Rivers have long been the lifeblood of
civilisation, driving commercial activity and
population migration. While this may have
been true of old Kuala Lumpur, in modern
times the city that was founded on the
confluence of the Klang and Gombak rivers
has under-utilised its riverside real estate.
With an aim to revitalise the city, boost economic activity and improve its liveability, the
River of Life (RoL) project under the Economic Transformation Programme’s (ETP) Greater
Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley National Key Economic Area (NKEA) seeks to restore the
importance of the Klang and Gombak Rivers to Kuala Lumpur.
Historically, the two rivers acted as a reliable mode of transportation. During the tin mining
boom and with Mother Nature on its side, Kuala Lumpur bloomed. Yet we have not fully
leveraged the waterfront, with developments in the last 30-40 years built facing away from
the rivers. The RoL project seeks to change that, making the rivers a focal point. This is
expected to create a number of spillover effects for the economy and boost opportunities
for the private sector, such as through increased revenue streams from tourism, retail, and
hotel activities, and generate rental and retail income through mixed-use developments.