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Posted on 6 August 2018 – 06:18pm
Last updated on 7 August 2018 – 01:15am
SINCE the last decade, more than half the world’s population lives in urban areas. According to UN Habitat principles, effective land use policies will contribute to environmental sustainability, better health and improved quality of life.
Such policies would ensure optimum use of limited space (for work, living and leisure), minimise need for transport (through zonal self-sufficiency) and provide time/opportunity for citizens to partake in fine arts, culture, hobbies, etc.
Public transport (buses, trains, etc) is much safer than private transport (cars, and motorcycles). Citizens world over are willing to use an efficient public transport over private transport for most of their transport needs, if given a choice.
Public transport entails some degree of walking and this will contribute to better health.
Issues in Malaysia’s public transport system such as last mile connectivity, transit stations and pedestrian facilities (crossings, covered pathways, etc) need to be resolved.
Rural areas too need innovative transport systems (cooperative/shared transport, school bus system to avoid children being carried on motorcycles, etc).
Malaysia should rethink and plan its long-term land use and public transport policies (the first two tenets of road safety) from many sustainable perspectives.
Prof Dr Krishnan Rajam
RCSI and UCD Malaysia Campus