Landscaping key to livability, but often neglected

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 21): Landscape plays an important role in enhancing people's lives and wellbeing, but unfortunately it is also often neglected in real estate development, public space and urbanisation.

But to ensure that Malaysia becomes one of the most liveable nations in the world, society has to recognise that landscape is actually at the heart of the sustainability of our cities.

“Landscape should be the base for wellbeing and inspire living through innovative technology and sustainable values,” the Institute of Landscape Architects Malaysia (ILAM) president Osman Mohd Tahir told EdgeProp.my at the Malaysia Landscape Architecture Awards (MLAA) 2017 and ILAM gala night today.

“And ILAM is constantly looking for ways to promote and enhance the integral role that the landscape architects play not only in the built environment but also the development of the local and international communities as a whole,” he added.

Created to honour landscape architecture professional works in 2007, MLAA has expanded from two award categories to the present eight categories — professionals, landscape contractors, landscape suppliers or manufacturers, developers and government-linked companies, government agencies, media, researchers, and students.

The award saw a steady increase in submissions with 165 entries from Malaysia and Singapore, while more than 67 awards were presented that night.

The event was officiated by the Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government secretary general Datuk Seri Mohammad Mentek.

Among the winners is EcoHill Park in Setia EcoHill — a township development by S P Setia Bhd (SP Setia) at Semenyih — which clinched MLAA's excellence award under the Landscape Development Award — Developer and GLC Category as recognition for its sustainable landscape development.

Meanwhile, S P Setia's Setia SPICE at Penang also received the honour award under the same category.

ILAM also presented a certificate of appreciation to The Edge Property Sdn Bhd, the publisher of EdgeProp.my, for initiating a collaboration between the two parties to introduce the EdgeProp-ILAM Malaysia's Sustainable Landscape Award 2018 – an award under the umbrella of EdgeProp Malaysia's Best Managed Property Awards 2018.

Present to receive the certificate of appreciation was The Edge Property Sdn Bhd managing director and EdgeProp.my editor-in-chief Au Foong Yee.

Osman said the institution is honoured to be part of the collaborative effort.

“The award will be the catalyst to shape our city and our future by having a holistic quality landscape development with unique landscape character and upholding the aspect of landscape sustainability. Therefore, [in order] to honour this collaborative effort, ILAM [would] like to give The Edge Property Sdn Bhd this certificate of appreciation,” he elaborated.

Meanwhile, Au said EdgeProp.my is also delighted and proud to partner ILAM for the award, which serves to complement ILAM's MLAA to celebrate excellence in the landscape architecture industry.

“Sustainable real estate, we believe, goes beyond mere brick and mortar. Similar to buildings and townships, it is pertinent that landscaped initiatives be designed, built and maintained for sustainability. Indeed, this is at the core of the EdgeProp-ILAM Malaysia's Sustainable Landscape Award,” she elaborated.

And through the award, both EdgeProp.my and ILAM aspire to inspire landscape architects to further challenge themselves to benchmark their expertise against the world's best.

“It is also our objective to create awareness among and educate stakeholders in the property development industry and the general public on the importance of sustainable landscaped spaces, big or small.

“Aesthetics, creativity and innovation, we believe, must be balanced with financial sensibility in maintenance. Sometimes, less is actually more,” she added.

Meanwhile, Osman noted that the MLAA is not only a recognition from within the industry, but it has also set the benchmark for the landscape industry, and encouraged the implementation and creation of new design trends.

“[Looking] beyond the horizon, we envision the MLAA to go beyond our borders, to become the most prestigious landscape architecture awards for the Asean region,” he concluded.