a more sustainable, climate-aware design. The key could be focusing on Creating Climate Compatible Infrastructure, Greener Infrastructure Is Multifunctional Infrastructure, and A Landscape That Breaths.
  4. The importance of public spaces for quality of life cannot be understated. Therefore, Phnom Penh must encourage more inclusive and more human-focused approaches in the design of these types of spaces. If an investment is made in the placemaking of quayside public space, this could be the site of even more meaningful human exchange and interaction.
Group photo of Young Researcher at Future Forum: Mr. Piseth Keth(left 1st), City Partner Ms. Pichmonyka Chan, (left 2nd), Mr. Aronsakda Ses( the middle), Mr. Norak Prak(right 2nd), Mr. Natvathnak Chanrith(right 1st)

In addition, the Panel session covered Human-Centered Transformation for Liveable and Sustainable Cambodian Cities. The thematic session has been discussed by notable speakers, such as Mr. Hun Chansen, Principal Architect & Founder of Re: Edge Architecture, Dr. Ben Li, Founder & Chairman of Urban Village and Factory Phnom Penh, Mr. Tom O’Sullivan, CEO of Realestate.com.kh, and Dr. Riccarddo Corrado, Assistant Professor and ICT Program Chair at the American University of Phnom Penh & Advisor for the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication in Cambodia, and moderated by Mr. Aronsakda Ses, a young research fellow at Future Forum Cambodia.

Photo of Panel Discussion: Dr. Ben Li(left 1st), Mr. Hun Chansen(left 2nd), Mr. Tom O’Sullivan( the middle), Dr. Riccarddo Corrado(right 2nd, Mr. Aronsakda Ses(right 1st)

Following the success of this event on Urban Transformation and Sustainability, the event also aims to encourage further engagement among all interested stakeholders. Good City Foundation may continue to explore and work with local key partners with the goal of engaging deeper key stakeholders between Hong Kong and Cambodia on future city development impact projects and values, with Hong Kong providing a platform and engaging as a twin city comparison as well as more strategic shared values.

“It was my pleasure to lead this initiative and I look forward to further discussion. We were conducting a pilot study on a proposal for the first pedestrianizing in the capital city, engaging stakeholders’ interests in Human-Centered Transformation for Liveable and Sustainable Cambodian Cities. This event is intended to serve as a platform for addressing the major concerns and laying a foundation for shaping the future project of a sustainable and liveable Cambodian city.”

Interested parties may reach out to City Parter, Ms. Pichmonyka Chan (monyka@goodcityfoundaiton.org) for more discussion and collaboration.

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