Go green and blue in urban planning

LETTERS: EFFORTS to stop or reduce physical development and focus on developing green and blue infrastructure in Kuala Lumpur are urgent approaches in urban management to overcome global threats such as climate change, population growth and ecological imbalance.

Physical development indirectly disturbs and changes the natural physical condition, which has a profound effect on natural environment, leading to flash floods and landslides in certain places.

Green development, such as public parks and green open spaces, helps absorb carbon dioxide, reduces the effects of global warming and improves ecological balance.

Green open spaces provide a place to grow plants that can clean the air, produce additional oxygen and filter pollution.

Blue infrastructure, such as rain buffer systems, ponds, and artificial lakes, reduces flooding, increases rainwater absorption and maintains urban water resources.

Green and blue spaces provide recreational areas for city dwellers, improving urban comfort and mental health. They also preserve biological diversity by keeping habitats for urban flora and fauna.

This can boost the local economy, creating new jobs in the service, landscape and conservation sectors.

In addition, beautified areas encourage social interaction and strengthen community bonds, in line with the development of the smart city concept.

Using technology to manage water, energy and transportation resources improves efficiency, reduces waste and makes cities more environmentally friendly and efficient.

Green and blue development can provide opportunities to increase the population's awareness of environmental issues. Education programmes and awareness campaigns can be introduced to involve local communities, making them partners in sustainability efforts.

They can also improve group mobility through pedestrian paths, bicycle crossings and good public transport facilities to encourage residents to abandon private vehicles, reduce road congestion, and support a clustered lifestyle.

Beautiful green areas and innovative blue infrastructure can give a unique identity to a city, creating additional economic opportunities through the tourism and service sectors.

Green and blue-focused development also involves efficient waste management, helping to reduce the environmental impact of rubbish and promote a composting lifestyle.

This approach brings many benefits, but finding a good balance between development and environmental preservation is essential.

Smart and sustainable management needs to be applied to ensure that urban growth does not damage the environment but instead improves residents' quality of life and the environment's sustainability.

Coordination between local government policies and community needs is important in realising sustainable development.

Shifting focus to green and blue development requires collaboration between stakeholders, including government, the private sector and local communities.

This will help Kuala Lumpur or any other city be an example of a sustainable city through a combination of economic growth and environmental preservation.

Emphasising on green and blue development in urban planning and design can bring a lasting positive impact in the long term.

This is in view of 2050 being called the urban century, as an estimated 2.4 billion people will be living in cities, worldwide.


Department of Landscape Architecture

International Islamic University Malaysia

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times

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