Essential Forms of Walkable Neighbourhoods Putrajaya and Bandar Tun Hussein Onn
Muhammad, Khairani (2006) Essential Forms of Walkable Neighbourhoods Putrajaya and Bandar Tun Hussein Onn. Masters thesis, Universiti Putra Malaysia.
Many of the residential neighbourhoods in this country including those that are planned fall short of providing the right configuration and the desirable environment for people walking. This is largely due to the lack of concern for the needs of pedestrians and a greater emphasis on cars. It consequently leads to a poor understanding of what it takes for an area to support walking which explains the conditions and predicaments that pedestrians in this country have to put up with. However, the fact remains that people do need or want to walk based on the endless complaints and issues raised concerning the subject. Besides, walking is important not only for individuals but for the community and the environment at large and therefore should be encouraged and given due consideration. Thus, the study aimed to identify the essential forms of walkable neighbourhoods in the context of this country. ‘Essential forms’ in this case refer to basic physical forms, qualities or characteristics that the residential neighbourhoods in this country necessarily or fundamentally must have in order for them to effectively support walking. The identification and understanding of these essential forms is necessary in the creation of truly walkable neighbourhoods. This study was conducted through literature reviews, a survey and a direct evaluation of the physical environment; and how it meets the criteria for pedestrian accessibility. The analysis of case studies was mostly quantitative but also supported by qualitative analysis. Evaluation was conducted on the various neighbourhood physical components that have direct implication on pedestrian accessibility. Putrajaya was chosen as a case study because it is an area in the country where clear attempts to create walkable environments have been made. However, it is not truly representative of the residential developments in Malaysia in general. Therefore, Bandar Tun Hussein Onn (BTHO), Cheras was also chosen to represent the more standard residential neighbourhoods. It was found that though Putrajaya is meticulous and consistent in ensuring good permeability and connectivity for pedestrians as well as pedestrian’s safety and comfort, it is less consistent in meeting the right scale and proximity for pedestrians. Where as the BTHO neighbourhoods give little consideration to pedestrians but have an overall friendlier scale and structure which fundamentally contributes to good accessibility for pedestrians. However, the fact remains that there are many important features introduced in Putrajaya that contribute positively to pedestrian accessibility that the rest of the country can emulate or learn from. Based on the case studies and a review of planning documents as well as other literatures, the study drew key implications of findings and subsequently identified the essential forms of walkable neighbourhoods with regard to this country.
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