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In the late 1930s, General Motors introduced Futurama, a vision of future cities that centered around the idea of uninterrupted speed, movement, and expedition. The goal was to provide citizens with autonomy to travel between state cities and accelerate the performance of supply chains. Traveling for holidays became a much more exciting adventure and painted a bright future for the American Dream. The gargantuan interstate highway was the key enabler for this foresighted grandeur future. The future was sold and adapted in different parts of the world until the present day. Ever since then, the highway has become part of the "Flat Packed" development package for new cities and suburbs. Not only does it serve as a spine for the cities, but it also represents the interface that drives capital growth.

Unfortunately, the promise of efficiency and the legacy of liberation did not last long. As cars became widely adopted by the masses, issues of highway congestion that bleed into the cityscape surfaced. Traffic congestion in the city, as we know it, can take a toll on the well-being of citizens and will further escalate climate change. Nonetheless, this monumental infrastructure will be with us for a while as long as there is a reason for it to stay relevant. The dependency on infrastructure cannot be superseded overnight when life and habits are built around the idea of speed, free market, and efficiency. The highway still plays an important role in our infrastructure because we all rely on it for our daily resources.

Kuala Lumpur is a city composed of an agglomeration of self-sustaining suburbs with a central business district (CBD). It is a hybrid version of American and English city planning, combining the English garden city and the modernist urban behemoth supported by the petroleum economy. It is not surprising that personal transportation became an important element in Malaysia's city planning. National car brands like Proton and Perodua democratized car ownership, paving the way for mass adoption of personal vehicles in Malaysia. As a result, personal vehicles have become an essential "need" and play an important role in Malaysians' public, private, and work lives.

Today, the majority of urbanites have relocated outside the CBD area due to the soaring cost of home ownership and living expenses. With the continual rise in population moving to the outer parts of the capital and the adoption of personal cars, people have to endure an average of 2-4 hours a day driving back and forth to work on the existing congested network of highways, which can have a negative impact on their health.

The Collective Automobile Responsive Ecosystem (C.A.R.E) is a proposed strategic framework aimed at facilitating and exploring the next horizon of Malaysian highways. The framework is designed to address the challenges faced by commuters in Malaysia, where the majority of urbanites have relocated outside the central business district (CBD) area due to soaring living expenses and the rising cost of home ownership. The adoption of personal cars has become a necessity for many Malaysians, and this has led to heavy traffic congestion on the existing network of highways.

C.A.R.E aims to provide a solution to these challenges by introducing a collective approach to automobile usage. The framework seeks to facilitate the development of an ecosystem that is responsive to the needs of commuters and can optimize the use of highways.

The strategic framework is specifically tailored to address the unique challenges faced by the Malaysian highways. It takes into consideration the country's hybrid version of American and English city planning, combining the English garden city and the modernist urban behemoth supported by the petroleum economy. C.A.R.E acknowledges the significance of personal transportation in Malaysia's city planning and aims to optimize its usage in a collective manner.

In conclusion, the Collective Automobile Responsive Ecosystem (C.A.R.E) is a promising strategic framework that aims to revolutionize the use of highways in Malaysia. By providing a collective approach to automobile usage, C.A.R.E seeks to optimize the use of highways, reduce traffic congestion, and alleviate the negative impact on the environment.

© JFXA Copyright

Team members:  Jowin Foo, Andrew Law, Queenie Wong, Hariish Kumar
Partner Office: R+, GDP Architects

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