Ipoh’s Potential to Become Asia’s First Doughnut Economy Model City

By: Zaki Saleh

IPOH: The Ipoh City Council has demonstrated outstanding performance in 2023, as highlighted in the Ipoh Clean City 2023 Achievement Report.

Among the achievements were the reduction of illegal garbage hotspots from 1,672 locations to 120 and the free distribution of 84,547 garbage bins across 355 residential areas.

Additionally, the establishment of the Automated Drive-Thru Recycling Center ‘Trash For Cash’ marked a significant milestone.

Ipoh Mayor, Datuk Rumaizi Baharin, stated that Ipoh adopts the Doughnut Economic Model as a benchmark to ensure it does not exceed the planet’s boundaries.

This concept emphasizes the balance of economic, social, political, and environmental aspects, aligning with the Flagship 15 Program of the Perak Sejahtera 2030 Plan, which envisions Ipoh as a Doughnut Economy City by 2027.

“The founder of the Doughnut Economy, Professor Kate Raworth from Oxford University, has recognized Ipoh as the first doughnut economy city in the Asian region.

“This places Perak, and specifically Ipoh, on par with leading nations in global sustainability in planning and implementing socio-economic development,” he said.

Consequently, the Ipoh City Council has implemented various programs and projects through circular economy initiatives, synergy, and collaboration in brownfield development, waste-to-wealth, trash-for-cash, and eco-tourism.

“When the Perak government launched the Perak Sejahtera Plan in June 2022, one of the flagship programs was the Ipoh Doughnut Economy City 2027.

“Ipoh’s strategic location between Penang and Kuala Lumpur provides significant opportunities, with its unique history and well-structured urban planning from the outset,” Rumaizi noted.

He added that Ipoh also boasts beautiful greenery, former mining lakes, and stunning limestone hills.

Ipoh is a heritage city with a rich cultural tapestry, embodying the best of Malaysia.

Professor Kate Raworth from Oxford University, who pioneered the Doughnut Economy as an alternative economic approach, was invited to Ipoh to deliver a briefing on the concept.

With its resources, Ipoh is poised to become the first Doughnut Economy Model City in Asia.

Other cities that have implemented the Doughnut Economy include Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Brussels in Belgium, Birmingham and Oxford in the UK, as well as Brisbane and Melbourne in Australia.

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