A brighter future for our parks

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 29 Jul 2018

Well taken care of: Rotina says Bukit Kiara Park is a good example as visitors appreciate the space and reprimand others if they litter.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian parks may soon be rated on how clean, green and well-maintained they are for users.

Similar to the Health Ministry grading restaurants for cleanliness, the National Landscape Department is trying to introduce a scoring system for parks.

“It is currently being drawn up by MyParks (Malaysia Park, Amenity and Recreation Management Society).

“We will present the proposal to the Housing and Local Government Ministry for approval next year,” said department deputy director-­general (development) Rotina Mohd Daik in an interview.

While the plan is still in the works, she said the idea was to assess each park and display the score at the park’s entrance.

“The better the park’s condition, the more ‘flowers’ they will get in their rating.

“If four flowers are given, it means an excellent rating,” Rotina said, adding that for now, the department was mulling that the “flower” symbol be shaped like a hibiscus, after Malaysia’s national flower.

She said a pilot project would be conducted for the rating system once it takes off.

The proposed grading system, to assess local parks measuring 8.09ha and above, is meant to promote more sustainable and quality parks, with thoughtful designs, construction and maintenance that are able to restore and preserve the environment.

And with it, Rotina hoped local authorities will be encouraged to upgrade and maintain parks in their areas based on the system’s criteria.

As of last year, there were 6,215 urban green spaces in Malaysia in­­clu­ding public parks, playgrounds, play lots and fields.

There are plans to develop 100 more public parks nationwide in the next five years, subject to budget allocation, said Rotina.

The department also wants to conduct a study on the level of user-­friendliness in parks for children, the elderly and disabled next year.

Another move the department is considering is to have park rangers for urban parks with areas exceeding over 80.9ha.

She added that art elements such as sculptures should also be inclu­ded in designing future parks.

“Ideally, such art elements should also be functional, like artistically-­designed playground equipment. This will create more aesthetic surroundings for the public,” she said.

But ultimately, the department wants the public to value and take ownership of such public assets.

“A good example is the Bukit Kiara Park, where visitors appre­ciate the space and reprimand other­s if they litter.

“We need to develop that kind of spirit and drive in our society,” Rotina said.

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