Urban Planning for the Future Now.

During the roundtable discussion with VERITAS Design Group, something that seems not to be an impossible notion emerged: that millennials and generations to come will not care as much about transportation as previous generations did. – sometimes literally – for decades.

“The younger generation is not as in love with cars as my generation or yours,” says David Mizan Hashim, group president and director of VERITAS Design Group. He pointed this out during the recent roundtable discussion held at his facility with the Rail Team.

“They are more into their mobile phones and are so hyperactive on social media that they don’t need a car much.” “Yes, it can be nice to have cars, but having the latest Samsung is more important,” he added.

This is a far cry, perhaps, from decades ago when transportation was the main part of communication: those frustrating house calls, mail being sent, meetings having to be called, appointments having to be kept, and all that. the point-to-point mass transit that occurred. Craziness! the future generation might think: how did the previous generation move?

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Merdeka Station

In Malaysia, a shift in focus occurred when mass public transport like LRT arrived and started inspiring people to think about traveling responsibly two decades ago, which now seems like a long time.

“So the focus was on the influx of cars, the traffic congestion,” said Ng Yiek Seng, director of VERITAS Planning Sdn Bhd and VERITAS Architects Sdn Bhd. “If you look at the history of our country, it has long been the focus: cars, cars.” The aspiration has always been to own them, and likewise, let’s not forget our country’s own successful ambition to produce them at home. Unfortunately the side effect of that was traffic congestion. Over time, the side dish took over the main course, and traffic congestion must be factored into any scheduling conflicts or cancellations.

But the world has caught up, much more so in this part of the world. Ng pointed to mass transportation systems, especially in East Asia, having seen the success of such transportation networks in densely populated cities like New York, with its famous subway system, which is a primary mode of transportation for the working class. and celebrities alike.

“In China and Taiwan, they probably duplicated what the world has… You see the transformation in our country, our neighbors… seeing the natural progression of technology and networks around the world,” said Edward Chew Fook Kong, director of VERITAS Architects Sdn Bhd, who insisted that this was in fact a natural progression in the integration and interconnectivity that the world was increasingly embracing. “Hopefully, with this interconnectivity, there will be less stress and friction between the people,” Edward pointed out. “You can bring culture closer together. In fact, that’s the most important thing: interconnectedness.”

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This would explain, or even undo, the often rising and sometimes sinking notion of the popularity of Transit Oriented Developments (TOD). What are TODs? This definition states that it is… “an urban development that magnifies the amount of residential, commercial, and leisure space within walking distance of public transportation. It fosters a symbiotic relationship between dense and compact urban form, design, and transportation use.” public.” …which, Hashim points out, hasn’t been entirely out of character at any point.

“You see, theoretically, TOD is a very good idea,” he argues. “Because where transportation is available, a higher density of people is required for the transportation system to be viable. Transportation systems are expensive, and the only way to make them affordable is for everyone to use them.”

For that, he says, there should be a more intense implementation of TOD and this will only encourage more and more users. “And so it starts to pay for itself.”

Hashim continues his pro-TOD assessment by bluntly pointing out that TODs are really great for urban planning. So what you have here is, instead of distributing a higher density throughout the city, which creates a lot of traffic. But by concentrating on nodes, transport and the line, people no longer need to travel by car as much. According to what he says, most people would be confined within their own “TOD community,” which is preferably a mixed-use development, with everything convenient within easy reach on foot, or with bikes and the like. . “You will only use the mass rapid transit system to go out and meet your family, relatives, friends, whatever.” The need for private vehicles would be much less…and, who knows, it might even disappear,” he fantasized. The whole point of TODs and contemporary urban planning, especially in the Klang Valley and neighboring vistas, is to have so little long-distance travel possible, reduced in the daily schedules of the inhabitants here.

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Museum Station

Ng, in particular, was very particular about the “within reach” part of the TODs. “You can have your mamak, you can have your food, you can go shopping and do everything,” she says. “Another hundred meters away could be where your children can go to school, and within two hundred meters you have hospitals and medical facilities within walking distance, so you will likely choose this lifestyle accordingly as well.”

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A change in lifestyle will facilitate a change in mindset. That the number of cars is growing and congesting the roads is not a problem and has been the norm. But with good urban planning, the inhabitants are forced to think more strategically with the excellent transport system that can help with all the disadvantages, the physical and mental turmoil associated with attacks on the wheel, the interrupted disciplines and yes , even save thousands of lives that are lost. in vehicle tragedies.

But the infrastructure will have to be in place, and it has to be in place quickly! “Increasingly, more people are moving to cities, and by 2050 it is estimated that 70 percent of the world’s population will live in cities,” Hashim notes, adding that the same percentage can be expected here in Malaysia. 70% of the country’s population will move to cities by 2050; It’s hard to believe now, but we’ll be there in thirty years. Can?

Perhaps if we take a page (or several) from the history of cities around the world, “(Currently in Malaysia), only about 20 percent of commuters use the rail network.” In developed places like HK, 80% of the population use the train regularly. Likewise, in New York, about 90% use public transportation, Hashim adds. “And mind you, it’s not uncommon to see billionaires in London using the train.”

Exaggerated demand. There is much more to be accomplished in other departments, not to mention transportation, compared to those cities. But we can always take a look at what our neighbors are doing. Singapore, for example, has long dealt with traffic problems through Electronic Road Pricing (ERP), a system in which a charge is imposed during certain hours in the busiest areas of the island.

“Imagine in the parts of KL, like Sultan Ismail, Ampang, you have ERP where you have to pay to get in, charge your Touch N Go… So this will encourage the use of public transport,” says Hashim.

Hashim, Ng and Edward must have a good knowledge and understanding of these issues. VERITAS Design Group has been involved in projects that are varied and notable, such as the Nusajaya West Masterplan, as well as Nusantara (the new capital city of Indonesia), and many other projects around the world. VERITAS understands these changes and the direction that urban planning is taking.

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The biggest change, Ng says, will happen over time. Indeed, with what is currently the mental map of the Klang Valley filled with snakes and crowded stairs, the future will comprise a simpler network of public transport system stations and stops. Hashim pointed to a good example of planning: the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, who, along with a good record on environmental policies, pursued massive reform in the field of transport, introducing free public transport for children, electric bicycles also free for children , among others. .

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Station Art Market

He noted that Malaysians are now more concerned with comfort and convenience. “Malaysia, like the rest of the world, is interested in comfort and efficiency,” she notes. It’s convenient not having to drive and park your car, and still have your Mamak restaurant, Starbucks, and movie theaters within walking distance.

When you have all that, ask, why would one need a car? “Maybe for the weekend,” she muses. “Then you definitely need a car!” Who knows, due to their current status as a major polluter, source of stress, and cause of fatal accidents, cars could now slowly transition into partial retirement and become one of the weekend getaway pleasures one hopes for. Hopefully, the mention of public transportation will no longer elicit a bitter response.

About VERITAS Design Group

The VERITAS Design Group was founded in 1987 on the principles of constant innovation and a commitment to the highest standards of professionalism.

Today, VERITAS is led by its Founder and Group Chairman David Mizan Hashim and Vice Chairman Lillian Tay, supported by a team of 18 directors in Malaysia and around the world. These leaders are supported by a team of nearly 350 skilled professionals and support staff that establish VERITAS as one of the top 100 multidisciplinary design practices in the world.

VERITAS began as an architecture firm, but now offers a full range of design support services for the built environment through subsidiary companies. These include interior design, landscape design, planning, environmental consulting, engineering, surveying, project management, and claims consulting.

This content is provided by Veritas Design Cluster

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