Monday, August 16, 2010

KL + 9 10-year plan to make city the best place to live in

KUALA LUMPUR: An area four times the size of Singapore is set to form Greater KL, which will be transformed into a leading global city over 10 years.

Greater KL will be a sprawling liveable city and economic hub of 10 municipalities, more open space, improved waterfronts and superior public transportation system, possibly with underground trains.

The inclusion of Klang and Sepang, among others, brings stretches of the Selangor coastline into Greater KL, which will also have the green belt of Templer’s Park as Selayang, an area of 54,559ha, is in. Other municipalities that will make up the 279,327ha Greater KL are Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Ampang Jaya, Petaling Jaya, Subang Jaya, Shah Alam and Kajang.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, who is in charge of the Economic Planning Unit, told the New Straits Times that Greater KL was about driving the economy and improving the quality of life.

“Today, people want an environment where they can live, work and play.” By 2020, seven out of 10 Malaysians are expected to live in urban areas like Greater KL, which, according to unofficial sources, will have an immediate population of about 7.2 million.

Nor Mohamed said an investor or a brain surgeon who previously screened best countries to work at now looked for the best cities.

“Will it be Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta or Bangkok?” Nor Mohamed said given the need for a more efficient public transportation system, Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad (Prasarana) has been given the green light to upgrade and extend the Light Rail Transit coverage to ensure seamless interconnectivity.

“It may also build an underground train system.”

The concept of liveable city also means pedestrian-friendly space, which includes a wider network of covered pedestrianwalkways in the city centre and an efficient solid waste management system.

“It is anticipated that Greater KL will be able to attract and retain Malaysian and foreign knowledge workers.” The success of Greater KL will help the country reap RM115 billion a year in income over the next 10 years. Other ideas include establishing an international financial district near Bukit Bintang.

“This will not only create job opportunities but also attract specialists.”
Two areas identified for re-development are the Sungai Besi air base and the
Sungai Buloh Rubber Research land. “We want the suburbs to benefit from Greater KL as well.”

Peninsular Malaysia Town and Country Planning Department deputy director-general I (planning) Kamalruddin Shamsudin said Greater KL was a new term to
many as Kuala Lumpur never had a metropolitan area like Greater London or Greater Toronto. He added that Kuala Lumpur also needed to improve on its 79th position out of 140 cities in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s survey on liveability.

*Taken from NST Online

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