|| Urban design addresses both the functional
and aesthetic aspects of the Citys built environment. Aesthetics,
being the traditional concern of urban design can only be more meaningful
when combined with other considerations to generate an environment
that is visually pleasant, convenient, comfortable and which conveys
a sense of place, pride and belonging. Urban design activities and
efforts will seek to develop a policy framework and guidelines so
as to create a desirable living environment and an appropriate city
image and identity.
|| Like most cities in the developing
world, Kuala Lumpur has grown at a phenomenal rate driven primarily
by the need to create wealth. As Malaysia moves toward a developed
status, Kuala Lumpur has experienced rapid development which has left
a city that is, in many respects, disjointed and lacking in visual
and physical coherence. Consequently there has been a decrease in
the legibility of the city structure together with a certain loss
of historical continuum and sense of identity.
|| The ethnic and cultural composition
of a city determines its character as much as, if not more than, its
physical manifestations, and should therefore form urban design considerations.
Kuala Lumpurs vibrant multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society
will provide the stimulus to guide urban design initiatives to create
a distinct and unique city identity, which will enable people to identify
more closely with the City and each other, thus fostering a sense
of community and social harmony.
situation and issue
corridors and gateways
|| Six main view corridors from major
roads leading into Kuala Lumpur have been identified as illustrated
in Figure 14.1. Main gateways or arrival points are also identified
together with important city landmark buildings, which are the focal
points of views of the City. These gateways are not properly defined
and, therefore, their potential as significant arrival points has
not been realised.
|| Some City gateways lack sufficient
definition as points of arrival.
|| The road system has been developed
in a piecemeal fashion and therefore, linkages between major and minor
roads lack clarity in movement pattern. Similarly, piecemeal development
has adversely affected the quality of streetscapes, that is the overall
character and continuity of streets as represented by pavements, building
frontages, street lighting and other forms of street furniture.
Photo 14.1: Piecemeal development has adversely affected the
quality of streetscapes...
|| A lack of clarity in the movement
pattern particularly in relation to on / off ramps and one-way systems;
Lack of streetscape consistency and landscape amenity along
Figure 14.1 : Main Gateways
|| In recent years, a few important structures,
notably the Petronas Twin Towers and KL Tower, have been added which
have significantly altered the character of Kuala Lumpurs skyline.
However, the organic growth of Kuala Lumpur and particularly the recent
rapid growth and scattering of new urban development within the City
Centre has resulted in a city, which has no planned formal large-scale
|| Lack of planned formal large-scale
linkages in the city centre
|| The identified main visual corridors
and linkages within the City Centre together with its landmark buildings
are shown in Figure 14.2.
|| The linear nature of the old city
and its small-scale grid patterns have created some smaller view corridors
and axes. Generally, for the City Centre, the broader visual linkages
are not well developed.
|| Lack of broad visual linkages
in the City Centre.
|| A continuous network of open spaces
was envisaged by the KLSP 1984. Major open spaces were created by
linking together a network of smaller open spaces with river and drain
reserves. In addition to providing more landscaped open spaces, CHKL
has also successfully implemented a programme of tree planting along
major roads. However, there are still areas where the network is incomplete.
|| Incomplete green network.
spaces, nodes, plazas and parks
|| Apart from the larger scale metropolitan
parks and forest reserves, there are some plazas and smaller parks
such as Merdeka Square and the KLCC parklands that are major contributors
to the amenity of the City. However, there are many areas in the City
where there is a lack of such spaces especially within the City Centre,
district and neighbourhood centres.
|| Lack of urban parks and open
spaces in the City Centre, district and neighbourhood centres.
|| Places for informal civic uses and
cultural performances can help to bring life back onto the streets
and provide opportunities for street artistes to display their skills.
There are a few such places notably at Taman Titiwangsa and Jalan
Masjid India but generally, the facilities are inadequate and unsuitable.
Lack of informal places for civic and cultural uses in the
|| A major deficiency, especially in
the City Centre, is the lack of pedestrian linkages. Activities such
as unlicensed hawkers and vendors encroach into pedestrian walkways
while some buildings do not permit public access across their property
boundaries thus, leaving little or no space for pedestrian movement.
In recent years, there has been a gradual improvement in the provision
of pedestrian linkages in newer buildings but the shortcomings of
earlier development remain. Similarly, not many buildings provide
pedestrians with proper protection from the sun and rain.
Figure 14.2 : Visual linkages in the city centre
|| To overcome some of these problems,
a pedestrian network is progressively being implemented for the City
Centre intended to facilitate pedestrian movement at activity centres,
encourage transit usage and provide restraint to private vehicles
in certain areas by giving priority to pedestrian movement rather
than cars. In addition, footpath widening, landscape treatment including
tree planting, the provision of safer road crossings, the removal
of high kerb obstacles and other enhancement projects within the City
Centre have been initiated to facilitate and promote pedestrianisation.
|| Lack of legible pedestrian patterns;
Lack of continuity of pedestrian and open space linkages; and
General lack of amenity and provision for pedestrians.
|| Elsewhere, major road and rail infrastructure
has, in many places, effectively divided adjacent areas or neighbourhoods
that remain physically close but virtually inaccessible to each other.
Major road and rail infrastructure have disconnected links
between adjacent areas.
|| The main identity areas in the City
Centre are broadly defined as eight sectors, each with their own specific
characteristics. These areas have grown partly as a consequence of
natural landform, the hills and the river valleys and partly, as a
consequence of human intervention, notably the eastern area. The main
identity areas are indicated in Figure 14.3.
|| Over time, development has led to
a gradual deterioration in the definition of these identity areas.
In particular, new infrastructure such as roads and the LRT system
have not been sensitively integrated into established character areas.
Photo 14.2: The main identity areas in the City Centre are
broadly defined as eight sectors, each with their own specific characteristics.
|| Lack of definition of identity
Major new infrastructure which is not, in some instances, sensitively
integrated with the overall urban design pattern.
|| At present, the preservation and conservation
programme covers historic buildings and landmarks through the formulation
of policies and guidelines, evaluation of planning applications and
advice to developers, owners and agencies involved in conservation
works. The programme has been successful in preserving and conserving
important buildings, but the maintenance of the character of conservation
areas has been less successful.
Figure 14.3 : Urban character areas in the city centre
|| Deterioration in the character
of conservation areas.
|| The rapid recent growth of the City
has resulted in many exciting new developments with a wide range of
architectural expression. However, the developments have often been
insensitive to their context and have not integrated successfully
with the surroundings. This lack of harmony and awkward juxtaposition
of buildings is particularly noticeable at street level.
|| Many of the new high-rise buildings
also pay scant regard to the tropical climate or take appropriate
measures to conserve building energy. Architectural expression is,
with a few notable exceptions, neither evocative of Malaysias
cultural background nor its tropical environment.
|| Unsympathetic intrusion of new
developmentinto traditional character areas and the awkward juxtaposition
of new development in relation to each other and existing development;
Design of many new buildings is not sympathetic to the climate.
|| The KLSP 1984 formulated general policies
related to landscape, townscape and conservation which were generally
appropriate. However, implementation of these policies was limited
by the lack of follow-up instruments such as Local Plans as well as
urban design plans and development guidelines.
|| Absence of an overall urban
design framework and guidelines.
|| Currently there is no single body
with overall responsibility for devising or implementing urban design
policies. The responsibilities are variously divided among the architectural,
landscaping, conservation and urban transport departments.
Absence of a single body with overall responsibility for devising,
coordinating and implementing urban design policies.
|| To enhance the city living environment,
CHKL aims to:
create a memorable and highly imageable city which engenders
a strong sense of ownership and pride and gives appropriate expression
to its vision as A World-Class City;
create a city which is highly legible and comprehensible to
its users to enable more effective use of its facilities and a fuller
appreciation of its visual and other environmental qualities;
create an environment which is functional and liveable, safe,
clean, aesthetically pleasing and user friendly, offering a high level
of climatic comfort and sense of well being; and
create a city that is highly accessible for all its occupants
and users, in particular one that is pedestrian and handicapped friendly.
|| To create a distinctive city identity
and image for Kuala Lumpur, CHKL aims to:
create a Tropical Garden City sensitive to its natural site
and appropriate to its tropical regional location;
create an environment which is rich in its diversity of both
built and natural forms and spaces and in the range of inspirational,
visual and sensual experiences; and
create a city which conserves the best of its architectural
and cultural heritage and which offers a rich blend of both the modern
corridors and gateways
|| Prominent hills and landmark buildings
are the prime elements for the orientation and establishment of scale
within Kuala Lumpur. The major view corridors in the City relative
to hill and landmark buildings must be identified, preserved and enhanced.
|| Gateways are transitional zones on
the Citys perimeter that enhance the sense of arrival for those
entering the City. Similarly, vistas of the City, together with sequential
visual experiences along major road corridors leading towards the
City Centre, assist in orientation.
|UD 1 :
||CHKL shall ensure the protection
and enhancement of the Citys gateways and major vistas.
Photo 14.3: CHKL shall ensure the protection and enhancement
of the Citys gateways and major vistas.
|UD 2 :
||CHKL shall maintain and enhance
the character and sequence of visual experiences along the major
road corridors in particular those that focus on the City Centre.
|| The major road corridors need to be
enhanced and augmented by establishing new corridors, especially in
the City Centre, to further aid orientation.
|UD 3 :
||CHKL shall enhance the definition
of existing view corridors and where practicable establish new
corridors within the City Centre.
|| There are important views and vistas
from rail-based transportation, which enable passengers to appreciate
the City as they travel. These views are important as orientating
devices and also as a means of comprehending the City as a whole and
should therefore be preserved and enhanced.
|UD 4 :
||CHKL shall maintain and enhance
the sequence of orientating views from rail-based transport
|| The implementation of transport and
utility systems has not taken into account urban design considerations
and has adversely affected the appearance of some areas of the City.
|UD 5 :
||CHKL shall ensure that urban
design considerations are taken into account in the planning,
design and implementation of transportation and utility service
systems and structures.
|| The legibility of a city is very important
to help people orientate themselves both from within and outside the
city. Streetscape treatments that create memorable urban corridors
and nodal spaces can help to reinforce the basic legibility of the
road system. The treatment of roads and their frontages could include,
amongst other devices, the theming of planting, hardscape, street
furniture and signage. The pattern of major road linkages that will
provide greater coherence and legibility for the City Centre is shown
in Figure 14.4.
|UD 6 :
||CHKL shall implement measures
to improve the visual definition, continuity and streetscape
character of the major road network, to provide greater coherence
and legibility within the urban areas.
Landmarks and Building Heights
|| A distinctive skyline gives identity
to a major city. Landmark buildings that are instantly recognisable
and unique, further reinforce this identity. The City skyline and
landmarks serve not only as orientating devices but also impart a
sense of identity, belonging and pride to the people of Kuala Lumpur.
The skyline of the City Centre must be developed in a co-coordinated
way that avoids visual congestion and clutter while retaining and
enhancing important vistas and views of major landmarks (refer Figure
|UD 7 :
||CHKL shall ensure the retention
and enhancement of important views of the Citys skyline
and landmarks visible from urban centres and public open spaces
outside the City Centre.
|| Additional strategically located landmark
buildings or structures particularly in the south of Kuala Lumpur
will further help to accent the City Centre skyline and provide important
visual references from major view corridors.
|UD 8 :
||CHKL shall encourage the development
of additional major landmark buildings or complexes at key locations.
|| The height of buildings needs to be
controlled in certain critical areas of the City so as to protect
views of important landmarks, vistas and view corridors. Higher buildings
may be used to accent important nodal points and major entry/ arrival
zones, while other buildings should be scaled appropriately to harmonise
with existing traditional or proposed lower rise development or particular
special character precincts.
|UD 9 :
||CHKL shall control building
heights to ensure the visual primacy of certain designated areas
in the City Centre, the protection of special character areas
and the accenting of entry gateways and activity nodes.
|| The hills surrounding Kuala Lumpur
provide important visual backdrops to the City. The contrasting heavy
vegetation growth and landmark hills in Wangsa Maju, northern Setapak,
Damansara, Penchala and parts of Bukit Indah, Bandar Tun Razak and
Bukit Jalil need to be identified, enhanced and maintained by improved
definition, use and perception of their edges and slopes.
|UD 10 :
||CHKL shall ensure the retention
and enhancement of major treed areas and hill ridges as visual
backdrops, orientating elements and landscape amenity.
|| The continuous open space network
policy of the KLSP 1984 will be expanded and intensified. A framework
of landscaped connections utilizing road, rail and river corridors,
infrastructure and utility reserves, parks, plazas and widened landscaped
street verges will connect major parks and provide a focus for the
residential communities through which it passes (refer Figure 14.6).
|UD 11 :
||CHKL shall provide a continuous
green network of open spaces.
Figure 14.4 : Proposed streetscape in the city centre
Figure 14.5 : Proposed building height zone in the city centre
Figure 14.6 : Proposed green network
Photo 14.4: A framework of landscaped connections utilizing
road, rail and river corridors, utility reserves, parks, plazas and
widened landscaped street verges will connect major parks...
Space, Nodes, Plazas and Parks
|| Urban space, nodes, plazas and pocket
parks are important in providing identity, structure and landscape
amenity to the City. Some spaces such as pocket parks are passive
in nature and provide breathing spaces in the City while others such
as plazas can be more dynamic and mark major nodal activity areas
where there is a confluence of people. Additional parks and plazas
will be created in areas where there is a deficiency and which are
likely to be developed.
|UD 12 :
||CHKL shall develop pocket
parks and plazas in the City Centre and urban centres.
|| Places where informal cultural performances
can take place add to the richness of city living by bringing life
back onto the streets.
|UD 13 :
||CHKL shall provide and designate
places for informal civic and cultural use in the City Centre.
|| Certain areas, for example high-class
residential areas, have a predominantly wooded character. Development
within these areas must be carefully controlled to ensure that their
character is maintained. There are also small groups of isolated mature
trees occurring in many parts of the City that are landmarks in their
own right and which
must be preserved.
|UD 14 :
||CHKL shall retain and maintain
mature trees found in all areas and ensure that the character
of designated areas which have a preponderance of mature trees
Photo 14.5: ...plazas and pocket parks are important in providing
identity, structure and landscape amenity to the City.
|| Sungai Klang and Sungai Gombak provide
an opportunity to create a significant amenity, which also need to
be recognised as one of the symbolic element to the historical existence
of Kuala Lumpur. A comprehensive plan for the river corridors shall
be prepared to maximize their amenity value. The plan will incorporate
pedestrian walkways, cycle ways, pocket parks and other urban spaces
that connect to the green and pedestrian networks. Guidelines will
be formulated for development along the river corridors, together
with measures to make the rivers more attractive.
|UD 15 :
||CHKL shall designate river
corridors, implement measures to improve the amenity value of
the rivers and implement guidelines for developments within
or abutting the river corridors.
Photo 14.6: CHKL shall designate river corridors, implement
measures to improve the amenity value of the rivers...
|| The pedestrianisation policy will
be continued and extended in the City Centre and other urban centres
in a more comprehensive manner including creating pedestrian master
plans for new and existing areas. In the City Centre, two major pedestrian
networks are proposed which are illustrated in Figure 14.7. This system,
together with the road linkage opportunities indicated in Figure 14.4,
forms the pedestrian and landscape structure for the City Centre.
|| An urban street network using active
street frontages will link the existing major shopping areas together
with pedestrian linkages which are clearly identified, convenient
and enlivened by shops, restaurants, outdoor eating areas and tourist
activities. The urban network will include pedestrian malls inside
buildings linking activity nodes, transport stops and interchanges,
parks, plazas and historical areas to provide continuity of access
throughout the City.
|| A parallel green pedestrian
network, away from the main streets and utilising parts of the green
network (refer Figure 14.6); will provide slower paced and more informal
Photo 14.7: An urban network using active street frontages
will link the existing major shopping areas together with pedestrian
|| At a local precinct scale, these networks
will be integrated into a highly permeable system radiating from the
existing and proposed transit interchanges and terminals and activity
|| Within this overall structure, landscaping
and the design of street and park furniture will be themed and varied
to give character and emphasis to the various linkages and elements
of the system.
|| The handicapped and the aged must
be able to negotiate the pedestrian network with relative ease. The
use of drop kerbs, ramps, textured surfaces and other devices will
be extended throughout the pedestrian network. CHKL will ensure that
new development connected to the pedestrian network also incorporate
|UD 16 :
||CHKL shall designate and implement
pedestrian friendly street networks and green pedestrian networks
within the City Centre, urban centres, major activity nodes
and areas surrounding transit nodes which also cater for the
needs of the aged and the handicapped.
Figure 14.7 : Proposed pedestrian linkages in the city centre
|| Shelter from the sun and rain must
be provided wherever possible and in particular, in areas of high
pedestrian activity and around transit stations. Such protective shelters
need to be fully integrated into the general streetscape.
|UD 17 :
||CHKL shall construct a system
of continuous covered walkways linking major activity centres
in the City and in areas of high pedestrian activity.
|| In areas separated by major road or
rail infrastructure, pedestrian connections will be provided at key
crossover points selected to be of greatest benefit to the residents
on both sides. Such connections must be comfortable, attractive and
properly designed to provide shelter from the sun and rain and be
easily accessible to all users.
|UD 18 :
||CHKL shall ensure the adequate
provision of pedestrian connections where major road or rail
infrastructure has disconnected linkages between adjacent areas.
|| The character and distinctiveness
of districts and local precincts are important in providing interest,
texture and structure to the urban form as well as increasing the
sense of belonging. This character can result from particular activities
or from attractive historic, cultural, architectural, landscape or
|| Areas with an attractive character
and strong sense of identity must be maintained and enhanced and,
where practicable, other areas are upgraded to provide an improved
sense of identity and place. Within the City Centre in particular,
there is a rich diversity of identity areas and it is important that
these should be knit together into a vibrant, coherent and highly
imageable city form.
|UD 19 :
||CHKL shall define, conserve
and enhance distinctive identity areas in the City Centre, district
and local precincts.
|| Preservation and conservation of the
best of the Citys architectural and cultural heritage will be
continued so as to retain the diversity and distinctiveness of the
different ethnic precincts. Conservation guidelines will be extended
to cover new development in the vicinity of conservation areas to
make sure that it is complementary in scale and character (refer Figure
|UD 20 :
||CHKL shall designate the conservation
of areas, places, landscapes and structures of historical and
architectural value and significance, and ensure that all developments
in their vicinity are sympathetic in form, scale and character.
|| The architecture of a city can tell
much about its climate as well as its people and their values. While
urban design and planning provides the framework for the city, its
buildings are the dominant physical presence. The architecture of
Kuala Lumpur should not only reflect its technological and global
aspirations but also its tropical location by responding in meaningful
ways to the need to provide comfort both inside and outside and to
be energy efficient. Buildings should also be responsive to the built
and natural environment and contribute positively to the urban landscape.
|UD 21 :
||CHKL shall ensure a high standard
of architectural design appropriate to the Citys regional
tropical setting and sympathetic to the built and natural context.
Figure 14.8 : Proposed historical zone in the city centre
|| The Malay Reservation Areas, traditional
kampungs and new villages are areas with a distinctive history, culture
and ethnic composition. New development and improvement initiatives
should reflect the special status of these areas in the fabric of
the City by incorporating design elements that are reflective of their
|UD 22 :
||CHKL shall ensure that the
redevelopment of Malay Reservation Areas, traditional kampungs
and New Villages incorporate design elements that are reflective
of their historical and traditional character.
|| A complete urban design framework
for the whole of Kuala Lumpur with particular reference to the City
Centre and other urban centres will be formulated. This framework
will form the basis for a comprehensive set of urban design guidelines
to direct improvement initiatives and future development in the City.
|| As urban design will assume a new
significance in the planning and design of the City, it is appropriate
that a special administrative body is formed with the purpose of coordinating
with all related internal and external departments.
|UD 23 :
||CHKL shall draw up an Urban
Design Framework together with a comprehensive set of Urban
Design Guidelines to ensure public safety and health and designate
a body responsible for implementation and coordination with
other relevant authorities.