Ipoh converting backlanes for recreation

There are not many Ipoh related property news. That’s why I do not consider Ipoh a property hotspot. However, Ipoh is still a good city for everyone to live, play and love. I read about an interesting thought from the Ipoh city council to turn backlands into recreational areas, similar to what is being done in many other countries. Some of the proposed locations include those in the Ipoh old and new town areas. The mayor Datuk Zamri Man said that these could be converted into recreational areas or made into parking lots. The major reason is because there are limited places to construct recreational areas within the city. Besides, these new recreational areas can also be an activity spot for the tourists who are visiting Ipoh. Besides this, the council is also thinking about Car Free Night in the city centre to attract even more visitors.

I would personally want to drop by and just walk along these roads as long as there are lots of activities happening. A very good example may be Melaka’s Jonker’s Walk. Some of the major open areas for the within the city’s Old Town area include Taman D. R. Seenivasagam, People’s Park, Ipoh Padang, and the train station square. Over in the New Town area, there is Dataran MBI, Sultan Abdul Jalil field, Sultan Abdul Aziz Recreational Park, and the Chinese Recreation Club field. With more activities, this would help to reduce potential crime in quiet areas while reducing crowding in popular public spaces.

Meanwhile, Ipoh City Watch president Prof Dr Richard Ng commented that converting backlands into recreational spaces is not suitable because back lanes are associated with toilets and garbage collection areas. He suggested that the council focus on maximising the use of the Kinta riverfront instead. He gave an example of the Saigon river in Vietnam where there are cruises and the people can even enjoy a dinner on board as well. Perhaps it may be better for the council to provide infrastructure for Ipoh’s famous hawker to set up outlets along the river walk instead. Besides, the back lanes are normally filthy, smelly and filled with rats and cockroaches too. Why not have more activities in the various parks instead since these parks are usually deserted and quiet by nightfall.

I think converting back lanes into a recreational spot is a good idea. This is however not a priority. To me, I would like the various parks to be full of activities instead before the council spends money on converting these back lanes. It would be much cheaper and some of these experience may then be used for future back lane conversions. I also feel that much more can be done along the Kinta riverfront too. Drinking latte while chit-chatting with friends beside a waterway is something I enjoy doing in Singapore. The only issue is to get LOTS of people to go so that everyone enjoys the atmosphere. If there are just a few stalls and just a few chairs, very soon, no one would be going there anymore. I love Ipoh, please keep improving it.

written on 18 Nov 2015

Next suggested article: Ipoh’s integrated edu-city project in Bandar Meru Raya

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