By Tang Shen Siong
Klang Valley, Kuala Lumpur, in Malaysia was hit by floods from 17 to 18 December 2021, caused by a once-in-a-century heavy rainfall. “The annual rainfall in Kuala Lumpur is 2,400 millimetres and this means yesterday’s (18 Dec 2021) rainfall exceeded the average rainfall by a month. It is something beyond expectations and only occurs once every 100 years,” Datuk Seri Dr Zaini Ujang, Secretary General of the Ministry of Environment and Water, said in a news conference. More than 34,000 people were displaced and evacuated to safer areas, while over 900 personnel of various ranks were mobilised to aid flood evacuation in the affected areas of Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Melaka and Pahang.
Floods and storms are projected to become more intense and extreme due to the impact of climate change. Associated significant risks for the city of Kuala Lumpur and its inhabitants include disruption of transport; traffic accidents; landslides; increased maintenance costs; and damages to buildings and infrastructure. So, the questions to address are: Will Kuala Lumpur become the next flood-prone city after Bangkok and Jakarta by 2050? What are the long-term and short-term solutions?
WATER-SENSITIVE URBAN DESIGN
As landscape architects, we strongly believe that the landscape environment must be designed to accommodate the future climate. Thus, an effective water-sensitive urban design is of utmost importance to manage the extremities of weather, especially in a high-rainfall country like Malaysia.
An effective water-sensitive urban design is of utmost importance to manage the extremities of weather, especially in a high-rainfall country like Malaysia.
Tun Razak Exchange (TRX), the new central business district (CBD) of Kuala Lumpur, has recognised these threats. Benchmarked against the world’s leading CBDs such as Central in Hong Kong and London’s Canary Whaft, TRX has set a new sustainability standard. It is the first in Southeast Asia to achieve both the US-based Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Neighborhood Development (pre-certification at Gold level) and the Green Building Index (GBI) certification (Platinum rating under the Township category).
TANG SHEN SIONG
Senior Landscape Architect, Landart Design Sdn Bhd
Tang Shen Siong, Bryan has set his mind on doing nature-inspired landscapes and particularly aims to be a practitioner who creates harmonious relationships between the land and the people. He holds a Bachelor of Interior Architecture (Honours) degree from the University College Sedaya International (UCSI) and a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the Deakin University in Melbourne. His experience varies from the preparation of large-scale landscapes to master plans. TRX Master Planning, which includes detailed designs of the public realm and streetscape enhancement, is his latest project. He has also worked on numerous award-winning projects across the nation.
During his eight years of professional practice, Bryan has won a number of awards including the Award of Excellence in Analysis and Master Planning at the International Federal Landscape Architects Africa, Asia Pacific, Middle East (IFLA AAPME) Awards in 2017, as well as the Excellence Award in Landscape Master Plan and the Honour Award in Landscape Analysis and Study at the Institute of Landscape Architects Malaysia (ILAM) Awards in 2018 and 2019 respectively.