Some time ago, representatives of an established foreign university with linkages to Malaysia travelled to a few places around the country to guage what kind of a demand there would be for an urban planning course, which they thought could be introduced here. I heard they dropped the idea as there didn’t seem to be much of a clamour for such a planning course.
I was in Singapore over the weekend and one of the things that caught my eye was the urban planning in the island republic, which incidentally has a smaller land mass than Penang state.
Despite its population being over three times larger than Penang (5.6 million vs 1.7 million), Singapore does not appear as congested.
Take a look at this photo (above) of a typical public housing area packed with high-rise Housing Development Board apartment blocks. Unlike in Penang, it is quite rare to find residential tower blocks over 40 or 50 storeys in Singapore, except perhaps in the latest projects. And they are well maintained, equivalent to mid-range private condos in Malaysia.
Yes, it looks dense, but at ground level in Singapore, you don’t feel it. Instead, the visual impact is quite pleasing – lots of green spaces and shady trees between tower blocks. (This is unlike what you would find in KL and Penang, where much of the flat space is paved over or concretised or eaten up by parking bays.) Full article on Aliran website