THE best way to travel and get a feel for any city is on foot.
That is when you can see and appreciate every aspect of an area including the finer details it has to offer.
With that in mind, Putrajaya is gearing up to make walking and cycling in its city a distinctly pleasant experience.
Perbadanan Putrajaya (PPj) corporate communications director Tengku Aina Tengku Ismail Shah said improvement in infrastructure for pedestrians was underway, which also supported the city’s aim of reducing its carbon footprint.
“Putrajaya, being a well-planned city with much greenery and architectural beauty, is appealing as it is.
“Twenty-five years on, we are looking at adding better features to accentuate and create meaning in available spaces as well as incorporate some of the country’s cultural heritage and identity,” she said.
“A simple walk in the park can be an educational one, especially for families with small children.
“A number of lighted sculptures have also been planned to be built in people-centred areas.
“Polyhedron sculptures will be built at the PPj complex grounds. It will be made with laser-cut stainless steel plates inspired by Islamic patterns and geometry, with LED light on the inside that will cast a beautiful shadow under the night sky.
“Other sculptures include a sun dial at Kiblat Walk near Masjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin.
“This is aimed to enhance the Kiblat Walk with Islamic aesthetics incorporating Islamic history, science, arts and knowledge.
“Two more sculptures are planned near the Millennium Monument, which are a hibiscus and wau.
“These national symbols will be aptly placed near the hibiscus-inspired monument, which carries the history of the country and Rukun Negara,” she said.
“It’s for visitor interaction and provides a good spot for photo opportunities,” she added.
Walk and cycle with ease
For those unfamiliar with the city, directional signage with maps and information panels will be placed along walkways to guide pedestrians to key landmarks.
Tengku Aina said about 20 buildings have been identified and the ones with stories and values behind them would have QR codes, which visitors could scan to find out more. “Benches will be constructed along the walking trails on the lake side for those on foot to take a breather and soak in the scenic view of the city.
“Much thought was put into the design of the benches.
“There will be modular, pebble-shaped and concrete benches, to suit the ambiance at the lakeside.
“Rain shelters will be built at several spots in Precincts 2 and 4.
“All these plans are expected to be completed by the end of the year,” Tengku Aina said.
Besides that, she said cycling was also being encouraged, with an 18km bicycle lane undergoing testing phase and cycling hub Pit-stop@Anjung Floria planned at Precinct 4 to be completed.
The Putrajaya Fountain was unveiled last October. It can be seen at Precincts 1 and 8.
The fountain water can rise to 80m but Tengku Aina said the Putrajaya Fountain is not just a fountain.
It doubles as a water destratification system to aerate stagnant water in the lake and increase its oxygen content, to avoid water pollution.
Hub for sports
Putrajaya is well known for hosting international and national events.
For example, the Putrajaya lake has been the location of international water sports events, the Equestrian Park was the venue for endurance sports during the SEA Games as well as touch rugby and others.
With the development of a government administrative centre nearing completion, the city’s administration is looking at improving its sporting facilities, with projects of international standard in the pipeline, namely a football stadium and rugby stadium.
Tengku Aina said the Asean Football Federation, Asean Football Confederation and Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop Sultan Ahmad Shah Football City in Precinct 5.
“Football City will be home to a 10,000-seat stadium and FAM headquarters, for the national team and the public’s use.
City of gardens, bridges and lights
Putrajaya was built based on a “city in the garden” concept, where 38% of its area is made up of green spaces, including a 600ha man-made lake and 12 parks.
Tengku Aina said of the many parks, the most visited were Putrajaya Wetlands Park, Putrajaya Botanical Park and Taman Saujana Hijau.
“But all our parks have their own unique attractions.
“Visitors will only know if they explore every nook and corner.
“For example, there’s a pebble beach in Taman Wawasan.
“Walk along the jogging trail and you will see coconut trees lining the area approaching the beach. There is a gazebo to rest and relax,” she said.
The streetlights in Putrajaya are decorated according to themes besides providing illumination for night visitors out on leisure walks.
“Not many know that much thought went into the design of the streetlights.
“Selected roads have streetlights with specific themes such as fauna, torch, wau, keris and flora,” she added.
With the city having many waterways, there are nine unique bridges crossing them in total.
Seri Saujana Bridge is a favourite with photographers. It is built using cutting-edge technology and the first in the world to combine arch and cable-stayed structure systems.
Other favourites include Seri Gemilang Bridge with gold and black trimmings modelled after Pont Alexandre III in Paris, single-span cable-stayed Seri Wawasan Bridge that looks like a sailboat in full flight as well as Putra Bridge, which is inspired by the Khaju Bridge in Isfahan, Iran.
These iconic bridges and buildings have one thing in common — they are decked out in spectacular lights.
On important dates such as National Day and Federal Territories Day, the city will see these buildings and bridges come to life at night.