Thoughtful creation of public spaces as the heart of every community
While it may seem as if placemaking is merely the creation of attractions around urban areas, property developer Gamuda Land does not agree with this approach. To this town-maker, placemaking strengthens the connection between communities and the places they share. More than just promoting good urban design and town planning, placemaking facilitates creative patterns of use, paying particular attention to physical, cultural and social characteristics that define a place and its on-going evolution.
Being mindful in its town-making approach, Gamuda Land understands that when it gets the places right, the town works for the community who call it home. An effective placemaking plan will result in the creation of quality public spaces that contributes to people’s health, happiness and well-being.
“When we get it right, common problems like car-dominated streets and little-used parks can be addressed,” said Gamuda Land commercial real estate executive director Larissa Chan.
What makes a great place?
Gamuda Land looks at a few key criteria for its placemaking, first and foremost being accessibility and connectivity.
“Walkability and bikeability are very important to us. For the place to work, it must have a well-connected network of pedestrian and cyclist pathways, but we don’t just stop there. We think also of the experience that our community goes through to get to the heart of town and we make that journey fascinating. We create tree-lined streets to cool down the environment and we have pocket parks along the way,” Chan explained, adding that these places are located close by, easily accessible within 10 minutes via walking or biking.
Gamuda Land also looks at the aspect of sociability because a town can mean so many different things to different people. It is a place where children grow up, where people visit, a place where families and friends create lasting memories.
“That is precisely why we are careful in the curation of our gathering places, like a park and all the interesting community places. It almost has a living, breathing feel to it. So, we ensure there’s always something to do in our towns. You get to know your neighbours in various different ways,” Chan said.
Since its very first development in Kota Kemuning, Gamuda Land has made having a central park in all of its developments its hallmark. Be it a township development in Malaysia or Vietnam, all its township shares one similar trait – which is having a green lung where its communities can come out, and spend time in nature whilst getting to know one another.
Another aspect of good placemaking is to look into the safety of its community. Besides adopting the crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) approach where landscape designs are very carefully arranged to deter criminal opportunities, Gamuda Land also employs auxiliary police on top of security guards to keep its public places safer.
Getting the places right, makes the town work
Today, Gamuda Land’s newer townships have taken the term placemaking to a different level. We see more exciting additions to its stable of mindfully created places.
In addition to Discovery Park and Paya Indah Discovery Wetlands, SplashMania, Asia’s largest rainforest themed water park, is expected to bring in two million visitors annually. It is slated for opening at Gamuda Cove in December this year.
Complementing these attractions is Townsquare, a lifestyle retail hub featuring European-inspired architecture and located adjacent to SplashMania water park. It is connected via Townsquare Park, an avenue lined with trees making it an easy stroll from the water park to the retail hub. Featuring an al-fresco layout, the community can work, play, hang out and fulfil their retail and leisure needs all within the same place.
The community can also choose to go on the Tourist Tram that connects leisure attractions within the Heart of Cove.
Over in Gamuda Gardens, the community can already look forward to Skyline Luge, a gravity-fuelled thrill ride that originated in New Zealand and is enjoyed by millions of adventure enthusiasts around the world. To be built on a 40,000 sq m site overlooking Gamuda Gardens with themed landscaping planned along the route to enhance riders’ experience.
Currently, Gamuda Gardens is already bustling with activities such as Big Bucket Splash, stand-up paddle boat, Donut boat ride, a horse-riding nature trail, solar express and more.
Adding to the vibrancy at Gamuda Gardens is the upcoming commercial hub, Gardens Square, with pedestrian-friendly boulevards and al-fresco spaces that complement the township’s residential and lifestyle components.
Similarly, in Kota Kemuning, residents of twentyfive.7 can enjoy a fun day out at The Buzz.ar which sets the stage for outdoor events. Children can ride on the Solar Express and from May onwards, enjoy a beautiful 16-seater carousel as well as the SuperFly Zipline which allows adrenaline junkies to zip through 180 metres across multiple lines as they enjoy the panoramic view above the seven-acre Quayside Lake, also in May this year.
“People remember the place they grow up in – that hometown feel. So when people come and visit our towns, they get a feel for it and want to be a part of it,” Chan concluded.