Volume No. 6 Issue No.: 3 Page No.: 477-486 Jan-Mar 2012

 

PREFERENCES FOR PEDESTRIAN WALKWAYS IN TROPICAL URBAN NEIGHBOURHOODS OF KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

 

Setareh Shojaei* and Mustafa Kamal M.S.

Department of Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Design and Architecture, Universiti Putra (MALAYSIA)

 

Received on : August 8, 2011

 

ABSTRACT

 

Urban neighborhoods in large cities such as Kuala Lumpur Malaysia is fast becoming less people friendly as they grow. This has negatively contributed to neighborhoods as unfriendly hosts for human to live, grow a family, develop a community, and also interact with their natural environ-ment. One of the reasons that contribute to neighborhoods being less people friendly is the lack of opportunities to interact with one another through informal spaces. Pedestrian walkways present opportunities for this kind of interaction among residents in a neighborhood. Preferred walkways will encourage more residents to meet informally with one another, walk more, and contribute to their social as well as physical well-being. But what kind of walkways are preferred and why? This paper discusses a preliminary study conducted using photo-questionnaires and interviews with residents and built environment professionals on the types of walkways most preferred by urban residents. The locations selected were several medium density residential complexes in and around Kuala Lumpur. A total of 70 participants took part in this study. They consisted of 44 residents as well as 26 professionals working in the city. Participants were exposed to a set of colored photographs of different scenes of walkways and asked to state their preferences using a 5-point Likert like scale. Selected respondents were also interviewed to elicit the reasons for their preferences. Results indicate that people prefer walkways that are semi- structured as well as walkways accompanied by well manicured grass surroundings. The presence of other people in the scenes were also much preferred by people. Results of the interviews show that safety in using the walkways are high in priorities and this is followed by availability of shade and presence of controlled nature.

 

Keywords : Landscape, Walkways, Neighborhoods, Preference, Pedestrain

 

 

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