Linking green urbanism with walkability: the city of Alor Setar, Malaysia

Ayob, Zulkefle (2020) Linking green urbanism with walkability: the city of Alor Setar, Malaysia. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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The rapidity of urbanisation due to global capitalisation has caused lopsided and uneven development in many types of cities the world over. The uncontrol and unbalance development habitually initiated tribulations of environmental, social-cultural and economic problems. In Malaysia, this phenomenon has become apparent, especially in medium-sized cities. The concentration on vertical-physical development, roads and highways, and extensive business districts often disregard the human factors – the residents, workers and visitors. These cities failed to provide the quality urban environment for the urban living; poor accessibility and walkability for pedestrian mobility and lack of greeneries for a pleasant urban environment; and often disregard historical and cultural significance for monetary gains. The concept of Green Urbanism and its principals is a catalyst in solving the problems. This research focus on the overlapping of green urbanism with walkability at the Medium-sized City of Alor Setar is essential to sustain the long existence of Malaysian’s medium-sized cities.

This research adopted a mixed-method research strategy to achieve the research aim and objectives. The research examines through literature investigations, the concepts of walkability and green urbanism for probable associations between the two concepts – the research strategy engaged in developing two indices for the appraisal of association. First, the Alor Setar Walkability Index (ASWI)– a walkability index to measure the extent of urban walkability, was modelled from the previous studies of walkability indices ranging from global, Asian and Malaysian indices. Second, the Alor Setar Green Urbanism Index (ASGUI)– an index to measure the level Green Urbanism quality that encourages urban walkability. ASWI was developed by examining the previous walkability indices. Dissimilarly, ASGUI required extended stages of Three-stages of Delphi Survey and validation process involving built environment experts. The final list of the index was subjected to a validation process to determine its robustness for application in the Medium-sized city in Malaysia. The purposive sampling of Semi-structured interviews was carried out among the built environment professionals and practitioners. Data gathered has helped in the identification of the themes of association between both concepts via thematic analysis. The validated indices were used on-site by chosen focus groups along designated routes at the city centre of the Medium-sized City of Alor Setar.

Statistical analysis was used in analysing all the obtained to identify factors of associations between walkability and Green Urbanism. The statistical analysis performed on both ASWI and ASGUI generated significant similarities. The research resolved that route with a high walkability score was also found to score the highest Green Urbanism Quality. A highly walkable city has a positive chain reaction; it stimulates lively street-level activities, thus increase public policing and security. Landscape, greeneries and shades are the encouraging factors to promote walkability. To build a town is to develop a culture. A town endowed with lush landscape, beautiful gardens, and bountiful biodiversity would encourage an outdoor lifestyle and a walking culture. People would be persuaded to walk when the pedestrian network is conveniently and efficiently integrated with the urban transportation system. Also, when the pedestrian network functions as green links between attractive public spaces.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Heath, Tim
Porter, Nicole
Keywords: Green urbanism, Urban sustainability, Walkability, Medium-sized city
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering > Built Environment
Item ID: 63052
Depositing User: Ayob, Zulkefle
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2021 14:30
Last Modified: 07 Jan 2021 14:30

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