School of Social Sciences | Universiti Sains Malaysia


(Related to Creative Cities, Creative Economy & Urban Heritage Conservation)


  1.  Khoo, S.L. & Woo, K.H. (in press). Housing affairs and urban heritage conservation in George Town World Heritage Site, Penang Island in Heritage & Society.

  2. Khoo, S.L. (in press). Positioning The Creative City Agenda Within Urban Policy Discourse: The Malaysian Scenario in Journal of Malaysian Studies (Kajian Malaysia).

  3. Khoo, S.L. & Chang, N.S.F. (2023). Wading in the Covid-10 Pandemic: Fate and Ways Forward for Malaysian Creative Cities in Journal of Urban Culture Research, 27, pp. 18-45.

  4. Lim, Y.M. & Khoo, S.L. (2023). Capacity Building Strategies for Built Heritage Conservation of George Town World Heritage Site in Heritage & Society. DOI: 10.1080/2159032X.2023.2228187

  5. Woo, K.H. & Khoo, S.L. (2023). Affordable Housing and Public Administration of a Historic City: The Perspective of a Local Community in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, George Town, Penang State of Malaysia in Journal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability. DOI: 10.1080/17549175.2023.2224294

  6. Khoo, S.L., Lim, Y.M. & Badarulzaman, N. (2023). Glocalizing creative hub concept for Malaysian creative city development: A conceptual review in Geografia-Malaysian Journal of Society and Space, 19 (1), pp. 95-108.

  7. Woo, K.H. & Khoo, S.L. (2022). Affordable Housing Alternatives in George Town World Heritage Site: What We Have and What Is Possible in Urban Policy and Research,

  8. Khoo, S.L. (2022). Towards cultural sustainability in creative cities: what George Town, Malaysia can learn from Kanazawa, Japan? in Creative Industries Journal,

  9. Chan, J.H., Chen, S.Y., Piterou, A., Khoo, S.L., Lean, H.H., Hashim, I.H.M., & Lane, B. (2021). An innovative social enterprise: Roles of and challenges faced by an arts hub in a World Heritage Site in Malaysia in City, Culture and Society, 25, 100396.

  10. Khoo, S.L. (2021). Creative Transmission and Industrialization of Traditional Crafts: Lessons from the Creative City of Kanazawa, Japan in International Journal of Crafts and Arts, 2, pp. 81-115. [Published by UNESCO Creative City of Jinju/Jinju Culture and Tourism Foundation, Korea].

  11. Lim, Y.M. & Khoo, S.L. (2021). Outstanding Universal Value of George Town, Penang: Surviving Covid-19 in International Journal of Asian-Pacific Heritage Studies: Sustainable Conservation of Cultural Heritage, pp. 125-157. [Published by International Heritage Education Center in collaboration with Cultural Heritage Administration, Korea, Korean National Commission for UNESCO]

  12. Khoo, S.L. (2020). Towards an inclusive creative city: How ready is the Historic City of George Town, Penang? in City, Culture and Society, 23, 100367.

  13. Chan, J.H., Hashim, I.H.M., Khoo, S.L., Lean, H.H. & Piterou, A. (2020). Entrepreneurial orientation of traditional and modern cultural organisations: Cases in George town UNESCO world heritage site in Cogent Social Sciences, 6: 1810889,

  14. Khoo, S.L. & Lim, Y.M. (2019). Dissecting George Town’s human capital challenges in built heritage: Voices from the stakeholders in Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, 9(3), pp. 376-393.

  15. Khoo, S.L., Badarulzaman, N.B., Samat, N. & Dawood, S.R.S. (2017). How Possible is a Creative City in Penang?  An Analysis of Architects’ Perceptions About Creativity and Quality of Place in Creative Industries Journal, 10(1), pp. 3-20.

  16. Khoo, S.L., Badarulzaman, N., Samat, N. & Sheikh Dawood, S.R. (2017). Locational Decisions in a Creative City: Evidence from Penang’s Architectural Firms in Journal of Malaysian Studies (Kajian Malaysia).  35(1), pp.69-89. 

  17. Zahry, S., Khoo, S.L. & Badarulzaman, N. (2017). Arts, Antiques, and Craft Businesses Locational Choice: The Case of George Town, Penang in International Journal of Cultural and Creative Industries, 4(1), pp.38-51. 

  18. Khoo, S.L. (2016). Understanding culture and creativity in urban development: what it means for George Town, Penang? in Geografia-Malaysian Journal of Society and Space, 12(13), pp. 1-11.

  19. Khoo, S.L., Samat, N., Badarulzaman, N. & Dawood, S.R.S. (2015). The Promise and Perils of the Island City of George Town (Penang) as a Creative City in  Urban Island Studies, 1(1), pp. 20-34. 

  20. Chang, N., Khoo, S.L. & Badarulzaman, N. (2015). Prospect of Penang as a creative city: A conceptual discussion in International Journal of Cultural and Creative Industries, 3(1), pp. 56-69.

  21. Khoo, S.L., Badarulzaman, N., Samat, N., Sirat, M. & Dawood, S.R.S. (2015). Creative Cities Research in Malaysia: A Review of Conceptual and Methodological Framework in Planning Malaysia: Journal of the Malaysian Institute of Planners, XIII, pp. 1-18.

  22. Khoo, S.L. & Badarulzaman, N. (2014). Branding George Town world heritage site as a city of gastronomy: prospects of creative cities strategy in Penang in International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, 8(3), pp. 322-332. 

  23. Khoo, S.L. & Badarulzaman, N. (2014). Factors Determining George Town as a City of Gastronomy in Tourism Planning & Development, 11(4), pp. 371-386.

  24. Khoo, S.L., Badarulzaman, N., Samat, N. & Dawood, S.R.S. (2014). Capitalising on urban cultural resources for creative city development: A conceptual review and the way forward for Malaysia’s George Town in Geografia-Malaysian Journal of Society and Space, 10(5), pp. 20-29.

  25. Oon, C.K.E. & Khoo, S.L. (2014). Issues and challenges of a liveable and creative city: The case of Penang, Malaysia in Geografia-Malaysian Journal of Society and Space, 10(3), pp. 33-43.

  26. Khoo, S.L., Samat, N., Badarulzaman, N., Sirat, M. & Dawood, S.R.S. (2013). Spatial Mapping of Creative Industries in Creative Cities: The Case of Penang, Malaysia in Humanities and Social Sciences Review, 2(2), pp. 151-169.

  27. Khoo, S.L., Samat, N., Badarulzaman, N. & Dawood, S.R.S. (2013). Penang towards Becoming A Creative City: Challenges Faced by the Architectural Industry in International Journal of Environment, Society and Space, 1(1), 1-11. 

  28. Ch’ng, K.S. & Khoo, S.L. (2015). Market Mechanisms to Allocate Heritage Conservation Fund: An Experimental Study in The Singapore Economic Review, 60 (2015) 1550024.

  29. Ch’ng, K.S., Khoo, S.L. & Lim, Y.M. (2014). Price Auction and Regulation in Experimental Built Heritage Conservation Market in International Journal of Business and Society, 15(2), pp. 303-320.

  30. Lim, Y.M., Khoo, S.L. & Ch’ng, K.S. (2014). Residents’ Perspectives towards Conservation in George Town World Heritage City: A Post-UNESCO Listing Scenario in Journal of Urban and Regional Analysis, VI (2), pp. 161-180.

  31. Ch’ng, K.S., Khoo, S.L. & Lim, Y.M. (2013). Preference Information and Experimental Heritage Conservation Auctions in Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, 3 (1), pp. 82-94. 

  32. Ch’ng K.S., Khoo, S.L. & Chin, P.N. (2013). The effects of cultural and historical information and contribution threshold on public contributions: an experimental study on the conservation of heritage houses in Penang, Malaysia in Journal of Cultural Economics, 38, pp. 207-222. 


Research Books: 

  1. Khoo, S.L. & Chang, N.S.F. (2021). Creative City as an Urban Development Strategy: The Case of Selected Malaysian Cities (Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan part of Springer Nature) (201 pages).

  2. Khoo, S.L., Lim, Y.M. & Lim, C.P. (2019). Sustainable Management of Built Heritage: George Town World Heritage Site, Penang (Publisher: Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris Press, Malaysia)(80 pages).


SBU210E                      Urban Development

SBU211E                      Issues of Urbanisation

SBU233E                      Education, Training & Human Resource



Graduated Postgraduates (Role: Main Supervisor)

Chang Shu Fun, Nicole                                                            PhD                  (2019)

Yeong Siew Yan                                                                        PhD                  (2019)

Zain Rafique                                                                              PhD                  (2018)

Khadijeh Asadisarvestani                                                       PhD                  (2016)

Oon Khar Ee                                                                              Master              (2019)

Wang Xiaolong                                                                         Master              (2017)


Postgraduates Under Supervision (Role: Main Supervisor)

Normaira Abdul Rahman                                                         PhD                  (on-going)

Ange Yang                                                                                  PhD                  (on-going)

Shariza Kamarudin                                                                    PhD                  (on-going)



(Related to Creative Cities, Cultural & Creatives Industries/Economy)

a) Reconceptualising Creative Hub As A Sustainable Growth Model In Malaysian Creative City Development, Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS) from Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia, 07/09/2021-06/03/2024, (ON-GOING) (Project Leader: Khoo Suet Leng)

b) Towards a Culturally-Inclusive and Sustainable Creative City: Localizing ‘Agenda 21 for Culture’ in Penang Island, USM Grant (RUI), 01/11/2020-31/10/2024, (ON-GOING) (Project Leader: Khoo Suet Leng)

c)Towards A Socially-Inclusive Creative City: What George Town World Heritage Site Can Learn From Japan? The Sumitomo Foundation, Japan, 01/04/2018-31/03/2020, (COMPLETED) (Project Leader & Sole Researcher: Khoo Suet Leng)

d) Social Network Analysis Of Innovation Cluster In Creative And Cultural Value Chain: Case Of George Town World Heritage Site, Economic & Social Research Council, Research Council United Kingdom Southeast Asia Newton-Ungku Omar Fund, 06/02/2017-01/08/2019, (COMPLETED) (Co-Researcher: Khoo Suet Leng)

e) Creative Cities Strategy: Enhancing George Town's Gastronomic Appeals, USM (Short Term Grant), 15/12/2011-14/12/2013, (COMPLETED) (Project Leader: Khoo Suet Leng)

f) Locating Creative Industries In Creative Cities For Local Economic Development: The Case Of Penang State, USM Grant (RUI), 01/12/2011-31/05/2015, (COMPLETED) (Project Leader: Khoo Suet Leng)

g) Collaboration with Think City Sdn. Bhd. (subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional) on Creative Industries Baseline and Mapping Study of Penang (since 24 April 2015 - 17 April 2017), 24/04/2015 - 17/04/2017 (COMPLETED)(National level collaboration with external agency) (USM Chief Collaborator: Khoo Suet Leng)

OTHER RESEARCH GRANTS (Related to Urban Heritage Conservation)

a) Outstanding Universal Value of George Town, Penang: Surviving Covid-19, Korean National University of Cultural Heritage (KNUCH)-UNESCO Chair Research Grant, 24/5/2021-31/12/2021, (COMPLETED) (Co-Researcher: Khoo Suet Leng)

b)Human Capital Availability in Built Heritage: A Case Study of George Town Historic City, Penang, USM (Short Term Grant), 1/12/2015-31/08/2018, (COMPLETED) (Project Leader: Khoo Suet Leng)

c) Experimental Auction To Disburse Conservation Fund and Awareness of Built Heritage Conservation in Penang Island, USM Grant (RUI), 1/11/2011–30/11/2013, (COMPLETED) (Co-Researcher: Khoo Suet Leng)

d) Public Goods Procurement Auction to Allocate Heritage Conservation Subsidy: An Experimental Study, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) Grant, 1/5/2012 – 31/10/14, (COMPLETED) (Co-Researcher: Khoo Suet Leng

e) Socially-Inclusive Public Administration: Revisiting Housing Affordability Concept in George Town World Heritage Site, Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS), 1/9/2019 – 31/8/22, (COMPLETED) (Co-Researcher: Khoo Suet Leng)


a) Digital Technology, Heritage Preservation and Creative City Development in George Town World Heritage Site, Penang, 2023 Korea National University of Cultural Heritage (KNUCH) UNESCO Chair Research Grant from International Heritage Education Center, Korea National University of Cultural Heritage, Korea, 17/04/23-31/12/23, (COMPLETED) (Project Leader: Khoo Suet Leng) 

b) The Development of a Framework to Assess the Creative and Cultural Sector of Malaysia commissioned by Think City Sdn Bhd, 2/05/23 – 15/09/23 (COMPLETED) (Advisor: Khoo Suet Leng) (Consultancy team: Studio Good Think)



Research Areas

# Cultural & Creative Cities

# Cultural & Creative Industries/Economy

# Urban Heritage Conservation

# Human Capital Development

  • Think City Sdn Bhd (urban regeneration think-tank under Khazanah Nasional Berhad)
  • Penang Institute
  • British Council (Malaysia)
  • Digital Penang
  • Penang Green Council
  • Arts-Ed
  • Hin Bus Depot + COEX
  • Penang Art District
  • Penang State Heritage Commissioner’s Office
  • George Town World Heritage Incorporated
  • City Council of Penang Island
  • Seberang Perai City Council
  • University of Sydney, Australia
  • University of Western Australia, Australia
  • University of New South Wales, Australia
  • Macquarie University, Australia
  • University of Cologne, Germany
  • Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia
  • Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia
  • Soka University, Japan
  • University of Yangon, Myanmar
  • University of Greenwich, United Kingdom
  • University of the West of England, United Kingdom
  • University of Chulalongkorn, Thailand
  • University of Chiangmai, Thailand
  • University of Thammasat, Thailand
  • University of Taipei, Taiwan

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