Posted: January 5th, 2023
Putrajaya, Malaysia – The Intelligent Garden City
Putrajaya, Malaysia – The Intelligent Garden City
Increased urbanization provides, and population growth encourages many people to move away from rural areas to urban places. Evidence shows that more than 50% of the world’s population live and work in cities, primarily due to the effects of urbanization, which is the process by which cities develop (Ompad, Galea & Vlahov, 2007). The study pays particular attention to how the Putrajaya, also known as the intelligent garden city, was formed in Putrajaya, Malaysia. The city is an example of a well-planned urban setting aimed at achieving modernity and environmental sustainability. The town’s establishment more than 20 years ago has resulted in advancement in crucial infrastructure and has increased the number of local and international tourists visiting the region. Besides, urbanization has caused the number of people living and working in the city to grow exponentially. Many local and foreign tourists visit the smart city, and many investors have established their businesses in this strategic location. The government in Putrajaya seems to be prepared to handle some of the major threats that are likely to follow urbanization, but it may have to review its plans to achieve the best results. Putrajaya garden city is a masterpiece that other designers and developers need to emulate to come up with urban settings that present many opportunities to its residents while at the same time protecting them from the negative repercussions that often come with urbanization.
Describing the City
The master-developed city was formed to shift Malaysia’s administrative center from Kuala Lumpur. It is nearly two and a half decades since Putrajaya Holdings was offered the mandate to develop a world-class government administrative center in Putrajaya (Emily, 2018). The creation aimed at consolidating government ministries in a single place to achieve increased efficiency for an expanding government. The choice to shift away from Kuala Lumpur was made to ease traffic snarl-up and permit the government to change all state properties into commercial initiatives. Putrajaya, titled after the first Prime Minister in Malaysia (Tunku Putra Al-Haj), is a famous complex that covers more than 11,319 acres. At least 70% is committed to water bodies and greenery, encompassing more than 12 different gardens (Emily, 2018). The 228-acre Putrajaya Botanical Garden, for example, is breathtaking because of its unique nature, especially the green vegetation and exquisite landscaping (NewCities, 2013). It is the most extensive botanical garden in Malaysia, which offers a serene environment for reflection and contemplation. The garden’s management pays attention to preserving the beautiful ornamental plants and flowers and invests significantly in research and preservation efforts (Emily, 2018). Planned to the uttermost, the smart city is dedicated to improving the country’s goal in promoting the development of a progressive and caring society that is also technologically developed. Emily (2018) tells that as the new hub, Putrajaya was designed to be the country’s pride and a smart city that is properly planned, environmentally friendly, and appealing with many lavish areas that show Malaysian Islamic identity and heritage. Structurally and architecturally, the intelligent garden city is a combination of both Islamic and modern design, with properly formulated residential areas and roads that fit into each other so well. Some of the famous structures in Putrajaya are the Perdana Putra building, which accomodatesPrime Minister’s office complex, Putra Square, Putra Bridge, which is exceptional in the way it is a twin-deck, and the Putra Mosque that appears strange with its tinted windows.
Consequences of Urbanization in the Area
One of the apparent impacts of urbanization in Putrajaya is increased infrastructure development, which eases communication and movement from one place to another. The garden city is linked to Kuala Lumpur and other parts of the nation, an international air situated in the south, rail, and a highway. The roads in the city are laced with beautiful gardens that depict a real; view of environmental sustainability amidst the urban setting (Chasing Places, 2021). Such infrastructure facilitates movement from one place to the other. The highway is spacious enough and made following international standards to enhance how people and vehicles move from one area to another. The other fantastic infrastructure that could be attributed to the city’s development is the availability of many parks where people can visit, relax, and enjoy. Specifically, nearly 37% of the garden city is committed to open spaces and parks. One finds at least 200 hectares of artificial wetland and at least 200 hectares of an artificial lake, permitting the formation of 37 km of waterfront. The government buildings and commercial centers could also be termed as part of the critical infrastructure that gives the place its distinct appearance. The Federal Government Administrative Center is a masterpiece representing the country’s view of the future and depicts the effort invested in creating the facility. Overall, the infrastructure in the region is a portrayal of the most sophisticated technology available in the modern era. It is the reason why the report by Chasing Places (2021) informs that it is in Putrajaya where one finds minarets erected close to each other with sophisticated bridges and ultra-modern buildings.
One of the most fundamental outcomes of urbanization is increased tourism activities. The report by Chasing Places (2021) reiterates that Putrajaya was also formed to attract local and foreign tourists from all parts of the globe. It is part of why the city is endowed with many attractive features, especially within the city center. The beautifully created buildings are some of the vital, attractive features for many people visiting Putrajaya. Besides, the sizeable human-made lake amid the square is a beautiful site (NewCities, 2013). Many visitors take a cruise while in the garden city, and the ride offers a chance to gain a glimpse of the contemporary architecture surrounding the place. Overall, the attractive features in Putrajaya that play fundamental functions in enhancing tourism in the region contribute towards revenue generation and enhanced financial strength in the area.
Research confirms that urban development is a key facilitator for tourism development. Estelaji Sadeghian, and Beyhaghi (2012) for example, find that the growth of urban centers could enhance tourism activities, particularly after revealing the adverse effects of urban lifestyle because planning for leisure activity takes priority over other activities, and this boosts tourism activities. Estelaji Sadeghian, and Beyhaghi (2012) give the example of Iran where expansion in urban dwelling and expansion in cities has improved plan making for enjoying free time. Estelaji Sadeghian, and Beyhaghi (2012) identify escalation in psychological, social, and ecological problems to be factors that make the improvement of tourist destinations in urban locations a necessity. It is expected that as population increases in Putrajaya, people may develop psychological issues as a result of their social and commercial interactions, which others may develop anxiety or depression due to lack of jobs or other personal concerns such disturbing encounters and thoughts may compel people to identify ways for breaking their boredom or daily routine with one of the possible options being visiting tourist destination sites. Moreover, Estelaji Sadeghian, and Beyhaghi (2012) identify urban environments as being appropriate for tourism operations chiefly due to two reasons. One of the reasons that Estelaji Sadeghian, and Beyhaghi (2012) give is the population concentration in them, and because of the work-related pressure. Estelaji Sadeghian, and Beyhaghi (2012) refer to urban centers as source of tourist traveling because other available amenities that are of political, cultural, industrial, commercial, and economical value are accessible in urban settings. The same case applies to Putrajaya where many visitors would want to visit to experience the civilized city with its advanced facilities and technology.
One of the notable effects of urbanization is increased population, which is a common feature in many urban centers. Ompad, Galea, Vlahov (2007) equate urbanization to an upsurge in the number of people residing in cities and towns. Ompad, Galea, Vlahov (2007) mention that urbanization occurs because people shift from rural locations to urban settings, resulting in an increase in the magnitude of urban population and the growth of urban areas. The population has expanded following the prediction by the United Nations that the number of people residing and working in urban settings will steadily go high as people shift from rural environments into cities. Nevertheless, the urban population in Putrajaya has continued to change due to alterations in birth patterns, mortality rates, alterations in migration patterns, and readjustment of boundaries differentiating the urban setting (NewCities, 2013). More people would shift to urban environments to achieve a better standard of living, especially once they get a job. Such people are impacted by pull forces that entice them to urban life and push elements that make them view rural life as inappropriate and unsatisfying. It is expected that an increase in population has caused other effects that have a significant impact on people’s lives. For example, an increase in the number of people living in the garden city has resulted in high population density, which causes a scramble for specific vital requirements such as housing and jobs.
Nonetheless, the management in charge of regulating the population in the city should take appropriate measures to avert the possible adverse consequences of the increased population that could make life much tricky for many people. For example, it would be problematic if the increase in population results in a struggle for employment or critical infrastructure (Ompad, Galea & Vlahov, 2007). Besides, the administration must be prudent to avert possible slum formation, pollution, and poverty. It is also essential to enact mechanisms that would evade possibilities of experiencing flooding, congestion, and crime that are also likely to emerge due to an increase in population (Ompad, Galea & Vlahov, 2007). Consequently, administrators in the city must consider using proper planning mechanisms to nurture a town where an increase in population does not cause undesirable effects.
Even though Putrajaya was created primarily to host national government offices and ministries, urbanization in the region has sparked commercial activities that have economic impact. Whereas about 3.7 million square meters of land was dedicated for establishing government buildings, at least 3.3 million square meters was allocated for commercial activities. Putrajaya Holdings, for example, now aspires to build vitality and variety into the city’s commercial aspect and quickly enhance the advancement of commercial land. The developers during the city’s formation ruled that the place is fit to be termed a smart city because it already enjoys the position of a Multimedia Super Corridor, which could be equated to an elevated economic hub. Hasnul Munaim who chaired a key development committee at the time of building the city encouraged investors, both local and international, to take advantage of the advanced technology used to develop the place for their benefit (Liu, 2003). The call attracted may operators and today one can find virtually all kinds of business ventures in the garden city. The commercial activities in the city continues to grow each day as more investors learn about the benefits of doing business in the highly customized environment.
Possible Negative Effects of Urbanization
Whereas the development of the garden city brings with it many positive effects, it is expected that urbanization could bring about certain adverse effects. For example, increase commercialization, development of infrastructure, and tourism could result in air, water, and land pollution (Ompad, Galea & Vlahov, 2007). The problem would come at a time when many societies are increasingly become conscious on the possible negative implications of climate change such as increased temperatures, depletion of ozone layer, and rising of sea level. One effect of urbanization is that it could increase pressure of various facilities and service industries such as government offices and health facilities (Ompad, Galea & Vlahov, 2007). The number of people requiring different services is expected to escalate, and unless the service providers find ways to accommodate the increasing population the demand could be overwhelming (Ompad, Galea & Vlahov, 2007). It is also expected that a surge in population and increased tourism could cause the rate of crime to escalate. A similar trend is evident in some of the major U.S. cities that despite attracting investors, huge populations, and tourists, record significantly high criminal rates. Settle, for example, recorded a 74.1% percent spike in homicides between 2019 and 2020 alone. New Orleans in Louisiana is another major city that recorded 61.7% increase in crimes between the same periods (Statista, 2021). Other U.S. cities that recorded high criminal rates within the same timeframe yet they have advanced amenities that qualify them as urban environments, include Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, Portland, and Huston, that recorded an increase of 57.9%, 55.5%, 54.1%, 51.5%, and 42.7%, respectively (Statista, 2021). The chart below is a compilation by Statista highlighting the cities that are regarded to be among the best in the U.S. yet they report criminal cases. The data helps to show how the chances of witnessing crimes following urbanization is high, and authorities should take proper measures to avert any effects that could affect the well-being and safety of citizens and non-citizens.
Such negative implications of urbanization requires Putrajaya government to enact proper measures that would prevent serious eventualities. Transforming the place into a green city requires road map and advancement plans that will direct the formation of green community, promote production and use of sustainable building practices and green technology that result in the minimization of carbon footprint in the in the smart city (Wee, 2019). Fortunately, the government understands the need to embrace structures that encourage environmental sustainability. The report by Wee (2019) shows that sustainable development initiatives have long been installed in Putrajaya in accordance with the Green City Theme that was previously known as Garden City. The management has designed the city in such as a way that half of the entire place is designed for parks, water bodies, and recreational facilities that make the whole place look green (Wee, 2019). The government has formed a policy called Putrajaya Green City 2025 that is transforms the urban place in seven key areas. The administration pays considerable attention to managing waste, planning and building, water production and use, city management, energy consumption, transport, and urban fabrication (Wee, 2019).
Furthermore, the city relies on its Structure Plan that outlines major directives on how to achieve sustainability as per global measures. Other initiatives that depict the government as being committed to develop a city that is free from excessive contamination and lack of adequate guidance are Putrajaya Urban Farming Program, Land Use Planning for Open Spaces, and Putrajaya Urban Farming Program among others (Wee, 2019). In addition, the city’s management works towards hitting its target of reducing GHG production by more than 58% by 2025, minimize day time highest temperature by 20C, and cut the ultimate disposal of solid waste by almost half (50%) emphasizing on the 3Rs (recycling, reuse, and reuse) and by championing for use of alternative water resources such as treated waste water, rainwater, and water from Putrajaya Lake (Wee, 2019). The management should not relent in implementing the outlined plans to continue nurturing a place that is known for its environmental friendly approaches. Putrajaya can also maintain its status as an advanced urban setting if the government pays considerable attention to averting the other possible negative implications of urbanization such as crime and rush for available services and amenities.
The paper examines how urbanization has impacted Putrajaya and how such advancements give the city a high reputation. The developers paid much attention to developing an area that dedicates much space to parks, thus giving the place its fantastic appearance. The infrastructure in the city is also excellent and portrays the use of modern technology. The advancement has resulted in improved infrastructure, which eases movement, recreation, and government operations. Urbanization in Putrajaya has also enhanced tourism in the region, with more local and international tourists visiting the place each year to see the fantastic features. The commercial activities that have erupted in the city have not come as a surprise because the planners and developers had already allocate a substantial portion of land into commercialization. The paper urges administrators in the city to embrace suitable mechanisms for preventing adverse effects of over population, which often result in competition for available space and resources. The report also challenges the government in the city to be on the watch out for some of the possible cases of increased competition for vital services and criminal activities that could disrupt the wellbeing of those who reside or work in the garden city. The authority is committed to show its resilience in developing a smart city through the establishment of various programs targeted at achieving sustainability.
Chasing Places. (2021). A visit to the intelligent garden city of Putrajaya. Retrieved from https://chasingplaces.com/a-visit-to-the-intelligent-garden-city-of-putrajaya/
Emily, K. (2018). An intelligent garden city. Retrieved from https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/07/12/an-intelligent-garden-city-master-developer-strives-to-improve-the-quality-of-life-in-putrajaya-towa
Estelaji, A., Sadeghian, H., & Beyhaghi, Z (2012). The role of urban tourism to achieve urban sustainable development. International Journal of Geology, 1(6), 17-25.
Liu, J. (2003). Malaysia has new plans for smart city development. Retrieved from https://www.asmag.com/showpost/30361.aspx
NewCities. (2013). The intelligent garden city of Putrajaya. Retrieved from https://newcities.org/cityquest-putrajaya-malaysia-designed-intelligent-garden-city/
Ompad, D., Galea, S., Vlahov, D. (2007). Urbanicity, urbanization, and the urban environment. doi:10.1007/978-0-387-70812-6_3
Statista. (2021). 2020 saw unprecedented murder spike in major U.S. cities. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/chart/23905/change-in-homicides-in-us-cities/
Wee, W. (2019). Putrajaya, green city 2025. Retrieved from https://www.asian-mayors.eu/portfolio/example-3-4-2-2/
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