SOFIAN Abdullah, 30, and his wife Mona Sulaiman, 28, just got married and are planning on starting a family.
As both work in Kuala Lumpur, the couple are looking to buy property that is not only affordable, but also not too far away from their place of work and has all the amenities they require for raising children.
They are keen on buying an apartment in a new development in Cheras. The project is estimated to be completed by 2023.
But they are concerned that the neighbourhood, although ideal for now, might become too crowded and congested in the future.
They want to ensure that the current facilities such as a playground and football field will still be there in 10 years’ time for their future children to play in, the wet market that is walking distance from their home will not be replaced by commercial development and traffic jams in the area will not go from bad to worse.
These are genuine concerns of the majority of people who are living and working in Kuala Lumpur and seeking reliable information about the future of their homes and city.
For these reasons, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) is calling ratepayers to actively participate in engagement sessions next year to provide feedback once the local authority starts drafting the Kuala Lumpur 2040 Development Plan (KL2040DP).
KL2040DP, for the period of 2020 to 2040, is aimed at propelling Kuala Lumpur to a sustainable and liveable city.
“KL2040DP is a strategic plan mapping the city’s growth in the long term and if it is followed properly, the city will grow in a sustainable, systematic way, ” said DBKL Advisor on Planning Datuk Mahadi Che Ngah.
“It guides city planners on the sustainable use of land to overcome issues of urbanisation by managing land use on the basis that the needs of the present are met without compromising the needs of Kuala Lumpur’s future residents, ” Mahadi said.
“So the KL2040DP will tell us what Kuala Lumpur is going to look like in 2040, ” he added.
Instead of relying on information from a sales brochure or realtors and developers, residents will be able to make decisions based on the KL2040DP.
“DBKL will start preparations on the new city plan for the next two decades early next year, ” Mahadi said.
“Our main focus is city planning, plot ratio and population density as well as ways to resolve traffic congestion, carbon emissions and climate change, ” he added.
As such, with the KL2040DP, Kuala Lumpur residents such as Sofian and Mona can obtain important information on the future development of the neighbourhood they plan to live in.
Mahadi explained that the Development Plan contained two main plans, the Structure Plan and the Local Plan.
Unlike the KL Structure Plan which is about strategies and policies, he said the KL Local Plan was more detailed and translated what was in the structure plan on a micro level.
“For example, let’s take Bangsar South. If the structure plan says Bangsar South is going to be the next employment centre of the city, the local plan will show details such as land use and zoning.
“The plan will show if a particular plot of land is meant for commercial or mixed-use, industrial, residential, open space, institution or special use, ” said Mahadi.
“It will provide guidelines and also show the intensity of land use so residents can determine from the plan what is allowed or not allowed (to be built) on the land and how high a building can go, ” he added.
City residents will have an idea what’s allowed in their neighbourhood and they can not only plan for their future but also participate in ensuring that there are no infringements on land use.
“From the plan, you can find out if a car workshop is allowed to operate in your area or if the kindergarten behind your house is allowed to be there or not, ” he said.
Even past developments can be addressed in the coming plan.
Mahadi assured that they could and would be addressed in the new plan.
“It opens up the possibility of rezoning and redevelopment of dilapidated areas and upgrading of infrastructure in the city as well as policies to regulate future development in an area.”
Mahadi elaborated that while the plan contained detailed provisions with regard to land use, it is intended for use by all stakeholders, from residents and property owners to developers and the community, for the assessment of all planning and development applications in the city.
He added that the plan also contributed to the growth and character of Kuala Lumpur as well as improvements to the natural and built environment, transportation and public facilities.
“Participatory governance is what we want to achieve, to get the people to provide feedback.
“It is part of the new urban agenda that we have adopted from the United Nations, whereby we pledge to ensure that ‘no one is left behind.”
“So we want everyone from the youth and senior citizens to the physically challenged to study the plan, look at the area you live in and give your feedback and highlight the shortcomings in your neighbourhood, ” Mahadi said.
For KL2040DP, community feedback will be obtained via public engagements, focus group discussions and town hall sessions. The public can also email their views to firstname.lastname@example.org or through the Facebook page “Pelan Pembangunan Kuala Lumpur 2040.
Meanwhile, on the Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 (KLCP2020) which was gazetted in October 2018, DBKL has received several applications to amend the permissible land use, zoning and intensity of development from landowners and developers.
“At the same time, we are also encouraging the public to participate in our efforts to modify the current plan.
“Soon, the draft local plan will be out for public scrutiny and the public can give their opinion, ” said Mahadi.
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