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Unaffordable housing, population migration the main challenges for KL city planners

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 20): Housing prices beyond affordability and population out-migration are two main challenges of Kuala Lumpur’s city planning, according to Executive Director of Planning Department at Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) Nurazizi Mokhtar.

“Housing is always a major challenge for many cities around the world. Currently, KL has a potential to accommodate 1.7 million people based on existing housing stock and household size,” he said in his session entitled “Kuala Lumpur Toward 2040” during the 11th International Conference on World Class Sustainable Cities 2019 (WCSC 2019).

He noted that the majority of the recently added housing stocks are the higher end ones. Hence, the inability for people to afford houses has led to the second challenge, which is population out-migration.

Net migration out of KL was 37,700 people between 2015 and 2016, with a majority moving to Selangor.

Furthermore, he said the increase of temperature in the city due to climate change, is also another challenge.

“With the continued increase in population and development, KL is also expected to be pressured on land use planning,” he added.

“DBKL has started to prepare a draft structure plan for Kuala Lumpur 2040 early-2018. Since then, the draft has gone through a series of stakeholders’ engagement,” he said, adding that once it is completed, it will be opened for public viewing and suggestion.

A city for all

“The vision for KL Structure Plan 2040 is ‘City for All’, which aspire a prosperous, healthy, safe and thriving city that offers high-quality living, affordable, innovative, vibrant, inclusive, low carbon, clean and green, as well as sustainable environment,” he elaborated.

The ‘City for All’ vision is supported by six goals, Nurazizi disclosed. The goals are ‘innovative and productive’, ‘inclusive and just’, ‘healthy and vibrant’, ‘climate smart and low carbon’, ‘efficient and eco-friendly mobility’, as well as ‘integrated and sustainable development’.

Some of the efforts include having a balanced physical and land use development, enhancing public transportations and improving accessibility to green parks. Another effort is the utilization of space in an optimum manner such as mixed development, multipurpose spaces, co-working spaces that allow integration between workplace and place of living.

“These goals have been set up to ensure that KL achieves all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he added. The SDGs, also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015.

“With a comprehensive planning framework and an efficient and effective city governance supported by the citizens, Kuala Lumpur aims to be a city for all by 2040,” he concluded.

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