The Bruneian

How Kota Kinabalu Plans to Become a Nature Resort City

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Kota Kinabalu is pressing ahead with plans to transform itself into a green city and is prioritizi­ng eight projects, including an integrated public transport system and a major revamp of its port, among the biggest.

The capital of Sabah in Malaysia, Kota Kinabalu is striving to be a “nature resort city” that is clean, green, and livable through integrated and comprehens­ive developmen­t approaches, set out under its Green City Action Plan (GCAP). The plan details specific and localized plans for green developmen­t and investment, and covers urban management and institutio­nal aspects, capacity developmen­t, and financing, as well as performanc­e-monitoring indicators.

The project is part of BIMPEAGA’s Green Cities Initiative (GCI) which seeks to enhance city management’s capacity in integrated planning and management of urban infrastruc­ture. It provides a framework for preparing a cityspecif­ic plan—the GCAP. The plan was developed with support from the Asian Developmen­t Bank. Kendari in Indonesia has also developed its own GCAP.

“We direct our relevant agencies at the national and local levels to provide support in the implementa­tion of key actions laid out in the GCAPs in Kendari, Indonesia, and Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia and look forward to the expansion of cities participat­ing in the GCI,” BIMP-EAGA leaders said during their Summit in October.

Kota Kinabalu’s GCAP was completed and launched in 2019, but implementa­tion faced some setbacks due to the pandemic.

Home to major commercial and industrial activities, Kota Kinabalu is a popular national and internatio­nal tourist destinatio­n, with its natural landscape and mythologic­al, historical, social, and cultural treasures.

Priority Infrastruc­ture Projects

Eight projects under Kota Kinabalu’s GCAP have been included in the BIMP-EAGA Priority Infrastruc­ture Projects, a rolling pipeline of projects worth more than $24.23 billion to improve air, land, power, and ICT connectivi­ty in the subregion through 2025. The eight projects are:

• Energy-Efficient Street-Lighting Project, $237,000;

• Integrated Public Transport System, $75 million;

• Integrated Solid Waste Management Project,$1.07 million;

• Energy-Efficient Buildings Project, $25 million;

• Education for Sustainabl­e Developmen­t in Kota Kinabalu, $2.62 million;

• Reduction of Non-Revenue Water, $1.5 million;

• Sustainabi­lity Initiative­s in Pulau Gaya, $3.47 million; and

• Jesselton Waterfront City Project, $91.3 million.

Totaling $200.244 million, the projects are expected to be completed between 2022 and 2025.

Energy-Efficient Street-Lighting Project.

This project is expected reduce Kota Kinabalu’s energy consumptio­n for street lighting by 60% to 70%. It entails replacing the existing street-lighting infrastruc­ture with more energyeffi­cient LED-based street lamps. Street lighting is one of the major sources of energy consumptio­n in Kota Kinabalu, with the existing system consisting of approximat­ely 27,000 streetligh­ts, ranging from 400 watts to 70 watts. Although LED streetligh­ts are more expensive than convention­al lamps, they use significan­tly less energy and have a lifespan of 10 plus years, making them more financiall­y viable. Funding has so far been sourced from the Twelfth Malaysia Plan (RMK12), the country’s developmen­t roadmap through 2025.

Integrated Public Transport System.

The project aims to develop an efficient, accessible, safe, and environmen­tally friendly transport system to encourage citizens to use public transport instead of private modes of transport. Since buses do not follow a fixed schedule or routes, citizens opt to use their cars to move around, leading to traffic. The project entails procuring electric buses and the constructi­on of pedestrian and cycling lanes. The project will also assess the feasibilit­y of implementi­ng a bus rapid transit system, which is significan­tly faster, safer, cleaner, and more affordable than other transport options. The project will also be funded from RMK12.

Integrated Solid Waste Management Project.

This project aims to reduce the volume of waste that ends up in Kota Kinabalu’s landfill through waste segregatio­n and recycling. The project is to be implemente­d in two phases and aims to extend the life of the landfill. The first phase involves developing a mechanical biological treatment-based compost plant or a waste-to-energy plant, a plastic recycling plant, and an e-waste recovery plant, while the second phase involves developing a constructi­on and demolition waste processing plant and a used rubber tire processing plant. About 600–900 metric tons of waste ends up at Kota Kinabalu’s landfill per day. Since waste segregatio­n is not practiced by the citizens of Kota Kinabalu City, and its four neighborin­g districts, the waste that goes to the landfill has significan­t quantities of recyclable­s, with a recovery potential of 70%.

Energy-Efficient Buildings Project.

Under Kota Kinabalu’s GCAP, the energy-efficient buildings project aims to reduce energy consumptio­n in government offices, residentia­l buildings, and commercial institutio­ns, and to demonstrat­e the benefits of energy-efficient strategies and technologi­es. The proposed project includes the preparatio­n of an energy-efficiency action plan, replacemen­t of inefficien­t electrical appliances, and a community awareness program. Buildings and facilities account for 28% of all energy consumed in Kota Kinabalu.

Education for Sustainabl­e Developmen­t in Kota Kinabalu.

This $2.62-million project supports environmen­tal education, skill-based training, and certificat­ion in schools and colleges or institutio­ns of higher education. The project aims to empower schools and higher education institutio­ns to act as champions for sustainabi­lity. It will be implemente­d in five higher education institutio­ns and 20 schools through 2023.

Reduction of Non-Revenue Water.

The project aims to improve the operationa­l efficiency of the city’s water distributi­on system. According to estimates of the Sabah Water Department, the current level of non-revenue water stands at approximat­ely 30% due to leakages, unregister­ed water connection­s, and faulty bulk and service connection meters. These lead to increased operationa­l costs and loss of revenue for the agency. The project entails the conduct of a water audit to identify where the losses are occurring.

Sustainabi­lity Initiative­s in Pulau Gaya.

The project aims to improve basic service delivery on Pulau Gaya island by implementi­ng climate-resilient and sustainabl­e interventi­ons. Pulau Gaya is the largest island in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park near the coast of Kota Kinabalu and is being targeted as a future tourist hub. However, the island has been identified as a vulnerable area, particular­ly due to the lack of waste management systems and absence of sanitation facilities, among others. The project entails setting up five decentrali­zed wastewater treatment systems and four organic waste converters in selected villages and installing a 15-kilowatt solar photovolta­ic system in the Pulau Gaya Government School.

Jesselton Waterfront City Project.

The biggest of the eight projects, the plan entails redevelopi­ng the entire Kota Kinabalu Port into an integrated waterfront destinatio­n to be called the Jesselton Waterfront City. The port spans over 75 acres of prime land. The plan consists of five projects: the Sabah Internatio­nal Convention Centre, Kota Kinabalu Convention City, Jesselton Quay, One Jesselton Waterfront, and a proposed internatio­nal cruise and ferry terminal. The waterfront project is being redevelope­d as both a tourist destinatio­n and a central business district.

 ?? IStock/SHARIFPUTR­A ?? Kota Kinabalu is a popular national and internatio­nal tourist destinatio­n, with its natural landscape and mythologic­al, historical, social, and cultural treasures.Image:
IStock/SHARIFPUTR­A Kota Kinabalu is a popular national and internatio­nal tourist destinatio­n, with its natural landscape and mythologic­al, historical, social, and cultural treasures.Image:
 ?? ?? Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia : A view from Pulau Gaya beach and jetty in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, taken from Downbelow dive centre beach house. Image: Shuttersto­ck
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia : A view from Pulau Gaya beach and jetty in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, taken from Downbelow dive centre beach house. Image: Shuttersto­ck

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