• Universiti Putra Malaysia’s Faculty of Design and Architecture dean, Associate Prof Dr Suhardi Maulan: We can no longer look at these open and green areas as a place for recreation and leisure (only), but it needs to be integrated into a green infrastructure that can be used to reduce natural disasters,”

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 29): The planning and creation of green infrastructures in urban areas should be given emphasis in Budget 2023, which will be tabled on Oct 7.

Universiti Putra Malaysia’s Faculty of Design and Architecture dean, Associate Prof Dr Suhardi Maulan, said the development of open and green areas is important to make a city more resilient, in line with Malaysia’s goal to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“These open and green areas will bring great benefit to the city’s residents, thus, play an important role in the planning of a healthy and liveable city.

“So, we can no longer look at these open and green areas as a place for recreation and leisure (only), but it needs to be integrated into a green infrastructure that can be used to reduce natural disasters,” he told Bernama.

Therefore, he said, in an effort to increase, protect and conserve open and green areas, the focus should also be given to the capacity building of experts such as landscape architects in ensuring the sustainability of the city.

“We do not want existing or future open and green areas to be ignored and not well maintained. Therefore, we need to have a budget for capacity building to train and appoint those who are experts in the field to take care of these areas so that the objectives set are achieved,” he said.

Meanwhile, Universiti Teknologi Mara’s College of Built Environment assistant vice-chancellor Prof Dr Jamanlunlaili Abdullah suggested that Budget 2023 also focus on the construction of infrastructure for the purpose of generating economic activities that provide jobs.

He said the existing commercial areas in towns can still accommodate business activities, but the same development can be done in suburban areas to balance the growing population.

“We cannot achieve urban wellbeing if residents do not have a source of income or a job. This is because job security, stable finances, health and social are important factors to a person’s survival.

“In addition, the urban renewal concept that focuses on the recovery of cities that have deteriorated, or the image of a dead city, is also important to stimulate economic activities and at the same time breathe new life into an old area,” he said.

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