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Corporate Green Image on Ampang Road

Dr Sharifah Salwa Syed Mahdzar 1Amirul Hakim Jamil2,


1
Faculty Built Environment, Department of Architecture,
University Technology Malaysia, Skudai, 81310 Johor Darul Takzim, Malaysia.

* Amirul Hakim (email: amijam33@hotmail.com)

Revised on 06 Jun 2015

Abstract

The trees around us are extremely important and have always been necessary for improving the human condition. The current
rapid growth of the population demand for a massive development hence it is an urge for us to conduct a sustainable
development while sustaining the ability of our natural ecosystems especially the habitat of our flora. The 1996 Environmental
Quality Report (DOE, Malaysia) notes that almost all aspects of the environment have been affected by development activities
ranging from deforestation to erosion, hazardous & toxic wastes to water & air pollution and creation of heat islands. Less
appreciation and low level of the awareness towards the green ecology can be seen as the main factor contributing to the air
pollution and environmental degradation in Kuala Lumpur. This paper addresses the necessity of reviving the green ecological
awareness through the concept of loving our trees coherently with some arguments on the green ecosystem especially at the
heart of Kuala Lumpur. The initial aim of establishing this study is to bring a society understand about environment pollution
and to drive an educated societies indirectly to senses of environmental concern (Comerio, 1984).

Keywords: urban, green, sustainable strategy, social interaction

1.0 INTRODUCTION

According to the history, Kuala Lumpur the Kuala Lumpur environment. The destruction of
was founded in 1857 at the confluence of the trees and green areas to accommodate urban
Gombak River and Klang River, which now houses development gives such a high emotional pressure
the Kuala Lumpur Jamek Mosque. Ampang road in towards the green area in the city. The increase of
Kuala Lumpur is well known portraying commercial industrial development and vehicle traffic has
and corporate image of the Kuala Lumpur city itself. resulted in higher levels of air pollution in this
Though observation, it can be found that most of the metropolitan region. A study of pollution in Kuala
high end hotel, huge corporate office and the Lumpur recorded high levels of heavy metals in the
embassy building were planned to be situated along soils and in dust. It was higher than the acceptable
the stretches of Ampang Road. Before the arrival of standards (Mohd and Badri, 1988). Due to all this
the Chinese people for the tin mining purposes, matter, the quality of the existing urban greenery
Kuala Lumpur was previously was questioned in terms of its structure and diversity
occupied Javanese, Mandailings, Bugis and Rawa. (Zakariy A and Jeffri, 1989).
Raja Abdullah, who is also the representative of the
Sultan is the Klang Malay chieftain was opened the Trees help cleanse the air by intercepting
tin mines, thus contributing to the development of airborne particles, decreasing heat, and absorbing air
Kuala Lumpur. Ampang, the earliest areas in the pollutants. Trees remove this air pollution by
Klang Valley, opened for tin mining. Thus, a road lowering air temperature, through respiration, and
was built to connect Ampang to Kuala Lumpur by retaining particulate. Human breathes about 9.5
which formed Jalan Ampang until now. tonnes of air annually. However, oxygen only makes
up 23 percent of our breathable air and we only
The current massive development of Kuala extract a little over a third of the oxygen from each
Lumpur has given rise to many common problems, inhalation (L. Villazon, 2012). Hence, that can be
such as air pollution and haze problem. These issues sum up to a total of about 740kg of oxygen per year.
with adding up with high carbon emission somehow In other words, it is very roughly, seven or eight
contribute to the global warming and heat island in trees are needed for every human per year.
depending on the landscape and peoples
2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW
preferences. The features may include such as
climbing, cycling and trails, streams and rivers,
2.1 Urban Green Space and Biodiversity
abandoned factory or railroad, scenic roads and
There is a deep connection between green easements. For example, in American cities, green
spaces, mental and physical wellbeing and presence networks have been designed for green ecology and
of biodiversity. Rapidly increasing rates of human movement (Flink and Searns, 1993).
urbanization in developing countries has resulted in Furthermore, green networks for green spaces and
reduction in green space of our city. This issues Community Park at the neighbourhood have been
somehow has caused a need for preservation and realized in our neighbour country, Singapore (Foo,
protection of green spaces. Lack of proper guidance 2001).
and accountability from the government or lack of
expertise were the reasons for some of developing 2.3 Public Awareness
countries have lost their natural resources, Our societies do concern about the current
vegetation and wildlife species. (Baharuddin et al., green environmental pollution such as the
2009) destruction trees and others. However, our public
did not react or contribute to reduce the
It is necessary to have urban green space
environmental problem efficiently. This is because
and biodiversity in developing sustainable cities
of our societies had already change their current
because these will solves social, economic and
lifestyles and as a result, it has been such an
environmental issues. Peoples are aware of the value
increased demand for resources (Khorshid 2003),
of green space and its potential to promote the social
but ironically, when the resources started to deplete
integration, environmental protection and
and pollute by themselves, the societies will feel
community development (Swanwick et al., 2003;
anxiety.
Balram & Dragicevic, 2005; Chiesura, 2004). City
planners can address the problem of park shortages
Discussing on the communitys matter,
by finding creatives solutions. These include green they should not focus on one of particular problem
roofs, green walls and pocket-parks. Some for environmental issue. It should be more on wider
unconventional solutions are emerging too. Parking global scale and the government had already played
lots, former industrial sites and abandoned their role in setting up laws and regulation to address
infrastructure like mining area can converted into
this issue. However, the cause of the major pollution
green spaces. can summarise due to the public mutuality and it
happened when they are facing the same particular
2.2 Green Network Development of Kuala
situation, (Shilu T., Yasmin E., & Tippawan P.,
Lumpur City.
2000). It was resulted that only 26 percent of
It is important to have green network in respondents are aware about environmental
urban area in order to link the open spaces together condition, these results are from Asian Affairs
by means of a network of smaller open spaces along (Nasnin I. 2008). In many countries there is little
with river and spaces in the city. Since last time, the awareness about conservation of environment and
city of Kuala Lumpur has also implemented a biodiversity (Niemel, 1999; Miller & McGee,
programme of tree planting along major roads in 2000) and there is little agreement of this concept
addition to provide more green open spaces. among built environment professionals (Brown &
Greenways can be said as a land containing linear Grant, 2005).
planned elements designed or managed for multiple
This is due to our educational systems that
purposes. It should be including ecological,
too rigged and our community need a new approach
recreational, cultural and other purposes compatible
to educate our societies on the environmental
with the related matter. (Ahern 1995). Platt (1999)
awareness.
has suggested that a green network is an essential
element for the latest sustainable city of the 21st that
sensitive to people. Green networks might connect
the schools, playground, forests, rivers business area
and neighbourhoods. Green networks may
2.4 Green Sustainable Cities 2.5 The Case of Singapore

A sustainable city can be defined as a city Singapore has been well known of its green
designed to consider the environmental impact and approach when designing and developing its own
coherently dedicated to reduce the inputs of energy, city. The main strategies of urban greening include
water and food, and waste output. (R. Richard, of having more parks and gardens including
1987). Example, in Hammarby City, there shall be a gardens in the sky, safeguarding the natural
total of 25 to 30 meter square of spaces with park heritage and making the parks and gardens more
area and at least 15 meter square of courtyard space accessible. The first objectives are to maintain green
for every apartment. It is stated that the courtyard spaces and reduce the reliance on private car
space shall be sunlit for at least 4 hours during the transportation for a good livable home. Next, their
season of spring and autumn. These give a liveable challenges are to create a green economy and
and sociable within the compound of high density of increase the domestic recycling for a sustainable
residential area. In order to give benefit to the city, and greater community engagement (Singapore
biological diversity in some area in the city, the Sustainable Blueprint 2015).
development of the abandon green public spaces
shall be in the sense of biotopes.

Figure 1: Hammarby City with greenery. Figure 3: Aerial view of Singapores Urban Fabric

The individual social planning of Byker Since 2005, over 1,650 buildings in
Wall in England upkeep by extending the existing Singapore have been made environmentally
landscape to their own private area. Ralph Eskine, friendly, and the government is set to do more. Its
the urban designer of this city create a link block to Sustainable Development Blueprint outlines a
bring down the insignificant scale from tall housing. number of green targets for 2030 including a
The housing designer design such an independent recycling rate of 70 percent; a 35 percent
garden that act as a semi private space for the house. improvement in energy efficiency; and 80 percent of
There are also public green space designed to cater buildings to be certified green.
social needs of the Byker Wall. The tree canopy area
Singapore has set at 50 hectares by 2030 in
was 39 acres, equals to the 35 percent of the site area
the 2009 blueprint for sky rise greenery or rooftop
to reduce heat island effect.
gardens. Today, they have 61 hectares in 2013 and
it was a huge significantly increment towards time.
The pressure of urbanization has provided impetus
for intense urban concentrations and the skyscraper
to be the most ubiquitous development type (Wong
and Yeh, 1992 and Perry et al., 1997). In Singapore,
accessibility is a prime consideration and every of
their planners have put for a greener Singapore with
a greater variety of green spaces in their vision to
create a dynamic, distinctive and delightful world
Figure 2: Greenery public space of Byker Wall class city in the next coming century (Urban
Redevelopment Authority, 2001).
3.0 METHODOLOGY 4.0 Findings and Results

The research is using close-ended


4.1 Demographic characteristics of
questionnaire, literature studies and some the respondents.
observation to collect some information data about
the awareness, perception among public towards the
environment of Ampang road. On 27th February to
1st March 2015, a survey of Ampang road was done
and managed to collect a total of 100 respondents
during the time frame of 8.00am to 11.00am,
12.00pm to 3.00pm and 4.00pm to 7.00pm. Besides
that, this survey also done during the weekdays on
Friday and Monday while weekends on Saturday
and Sunday.

3.1 Literature
Pie Chart 1: Genders of the respondents.
The study on Kuala Lumpur history and
Ampang road has been conducted in the beginning Analysis: From 100 respondents there are 67% of
of time, way before the particular topic has been male while another 33% are female.
selected. It is important to understand holistically on
the particular concern study area to be closer to the Synthesis: Clearly shown that male is the highest to
past. On this research, it is vital to understand the volunteered answering the survey questions because
culture and the current urban future planning along most of them can be found at the first nodes at
the Ampang road before conducting any related KLCC, Wisma Selangor and etc while they are
study or research. Finally, after understanding every loitering and smoking nearby. Besides that, male can
aspect of the concern site area, it is important to also be found at the second and third nodes while
evoke or point out the right question and arguments they are walking along the Jalan Ampang for
particularly in producing good philosophical taught working purposes. Female is the lowest rate to
for the researchers as well for the related community answer the survey questions because majority of
of Ampang road. female can be found at the first and second nodes
only. Besides that, the reasons they would not
3.2 Statically Analysis answer the survey is because as the precaution step
to avoid strangers.
The analysis study has been conducted
using qualitative and quantitative data. Collected
result will be coherently be compared with
observation data in order to get wider and diverse
interpretation particularly towards the Ampang
road.

3.3 Limitation

One of the limitation on this study is due to


the focus of only small numbers of respondent and
duration of every sessions during the process of
question and answer (Q&A). One of the possible
Pie Chart 2: Races of the respondents.
reason is the engagement of public toward the
importance of green environment is uninteresting Analysis: According to the survey, the graph shows
and clich. In addition, time were too limited time that from 100 respondents there are 40% of young
has be one of the reason in constructing such a adults which age range from 25-34, 36% of
pragmatic, short and simple session for every teenagers age from 18-24 while another 14% and
conducted survey. 10% are from adults age from 35-44 and senior
citizens from 45 and above.
Synthesis: It is clearly shown that young adults were other data shows that only 10% and 4% of the
the highest in this survey because most of them are respondents are tourist and unemployed.
employed and using Jalan Ampang as their main
accessibility to work. Teenagers are the second Synthesis: 71% of the respondents are employed as
highest in this survey because most of them also Jalan Ampang is one of the busiest and main road
used Jalan Ampang as their accessibility to work and for the suits for working purposes. Another 15% of
shopping while adults and senior citizens used Jalan the respondents are students which they are mainly
Ampang as some of them are tourists and also still a from colleges and universities who using Jalan
suit. Ampang as personal purposes such as shopping or
vacation. There are only minority of the tourists and
unemployed were found along Jalan Ampang. This
is because tourist only attracted to use Jalan Ampang
at the first node which is the landmark of Kuala
Lumpur, KLCC.

4.2 Perceptual studies toward


Ampang road.

Pie Chart 3: Occupations of the respondents.

Analysis: 58% of the race is conquered with Malay


while both indian and others such as Iranian,
Australian and etc. shared 15% each. Chinese with
the least of 12%.

Synthesis: Lots of Malay can be found along Jalan


Ampang as most of them used the public
transportations provided at KLCC, Dang Wangi and
Pie Chart 5: General opinions towards Ampang
Bukit Nenas for working. Most of the Indian in this
Road.
survey is taxi drivers and minority of them used
public transportations while others can be found Majority of the respondents agreed that
along Jalan Ampang and near the Pakistan Embassy. Jalan Ampang is the busiest road because during
Chinese are the minority because most of them used peak hour on weekdays this route will be jammed
Jalan Ampang by personal vehicles. starting in the early morning as workers with cars
going to work. Jalan Ampang also known as the
connecters that connect other road such as Jalan
Sultan Ismail and Jalan P.Ramlee which local
usually work there. Hence, to reduce the jammed
rate in Jalan Ampang rather that enlarge the road
width, it is positively suggested that we need to
encourage people used more public transportation,
carpooling and cycling which also bring health to
them. Proposed design cycling track which may
reduce this problem, in addition encourage citizen
with a healthy life style. Cycling activity has a huge
impact on health which is even greater than the
Pie Chart 4: Ages of the respondents. impact of road safety or pollution.
Analysis: According to the survey, the graph shows
that from 100 respondents there are 71% of them are
employed and 15% are students. On the other hand,
Jalan Ampang mainly used by the public
for working purposes as it is also known as the
corporate road which link other road such as Jalan
Sultan Ismail with offices area. Besides that, Jalan
Ampang also is used for social attraction which lead
to the Kuala Lumpur landmark, KLCC. Hence, it
can be clearly said that the reason Jalan Ampang
always have heavy traffic congestion during peak
hour on weekdays is because there are lots of
Pie Chart 6: Dissatisfactions of the respondents.
commercial buildings. However, there are ways to
From the data collected, we can synthesize that the enhance Jalan Ampang rather than just used it to be
respondents of Jalan Ampang both agreed that in mainly for working purposes. Therefore, the
Jalan Ampang the parking rate is high and there are proposal is to enhance Jalan Ampang from the first
no covered walkway. This question is related to the node (KLCC junction) to third node (Jalan Munshi
respondents opinion of Jalan Ampang where most Abdullah junction) by proposed a socialize
of them agreed that Jalan Ampang is the busiest buildings such as educational center, sports center,
road. The relation of the finding of this data is that gallery and etc which allow the interaction between
the higher the car used, the higher the parking rate human with human.
as the parking area are limited and the parking
owners are compete with each other to gain profit.
On the other hand, uncovered walkway is one of the
major issue that need to consider of as public who
used to walking along Jalan Ampang is not been
provided with proper crossing elements that can help
them shade from rain and hot climate.
Furthermore, with trees on sideways, it can
screen unattractive views and soften the harsh
outline of masonry, metal, asphalt, steel and glass.
People can walk on a shady streets, which
encourages interaction with neighbors and improves
the sense of community. Trees on walkway area may Pie Chart 8: Meaningful places at Jalan Ampang.
absorb and block sound, reducing noise pollution
from the busy road of Ampang Jalan Ampang have lots of meaningful and
heritage building that can be preserve. Besides that,
Hence, designing a proper crossing the data collected from the respondents clearly
element to the public is an appropriate idea to be stated that Jalan Ampang can be the tourism center.
taken and also more greenery or landscaping for Although there are MATIC provided for the tourists
shaded area should be emphasize which not only but Jalan Ampang is lack of public place for the
beautify the street but also help to reduce carbon public to relax and enjoy. From observation, it can
footprints be seen that, the Tourism Centre (MATIC) has the
most shaded green public area compare to other
spaces and building in Jalan Ampang. The shaded
green area provide cold and calm feeling for the
visitor.

Hence, in the future we can proposed parks


with public facilities and nature surroundings in
order to enhance the interaction between human
with environment. This may also encourage public
to appreciate environment more by being part of
green ecology system. Not only human, any kind of
Pie Chart 7: Association of respondents to places.
wildlife could participate in this healthy green
ecological system.
4.3 Urban Greenery Space Mapping Pattern do aware of the threatened of green area and
environmental problem. However, based on the
The idea of a continuous green network in Kuala observation, it is such a contrast when there are low
Lumpur was designed in the Kuala Lumpur level in terms of the practice of preserving trees and
Structure Plan 1984. This structural plan, planting more trees in our public urban area. More
formulated some polices related to townscape, studies should be conducted in order to revise the
conservation and landscape. Later, it has been relevant of green spaces towards the surrounding
prepared for the newer version to Kuala Lumpur context so that it will not abandoned or misused. It
Structure Plan 2020 (KLSP 2020) in addressing is an urge to organise campaign on environmental
more towards social and environmental needs of the awareness with a lot more creative, gimmick and
people. However, it has been argued that there were physical connections to the public.
no proper local plan and urban design guidelines
plan as a follow-up instrument to implement the The interaction between the authority and local
current stated policies (S. Maruthaveeran, M.Adnan, inhabitants is not a common practice in many city
2004). The same researchers also argue that green administrations. Therefore, it is essential to create a
spaces and park available in Kuala Lumpur for the cooperation between local authorities, professional
public are not properly linked. consultants, scientic advisors and the public.

4.4 Public Participations Finally, putting green spaces issues into practice
remains a major challenge. That is why, some
The draft of the Kuala Lumpur Structure Plan national urban policy documents in Europe show
applied the methods of public exhibition and that the Urban Sustainability subject has at least
public hearing for the public to participate after the made it onto the political agenda. (German Federal
draft KLSP was prepared. However the public Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs,
participation programme failed to deliver good GreenKeys Project 2008). It has to be promoted by
sufficient information to the majority of the the higher people that have the credibility and power
participants. From the research done by some to change the current image of the Kuala Lumpur
researchers, Dasimah Omar and Oliver Ling from city.
Univiersiti Teknology MARA Shah Alam (2009) it
was found that organising series of workshops was Plant more trees, save our trees, love our trees.
an effective method of public participation for
development plan. Through the two-way
communication kind of workshop, it could create a
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