KL Stories
October 6, 2016

ASEAN, with the combined GDP of USD 2.6 trillion, is one of the world’s most dynamic economic regions. As TRX seeks to enhance KL’s Golden Triangle, let’s take a look at some of region’s major central business districts.

The CBD of Singapore, the world’s third most important financial centre, is relatively small. It includes areas such as the Downtown Core, Marina Bay, Museum, Newton River Valley, Orchard and Rochor, and houses more than half of Singapore’s offices.

In the past fifteen years, the CBD grew exponentially with Marina Bay Financial Center, a Government’s initiatives to create a new downtown that was an international investment hub slash leisure and entertainment district.

Since 2010, Singapore has unveiled iconic structures such as the integrated resort Marina Bay Sands and tourist marvel Gardens by The Bay. The project has changed the city state and spurred refurbishment work in neighbouring areas. Marina South, its next phase of the development, is a mixed-use, high-density ‘urban village” with 9,000 new homes, where priority will be for pedestrian and cycling lifestyles.

Central Jakarta is the financial hub for Indonesia’s one-trillion-dollar economy. Concentrated along the Sudirman & Thamrin boulevards, Jakarta CBD features plush malls juxtaposed next to more humble, makeshift urban dwellings. Pollution and gridlocks notwithstanding, Jakarta is thriving -- its CBD is undergoing a massive overhaul, with a new dedicated financial centre, Sudirman CBD (SCBD) currently under construction in Senayan.

Hailed as an example of cheap and effective public transportation development, TransJakarta busway, modelled after Bogota’s Transmilenio, carries 320,000 passengers every day. Bangkok, named as the world’s most popular travel destination, still retains semblance of its past, with some of its historical sites and temples located in the middle of its CBD. The CBD is centred around Sathorn, Silom, Ploenchit, Rama I and Rajdamri roads.

Bangkok CBD is currently served by two underground MRT lines and two elevated BTS Skytrain lines that have altered the CBD significantly since the 2000s. Without stringent city planning, Bangkok has a more organic, sprawling feel, an interesting landscape with a mixture of hotels, retail, offices and residential grouped in individual areas. The expansion of the city’s public transport system is expected to extend the CBD further, spreading to three new emerging areas.