PGCC: There go the angsana trees



My sources tell me that the PGCC developer’s consultants said yesterday they would avoid cutting down the trees along Scotland Road but admitted that some angsana trees would have to make way for the road widening/flyover work, especially near the Jalan Batu Gantong junction, to cope with the extra traffic anticipated.

These trees are actually heritage trees. Some concerned Penangites pasted posters (see picture above) on the trees likely to be affected. One person who has seen the plan told me that perhaps a few dozen trees would have to be chopped down.

By this morning, the posters had disappeared.

The threat to the trees flies in the face of the assurance given by PGCC master-planner Nasrine Seraji, which was reported in the New Straits Times:

Paris-based architect Nasrine Seraji also gave the assurance that the angsana trees along Jalan Scotland would not have to make way for the project.

“Residents in the neighbouring Jesselton area can also expect a better view, improved air quality and enhanced property values,” she said here yesterday.

(Have I taken her comments out of context?!)

I don’t see how air quality can be improved with the huge volume of extra traffic in the area.

The developers for their part have pledged to plant hundreds of thousands of trees. (Seeing is believing.)

But as one concerned Malaysian observed of the threat to the angsana trees:

This shows prima facie that PGCC is not a sustainable development proposal! Even replacing mature trees (particularly handsome Angsana’s) is not a good option because young trees will take decades to achieve the positive environmental impact that existing mature trees already have now. PGCC is a double-edge sword that cuts both ways – increasing traffic level and hence fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emission level and at the same time eliminating trees that help filter and cleanse the air. And we are talking still about other long-term adverse impacts of traffic encroachment on society….

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jeffrey chew

Much stuff were said about PGCC. I guess it’s kind of a watershed decision balancing progress with environment. I will be writing something about PGCC on my blog in conjunction with Blog Action Day. Go visit it – get more bloggers in Penang to speak. Once we speak, we have at least a forum – it’s related to environment this time round.