Street environment as public space in Kuala Lumpur: a case study of Jalan Masjid India / Normah Sulaiman

Sulaiman, Normah (2021) Street environment as public space in Kuala Lumpur: a case study of Jalan Masjid India / Normah Sulaiman. PhD thesis, Universiti Teknologi MARA.


In the history of urban development, roads have been an encouraging factor in shaping
the physical form and fabric of a city for decades. It has brought many impacts and
more challenges into urbanization affecting the overall urban quality of life. The
research background is derived from issues regarding the impact of road design shaping
the urban form towards urban liveability in Kuala Lumpur. Roads and streets are at the
heart of our understanding in shaping the form and fabric of the city which the previous
central idea is focusing on the movement of traffics. Streets have seen to renewed their
importance in being expressive as a communication platform between human and their
activity. Therefore, this research will focus on street functioning as an extension of
space influencing social interaction and as a public space. The research aims to examine
street strategy as a basis for informing street provision as a public space in terms of the
street physical and social environment. The research questions and objectives are
formulated to assist research in achieving this aim. The scope is set to study the physical
and social dimension of the street environment. Supporting the research are the works
of literature that expand understanding on key ideas of road and street as an
infrastructural component constructing movements in the city. The literature also
explores the concept of the street as a public space, street functions and typology. Next,
the research examined the current street provision strategy and guidance and conduct a
detailed review of street guide as public space from the universal and local context. The
research methodology is formulated based on a method developed by Jahn Gehl that
extensively focus on street transformations globally. Following this, a decision was
taken to evaluate Jalan Masjid India, Kuala Lumpur. The rationale for choosing these
streets was made based on the outcome of the pilot study testing the research
methodology and instruments and the availability of variables for the study. The key
findings from the survey highlighted the street as a robust connector for movement and
the strength of the street is its connectivity despite the average street conditions to cater
for all kinds of mobility and activities. The survey of the street social environment
informs the street is an active space with multiple activities and social interactions
taking places. Among other findings highlighted are street connectivity, quantity and
quality of public space, street programme, street landscaping and street safety. The
street social environment is robust but not a functional social interactions connector.
The findings from both aspects are validated using the local and global street guidance
which highlights what was lacking in the current street provision as a public space in
Kuala Lumpur. Recommendations are drawn with a street strategy and a street as public
space framework as a basis to inform improvements on current street provision
influencing social interactions. Future research also suggests exploring the potential of
the street as a healthy corridor in the city and developing collaborative guidelines
contributing towards a better urban liveability and environment and increase general
enjoyment of life for the public.


Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Email / ID Num.
Sulaiman, Normah
Email / ID Num.
Thesis advisor
Abdullah, Yusfida Ayu (Associate Professor Dr.)
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NA Architecture > Space (Architecture). Public spaces
Divisions: Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam > Faculty of Architecture, Planning and Surveying
Programme: Doctor of Philosophy (Built Environment)
Keywords: Urban designer; engineering; public space; street environment; street typology
Date: July 2021
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