"A network of stakeholders responsible for producing, analysing and disseminating data in a meaningful set of indicators that reflect collectively in prioritizing issues on sustainable urban development. Data and information resources produced by the local networks are used to support decision-making and formulation of better-informed policies. An urban observatory is therefore a focal point for urban monitoring at the local, national or regional scale.”


Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) plays the primary roles of planning, facilitation and promotion for Iskandar Malaysia. It is guided by the Second Comprehensive Development Plan (CDPii) as a regional planning document that serves to guide and coordinate planning in Iskandar Malaysia.

As part of a fast developing ASEAN and Asia Pacific region, Iskandar Malaysia’s global competitiveness remains a challenge and thus investing in Iskandar Malaysia would be easier with easily accessible, readily available urban information. The availability of a reference centre for data collection and analysis, monitoring and reporting on sustainable urbanisation is important for potential investors and create public awareness on the trends of urban growth in the region. This modus operandi brings relevant information to one location, coordinated and streamlined, to provide transparent services to local and global communities.

The CDPii includes the proposal to develop the Iskandar Malaysia Urban Observatory (IMUO) as one of the Big Moves which is to establish baseline data to support development planning and ensure balanced development.


It is recognized that IRDA’s role in social development is not well promoted and that it has limited resources to oversee the overall social development in Iskandar Malaysia due to insufficient data to monitor social indicators. As a planning authority at the regional level, IRDA plays the important role of bridging the gaps between federal, state and local plans amidst fluctuations in planning cycles and processes. Thus, the importance of having a robust, comprehensive and up-to-date data and knowledge management system at the regional level cannot be overemphasized. Having data and knowledge system setup at the Iskandar Malaysia level not only helps to improve decision making and galvanize targeted actions or response, but contributes to longer-term planning and setting up of appropriate systems and processes. The three case studies below provide a snapshot of the challenges that IRDA needs to address in Iskandar Malaysia and how an up-to-date data and knowledge management system can support.


Extensive pollution due to many development.

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Ensuring a Prosperous and Harmonious IM community Underpinned by Social Inclusion and Equitable Wealth Sharing.

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Mobility is challenged with increased population and economic activities.

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