Did you know that Kuala Lumpur has about 1/3 green cover including public parks and nature reserves? This is the same as London, and better than New York, Paris, Tokyo or Shanghai!
As a capital city founded in a tropical and hilly landscape, greenery is the natural state of the city, and despite the lightning speed of growth, KLites have maintained their love for all things green.
During the Colonial period, the sprawling Perdana Lake Gardens was born. The lake, originally known as Sydney Lake, was constructed by damming up Sungei Bras, and a variety of sculpted gardens was created across the landscape of 226 acres. The British Resident General’s official residence was built atop a hill, and today is known as Carcosa Seri Negara.
This 130-year old park in the heart of the city with its beautiful lake, themed gardens and scenic trails with old shady trees and sweet-smelling flowering shrubs continues to draw impressive crowds, and is a favourite location for filming crews.
It also boasts the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, the world’s largest free-flight walk-in aviary. “I love the landscape of the park resembling the natural habitat of the birds,” visitor Kathleen Poon said.
On the other end of the scale is the more modern KLCC Park which was designed in tandem with the Petronas Twin Towers to augment the technological achievement with a more natural charm. Famous for its water, music and light shows, visitors from all over the world who come to see the iconic building end up lingering in the lush greenery of the park to enjoy the textures, sights and smells of nature amidst the glass and steel giants around them.
For other KLites, however, Taman Tasik Titiwangsa remains a popular hangout in the city centre. This park has an unbeatable city skyline views across the repurposed tin mining lake of nearby Istana Budaya and the National Visual Arts Gallery, as well as further out to the Twin Towers and KL Tower. Its heaving at weekends when families come out to picnic, joggers and cyclists take their exercise and everyone takes advantage of the many attractions, such as paddle boat and water ball activities, horse riding and even a radio car race track.
Not too far away, the Kepong Metropolitan Park, featuring an old mining lake 15 storeys deep long popular with anglers, has found new fame – for kite flying! Every day, kites of different sizes, designs and colours dominate the skies, especially on weekends. You don’t even have to bring your own, as plenty of choices are for sale at the park.
The KL City Council has been active in initiating or supporting greening efforts. So far, there has been urban farming initiatives in schools, Peoples Housing Project (PPR) flats and reserve land, as well as micro parks like the Tun Perak Pocket Park, designed in partnership with Think City, and a target to plant 100,000 trees by 2020.
The hosting of the World Urban Forum in February also saw experiments with parklets and kerblets in the city centre, where very small areas could be made greener and suitable for public use.