左から(From left)
ジア・ピン・リー (クアラルンプールプログラム・ディレクター、コーポレートコミュニケーション部長)
Jia Ping Lee (Programme Director KL and Corporate Communications Head)
Duncan Cave (Programme Manager, Urban Knowledge)


Think City
Think City Sdn Bhd, established in 2009, is a community based urban regeneration organization fully owned by Khazanah Nasional, the strategic investment fund for the Malaysian Government. Think City aims to deliver long term holistic solutions, working closely with local councils, local and international agencies, and various communities, building effective partnerships and enhancing capacity along the way.


Q: So please tell me the philosophy of your foundation. 
Jia-Ping (Jia): Urban Knowledge
Duncan: ‘Power of small’ 
ジア:私たちは常日頃コミュニティの人々やパートナーに様々なアイディアを聞いてまわります。 ‘ボトムアップ’のアプローチと呼んでいるのですが、私たちが行っていることに参加してもらい一緒にプロジェクトを進めていくのです。たとえば、小さなプロジェクトを狭い地域で多数行ったとします、そうすると自発的に変化が起こるのです。なぜなら、これはトップダウン(政府から)の依頼・発案ではなく、コミュニティ・社会から起こった現象だからです。
Jia: We basically cloud-source ideas from the community as well as partners. And we get them involved, called bottom-up approach and what happens is when you have multitude small projects happening in confined boundary, change automatically happens. It is because it’s also been driven by not top-down (government down), but by bottom-up. 
Duncan: We always do evident-based planning
 through researches such as scientific studies. But the community probably have the best ides to which is needed in their community. So if we go and talk to them, say what the problems are, what needs to be fixing, we could likely to get the best solutions. Power small balances with evidence-based planning so you actually are using the community to gather the evidence what needs to be done. 
Q: What does they need most? Finance support? Space support? 
Duncan: For example, in KL, the finance is less important. I think what people like to get from us is moral support. So we are acting like conduit maybe, trying to find the way to improve the project. 
Jia: Another thing is that arts community, when we first launched the grant, kept asking us for space. Because we don’t have a space in the area where they want to hold the program. So one of the things that we decided to do was to rent the space, so that became a Ruang, space in heritage call. Now we are giving rent-free for arts exhibition, dance classes and so on.
Performance at a station (Arts on the Move)
Also we have performances in LRT station every Tuesday and Thursday. This is ‘Arts on the Move’. So one of the things of power of small is that we also want to change the KL into cultural and creative district, so we starting by introducing culture. Because everyday person in Malaysia, doesn’t see the value of culture that is not on their own, and it is not exposed, doesn’t have opportunity. So what we are doing is that we bring the theatre to you, where you don’t have to pay, it is just supply for the train fare. 
Q: You have mentioned that you are under the umbrella of Yayasan Hasanah? And they give you endorsement.
Duncan: So Yayasan Hasanah is a foundation. And they are owned by the foundation Khazanah, which is the soloed fund for Malaysia. So Yayasan Hasanah has got certain money they can give out each year, distribute. So they have got a lot of other organization they also support. So we have to compete for our share of the money.
Yayasan Hasanah’s funding areas
Jia: If you look at this tree (above), it represents the areas which they fund. So they have other NGOs, NPOs. So we fulfill public spaces, we actually fulfill quite a few of these, because we are subsidiary of Khazanah, we can be treated special in a sense. 
Q: The source of money you get from Yayasan Hasanah, is that public money? 
Duncan: It is essentially a public money, because Khazanah is owned by the federal government, and it is a sort of Investment Corporation for federation government. So Like Malaysian Airline is owned by Khazanah.
Jia: What they do is to look for assets to investing, which have a good year to come back to local businesses. So they grow local businesses. So there are quite lot of things that Khazanah invests in. So Yayasan Hasanah came out the endowment fund from the profits they made, and they decide to actually want to give back the society, rather than put these money into another investment- this is purly give-back. So there is 3 million RM(approx. JPY 75 million) endowment fund. 
Q: What is your oragnization’s structure?
Jia: Think City is led by executive director who is also a member of board, and Yayasan Hazanah※1 as alos board of trustees. 
※1 In December 2013, Khazanah Nasional Berhad (Khazanah) incorporated a sister entity, Yayasan Hasanah (Hasanah), as an enhanced and more strategic approach to value distribution. Yayasan Hasanah strives to create real and lasting positive social and environmental changes for Malaysia through our work in the following focus areas: Education; Community Development; Environment; Arts, Heritage & Culture; Knowledge; and Public Spaces.
Duncan: Our board is independent. Three of them are completely independent from Think City. One is an intellect activist. 
Jia: The chair of the board is also a host of NGO movement and social activist movement. 
Duncan: We have two other independent lawyer and architect who are very engaged heritage. We have also one from Yayasan Hazannah※2, and executive director (our boss), who is also from Kazannah. That’s the check in balance.
※2 カザナ財団…マレーシア政府の戦略的投資助成機関であるカザナ・ナショナルが所有する財団。マレーシアの政府関連企業(GLC)を含む最高の組織において重要な地位を占める優れた人材の選定、支援、育成を委託されている。 シンクシティは、このカザナ・ナショナルが所有している
※2 Yayasan Khazanah is a foundation established by Khazanah Nasional Berhad (Khazanah Nasional) – the investment holding arm of the Government of Malaysia. It is entrusted to select, support, groom and nurture exceptional individuals' who will eventually take on high-level positions in the best organisations including government-linked companies (GLCs) in Malaysia. Think City Sdn Bhd is fully owned by Khazanah Nasional, the strategic investment fund for the Malaysian Government.
クアラルンプールにあるオフィス Think City’s office in Kuala Lumpur
Q: In terms of supporting genres, do you have specifics?
Jia: We have a goal; Firstly towards the rejuvenation of city in terms of resilience, livability, sustainability. And we use tools to generate that. So some of our tools are arts, cultural heritage as a part of place making effort. Secondly, towards building capacity. We introduce expert classes inviting people from overseas to teach professional bodies or the government agencies for new ways of place-making. What we are doing is giving knowledge, passing on expert knowledge to people who are working in the city everyday. Thirdly, we use and facilitate coaching, like conversation between trustees and tenants, trustees and landlords, we moderate conversations. Fourth is to use ‘place-making’ as a tool. Place-making is to look at a space and if we want to increase livability in the space, we have enough things or not. 
シンク・シティの助成プログラム例 Think City Grants Program
Q: With your projects, do you have targets? 
Duncan: For example, we run the course on urban conservation planning which means teaching city planners about the benefits of conserving old buildings and ways of lie like the way we have streets, existing infrastructure etc. So we can have a target of 20 planners in this year, but that’s easy for us to achieve. But so what? Can I, in 2-3 years time, go and say ‘that building was preserved because of this course’? This is the problem we actually do face. To be honest, I don’t think we really found the good resolution for this. 
ジア: 例えば、1年目のコースに参加したヨハンは、後に都市再生促進活動家としてジョホという地域で活動しています。現在、コミュニティグループを立ち上げ、地域再生プロジェクトに取り組んでいます。市民が使うサッカー場や野球場の整備監督、コミュニティホールをもっと使いやすくなど様々なことに取り組んでいます。これが私たちの影響ではないかと考えます。
Jia: But you know, Johan, he attended YR1 and he has become a city rejuvenation activist in Johor. He is now going around setting up community groups, making sure the community hall and football base is safe and we have an impact like that. 
Duncan: But at the same, a woman from City Council, she moved to another department, using her skills and moved again. So if you have only one person in City Council doing the course, and get moved to different department or even if don’t get moved to another department, there are 20 others working at the same department, one single voice will be lose. So what we have decided is that if we are going to do this course, we have 2-3 people from one organization doing the course. We do have this goals and targets, but they sometimes evolve as we learn.
Duncan: One of the thing we are surprised when we went to Japan, was Tonen General. I remember asking them, ‘so how you engage that is success or not’, and they didn’t seem to have any answer like, ‘well if the art is good, they are almost doing for art’s sake’. Whereas for us, it’s not for a sake of arts. Art is a tool for urban rejuvenation. 
芸術を使っての都市再生 Arts as a tool to urban rejuvenation
As mentioned earlier about ‘Arts on the Move’ at LRT station, if we found five people only stop and watch it, or to see what kind of arts doing. For a year, if we still get five people watching, then we think it is wrong place doing it, we find elsewhere. Even if the art itself is fabulous. 
Q: So what is difficulties or obstacles we are facing?
Jia: For KL, it is getting people trust us, getting the communities’ trust, and gaining the City Hall’s trust. We don’t ask for money. When the money is removed, people say ‘how do we know you are sincere, how do we know you mean what you say to help us?’
Duncan: Thinking about Penang, we have been for 8 years, one of the issues is marketing. You are not getting always diverse range of people involved. So if we hold a talk session or event, it’s always the same 50-60 people coming no matter what topic. When people apply for our grants, often the same group of people. 
Jia: In Penang, we had very many subscription for grants but in KL it’s less, we have found out that one of the reasons that people don’t know how to fill in the forms or scared to fill in forms unless artists. It’s a language ability to verbalize their thoughts to fill the form. 50% of forms are from arts organizations. That’s because they are so used to it. They used to write so many applications. But everybody also in the community feels if they are not NGO, they are not used it. Malaysian, if it is too difficult, they don’t do. 
Reason why our team has grown in because at a start-up level, KL is only 2 years/2.5 years, we need people to go out there and hold hands to certain extent to the community. So we have been able to put their thoughts into the corporate language, so our funders understand. Again, that is the part of facilitation process. 
Duncan: Another challenge is people not understanding what we are doing. If I say, ‘we try to make city better’, then they start thinking new buildings starting to build. They we say, ‘no, we are supporting old shops and houses’, then we get a response like, ‘really? Why do you want to do that?’
Jia: This industry is new, Urban Rejuvenation is new. 
――寄付者/企業と人々 /コミュニティを結びつけたりするのですか?
Q: Do you connect between possible donors/corporation and people/community? 
Duncan: This greening program, is approached by an architect. They said they had a building want to do some green wall like a garden and plants. So when we start talking to them, we understood that tenants on the ground floor who will be responsible for taking care of the plants. So what does the landlord think? And it is important for the landlord to agree with the idea. So we got building owner, tenant and their party responsible for design, committed to this kind of things. We also asked a planning information for this because of the nature of it, to get a support from City Hall. So we visited City Hall, ‘look, we have this space, this is the plan what they want to do’. 
Jia: They wanted to remove six parking spaces as a result to take all parking bay into a garden and sitting area. 
Duncan: And at the same time, City Foundation is contributing to this overall project. It cannot be only for your own benefit. It is not just building look nice, what was proposed is to have classes for students as there are a couple of schools nearby, so students come down and lean about edibles, how to plan edible food. 
Jai: It is a demonstrative project to say that how to introduce pedestrian back into the city rather than a car. 
Think City focuses on bringing ‘Green’ and people together
Duncan: I think a lot of issues we are dealing with, they are not independent issues. For example for greening project of the city, we are looking at homeless issue, they seem two different thing, but they are inter-connected. If we build nice park, maybe homeless would go and sleep in the park. If they are sleeping in the park, maybe other people feel uncomfortable going to the park. A lot of homeless here use drugs. Parents don’t feel happy to take their kids. Just in the way that this grouping of isolation, it is easier to think about projects without issues and isolation, but they are not, they are all connected. Some shuffling on the table. 
Q: I see. Thank you very much for very interesting story today.
Duncan, Jia: Thank you very much. 
                                                                Interview held on 15 June