Saturday July 28, 2012
KLIFD set to reshape Malaysia’s financial landscape
KUALA LUMPUR: The Kuala Lumpur International Financial District (KLIFD) is set to reshape Malaysia's financial landscape in the region, as well as on the global front, with state-of-the-art infrastructure and technology.
The KLIFD, was one of the early Entry Point Projects (EPPs) under Malaysia's Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), a national roadmap to more than double Malaysia's per capita income to RM48,000 in 2020, while propelling the nation to a high-income economy.
The project, which will house a physical clustering of the right mix of key international institutions and support services, is estimated to grow to three times its current size by 2020.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is scheduled to launch the KLIFD on Monday.
The RM26bil project also looks to deliver on the aspirations for Greater KL to drive rapid growth in parallel with upgrading the city's liveability ranking to the top 20 in the world.
There will be strong emphasis on quality of life, appealing to the talent needed to support Greater KL.
“We plan KLIFD to be a space like no other, and this is our forte as urban planners. Buildings can always be good, but we want to emphasise that this project will resolve itself in the public realm,” Jorge Silvetti, principal, Machado and Silvetti Associates, said.
Machado and Silvetti Associates and its Malaysian partner, Akitek Jururancang (M) Sdn Bhd, are the master planners for KLIFD.
The 28.3-ha project will also spearhead a greener Greater KL with green spaces, sustainable buildings, limited motor vehicle usage, large tranquil parks coupled with rooftop gardens and a solid waste management eco-system.
“The allocation of 30% of the site for greenery might not be very different, but the way we are deploying it, the idea of creating the topography that not only hides cars, makes it more beautiful and pedestrian.
“It also allows for a water management programme that is going to be unique for a project of this scale,” said Silvetti.
Unlike ordinary projects, KLIFD's core focus is sustainability with guidelines embedded from the master planning stage.
KLIFD's green areas, for example, are highly functional, not just for beauty, but also encourages the creation of community, by making public spaces viable, and is vital for its water management system.
With the right ingredients for a world-class city, KLIFD is no doubt expected to attract top global companies to create a catalytic pool of world-class players.
Announced late 2010, work on the project by 1Malaysia Development Bhd (IMDB) has been on the fast track, endorsing the importance of the development in transforming the country into a financial hub.
Work on the project literally started on the day the plan was announced, but the journey was not easy given its magnitude. It sparked off not only tremendous interest among financial, construction and investment circles but also criticism.
1MDB chief executive officer Datuk Shahrol Halmi has been very clear from the beginning that the organisation would let its actions speak louder than words.
“We want the development to be on an orderly basis and ensure that there are marketing benefits,” he said.
Preliminary work started on July 1, with the first phase of the project expected to be operational in 2016. Bernama