The UN Local Agenda 21 (LA21) has been implemented in Malaysia and the Kuala Lumpur (KL) region since 2005. This was done in order to encourage public, private and community partnerships in fostering a better city vision.
In early 2006, the direction of LA21 Programmes in KL were formalised and designed to ensure that activities of the LA 21 programme fit within the Local Agenda main themes. Under the Clean & Beautiful City theme, community gardens were established.
There are two categories of community gardens:
- 1. Herb gardens
- 2. Urban farming
This case study focuses on KL’s urban farming projects, which were implemented under leadership of city residents groups and the city’s Planning Department, which was in turn supported by several other government agencies, private companies and NGOs.
As a signatory of the Rio Declaration, Malaysia began officially implementing UN Local Agenda 21 in Kuala Lumpur and throughout the country since 2005. The main purpose of the programme was to encourage public, private and community partnerships in fostering better city vision.
In early 2006, the direction of LA21 Programmes in KL was formalised and designed to assure that activities of the LA 21 programme fit within four main themes relevant to local context:
- i. Clean & Beautiful City (under which also fall community gardens)
- ii. Safe City
- iii. Harmonious City
- iv. E-City (digitised)
A steep growth of LA21 projects occurred between 2014 to 2016, with 12 main projects being identified; including:
- 1. Cleanliness Blueprint for Bukit Bintang
- 2. LA21 KL Herb Garden
- 3. LA21 KL Urban Garden
- 4. Sg. Bunus River of Life
- 5. Waste Management and Best Practices Programme
- 6. rts and Heritage Symphony – Tunas Warisan Angklung
- 7. English @ CLiC (Creative, Learning and IT Centre)
- 8. KL Smoke Free (KLBAR)
- 9. Community Socio Economic Development
- 10. Brickfields Safe City
- 11. Resilient City and Communities
- 12. Bridging Digital Gap Project
A combination of two projects, the Herb and Urban Gardens from the above list formed the ‘Community Gardens’ initiative. This initiative has a focus on building partnerships with communities through urban gardening projects that foster resilience and interaction. The portfolio of the two types of Community Gardens are:
- 1. Herb garden: currently, there is one large urban orchard with a focus on native herb planting
- 2. Urban garden: currently, there are 21 smaller urban gardens
The first LA21 Community Gardening project began in 2014, with the pilot Herb Garden project being established within that same year. This was through a joint partnership between the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and the local community at Raya Permai Flats, where a 2.4-acre park was established along with a maintenance system and programmes managed by the residents.
From 2015 onwards, the programme shifted its focus to urban gardens, situated in smaller pocket spaces identified by local residents. With the success of a few initial urban gardens and farms, the city set a growth rate target of three farms a year. This target has been surpassed, with 10 applications having been approved this year alone.
At the moment, there are 21 urban farms in the municipality, which range from 270 m2 to 9,700 m2 in size. Additional 10 gardens are to be established by the end of the year. To date, there are almost 59,000 m2 of community gardens within Kuala Lumpur, representing land that is being set aside for residents to cultivate both plants and a sense of community.
Kuala Lumpur is in the process of formalising long-term goals in relation to community gardens. Furthermore, establishing these community gardens will be supporting the overall long-term ‘Low Carbon Society’ sustainability and climate action targets (achieving 30% green cover across the city and increasing the amount of open space per person to 2.0 ha per 1,000 population).
What is the policy? How does it work?
With a strong focus on fostering community interaction and encouraging food resilience, the Urban Farm programme was initiated in 2015 and will contribute to climate action through a few key areas:
- 1. Community engagement
- 2. Productive recreational space (food resilience)
- 3. Carbon Sink (green space)
What are the CO2 reduction goals/achievements?
At the moment, the CO2 reduction achievements are very minimal; but the city is establishing their long-term reductions goals as part of its Climate Action Plan (CAP) programme.
*The current estimated contribution of total greenery (and water body) in creating projects are estimated to account for 1% of total carbon emissions intensity reduction targets through the Low Carbon Society by 2030.
The City Hall of Kuala Lumpur continue facilitate community garden programmes, while undertaking measurement and target-setting exercises through the C40 Climate Action Planning Programme.
Links to Further Information
Pn. Nik Mastura Diyana binti Nik Mohamad
Senior Deputy Director (Physical Planning)
City Planning Department, City Hall of Kuala Lumpur
13th Floor, DBKL Tower 1 Jalan Raja Laut,
50350 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel no: +60326179551
- Emissions Reduction
- Potential of 21 TCO2eq/year (from 14 acres)
- Initial Investments
- RM 350,000.00 (~USD $85,000) (estimated since 2015)
- Financial Savings
- RM 300,000 (~USD $70,000) (estimated since 2015)