Thursday, February 14, 2008

Towards a livable and vibrant Putrajaya


What makes a city livable and vibrant? Or, more to the point, what does it take to make Putrajaya, the new Federal Government Administrative Centre, more livable and vibrant?

These were the key issues deliberated upon by participants to the Putrajaya Planning Seminar 2008 last Wednesday (wrote about it earlier here).

Planners like to think that they have all the answers. After all, didn't they plan the city in the first place?

But an interesting point which came out of the seminar is that, if anything, "livable" and "vibrant" are two very wide and subjective concepts. What planners believe would make Putrajaya livable and vibrant might just not fit in with what the stakeholders have in mind (in fact, even planners in the seminar hall could not agree amongst themselves what really constitute a "livable" and "vibrant" city).

We are not operating within the context of an authoritarian government, unfortunately. Otherwise we can impose policies willy-nilly from the top down. So, whether they like it or not, town planners would just have to swallow their pride and listen to the wishes of people. Feel the pulse of the city.

I am not advocating anarchy, of course. For planning by definition, and as a profession, is about getting some semblence of orderliness and organization of land use and activities in a city.

As regards Putrajaya, lest one forgets, the reason for its coming into being is to function as the Federal Government Administrative Centre. It is not like any other city in Malaysia. Never meant to be. Therefore a dignified presentation and an air of authority and orderliness is to be expected.

That being said, I also strongly believe that a town planner will have failed if the city he/she plans is lifeless. So the planners in Putrajaya really have their work cut out for them. They have to strike a delicate balance somewhere. And that could be their greatest challenge yet.

The proof of the planning is in the living. What good is a beautiful city if it has got no life and soul.

4 comments:

AO said...

liverpool is going down, way down i think and i am sorry for that.

Azizi Ahmad Termizi: said...

Mr AO

pls note: this posting is on Putrajaya, NOT liverpool :-)

anyway, you are right & I have to admit it the season that started with full of promise didn't quite turn out to be as expected - *sigh*

oh well, maybe next year then. but first, the the yankees should go home..

AO said...

maybe you shuld start supporting teams like barnsley maybe? no? yes?

Azizi Ahmad Termizi: said...

AO

you must be joking right? you must be...

so, may be you shud try your luck in that program Raja Lawak.