Apart from being a centre for social and recreation, urban sector plays an important role in attracting local and foreign investors in economic activities. Therefore, a township must be able to provide a good and competitive environment, complemented with all forms of activities within its territory. Peninsular Malaysia is expected to experience a rapid process of urbanisation by year 2020, with a majority of the population being urbanized. The increase in population means additional space is required for housing, public amenities and infrastructure. Hence, development to be carried out should be able to bring a good return whilst priority being given to environmental protection, through a balanced and optimal use of national resources.
The vision for ‘Kuala Lumpur - A World Class City’, encapsulates the ambition of Kuala Lumpur Structure Plan 2020 (KLSP2020) to make Kuala Lumpur a city that will assume a major global and sub-global role for the benefits of all its communities, workers, visitors and investors. The KLSP emphasizes that the vision and goals of Kuala Lumpur has been formulated with the aims of creating a sustainable city with City Hall ensuring that the planning for Kuala Lumpur will strike a balance between physical, economic, social and environmental development.
It may appear logical to expect that only one large centre would have emerged in a small country like Peninsular Malaysia while other centres would have declined. However, Malaysia is fortunate in that a strong urban hierarchy had already been developed over many years in the colonial and post-colonial eras and this hierarchy, with strong local groups of entrepreneurs, continues to provide a sustainable geographical base for further industrialisation and economic modernisation. A pattern of polycentric interdependent urban centres has emerged with the Kuala Lumpur conurbation being the ‘advanced’ city supported by the George Town and Johor Bahru conurbations.