RECREATIONAL HUB:City folk will be able to relax at sidewalk cafes and galleries, and enjoy water activities
IN two years' time, city folk will be able to unwind at a riverfront esplanade along the Klang river in the Masjid Jamek area, after a hard day's work.
Aecom urban planning design senior associate director Rahul Mittal said work to beautify the Masjid Jamek area under the River of Life (ROL) project had already begun.
He said once the project had been completed, city folk would be able to chill out at sidewalk cafes and galleries, and enjoy water activities such as boating and canoeing.
"The idea behind the project is to not only beautify the river, but also to turn the area into a place for city folk to head for to relax," he said at the Aecom Smart Cities Symposium.
Rahul said Precint 7 (Masjid Jamek area) was one of the 11 precincts under the 10.7km ROL project, which would be developed into a riverfront esplanade.
The other precincts are Titiwangsa, Pekeliling, Putra World Trade Centre, the Sime Darby loop, Dang Wangi, Raja Laut, Masjid Jamek, KL Railway Station, Brickfields, KL Sentral and Seputeh.
Besides transforming the area into a recreational hub, Rahul said they were also looking into enhancing the safety and security.
"We will put up lighthouses along the river which can house galleries, information centres and police beat bases," he said.
Rahul said the rehabilitation of the river would be done in stages and would take up to 10 years to complete.
"There are 42 agencies involved in the river rehabilitation project.
"The river water quality will be rehabilitated to class IIb, suitable for body contact and recreation, from the current classes III to V which are not suitable for body contact," he said.
Aecom associate principal and landscape architecture design director Jason Zlotkowski said there would be many activities in the area.
"We want to have cultural shows, concerts, sculptures and create a heritage trail."
Zlotkowski said they were also working on how to blend the heritage buildings with the new developments.
"The heritage buildings along the riverfront will be retained. We are looking at refurbishing the surrounding buildings and maintaining the heritage decor," said Zlotkowski.
He added that the key focus was to get city folk to go to the area to enjoy its attractions.
"We want to bring people to the riverfront area.
"We want to make the area accessible so that they can cycle from Brickfields to Masjid Jamek. These things are in our master plan. We hope to achieve all this by the stipulated date," he said.
ROL, which was launched last year, is an entry point project under the Greater KL/Klang Valley New Key Economic Areas.
The project is aimed at revitalising the Klang and Gombak rivers into vibrant and livable waterfronts with high economic value.