Mindful Master Planning with Sustainability at Heart
09 Aug 2021 | EdgeProp.my

Climate change is no longer a societal issue, but an existential threat. Safeguarding the natural environment and communities in which it operates, Gamuda Land has outlined the Gamuda Green Plan 2025, setting out clear targets for inclusive, sustainable development across its townships and communities, towards a greener economy and brighter future.

Gamuda Cove’s Forest Park is an ode to biodiversity.

With COVID-19 cases surging worldwide as more virulent strains emerge, it is apparent that the coronavirus has become a fact of life moving forward. The hope of returning to pre-pandemic norms with widespread vaccinations has given way to a reality of an endemic.

It has become evident that intermingling in public spaces, which had never been designed with pandemic precautions in mind, presents risks to safety and health.

With Malaysia under an extended movement control order (MCO) last year, roads were virtually deserted and economic activity ground to a halt.

Since then, many Malaysians have taken to visiting parks and seeking activities surrounded by nature to beat cabin fever and gradually, environmental awareness began to build in the public sphere. Appreciation for the restorative qualities of nature increased after months of lockdown.

Now, many property developers, urban planners, architects and policymakers are rethinking the design and planning of our developments, land use and public spaces, towards balancing safety, suitability and sustainability in the new normal.

The rehabilitation of Gamuda Gardens has seen the return of biodiversity to the area.

Gamuda Green Plan: Reimagining the future

In line with its core development principles, Gamuda Group’s experience across diverse sectors has seen the creation of the Gamuda Green Plan 2025 (GGP).

The GGP sets out bold targets with an emphasis on design and planning, circular construction, community building, digitalisation, and environmental and biodiversity stewardship. Gamuda Land contributes towards these by focusing on mindful planning and execution throughout its townships. Its efforts include prioritising sustainable modes of transport and energy-efficient standards in its master planning to reduce carbon emissions.

“The Gamuda Green Plan challenges ourselves, and industry conventions, towards continuously developing a more sustainable approach to infrastructure and property development. One of the areas we focus on is design and planning, because as a property developer, this is where we have delivered the most significant impacts since our inception,” said Ngan Chee Meng, chief executive officer of Gamuda Land.

Townsquare at Gamuda Cove is mindfully designed with al fresco streets and alleys emphasising social engagement.

When we get the places right, the town works

“While building the future responsibly, we prioritise the preservation of the natural environments in which we operate”

– Ngan Chee Meng, chief executive officer of Gamuda Land

“A key principle driving our town-making is ‘When we get the places right, the town works.’ This translates into the mindful planning that goes into bringing together key components to give each township a unique personality. It applies to how we lay out the streets to where the town centre is located, tree-lined neighbourhoods, and a central park where people can come together and get to know each other,” said Ngan.

For instance, Townsquare in Gamuda Cove is located in the Heart of Cove, set to be the commercial and leisure centre of the township. It complements the township’s residential precincts with essentials within a 10-minute walk or cycle from home.

Townsquare’s car-free, pedestrian-friendly streets invite visitors to take the airs about town, with open, al fresco avenues emphasising social engagement, encouraging physical distancing and reducing carbon footprints.

Integrated landscaping provides shade for passers-by, reinforced by tree canopies extending above surrounding buildings, addressing the main challenges to open retail spaces: the weather, heat and rain.

In addition, wind flow and solar radiation analysis are used to maintain an ambient temperature of 28°C, with the Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI) as a benchmark for outdoor comfort.

In this vein, twentyfive.7 in Kota Kemuning facilitates accessibility for the surrounding community with F&B options, grocers, pharmacies and essentials in Quayside Mall, just a short stroll away from residential precincts. Complementing the experience is the Quayside and promenade leading from the mall into the lush, pet-friendly central park.

Celadon City Sports Club in Ho Chi Minh City is fully solar powered.

Connectivity and accessibility key to work near home

Well-connected cities and towns, in terms of both physical and digital connectivity, are increasingly important as populations remain concentrated in metropolitan areas, away from crowded urban hotspots.

Solid digital infrastructure enables the paradigm shift to work from home or work near home (WNH).

“We have taken steps towards the realisation of 5G infrastructure in Gamuda Cove, enabling smart city solutions such as smart mobility and improving resource utilisation efficiency,” Ngan said.

The home and work places are more fluid than ever. With this in mind, Gamuda Land has applied the WNH concept across its developments, giving owners the best of both worlds.

By shifting working hubs closer to home, commutes are reduced in time and distance, aligning with the GGP for a 10% reduction in transport emissions across Gamuda Land townships by 2025.

Thoughtfully planned into Illaria at Gamuda Gardens are working pods surrounded by nature, where people can work, network or chill in a lush alcove just a stroll away from home. The pods will include furniture and high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity, with similar WNH spaces across Gamuda Land’s developments.

twentyfive.7’s Quayside and promenade allow residents and the community to reconnect with nature.

Building with respect to nature through biodiversity preservation

“While building the future responsibly, we prioritise the preservation of the natural environments in which we operate. Biodiversity underpins the clean air, water and food integral to human health, and helps mitigate climate change. By listening to what the land has to tell us, we work to restore the land to what it was before us,” Ngan explained.

“Towards this end, Gamuda Land has conducted nine biodiversity audits across our townships, with the results published on our website. These help us assess the health of the natural environment in all of our townships,” he continued.

Gamuda Land has also pledged to plant one million trees and saplings by 2023, towards the global fight against climate change. It has planted 334,248 trees thus far.

“We have also allocated RM24 million for a 90-acre Forest Park and Wetlands Arboretum at Gamuda Cove to preserve and propagate plant and native tree species, towards bringing biodiversity back to this area,” said Ngan.

These efforts are also seeing results in Klang Valley North in Gamuda Gardens, where biodiversity audits have shown an increase in bird species in the township’s Central Park.

Guided by the Gamuda Parks Biodiversity Policy, research is conducted on the most suitable trees and flora for planting, prioritising those with ecological benefits and long-term growth potential.

Gamuda Land has also accelerated its developments’ design and planning towards a greener economy. Its Celadon City Sports Club in Vietnam is the first solar energy operated sports complex in Ho Chi Minh City. Quayside Mall in Kota Kemuning will also harness solar energy, in line with the Group’s goal to reduce its carbon footprint compared to business as usual.

Sustainability is now a driving imperative across economic sectors, value chains and organisations, and sustainable development approaches must be internalised at every level. Gamuda Land is propagating this transition throughout its processes and communities, as it builds townships to stand the test of time. Guided by the right development principles with goals set out in the GGP, it continues to take firm steps forward towards creating a more sustainable future for its stakeholders.

To learn more about the Gamuda Green Plan, click here.