World Bank: KL a ‘mini Los Angeles’ of inefficient urban sprawl

By Lee Wei Lian
The Malaysian Insider
Nov 21, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 21 – The World Bank said in a report today that Malaysian cities needed to adopt more compact urban forms to improve livability and attract talent.

The report noted that Kuala Lumpur had sprawled to accomodate unrestrained motorisation and had been referred to as a “mini Los Angeles,” referring to the fact that the US city has been widely derided for its unlovely and inefficient sprawl.

The World Bank’s Senior Country Economist for Malaysia, Frederico Gil Sander told The Malaysian Insider in an interview prior to the launch of the report that the country needed to review its land use policies and make it cheaper to develop along public transit arteries and make it more expensive to develop further away from public transport.

“Create incentives for people to develop along public transport arteries,” he said.

Sander also called for universities to be integrated more tightly into the urban fabric and attract more city dwellers to take classes or attend cultural events.

The World Bank report “Malaysia Economic Monitor: Smart Cities” noted that cities are central to Malaysia’s aspiration to become a high-income economy as higher levels of urbanization are associated with higher productivity and overall economic growth and the inherent proximity facilitates the flow of knowledge that drives innovation.

It recommended that Malaysia make its cities more physically and economically connected as well as become more sustainable and offer a higher quality of life.

The report also noted that for Malaysian cities to become hubs of innovation, it had to increase both the numbers and quality of skilled workers by improving educational institutions and retain homegrown talent while at the same time attracting talent from elsewhere.

“Improving quality of life for citizens by reducing crime and congestion is a key factor both to attract and retain talent – as well as an objective in its own right,” said the report.

Malaysia had neglected to expand its rail networks in the past unlike forward thinking countries such as Switzerland.

This was perceived largely due to the need to promote car ownership and support the national automotive industry.

Cheap fuel as a result of subsidies also made it relatively cheaper to drive in Malaysia than in other countries which helped encouraged urban sprawl.

The Land Public Transport Commission (Spad) was formed last year to help address the issue of lack of coordination in terms of public transport as well as to have oversight over the development of public transport in the country.

  1. #1 by monsterball on Monday, 21 November 2011 - 10:43 pm

    Los Angeles is the US city for actors to become famous.
    In Malaysia…the whole country …all cities have crooked actors.

  2. #2 by monsterball on Monday, 21 November 2011 - 10:49 pm

    In fact..every village and towns too.
    How to attract talents with crooks dominate the whole country?
    To take the advise from World Bank experts… all hypocrites and actors out from BN…then talents will come back or new talents can be created and educated to become talented Malaysians.
    No other choice.

  3. #3 by monsterball on Monday, 21 November 2011 - 10:53 pm

    Ask yourself…will crooks want talented smart workers?
    All must stay dumb and dumber.
    University students are smart Malaysians…cannot talk politics…yet most are qualified voters.
    Talk about U students…mamak will have nightmares.

  4. #4 by mendela on Monday, 21 November 2011 - 10:54 pm

  5. #5 by monsterball on Monday, 21 November 2011 - 11:07 pm

    They can be laughing monkies now..but he who laugh first will laugh last …after 13th GE.

  6. #6 by k1980 on Tuesday, 22 November 2011 - 5:41 am

    From left to right, all in the family– The ceo, the cfo, the cco (chief cow officer), the cio and the cao (chief a#se officer)

  7. #7 by dagen on Tuesday, 22 November 2011 - 9:28 am

    I said this before. As a country progresses economically its people too would in due course become sophisticated. But there is always a time lag between the two – I reckon something like (wot?) 10yrs? 15yrs maybe. And when that point is reached then only could the country brand itself as a first world country with first world mentality.

    Here in malaysia umno pumps in foreign workers from poor countries in very large numbers. These ppl have “fourth” maybe even “fifth” world mentality – in a comparative sense. This ought not to be a trouble at all for socially speaking these people, when in malaysia would have to conform to our culture and our life styles.

    But when they appear in large number then a totally different scenario would emerge. When a certain critical mass (in terms of head count) is reached these foreigners would begin to feel comfortable with themselves and their presence in the country. They would then form little colonies of their own. Whilst this is not necessarily a bad thing for it brings us variety but they with their “fourth” and “fifth” world mentality would have the effect of prolonging the time lag I mentioned earlier on.

    Therefore it is no wonder that despite all those skyscrappers and LRT and business suits one sees, one gets the unmistable feeling on the ground that the country is backward and poor – the third world feel. And umno’s effort in bringing these people is continuing even today with no signs of letting up. That mean potentially, the time lag could be lenghtened to perpetuity. This is only a social issue. I hv not said anything about security, which is a much much greater and graver issue.

  8. #8 by TheWrathOfGrapes on Tuesday, 22 November 2011 - 10:21 am

    There is a perfect example of how to do urban planning right at our doorstep in the little red dot down under. Wonder why the Malaysian city planners do not bother to copy their success? It it due to saving face? Or, is it due to the fact that they would rather go on all-expense paid trip to London, Paris, New York and LA to do their one-day “study” trip, couple with a one-week shopping spress?

  9. #9 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Tuesday, 22 November 2011 - 11:31 am

    Essentially and invariably, the jams are all in UMNO’s blockheads.

    Always have been, always will be. It goes without saying UMNO members are largely uneducated despite going to schools and universities, Oxford notwithstanding. How pathetic!

  10. #10 by monsterball on Tuesday, 22 November 2011 - 7:37 pm

    All crooks are waiting Hell Bank to spend their stolen money.
    Najib better be nice to China…because Hell Bank is own by China……no other banks exist.

  11. #11 by monsterball on Tuesday, 22 November 2011 - 7:39 pm

    He will one day say…”Go to hell with World Bank opinions.
    I trust Hell Bank.. with my life.”

  12. #12 by Loh on Tuesday, 22 November 2011 - 7:59 pm

    It all boils down to making AP permanent and the so-called national car project a success. That is Mamakthir’s, the son of an Indian from Calicut, Kerela, greatest achievements in his 22 years.

    Mamakthir made Malays accept Indian Muslims as Malays. Only now do Malays in Penang question why Mamaks dominate UMNO politics in Penang. UMNO demonstration in Penang were only carried out by Mamaks, be it as Mat Rempit causing traffic jams or carrying coffins.

    The cow-head incident was also the work of Mamaks.

    Why should true Malays bear the bad name of needing assistance after 54 years of independence when Mamaks take the opportunity to enrich themselves. Surely the cowgate’s funds of 250 million Ringgit should have been disbursed to rural poor if there are still rural poor as claimed by the son-in-law of AAB as the reason why NEP should continue. What good is the 250 million Ringgit to poor Malays when the money went to Mamaks?

  13. #13 by monsterball on Wednesday, 23 November 2011 - 12:59 am

    His sons are very smart…make millions out of nothing.
    We are all such stupid Malaysians..slogging to feed out families.
    That’s why his sons are multi billionaires.
    Furthermore…he is a TUN…to confirm he is next to almighty.
    We must accept to be idiots and shut our mouths.

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