|| The City environment includes, on
the one hand, the quantifiable aspects of the ambient environment
such as air, water quality and noise level and, on the other hand,
the less measurable visual and sensual aspects of cityscape and amenity.
It is also an important component of the quality of life that the
City can afford its population and contributes to the overall image
and identity of the City.
|| The environmental objective of the
KLSP 1984 was to secure the best achievable environmental standards
through a judicious balance between development, ecology and national
heritage. The strategies supporting this objective were to promote
a high standard of environmental amenity in terms of townscape and
landscape and to attain an environment free from the major forms of
|| Environmental programmes subsequent
to the KLSP 1984 have placed greater emphasis on amenity rather than
the ambient environment. The emphasis has changed because of the realisation
that environmental considerations should not be limited to concerns
about pollution control but should be more positive in aiming to create
more comfortable, pleasant and stimulating surroundings. In addition,
standards on matters such as water quality, air quality, noise level,
industrial emissions and effluent discharge are determined at a national
level, while CHKL has been able to exercise more direct control over
such matters as tree planting and cityscape.
|| Although it remains important to respond
to the environmental issues faced by the City by taking appropriate
preventive, mitigative or remedial measures, a parallel approach should
be to direct action and programmes towards creating the particular
city character and image arising from the vision for Kuala Lumpur
to become a World-Class City. Furthermore, as the nations capital,
Kuala Lumpur may have the potential and, perhaps the responsibility,
to enhance nationally determined standards.
situation and issue
|| Kuala Lumpur is between 30 and 200
metres above mean sea level (AMSL), and comprises extensive flat river
plains in the north and east, steep sided hills to the west, north
east and south and a narrow river valley to the south west, where
Sungai Klang flows towards the coast (refer Figure 15.1).
|| Until recently, development on slopes
exceeding 30 degrees still occurred, which has led to potentially
serious instability of slopes especially in high rise and high density
|| Inadequate measures to stabilise slopes
or to cover disturbed ground in new development are the main causes
of soil erosion. The KLSP 1984 addressed the issue of soil erosion
and slope stability and provided guidelines for development. However,
soil erosion from construction sites still occurs.
Soil erosion from construction on steep slopes.
|| Two of the three primary rivers in
Kuala Lumpur, namely Sungai Klang and Sungai Gombak, flow through
the heart of the City. All three rivers originate from the highland
areas in the northern part of Kuala Lumpur (refer Figure 15.2) and
have massive suspended solid loading as is evident from their muddy
colour. A major contribution to the situation is the discharge of
silt from construction sites.
Figure 15.1 : Topography, 2000
Figure 15.2 : Rivers, 2000
|| Debris in the rivers is also a serious
problem caused principally by the indiscriminate dumping of solid
waste from squatter settlements along the riverbanks. The direct discharge
of domestic wastewater into the rivers still occurs in some areas,
further adding to the rivers pollution problems. As recorded
in the Malaysia Environmental Quality Reports of 2000, Water Quality
Index (WQI) showed that water quality for Sungai Klang and Sungai
Gombak is still polluted (WQI Class III 51.9- 76.5) which requires
extensive treatment .
|| Poor water quality of the City
|| Flooding has been a regular occurrence
in Kuala Lumpur whenever there is a heavy downpour, especially in
the City Centre and downstream areas (refer Figure 15.3). These frequent
flash floods disrupt the Citys functioning, damage property
and threaten human lives.
|| General issues regarding flooding
are highlighted in Chapter 11: Infrastructure and Utilities.
Photo 15.1: Flooding has been a regular occurrence in Kuala
Lumpur whenever there is a heavy downpour, especially in the City
|| The development of structures within
the river reserves has further reduced the flow capacity of the Citys
rivers thus, increasing the likelihood of flooding.
Obstruction of storm water flow by structures in river reserves.
|| The underlying bedrock for most of
the northern part of Kuala Lumpur varies from marble limestone and
granite to a mixture of schist-phylite and quartzite-phylite. Marble
limestone and quartzitephylite are predominantly found in the central
part of the City, especially in the City Centre. The southern part
of Kuala Lumpur is principally made up of granite (refer Figure 15.4).
|| Areas with marble or limestone under
layers are susceptible to underground structural collapse due to the
formation of hollows or sinkholes. Most sinkholes occur within fault
lines where permeation of underground water from major waterways reaches
the marble or limestone and dissolves them by acidic reaction.
|| Sinkholes have occurred mainly in
areas close to the two major rivers as they pass through the City
Centre, where rapid development involving large-scale projects have
disturbed the water table. These sinkholes have, in some cases, disrupted
Disruption of construction by sinkholes.
|| There are three forest reserves in
Kuala Lumpur namely the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve (10.52 hectares),
Bukit Sungai Putih Forest Reserve (7.41 hectares) and Bukit Sungai
Besi Forest Reserve (42.11 hectares) (refer Figure 15.5). Bukit Nanas,
in the heart of the City Centre, is one of the oldest virgin forests
in the region. These residual forest areas are home to a number of
fauna species particularly monkeys, tree shrews, squirrels and birds.
Figure 15.3 : Flash flood areas, 2000
Figure 15.4 : Underlying bedrocks, 2000
Figure 15.5 : Forest reserves, 2000
|| There are also several isolated tracts,
including parts of Kampong Sungai Penchala and Damansara, which contain
forest vegetation. Although substantial in size, most of these forested
areas are located on hill slopes and are surrounded by development
|| Some of the remaining forest areas
are under threat of development. The encroachment of development has,
in most cases, made the forest areas no longer sustainable as self-contained
habitats for indigenous species. In some areas, whole colonies have
disappeared while in others, they have been reduced to scavenging
thus, bringing them into conflict with residents in adjoining housing
Threat to residual forest areas.
|| Based on the Malaysia Environmental
Quality Report 2000, the Air Pollutant Index (API) showed that air
quality for Kuala Lumpur was between good (API 0-50) to moderate (API
51-100) most of the time, except for a few nhealthy
days experienced during the drier months of May and July (refer Figure
15.6). However, unhealthy air quality conditions were
occasionally recorded in Kuala Lumpur and were mainly due to the presence
of high levels of ozone, formed by the reaction of nitrogen oxides
(NOx) and volatile compounds (VOCs) emitted from motor vehicles and
industrial sources, react in the presence of sunlight and heat.
|| The main sources of air pollution
in the City are open burning, emission from motor vehicles and construction
work, together with a minor contribution from industries in the fringe
areas of the City. The deterioration of air quality can be a serious
hazard to human health leading to respiratory diseases as well as
a reduction in visibility.
Figure 15.6: Air Pollutant Index (API), 2000
|| Deterioration of air quality.
|| Based on the Malaysia Environment
Quality Report 2000, noise monitoring concentrated mainly on assessing
the impact of noise exposure to sensitive noise receivers at premises
such as schools and hospitals in Kuala Lumpur were found to be between
57.8 decibels to 71.8 decibels during day time (7 am to 10 pm) which
exceeded the limit of 55 decibels recommended by the World Health
Organisation (WHO). The main source of noise is vehicular traffic
while other noise sources, such as those from industrial machinery
and the LRT, affect localised areas.
|| Development guidelines do not stipulate
adequate buffer zones between residential areas and potential pollution
sources. In some cases, highways and major roads cut through densely
populated residential areas. High noise levels apart from causing
discomfort can lead to health problems.
High noise levels in many parts of the City.
|| Existing disposal site in Taman Beringin
and the ex-solid waste disposal sites near Sri Petaling and Jinjang
Utara are considered as contaminated land due to the unsystematic
disposal solid waste and treatment. Methane gas, chemical and toxic
waste and leachate from these sites contaminate the land, surface
water and underground water as well as the air quality.
|| Rapid development has created pressure
for the need to redevelop these contaminated areas. Rules and special
regulations in controlling the usage of contaminated land need to
be formed based on suitable standards, procedures and technologies.
No control and regulation in the usage of contaminated land
|| Environmentally sensitive areas can
be defined as areas that need special attention or consideration before
any development can be approved in the area and its proximity. Environmentally
sensitive areas such as those that are susceptible to erosion, flooding,
steep slopes, sinkholes, air, water and noise pollution as well as
forested and heritage areas are not well documented.
|| Due to the lack of guidelines, the
impact of development on environmentally sensitive areas has not been
given adequate attention, leading to degradation of the Citys
|| Existing planning guidelines are not
comprehensive enough to gauge the impact of development projects on
environmentally sensitive areas.
Lack of development guidelines for environmentally sensitive
|| In order to enhance the
quality of life in the City to a level commensurate with its vision
to be a World-Class City, CHKL aims to:
create a Tropical Garden City sensitive to it natural site
and appropriate to its tropical regional location;
continue to maintain a judicious balance between development,
ecology and national heritage;
enhance the city living environment; and
attain an environment which is free from the major forms of
|| Landscaping and beautification
programmes carried out in recent years have proved to be extremely
successful and have helped to transform the City environment especially
in the City Centre. These programmes must now be intensified and broadened
to cover all residential, commercial and industrial areas of Kuala
Lumpur in order to fully realise the objective of creating a Tropical
||CHKL shall promote
landscaping and beautification programmes in residential, commercial
and industrial areas.
||CHKL shall intensify
the programmes of roadside and streetside planting and landscaping
of open spaces and recreational areas.
|| Some privately owned open spaces,
vacant sites and other undeveloped areas in the City, particularly
those which are in public view or which are close to landscaped open
space, should be properly landscaped to improve environmental amenity.
Photo 15.2: Landscaping and beautification programmes will
be intensified and broadened in order to fully realise the objective
of creating a Tropical Garden City
||CHKL shall ensure
the provision of proper landscaping of existing private open
spaces and other vacant areas.
|| Strategies need to be formulated to
incorporate the rivers and ex-mining ponds into the environmental
amenity of the City through the use of landscaping and other improvement
||CHKL shall ensure
the landscaping of rivers and the rehabilitation of ex-mining
||CHKL shall initiate
an appropriate strategy for integrating the major rivers and
abandoned mining ponds as an amenity and feature of the Citys
|| Development on hillside shall be given
serious attention in accordance with the prevailing rules and regulation
and policies adopted by the government. In particular, the fit
to terrain concept in layout design should be applied in all
developments in hilly locations.
||CHKL shall not
permit development on hillside with slope that exceeds the allowable
level, rules and regulations set by the Federal Government.
||CHKL shall ensure
that geo-technical study is carried out for all hillside developments.
|| An essential prerequisite for improving
the water quality of the rivers is to ensure that all wastewater from
local sewers is properly treated before being discharged into the
river and drainage system.
||CHKL shall, in
co-operation with the sewerage concessionaire, ensure that there
shall be no further discharge of untreated domestic wastewater
into the rivers and drainage system.
|| The squatter resettlement programmes
will help to improve water quality by eliminating a major source of
pollution. However, alternative methods of cleaning up the Citys
waterways by adopting advanced but cost effective technologies should
be investigated. Such methods could include the use of cascades to
increase oxygenation and aeration of the rivers and improve their
capacity to support aquatic life.
||CHKL shall investigate
the feasibility of new approaches to increase oxygenation, aeration
and water quality of the Citys rivers to support aquatic
life in rivers.
Photo 15.3: The use of cascades to increase oxygenation and
aeration of the rivers and improve their capacity to support aquatic
|| CHKL shall continue to cooperate with
the Federal Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) in maintaining
the flow capacity of the rivers and ensuring that there is no clogging.
The feasibility of constructing gross suspended solid traps upstream
and at other strategic locations to collect waste and reduce clogging
should be investigated to provide more effective long-term measures
to prevent flooding.
||CHKL shall re-activate
the rehabilitation programme of Sungai Klang and Sungai Gombak.
|| The existing flow capacity of the
rivers must not be allowed to be reduced any further by the construction
of permanent structures in the river reserves.
||CHKL shall not
approve development involving permanent structures in river
|| In order to minimise the danger of
structural collapse and the potential disruption of construction activities
in areas of limestone formation, geotechnical reports should be submitted
together with development applications.
||CHKL shall require
development applications in areas of limestone formation be
accompanied by geotechnical reports.
|| The indigenous flora and fauna of
the City are precious resources that must be conserved and, where
possible, encouraged to proliferate for the benefit of the Citys
population and ensuing generations.
|| An interconnected network of green
spaces will be created by linking major parks, forest reserves with
river, road, rail and utility reserves. This continuous belt of green
areas will help to create sustainable living environments for wildlife.
Programmes should be formulated to give greater in-depth attention
to the conservation of the Citys natural elements including
indigenous plants and trees, animals and birds thus, reinforcing to
the Citys tropical character. These programmes could include
the enhancement of food resources for wildlife such as planting fructiferous
trees and providing feeding stations.
||CHKL shall conserve
residual forest areas and maintain a sustainable variety and
population of wildlife within the City boundaries.
|| Reducing the amount of road traffic
has a direct effect on reducing air pollution. Transportation policies,
therefore, that promote the use of public transport over private transport
not only assist in traffic demand management, but also reduce air
pollution. Other programmes to reduce the effects of pollution from
vehicles will be implemented such as the building of natural and man-made
buffers alongside roads using dense tree planting, hedges and bunds
as dust traps.
||CHKL shall ensure
the provision of adequate landscaped buffer areas between highways
and other builtup areas.
|| The Department of the Environment
is responsible for enforcement measures related to air pollution and
it will be necessary for CHKL to coordinate closely with the department
in order to reduce air pollution.
||CHKL shall, in
co-operation with the Department of Environment, undertake measures
to reduce air pollution in the City.
|| The transportation policy of promoting
public transport and reducing private vehicles on the road is also
a crucial strategy in lowering noise levels. In addition, the need
to increase setback standards between residential dwellings and major
roads should be examined.
||CHKL shall implement
measures to reduce noise levels in the City.
|| Contaminated lands need to be treated
so that they can be used again for suitable activity. The treatment
of contaminated land is estimated to take a period of more than 20
years. During the period, these areas shall be made as sensitive green
areas. Hence suitable treatment regulations and procedures need to
||CHKL shall ensure
that contaminated land be treated and designated as sensitive
|| Measures must be introduced to create
a sustainable environment which maintains a judicious balance between
development, ecology and national heritage. To avoid compromising
the Citys natural and built heritage, environmentally sensitive
areas should be designated and properly documented. Guidelines should
also be formulated to guide, control and manage development in and
around these areas.
||CHKL shall designate
environmentally sensitive areas and prepare guidelines for their
control and management.
|| Economic activities with involvement
of the public should be implemented within the context of Local Agenda
21. The public participation should assist in achieving susutainable
development in optimal utilisation of available resources.
|| The concept of eco-partnership, which
places emphasis on the concerted efforts of various stakeholders such
as private enterprises, various government agencies and community
based and non governmental organisations (CBOs and NGOs) to carry
out study activities aimed at increasing public awareness on sustainable
environment, should be promoted and enhanced. Clean street,
clean air and clean water campaigns, in which
CHKL in collaboration with NGOs and privatization concessionaires,
can take the lead to extend the concept of eco-partnership. The public
should also be encouraged to adopt the 3R concept of Reduce,
Reuse, Recycle. Such programmes can be organised at a neighbourhood
||CHKL shall, in
collaboration with other government agencies, the public and
the private sector, undertake pro-active measures to ensure
sustainability in economic, physical and social development
in congruence with existing
|| The policies that have been formulated
and the guidelines to be drafted, shall form the basis for a comprehensive
framework to guide, control and manage new development and improvement
works in Kuala Lumpur. In order to implement these measures, the Environment
Unit under the Health Department of CHKL should be strengthened to
regulate and facilitate coordination with other stakeholders as well
as all related departments both inside and outside CHKL.
||CHKL shall coordinate
with other relevant stakeholders to implement the policies and
guidelines of environmentally sensitive areas.