Malaysia Property News is a free resource website sharing Daily Property News & information about Property in Malaysia, which related to, Property Market, Property Investment, Commercial Property , Hot Properties Malaysia, Real Estate, Retail Shop, Business Park, Condominium Malaysia, Terraces & Apartment Malaysia, Houses, Residence, Resort and many more.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Looking at relevance in development

Not just a market: The TTDI market in Jalan Wan Kadir. While deliberating on the redevelopment plan for the market, let’s not forget that a traditional wet market still has a role to play in our communities.

The art of placemaking will determine whether a place or project resonates with its target audience, and contributes to higher value and quality of the overall living environment.

According to Wikipedia, placemaking capitalises on a local community's assets, inspiration, and potential, ultimately creating good public spaces that promote people's health, happiness, and well being. “Placemaking is both a process and a philosophy,” it points out.

In this profit-driven and consumerist age, placemaking may have been commercialised to bolster the cash register and companies' bottomline, but in its original simplistic form, it actually encapsulates both the tangible and intangible elements that give meaning to a place.

Things like the sights and sounds of a place, general ambience, colours, smell, building forms and architecture, and even the energy and aura of a place all come to mind. In a nutshell, they constitute things that are held dear by the community and make life meaningful to the people.

I'm sure most of us have come across places that we took a liking to the very first time we set eyes or foot on them; and there are those that did just the opposite to our senses.

Besides the building structures and facilities, I believe it must have something to do with a place's aura and energy that determine whether it continues to be relevant to the community.

With that in mind it is important to ensure that, in the pursuit of development, the “heart and soul” and elements that give meaning to our housing estates, townships and cities are cherished and safeguarded.

Some of these places include historical buildings, cultural and arts centres, and not to forget, our alma mater the schools and universities.

Places like open fields, parks and markets are also where communities come together and they need to be perpetuated for our local communities to thrive.

These are places where we can see Malaysians of all races converge and engage with one another in true blue Malaysian spirit and appreciate each other.

Without these public spaces, the decadence in the communal spirit, which is already setting in, is bound to worsen.

Although fields, parks and markets do not generate income to the local councils, they are important community-building assets and public spaces, and should not be roped in for development purposes.

News reports that some quarters are eyeing the site of the 25-year-old Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) wet market complex for redevelopment into a mixed-used development have understandably upset many people, especially the local community who get their daily fresh produce from there, and the traders who depend on the market for a living.

The interested parties are said to have submitted their plan to the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), which owns the market complex, and the plan is said to be under consideration.

While deliberating on whether to allow the redevelopment plan to go ahead, and what kind of concept it should be, let's not forget that a traditional wet market still has a role to play in our communities.

Besides being the place for folks from TTDI and the surrounding housing estates to buy fresh produce of fish, poultry, meat, vegetables and fruits, it is also a much appreciated community meeting place.

Although the hypermarkets and supermarkets with their frozen food section is an alternative source, home makers and those who opt to do their marketing daily at the wet market should have that option availed to them.

As for the traders that number more than 200, many of them were moved from the former Kuala Lumpur Central Market in Jalan Hang Kasturi some 25 years ago when the old market was closed for a major renovation.

A good number of them are second generation traders, having taken over the business from their elderly parents or siblings. Today the refurbished Central Market is a cultural, arts and craft centre.

Having dutifully moved from their old trading place in Kuala Lumpur to TTDI, the traders' wishes are to ensure any redevelopment plan of the market complex will preserve the concept of a traditional wet market, instead of taking after a modern hypermarket concept that will inadvertently take away the rice bowl of these traders.

If the decision is to proceed with the redevelopment plan, the authorities should look into a spanking new market with better equipped facilities, such as multi-storey car parks and a more hygienic and clean environment.

Longer operating hours will be a definite improvement to cater to office workers who can only do their marketing in the evenings.

Whatever the plan may be, there should be more transparency and engagement with the local community, traders and other stakeholders, to ensure a holistic and equitable solution for all.

Deputy news editor Angie Ng reminisces about the good old days when the community spirit was strong and unchaperoned children walked around freely unharmed.

By The Star (by Angie Ng)

No comments: