Users’ Perceptions on Pedestrian Prioritized Neighborhoods: a study on Terrace Row Housing Estates in Malaysia


  • Tareef Hayat Khan Faculty of Built Environment, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
  • Abubakar Danladi Isah Faculty of Built Environment, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
  • Elahe Anjomshoaa Faculty of Built Environment, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
  • Soheil Sabri Faculty of Built Environment, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia



Malaysia is currently enjoying an overhang of housing supply. The focus is gradually shifting from providing
just a mere shelter to something more socially. Terrace row housing estates in Malaysia is the major
prototype of housing in the country. Pedestrian activities are catalyst to social interaction, but have been
ignored in this model. During the last century, motor age established the supremacy of car prioritized
models over that of pedestrians around the world, Malaysia has not been an exception. The adverse social
impact of such models led many countries to come up with new or retrofitted models. Such studies have
not been done enough in Malaysian context. This study at first searched for residents’ perception on social
interaction, and then went on to measure their responses on different context specific urban design elements
that have the capacity to generate and sustain pedestrian activity inside these communities. A questionnaire
survey containing both structured and open ended questions was conducted online with the
sample containing responses from all over Malaysia through stratified conditional sampling. Statistical
analysis showed that residents do agree with the need for social interaction, but to achieve that, they support
pedestrian activity primarily to ensure security at around individual housing units, not necessarily
across the blocks or around the whole neighborhood. Qualitative analysis hinted that a unique multicultural
society, and the extreme hot tropical climate might play a role here. However, small scale retrofits
can still enhance pedestrian activities in these existing communities that can lead to social sustainability.


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