Creating the Essence of Cities – A Case on PutraJaya

This is another post i imported from my previous blog as a result of high google searched item. Hope this helps. Post was up during my 1st year, which is also a year plus before this so take mind that opinions may have derived. Thanks.

Being drawn into the thinking mind of Town Planning recently, thanks to our HBP 1st year Final Semester Assignment, about the development planning for Tasik Harapan & Aman. I was drawn into knowing more about Putrajaya Planning, again by googling, i landed on this awesome article. Creating the Essence of cities-The Planning & Development of Malaysia’s New Federal Administrative Of Malaysia’s New Federal Administrative Capital, PUTRAJAYA, by the director of City Planning Department, Putrajaya Corporation, Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John.

Intro, some basic stuff you need to know about Putrajaya. It’s located south of Kuala Lumpur, serves as the federal administrative centre of Malaysia. The government was shifted in 1999 from Kuala Lumpur due to the overcrowd. Still, Kuala Lumpur remains as Malaysia’s National Capital as well as the Country’s commercial and financial centre. The intention for Putrajaya came by Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad. In 2001, Putrajaya was officially a Federal Territory. Area- 46km Square Population- 50,000
I will just go into some parts which caught my interest.
Putrajaya Master Plan
The Master Plan covers an area of 4931 hectares. The Garden City concept has a 37% Major proportion of Land Area dedicated for Green and Open areas.
In Brief, the distinguishing features of the Master Plan are as follows:
  • A large proportion of the city area is designated as green open space
  • A large water body & wetlands was formed by utilizing the small natural streams which run through the area.
  • A 38 kilometers long waterfront area formed with the creation of the lake.
  • The city is divided into 20 precincts with the Core area located on an island surrounded by the man made lake.
  • The Peripheral Precincts planned to accomodate a mix of residential use equipped with commercial space at the local level as well as public amenities.
  • A 4.2km long boulevard forms the central spine of the city.
  • Projected residential population of 330,000 with 67,000 housing units.
Putrajaya-MSC Malaysia
Putrajaya is located in the heart of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC Malaysia). MSC Malaysia is an initiative taken by the Malaysian Government for the global ICT industry. Putrajaya, sharing administrative boundary with Cyberjaya, one of the five cybercities successfully developed, has been tested for various innovative flagships application.

According to Foley, Main function of town planning is to provide a good physical Environment, as what you have seen in Singapore, just it is more condensed than Putrajaya. We can see that the intention is not only to create a city where social activities take place with an ideal landscape, but also one that can display the following features:

  • Efficient accesibility to facilities, services and place of work
  • Integrated neighbourhood and Community Atmosphere
  • Closeness to Nature
  • Ample Amenities for recreation
  • Dynamic, Lively and economic vitality
  • A city with identity and character
  • Conducive urban environment for quality & Healthy Lifestyle.
I believe one thing most people could see the priority in Putrajaya is about adequate and suitable housing. A broad mix of types of residential development is planned for the city ranging from bungalows, and semi detaches to apartments and affordable housing for the lower income group. So in this sense, Putrajaya can bring people from a various diversity together, thus strengthening the personal and civic bonds essential to building a new community.
Another significant observable lifestyle in Putrajaya is that all these facilities and amenities are easily accessible to the residents. The size of a neighbourhood is planned as such that a majority of the population is within a 5 minutes walking distance of its center and where the daily lives needs are mostly available. This is an effort for green because it reduces the length of automobile trips.
Caring City Concept
Another impressive concept you will notice when you enter Putrajaya, “waaa no fence at all” True, building city is not just about bricks and mortars. The safest way to prevent crime is by the interaction and caring society through community policing and “permeability” in development. If you notice the current affair in most of the areas of Petaling Jaya, it is sad to notice many neighbourhood are putting up barricades at various roads to prevent crime, i think that is just such a fool, what happens if there is emergency? this constraints the alternative routes for emergency. In Putrajaya, this is totally different.

Caring City is about a city being friendly, efficient practical long lasting and yet elegant and friendly design for people with disabilities. Putrajaya has it all, with their designs approved by SIRIM, Code of practice for Disabled, on Access for Disabled Person to Public Building, Means of Escape for Disabled People.

About DUD (Detailed Urban Design Guidelines)

In Putrajaya, it is prepared at the precinct level, This is pretty complex, because the DUD achieves this by focusing on elemental guiding principles, such as urban structure, urban form, and character. Parameters like details on land use, building massing and typology, horizontal & vertical controls of Building, Provision for Pedestrian linkage, open space coverage.. all of this form that projects visual unity. The Boulevard with a stretch of 4.2km is one good example.
Pedestrian and Public Transport.
Yes a sustainable City would cover such priorities. Putrajaya has been designed to respect pedestrians and cyclists. They link major activity centres and nodes, they also provide clear and direct access to transit stops. A greater consideration on gradient of the paths & “Barrier Free” designs and coordinated network of paths have been introduced then.
It’s amazing when i see the policy of 70:30 (public:private Transport) has been implemented in the CBD of Putrajaya. At the moment, putrajaya corporation has taken an active role with this policy by providing an efficient public bus service throughout the city. And the Sustainable point? The entire fleet of buses are run on natural gas.
Environmental Architecture
Building Construction Systems in Putrajaya are mostly with Conventional Construction System. It deals with existing systems, which are standardized, tested, commonly understood by those involved in general building industry. Recently, Industrialised Building System (IBS) is being Introduced. The rational use of natural resources and appropriate management of the buildings will contribute to saving scarce resources, reducing energy consumption and improving environmental quality.
Another system in Putrajaya is Gas District Cooling System, a centralized energy plant using natural gas to generate chilled water for air-conditioning requirements of Buildings. The system is not only environmental friendly but in terms of Architecture, building owners can optimise the usage of space as the building design could make do without cooling tower at the roof top.
About Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications at Parcel E, which is also known as LEO (Low Energy office) Building. The main idea is to break new ground in building constructions emphasizing on designs in terms of energy efficiency and conversation.
Objectives are such as:
  • To build an energy efficient, intelligent showcase building without compromising user comfort
  • To study and as a research opportunity for professionals and academics
  • To demonstrate the feasibility of the new building code energy standards, i.e. 100-135 kWh/m2 year versus 200-300 kWh/m2 year
  • To emphasis on sustainable and energy efficient design
  • To incorporate both active and passive designs in terms of energy efficiency
  • To incorporate Energy Demand Side Management and Clean Development Mechanism
Few specifications to support:
• The roof of the building will have a glazed opening that will allow daylight to penetrate deep into the atrium of the building
• The walls of the building will allow adequate daylight to enter the building, reduce transmission and radiation heat through the windows
• The lighting system will use the latest technologies in energy efficient lighting
• The Ventilation and Air Conditioning System will receive chilled water from the district cooling system in Putrajaya
• Sustainable building materials by optimizing the use of materials, the environmental impact of producing, installing and eventually demolition will be reduced.
• Sustainable water management by having a system to collect and storing rainwater and the collected rainwater will be used for toilet flushing and irrigation of plants.
• Rainwater and condensate water harvesting for landscape, conserving potable water usage
• Grey water recycling, i.e. Recycling grey water from basins and floor traps for flushing use.
• incorporate both active and passive designs in terms of energy efficiency
Please do read up the article because many essential points could really put you into considerations for your designs. Whether you are an architect or not, or any other related profession in the CI, hope this could be an eye opener a little. =)