A TIMELY StarMetro report on Oct 4 titled “Once-popular Section 14 food court in gloomy state” showed how the popular place near Jaya Shopping Centre, Petaling Jaya, had become shabby and poorly maintained.
This reflects the poor state of town planning for Section 14.
As residents, we would like to share some practical ideas on how to rejuvenate strategic assets in Section 14.
Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) should conduct feasibility studies to assess the financial, environmental and social aspects of refurbishing the food court.
MBPJ also needs to conduct a thorough assessment of Section 14’s other strategic assets like public spaces and infrastructure that require revitalisation as many stalls and small retail businesses have closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The council should identify key stakeholders to revitalise the area.
To accomplish all the tasks, the council should collaborate with architects, urban planners and designers.
Since Section 13 is being developed, why not invite funding options from philanthropic organisations or form public-private partnerships to revitalise old buildings?
During the planning and implementation phase, MBPJ should ensure the approved revitalisation plan has clear outcomes, and schedules and budgets are adhered to.
There should be clear themes for the new food court. Once it has been refurbished, mechanisms should be put in place to continuously gather feedback from residents and community groups.
Feedback should also be sought from vendors who declined to be located at the food court, to determine how the building’s conditions can be improved to make it more attractive.
MBPJ should also develop a long-term maintenance plan to keep the food court open.
Another problem in Section 14 is the lack of parking lots. MBPJ should take a holistic approach by seeking input on how public transport and parking issues can be improved.
As residents and ratepayers, we are not against development. However, we want to see prime locations maximised and assets maintained.
It’s frustrating when our concerns are ignored and there is no feedback from the city council and assemblymen.
We hope city planners will ensure that Section 14’s strategic assets will be revitalised to add liveability. This will benefit the community.
EDDY TAN and MICHAEL KUM