How Parks Can Shape Successful Cities

Photo: Becky Phan

Story by Angeline Teh and Maya Tan

The city of Kuala Lumpur is in a state of constant development. As we strive for progress, large development projects have often taken over our parks and green spaces. In this story we explore the role of parks in the city, and how it can affect the quality of life for urban citizens.


How Parks Help Shape Successful Cities

Dena Levitz, a journalist based in Washington DC, recently reported on the City Parks Forum where nine cities in the United States convened to discuss how parks help shape successful cities. In that discussion, the city representatives involved looked at parks in three different contexts, and in themes and ways that parks can be useful to the city. What surfaced from the discussion surprised Dena. She was unaware that city planners and the various park associations had not been working together when it made perfect sense for them to put their heads together.

Listen to Dena speak about her learnings from the convention:



Photo: Lukasz Saczek


How Science has Discovered that Greenery Directly Improves Health


We also speak to Professor Graham Rook, Emeritus Professor of Medical Microbiology from the Division of Infection & Immunity, Faculty of Medical Sciences at University College London, who has been studying how green spaces can benefit our health. According to Professor Rook, the urban environment has caused raised markers of inflammation in our blood. This means that our immune system, which is what mediates inflammatory responses, is not getting turned off. However, plant life can come to our aid.

Click on the link above to find out more about how green spaces can help reduce overall mortality.


Photo: Chelsea Bock


How Green are Malaysian Cities?

But what’s happening right here in Malaysian cities?  Are we paying enough attention to the importance of parks? We catch up with Ziad Razak, Director at PEMANDU (Performance Management and Delivery Unit, Prime Minister's Office) to find out more. Ziad gives us a breakdown of where greening stands in the ecosystem of urban development, the GLCs that are involved in park development, and the Greener KL initiative.

Click play to listen to the interview with Ziad Razak:



Photo: KLCC Convention Centre





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