Urban regeneration and the four cities doing it right

The fast-paced developments in technology are not the only challenges that cities have to grapple with, as other factors such as the climate crisis and population boom are also putting the pressure on living spaces to deliver on the expectations and needs of their citizens.

An artist impression of The Exchange TRX. The United Nations forecasts that urbanites will make up to 70% of the global population by 2050.
An artist impression of The Exchange TRX. The United Nations forecasts that urbanites will make up to 70% of the global population by 2050.

Increasingly, people around the world aspire to live in smarter, more liveable spaces, with high demand for access to robust and interconnected public transport systems. At the same time, governments are looking for ways to transform their cities into smarter, greener, cleaner and more liveable places.

It is evident that there is a need to address these challenges by designing environmentally and socially resilient cities and this has given rise to the growing trend of urban regeneration and place making.

What is place making? At its core is placing people at the heart of all considerations when it comes to creating places. When done well, it creates vibrant spaces for people to live and work in, as well as improve the economical, physical, social and environmental landscape of the area and community.

Paya Lebar, Singapore

The Paya Lebar Quarter is Singapore’s most progressive city precinct for the URA’s urban regeneration masterplan in the area.
The Paya Lebar Quarter is Singapore’s most progressive city precinct for the URA’s urban regeneration masterplan in the area.

A prime example of this is leading international property and infrastructure group Lendlease’s Paya Lebar Quarter. This regeneration development spans a 3.9-hectare site and is a key catalyst to Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) masterplan to rejuvenate the Paya Lebar area. The development is expected to transform the area into a bustling, pedestrian-friendly, new city precinct and a dynamic sub-regional business hub with a distinctive sense of place and cultural identity. It brings together elements such as progressive workspaces, retail and entertainment facilities as well as exclusive residences – all set within generous lush green spaces.

Since its regeneration, the area is seeing an increasing demand for new homes, retail and office spaces. Paya Lebar Quarter’s Park Place Residences is one of the Singapore’s most successful private condominium launches in recent years, with 100% of its units allocated for the first phase snapped up within hours of its first day of sale. This certainly indicates that astute buyers recognise that the regeneration of Paya Lebar positions the area as the next growth district of Singapore.

Sydney, Australia

This former container wharf in Barangaroo South in Sydney, Australia is being transformed by local and international architects into a vibrant new waterfront city district.
This former container wharf in Barangaroo South in Sydney, Australia is being transformed by local and international architects into a vibrant new waterfront city district.

Barangaroo South is Sydney’s largest urban renewal project since the 2000 Olympics. It aims to be Australia’s first large scale carbon neutral precinct. It has transformed a disused container terminal on the edge of Sydney’s CBD into a place for people to live, work and play with new office spaces, public areas, residential units and retail. It will eventually accommodate approximately 23, 000 office workers and 1, 600 residents, with a six star hotel and more than 80 cafes, bars, restaurants and retail outlets to boot.

Elephant Park, London

The 9.71ha Elephant Park development in South London, due to complete by 2025, has been widely praised around the world for being a flagship “carbon positive” development under a C40 Cities programme, which is intended to show cities around the world how to be climate friendly.
The 9.71ha Elephant Park development in South London, due to complete by 2025, has been widely praised around the world for being a flagship “carbon positive” development under a C40 Cities programme, which is intended to show cities around the world how to be climate friendly.

Another great example of the benefits of urban regeneration and placemaking is the 15-year Elephant and Castle regeneration project in London, which is estimated to cost £2.3 billion (~ RM 11.79 billion). Taking the commitment to create London’s new ‘green heart’ seriously, it is one of the most sustainable inner-city regeneration projects on the global scale. The project will breathe new life into this special part of Central London, building on Elephant & Castle’s heritage and creating thousands of high-quality new homes, jobs, business opportunities and green space for Londoners.

The commercial expansion of the project is good news for current and future residents, who will benefit from government and private investments in improved transport infrastructure, public spaces and residences. By 2025, the project will create around 3, 000 new homes, at least 25% of which will be affordable, over 6, 000 new jobs, new offices, leisure and community facilities and shops. Around £300 million (~ RM 1.54 billion) will be invested in the area for public transport improvements and wider community facilities.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The Exchange TRX is one of 20 large-scale urban regeneration projects that Lendlease is currently undertaking in major cities around the world.
The Exchange TRX is one of 20 large-scale urban regeneration projects that Lendlease is currently undertaking in major cities around the world.

While these great international projects are indeed awe-inspiring, Malaysia is also seeing exciting developments in creating another urban regeneration gem on its shores. Lendlease brings its strong global track record and expertise in urban regeneration to Kuala Lumpur with one of its largest integrated developments in Asia – The Exchange TRX.

Lendlease’s partnership with the Malaysian government has put people firmly at the centre of the city’s regeneration project, which is set to transform the area into an international business and financial hub. Working alongside TRX City and the Ministry of Finance, the 70-acre city defining project is set to be the new heart of KL and complements the government’s vision to transform Kuala Lumpur into one of the most liveable and economically vibrant cities in the world.

The 10-acre city rooftop park connects buildings and areas within TRX using cascading greenery, water features and shaded sections that allows quiet contemplation, alfresco dining, outdoor working spaces, sports and leisure activities.
The 10-acre city rooftop park connects buildings and areas within TRX using cascading greenery, water features and shaded sections that allows quiet contemplation, alfresco dining, outdoor working spaces, sports and leisure activities.

The lifestyle component of the overall development is a 17-acre pedestrianised, retail-led mixed-use development called The Exchange TRX, comprising a hotel, campus-style office, six residential towers and a large-scale retail destination connected to a 10-acre rooftop park. The precinct will benefit from exceptional vehicular and people connectivity with its smart city design, coupled with a purpose-built Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) interchange station. The station is the only interchange in the city, making it one of the most connected developments in the region.

With health and wellbeing central to its design, a connected lifestyle inseparable from nature is actively enabled through vibrant greenery and facilities, which range from rooftop walking tracks, communal areas and an extensive network of covered walkways and bridge connections. The precinct’s future-ready technology and smart design puts sustainability and safety at the forefront, with active and passive security measures, low environmental impact materials, urban heat island reduction, curated landscapes, water features and quiet zones that converge to create a safe “third space” for workers, visitors and residents alike.

TRX Residences – an exclusive urban residence in the heart of The Exchange TRX
TRX Residences – an exclusive urban residence in the heart of The Exchange TRX

The precinct’s residential component – TRX Residences, is set to be the benchmark of world-class urban living through its intuitively designed premier urban homes nestled in a future ready integrated precinct. The TRX Residences Discovery and Experience Gallery will be opening soon.

Most Malaysians may not know this, but Lendlease has played a part in shaping Malaysia’s skyline since the 1980’s. Over the past 35 years, Lendlease Malaysia has been involved in more than 100 projects across a multitude of sectors such as the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, Platinum Park, Bank Negara Malaysia’s Sasana Kijang and Lanai Kijang, Pinewood Iskandar Studios, Setia City Mall and more.

Reference: The Star

Home prices are affordable but…

By Pankaj C. Kumar

JUST about a month ago, the National Property Information Centre (Napic) released the Malaysian housing data for the first quarter (Q1) period ended 2019. There are several interesting findings from the state of the Malaysian property market in the first quarter, especially for homebuyers but definitely not for developers, as overhang remains elevated.

The good news is that the Malaysian median home prices have now declined to RM268,000, which is the level last seen five years ago in 2014 when median prices were at RM270,000. First quarter 2019 median price was also 11.6% and 9.7% lower than the peak price of RM303,000 and RM296,944 in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

However, if one thinks that prices are lower, the Malaysian House Price Index (HPI) paints a different picture. For Q1 of 2019, the HPI fell by 0.9% on a quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) basis to 193.6 points but the index is still 1.3% higher when compared with the Q1 2018 reading of 191.2 points. In addition, even the mean home prices of RM339,780 is about 26.8% higher than the median price. So, while buyers can rejoice of lower median prices, mean prices are still sticky as more transactions and supplies are clustered towards the affordable market segment.

Geographically, the Malaysian HPI was dragged lower on a q-o-q basis mainly due to drops across the country with the exception of Penang, where the HPI rose by 1.1%. On a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis, the positive annual change was highest in Perlis, Kelantan and Johor at 8.8%, 5.4% and 5% respectively while negative growth was experienced by Sarawak, Terengganu and Kuala Lumpur with falls of 1.6%, 1.5% and 1.2% respectively.

Malaysian Property Market - Current & Future Supplies
Malaysian Property Market – Current & Future Supplies

House prices remained very much unaffordable for most Malaysians as All House Price for Malaysia as at Q1 of 2019 stood at RM417,670 with only six states showing their respective All House Price index at below RM250,000. The six states include Kelantan, Melaka, Perlis, Perak Kedah and Pahang with prices ranging between RM181,860 and RM225,073 while Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Sabah are the top three most expensive locations with All House Price in ringgit at RM779.448, RM477,816 and RM440,486.

On types of residential properties, terrace homes remained strong, despite a 1% decline in the HPI to 205.4 pts in the Q1 of 2019 against the preceding quarter. Nevertheless, the reading was still higher by 2.6% on a y-o-y basis. Strong price growth was recorded in Johor and Penang as prices rose by 0.4% and 1% q-o-q and 9.5% and 3.6% y-o-y respectively.

Terrace homes, if measured as affordable based on a price tag of RM250,000 and below, is seen well within reach in nine states with the exception of Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor, Penang, Sabah and Sarawak.

For high rises, prices were little changed in the Q1 as they dropped 0.5% q-o-q but were higher by 0.2% y-o-y. These high rises are only affordable in places like Johor, Negri Sembilan and Melaka as the unit prices for these states were below RM250,000.

As widely reported, Malaysia’s overhang issue remained elevated at the end of Q1 of 2019 with both number of units and value rising by 5.5% and 4.1% q-o-q to 54,708 units valued at RM37.23 billion.

Residential and serviced apartments make-up the majority of these unsold completed stocks, accounting for 61% and 24% in number of units or 85% in total, and 54% and 27% in value or 81% of total overhang value. States with the highest overhang are Johor, Selangor, Perak, Kuala Lumpur and Penang with total overhang of about 74% in number of units and 83% in value of the total.

In terms of type of properties in the residential segment, it seems the pattern is similar across the market. Some 37.7% are unsold in the detached and semi-detached segment, 28.9% across terrace homes and 24.9% in the high-rise segment and 23.8% are others. In terms of price points, the two largest categories are homes that are priced between RM300,001 and RM500,000 and RM200,001 and RM300,000 where some 8,337 units and 7,506 units that are completed but remained unsold respectively. The total units in these two price segments alone makes up about 48% of the overall overhang in the residential property segment although in terms of value, they account for about 25% of the total. In terms of value, bulk of the overhang is in the pricier properties as properties that are more than RM700,001 and above has total overhang value of about RM11.49bil, accounting for almost 58% of total overhang in the residential segment.

What is interesting is that despite the gloomy picture in terms of unsold properties, developers continue to launch their products in the market and Napic statistics showed that even after nine months since launched, sales have been rather poor with only about 39.8% of the 32,563 units sold.

Sales for units that are priced between RM300,001 and RM500,000 are doing reasonably well with just under 52% sold after nine months of launch while properties above a million ringgit are less than 25% sold after three quarters since launch.

In terms of stock, incoming and planned supply, the residential market presently has the highest stock but the future supply is not that alarming with about 8.3% in the incoming supply bucket while another 8% in planned supply. Within the residential segment, the high-rise segment is the biggest cluster in terms of future supply with 184,092 units in the bucket of incoming supply and 178,646 units in the bucket of planned supply. On a combined basis for the high-rise segment, the total 362,738 units that are expected to flood the market is more than the 350,538 units terrace homes that are expected to be completed in the future.

The worrying figures in percentage terms are from both the service apartments and SoHo units where the combined future supply is 137.3% and 150% of existing stock level. Of course, some of these planned supplies may not materialise if the developers continue to delay the launch of their projects but the incoming supplies looks troubling still as they make up 50% and 94% of current stock level. This can be seen from the table depicting the state of supplies of the Malaysian property market.

The picture painted by the housing statistic suggests that while the market has seen some pick up in activity, judging by an uptick in both total number of transactions and value, the housing market remains under pressure for developers to off-load their stocks while the incoming and planned supplies are main future stumbling block for the market to see recovery anytime soon.

For buyers, the choices are aplenty especially in the affordable market segment, a segment that every sizable developer has been focusing on while in terms of choices, indeed prices in the main cities remains beyond the reach of the average home buyer but the overall picture in certain states remain attractive for home owners to have a roof over their heads.

Furthermore, with the extension of the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) to the second half of 2019, having a home has become more affordable due to the discounts thrown in by developers as well as absorption of cost associated with buying a property from developers. Overall, home prices have become more affordable due to not only the current stock level, but also due to the income supplies in the affordable price buckets. But sadly, they are mainly not in the prime city areas. Hence it all depends where these homes are located and the type of residential supply.

The views expressed here are that solely that of the writer.

References: thestar.com.my

Apartment by Maly Krasota Design

Maly Krasota Design recently completed a two-storey apartment project in Kiev for a large family. In addition to having two small children in the family who need space for games, apartment owners often receive guests. Therefore, one of the basic requirements for design, was the possibility of transforming the premises for different scenarios: the space should be convenient for both cozy family evenings and for noisy parties with many friends.

The first floor is divided into hallways, a living room combined with a dining room, a kitchen with a hidden storage room, and guest rooms. On the second floor there are the bedrooms of parents and children, another wardrobe, study, and a large bathroom.



The entrance hall – an extended room with a long bench and a spacious dressing room hidden behind the mirrored doors – can accommodate a large number of people at once, and also creates a place for storing a lot of things and clothes that a family has with children: be it bicycles, sledges, and so on.



Behind the glass sliding partition opens the living room and dining room, the free layout of which allows you to transform the space under the place for communication, playing with children, home cinema. Modular sofa can be rearranged, creating different scenarios in the living room or simply put away under the walls, leaving the room free.

The bedrooms, which are located on the second floor, are made in their own color scheme: parents have more restrained warm-beige shades, and brighter ones – in children’s.

In the kitchen, a monochrome combination of kitchen drawers of a dark gray color together with a white square apron tile is softened by the wooden texture of the upper shelves. One of the accent elements of the first floor is the staircase. The frame, made of metal profile and mesh, painted in white, in combination with the steps of plywood looks easy, despite its impressive size.

Large bathroom on the second floor, also divided into zones. The main color in the part with washbasins and a large wall mirror was olive green in combination with the wooden texture of the furniture. And behind the glass partition is hidden a white, minimalist bathroom and shower room.

Facts and figures

Architects Maly Krasota Design
Location Kyiv, Ukraine
Lead Architects Oleksandr Maly, Irina Krasota
Area 190.0 m2
Project Year 2018
Photographs Alexey Yanchenkov
Manufacturers Bosch, Geberit, Kronospan

Tiburon Bay Residence by Nicolehollis

Perched on a Tiburon hillside with sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay, this remarkable property takes inspiration from its owners’ love of family and friends as well as their passion for art collecting. Recently relocated from Hong Kong, the owners desired a residence where they could both relax and entertain, counter-balancing both their extended family’s desire to be together with everyone’s need for moments of solitude and quiet. Hence, the home includes comfortable residences for grandparents in addition to the core nuclear family.

NICOLEHOLLIS took cues from clients’ worldly sophistication, minimalist sensibilities and the site’s unique location, which weaves together a sense of San Francisco, expansive water views and the beauty of the Northern California landscape. The firm crafted a wholly integrated, intensely personal interior environment that connected seamlessly with the stunning architecture and landscaping.

Basing its design approach on rigorous materials exploration, NICOLEHOLLIS devised an expressive vocabulary of rich finishes, custom touches and unparalleled artisanship.

Additionally, the highly edited interior spaces provide an essential showcase for the client’s world-class art collection including works by Candida Hofer, Richard Misrach, Robert Rauschenberg, Li Song Song and Zhang Huan.

Source: homeadore.com