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An exploration of the employee's perception of walking: Enchancing the walking experience in Kuala Lumpur

Adam, M 2014, An exploration of the employee's perception of walking: Enchancing the walking experience in Kuala Lumpur , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Urban planners in the Transportation Department of Kuala Lumpur, over a period of time, noticed a progressive increase in the influx of privately-owned vehicles into the city and decrease in the modal share of public transport. Over-dependence on cars has encouraged a sedentary lifestyle, an obesity epidemic, social exclusion and increased carbon foot print. This research investigates the factors that have led to the increasing dependency on private vehicles by employees who work in employment centres in Kuala Lumpur city. Deficiencies in urban planning have created a spatial separation between people and workplaces, meaning that the existing built environment and land uses are inadequately coordinated with various modes of transportation which could facilitate the movement of people in the city. This results in long hours of commuting between employment centres and residential areas, and causes severe traffic congestion into the city centre daily. Understanding this real life phenomenon in a holistic manner is vital in order to find or create alternatives to car dependency and traffic congestion, as it will show how people construct the meaning of commuting in their built environment, and how commuting can be beneficial to them. In order to establish these arguments, the research takes a qualitative research approach, collecting data from multiple sources of evidence such as interviews and participant observation. A multiple embedded case study approach was adopted, using two contrasting areas in the city of Kuala Lumpur as samples; both the user and the pedestrian environment were used as units of analysis to measure the research questions. This allowed for the use of cross-case analysis to expose replication logic between the two selected samples, after which the findings were adjusted to form four analytical categories: the user’s understanding and knowledge of walking to the workplace; the use of mixed modes of transportation; physical features that support walking to work; and stakeholders’ involvement. The framework for this research was formed by these analytical categories to meet the research aims of finding ways to improve the employees’ walking experience in the pedestrian environment in the context of Kuala Lumpur city. The results showed that the public have a negative attitude towards walking to work. The data collected revealed that the decision employees make to drive is somewhat uninformed, as they lack a holistic understanding of the benefits of incorporating walking to work as part of their daily routine. A framework is developed which proposes that the current mind-set towards walking can be reversed if the data from the analytical categories mentioned earlier are effectively deployed to enchance the walking experience. The study emphasises on the increased knowledge and better understanding of the situation among the employees in order to choose a sustainable way to travel to and around the city centre. The framework also aims to achieve a holistic understanding of incorporating walking as part of mixed mode transportation to the workplace for a more impactful solution to long-distance trips, and to affect, in a positive manner, the mind-set of people who still depend on cars to commute to work in Kuala Lumpur city.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Ormerod, MG (Supervisor) and Newton, RA (Supervisor)
Themes: Built and Human Environment
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Funders: University of Malaya (UM) and Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) Malaysia
Depositing User: S Rafiq
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2014 18:25
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2016 09:02

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