indepth

An oasis amidst KL city's skyscrapers

Situated right at the doorsteps of Suria KLCC shopping centre and the world-famous Petronas Twin Towers, the 60-acre KLCC Park or Taman KLCC certainly holds its own as one of the most iconic landmarks in Kuala Lumpur.

Its lush greenery, undulating pedestrian walkways, coupled with attractive water features, make up a green oasis in the midst of skyscrapers.

During weekdays, the park offers the workers from the surrounding offices some calm respite from the stress at work but come weekends, the park is a hive of activity as families gather to enjoy the great outdoors, right in the heart of the city.

The 22-year-old urban park has successfully won the people’s approval and has been accorded the Editor’s Choice Exemplary Contribution to the Nation title at the second EdgeProp Malaysia’s Best Managed Property Awards recently. The park also emerged as the Gold winner in the Specialised category (above 10 years) of the Awards.

The accolades follow the success of Petronas Twin Towers, which won the Gold and Editor’s Choice awards at the inaugural Awards last year. This year, besides KLCC Park, Menara 3 Petronas also bagged Gold in the below 10 years mixed development (entire) category. All the winning projects are managed by KLCC Urusharta Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of KLCC Property Holdings Bhd (KLCC Property). The park is owned by the Federal Land Commissioner and leased to KLCC Property’s subsidiary, KLCC Park Sdn Bhd.

KLCC Property Group CEO Datuk Hashim Wahir tells EdgeProp.my that KLCC Park is key to the overall KLCC development, which includes the office towers, mall and KL Convention Centre, simply because the entire development of KLCC was envisioned as a garden city of lights (bandar cahaya).

“This park is a gift to the community. Not only does it serve as a green lung in the bustling city, but it is also where people could enjoy at leisure, be it a place to meet up or just to enjoy some fresh air,” says Hashim, who is also KLCC Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Management Sdn Bhd’s CEO. He himself exercises at the park at least once a week while taking the opportunity to do some spot checks as well.

Indeed, a number of KLCC Property staff and people who work around the area come as early as 6am or in the evening either to jog or take a stroll in the park.

KLCC Park is also a popular venue for national celebrations, such as the National Day and New Year countdowns. During such events, the park will see 80,000-strong crowds.

“Close to 60% of the 106-acre development has been allocated for the park. It was undeniably a cautious decision as it was the most valuable piece of land in the capital city,” offers Hashim, as he gazes down at the park from the 52nd-floor of one of the twin towers.

Designed by the late Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx — who was also a naturalist, ecologist, artist and musician — the 60-acre urban park was to showcase the country’s heritage of tropical flora. Hence, a total of 1,900 indigenous trees and 66 species of palms were planted while about 60 trees at the original site — which was once home to the Selangor Turf Club — were transplanted to the park.

The main attractions of the park are undoubtedly the water features such as the children’s wading pool, the water cascades and the colourful symphony fountain that never fails to draw a crowd when it comes on. There is also a 2-acre children’s playground, a popular spot for families.

All the elements of the park when combined echo the landscape architect’s design objective — “to leave the world a little more sensitive and a little more educated about the importance of nature”.

Fresh, clean and safe

It costs millions of ringgit a year to maintain the park and close to half of that is spent on the infrastructure as well as on security and safety.

Hashim notes that the management’s main challenge is to ensure that the park constantly looks fresh and vibrant. Towards this end, a high level of cleanliness is maintained at every inch of the park, including the toilets.

“Cleanliness is a tough task for a park that caters to the public and is open from 6am to 10pm, with an average footfall of around 20,000 people daily,” he says.

To ensure good hygiene and safety, routine checks on the park facilities and water quality (chlorine level) are carried out daily.

As for security, a police beat base has been set up at the park while close to 40 security guards carry out 24-hour patrols. On top of that, the management also uses an integrated security system that includes a security control room, CCTV, uninterrupted power supply and a digital video recording and management system.

In future, Hashim reveals that KLCC Park is set to become a smart park as it will adopt the Internet of Things to enhance the facilities as well as the safety and environment-friendly (energy savings) aspects of the park.

“We are excited to be chosen as one of the best in the country. We take pride in that as it is a testimony of our commitment. We have a clear philosophy in managing our assets and that is to maintain KLCC Park in pristine condition. We are doing this not because of awards, but for the benefit of our tenants and the community,” he says.

This story first appeared in EdgeProp.my pullout on May 11, 2018. Download EdgeProp.my pullout here for free.

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