Langkawi On ‘Copenhagen Wheels’: Exploring Eco-conscious Urban Strategies For Island Development Via Cycling Technology
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R. A. Rahman, N. R. N. Roslan
This paper addresses the topic of ‘urban strategies’. The context is the development on Langkawi, an island destination in Malaysia. The Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) has established a framework for how the island will be developed in the LADA Tourism Blueprint 2011–2015. Eco-tourism is a targeted core business. Much of Langkawi will be conserved as the natural rainforest, limiting the built-up areas to approximately 30% of the island. Despite the strong implication upon the island’s urbanisation, there have not been any specific ecologically conscious urban development strategies within the existing Blueprint. This paper proposes that such strategies need to fulfil both the demand of the expanding tourism industry as well as the need to safeguard the natural ecology of the island. Promoting bicycles as a primary transportation option will serve both. Unlike the normal bicycle, this project looks at integrating the ‘Copenhagen Wheel’ version. The ‘Copenhagen Wheel’ turns ordinary bicycles into electric ones via a sensor-type hub that will collect environmental quality data, road conditions and congestion as the bicycle traverses an area. The case study is set for a land parcel in the vicinity of the ferry terminal and the LADA Headquarters. The architectural focus will transform this site into a cyclists’ haven and environmental monitoring centre by integrating the ‘Copenhagen Wheel’ technology into the development model. This is interconnected with the greater framework of enlarging the tourism package for Langkawi whilst sustaining the island’s natural environment. This integrated cycling-based project will offer the insights towards eco-conscious urban strategies in island development.
island, eco-tourism, cycling-technology, sustainable, development