August 16, 2011

Kuala Lumpur suburbs living

Kuala Lumpur seems to be in need of more vibrant suburbs to attract more people to live there. Suburbs is defined by Wikipedia : Residential areas for a city or a residential area reachable through commuting. Suburbs can be those which have its own administrators and political autonomy or it relies on the big cities that these suburbs are connected to. Kuala Lumpur and a few of the big cities in Malaysia already have suburbs but we consider most of them to be cities too. We never label a few of the known suburbs as such. Tokyo, London, New York and Sydney are a few of the cities which have people commuting using cars, trains and other public transports into and out of it every day. Most accept it as a way of life. Does Malaysia or Kuala Lumpur for that matter actually have suburbs?

Let us look at the few known suburbs around Kuala Lumpur based on the daily commuters who comes and goes into it.

Kuala Lumpur or more known as KL, is a vibrant city on account of it is the capital of Malaysia. Most of the people who works and have offices in Kuala Lumpur doesn't live in it. Most live at towns such as Shah Alam, Klang and Petaling Jaya, which are known to be cities themselves. There are smaller town within these cities like in Klang where you can find Bandar Bukit Tinggi or Shah Alam which has Bandar Setia Alam or Petaling Jaya which has Subang Jaya and Damansara. These towns are so vibrant that although they are suburbs, they are so unlike the well-known American suburbs where people have quieter lives and easier traveling options. Traffic jam are norms which people here have to deal with.

There are quieter suburbs but are not favoured by many of KL-ites due to it being just that, quiet. Cyberjaya, a technology-skewed city which is surprisingly quieter for a place which is attracting foreign and local conglomerates like HSBC, Google and KRU Studios, to name a few well-known brands. There are other town like Nilai; which is more famous for its China-goods shopping; Bandar Enstek; a project by Tabung Haji Property with international school and a Coke bottling plants in the near future; and the most vibrant of it all is Seremban; which is experiencing a second coming where traffic jam on weekends have now become a norm.

On the north of town, there are Rawang; which seems to be back alive and might just save the once ghost-town of Bukit Beruntung; Batu Caves and Gombak; which are now known for more than just the place of worship for Hindus and rockclimbing. In the south of Kuala Lumpur, Kajang and Bandar Baru Bangi are areas which is now filling up to the brim thanks to highways such as Besraya and LEKAS. 

All around Kuala Lumpur, we have suburbs which seem to be thriving and catching up on the vibrancy of KL. The only space still not invaded, for now, seems to be the area leading towards Pahang as most of the area there are hills and the problem with slopes have put a damper on development there. However, I don't think that will last long before someone finds way to build more houses there. Some of these suburbs are successful in their capturing the spirits of suburbs where people can actually relaxed after returning home and some have to deal with what any other growing cities like increase crime rates.

With proper planning, suburbs can be the saving grace of Malaysia problem with affordable living. Young people with disposable income who is looking for homes need to accept the fact that city living is expensive. Not all people can afford to work and live within the city. Especially when you want to have houses with gardens and a bit of space for yourself. There are further burdens which come with city living like stress. Some of these housing developers should consider suburbs as a way to market their products and priced their houses below the RM200,000-00 with good design and more space. It may just be a gold-mine for them.

Everybody else is doing it, why don't we?

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