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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.
November 10, 2012, 9am PST | Jessica Hsu
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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!

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Published on Friday, November 2, 2012 in The Guardian
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