THE Low-Carbon Cities Framework (LCCF) serves as the driving force for sustainability at the national level to meet Malaysia’s greenhouse gas or carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction.
National targets have been set, with big picture dates like the Wawasan 2020 for a total reduction of 40% of CO2 emission intensity. As green buildings, based on Green Building Index (GBI), hit the 100 million sq ft mark, we ask ourselves can we do more for our communities to give a better sense of well-being.
Local government authorities too are asking if we can provide better liveable cities with safer neighbourhoods for our new and old communities in urban and suburban centres.
In just a decade, our population has grown from 23 million to 29 million, a 25% increase. The current CO2 emission is at approximately 7.07t per capita and electricity consumption at 93.8 GWh as a nation.
With 70% of our population moving to urban centres and periphery suburbs, it is imperative that we converge mobility and our land use planning to work far more succinctly.
The Kuala Lumpur landscape has changed tremendously in the past 20 years due to rapid urbanisation and construction.
The transformation plan to increase public transportation networks in the next six years comes only too urgently, enabling 50% of all trips in the Klang Valley to be done on public transport by 2020, up from the current 17%. Klang Valley RT Lines 2 and Lines 3 will increase the connectivity of the greater Klang Valley to the suburbs.
Kuala Lumpur and Selangor will need to turn and refocus on ways to reconnect pedestrian life, regenerate and in some cases repair the city’s sense of place, to be a garden city it once was. Putrajaya, Cyberjaya, and Bandar Iskandar are adopting as new cities with the Low Carbon Society framework, Malacca is working on its own Low Carbon Framework model too.
At the working level of new and old townships, it is natural and practical to adopt GBI’s Township Tool rating system because it incorporates the national concerns of the LCCF framework and Town Planning Neighbourhood guidelines.
The necessity to address urban and suburban developments, beyond individual buildings, at scales larger than 20 acres in the forms of townships is in direct response to the types of larger developments usually seen only in Malaysia.
These will then be related back to the Malaysia’s big picture objectives of reducing CO2 emission intensity from energy, infrastructure, water management, waste and transportation with increased green lungs. At the very least, the target is to reduce present CO2 emissions by 20% in all these five main sectors at a certification level.
In Malaysia, there are four projects that received the GBI certification — Sunway Integrated Resort City at a scale of 738 acres, KENRimba at 60 acres, TunRazak Exchange at 70 acres and Canal City 1,879 acres.
Only two of these projects are at the initial planning stage and are therefore able to set more comprehensive targets.
The planning takes into consideration and adoption of features from the following six main green township criteria — climate, energy and water, environment and ecology, community planning and design, transportation and connectivity, building and resources and business and innovation
GBI’s Township Tool adopts qualitative measures of sustainability captured under the environment, ecology, community planning and transportation and connectivity to encourage a better or increased balance of these factors in the design and development of our cities.