The Nature, Functions, and Management of Urban Green Space in Kuala Lumpur

Mohd Yusof, Mohd Johari, & Rakhshandehroo, Mehdi

Yusof, M., & Rakhshandehroo, M. (2016). THE NATURE, FUNCTIONS, AND MANAGEMENT OF URBAN GREEN SPACE IN KUALA LUMPUR. Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, 33(4), 347-360.


As Malaysia's population continues to grow and becomes more concentrated in urban areas, the important benefits of urban green spaces to the environment, the economy, and the health and well-being of city residents become even more significant in counterbalancing some of the negative effects of the country's urban development. With this concern in mind, the authors designed a social survey for urban planners and landscape architects in Kuala Lumpur to identify and study their views on the nature, roles, and benefits of urban green spaces; the problems associated with protecting urban green spaces in Kuala Lumpur; and the attributes of green spaces they thought were most important when considering how much priority a particular green space should be given for preservation. Kuala Lumpur provides a particularly interesting case study as a rapidly growing city in a developing country with a tropical climate - a context in which there has been relatively little research on urban green space, despite the importance of shade in very hot climates. In addition, Kuala Lumpur has experienced a great loss of green space in recent decades, both on its periphery from urban expansion and around the city center from the drive (fueled by economic growth) to use central land more intensively.

Main finding
The study found that most respondents associated the idea of a garden city with Ebenezer Howard (1902) and with green and/or open space even though Howard's original concept of a garden city made no explicit requirement for green space in its definition. A third of the respondents associated tree planting with the idea a garden city and approximately half the respondents connected the idea of green spaces with environmental and ecological benefits, especially reducing the effects of pollution and alleviating the adverse effects of the built environment on local climate. Other considerations were social and health benefits as well as aesthetic value of green spaces. The respondents aspired for improved quality of life through this initiative but also noted the need for preservation/conservation and maintenance of this green space through stronger laws and regulations. Currently the pressure to develop is resulting in the loss of green space and directly contradicts the idea of a garden city in Kuala Lumpur.

Description of method used in the article
This research was focused on investigating the nature of green space in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It used a social survey to seek opinions from professionals (n=41/urban planners and landscape architects) about the roles, functions, benefits, and management of green spaces in the city's aspiration to be accepted as a garden city.

Theoretically interesting

Organising categories

Other or N/A
Urban Design
Physical types
Other Parks/Gardens
Geographic locations