The Intercultural Conference on the Ecomedia City 2020, Subang Jaya, 16 January, 1995

It has been our pleasure this morning to listen to some very interesting and thought-provoking remarks by Dr. Kurokawa and distinguished members of his team on ecotechnology and its relationship to architectural and urban planning. Dr. Kurokawa's advocacy of the philosophy of symbiosis, a concept which underlies most Asian philosophies, is indeed opportune at this time when Malaysia is at the threshold of major spatial redevelopment, especially along the western corridor.

Symbiosis is the very essence of nature itself. All systems in nature flourish in the framework of interconnectedness and interdependence. Mutual appreciation and accommodation of natural systems results in a continuous pattern of revival and survival of all components of the system. Man, by his ingenuity, learned to harness natural resources mainly to his benefit. However, by breaking the basic rules of nature and symbiosis, he has considerably endangered his own and the future generation's prospects. Recent phenomena such as global warming are a clear example of man ignoring symbiosis. Nearer home, the increase in the number of `dead' rivers, the degeneration of air quality are clearly the result of man's disregard for the ground rules of symbiosis.

We, therefore, need to revitalize the basics of functioning of the eco- system. We have to re-learn to respect the needs of the other components of the system, and restore man's symbiotic relationships with nature and the environment.

In this regard, the concepts and ideas of Dr. Kurokawa deserve our attention in our search for a model of sustainable and environmentally sound development. The development of the new Airport City, the new administrative capital at Putra Jaya, as well as other infrastructure development being planned or undertaken currently, must be implemented with emphasis on maintaining harmony with the surroundings and it must be eco-friendly.

Adequate emphasis must be given to the information requirements and information infrastructure in the planning of these new cities. Information is a vital commodity of the future. Malaysia would most certainly stand to gain by building on its current expertise and inherent advantages in information technology to give it the leverage for taking the necessary quantum leap to join the ranks of those more advanced in this area. Here, we will have the advantage over many others, in that, in the new areas being planned, the required hardware can be easily installed without undue displacements or disruptions. Thus, early and close attention should be given by those concerned to ensuring that information infrastructure planning is incorporated into the total plan.

Finally, I would like to take the opportunity to thank Dr. Kurokawa and all the other members of his team who have kindly taken time to submit for our consideration some thought-provoking ideas on spatial planning and eco- technology. These concepts are no doubt invaluable in ensuring that development is not lop-sided and, in the long term, not detrimental to spatial and eco-development.

Thank you.