Evaluating the City Image: A Focus on Landmarks of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

  •  Ahmed Raad Al Shams    
  •  Nurwati Badarulzaman    


One of the main issues that have been considered about Kuala Lumpur city is its indistinguishable identity and image, partly due to the rapid development and expansion of the city structure over many decades. Inevitably, forming a distinctive city image is not an easy task as it depends primarily on the manner of reciprocal interactions between people and their surrounding built environment. This paper examines the relationship and interaction between people and the city structure, specifically through public evaluation of landmarks as one of the five elements of the city image. The people’s background and their evaluation of the landmarks’ features are examined in this study. To achieve this objective, both quantitative and qualitative data were collected using mixed-techniques involving a questionnaire survey of 120 respondents followed by an unstructured interview. The results show significant differences in the public evaluation of landmarks based on the respondents’ nationality and ethnicity. Differences in the evaluation are related to the landmark factors namely unique; memorable; legible; historic; design; scale; meaningful and color. Much effort by the local authorities is necessary to create a distinguishable image of Kuala Lumpur that reflects the city’s fusion of modern and traditional lifestyles, and diversified cultures and values.

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