Iskandar Malaysia: The Future of Urban Living or Pipe Dream?

Across the strait from Singapore, Iskandar Malaysia is being planned as the world’s next eco mega-city. Its architects and developers hope it will offer an alternative to Asia's polluted cities and a glimpse of the future of urban living.

The plans for Iskandar Malaysia center on environmentally friendly technologies including renewable energy sources, waste recycling, and green spaces for social integration. The Malaysian government expects the mega-city to be the start of "an end to the pollution that afflicts so many of Asia's cities" and "a showcase to be copied on a bigger scale across the region," reports Fiona Harvey.

As the number of urban dwellers in the world surpasses that of rural-dwellers, Iskandar Malaysia is designed to combat the social and environmental impacts of future population growth in southeast Asia. It is expected to house 3 million people by 2025 and could be "a model to countries needing to accommodate the social and economic needs of fast-rising populations and environmental challenges," said Ellis Rubinstein, president of the New York Academy of Sciences.

Currently, $30 billion has been promised for the building of the city, which will include a Legoland and the remote campuses of several UK universities. The track record for previously announced eco-cities has been less than perfect. Good luck Iskandar!

Full Story: Iskandar Malaysia - the green mega-city rising above Singapore

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