Quick access jump navigation

Case Study - Malaysia

The Malaysian government is prioritising green growth for sustainability and resilience. The 11th Malaysian Plan includes low carbon and energy efficient mobility as a priority.

City Challenges

The Iskandar Region is one of the fastest growing economic areas in Malaysia and the Iskandar Malaysia’s Transportation Blueprint for 2010-2030, states that green transportation is a major priority to achieve the transport modal split of 50% by 2030.

Some of Iskandar’s city challenges include:

A Growing population – By 2030, Iskandar Malaysia’s population is expected to double from 1.5 million today to about 3 million.

More car users – Auto-ownership is expected to grow from 500 cars/1,000 population to more than 800 / 1,000 population by 2025.

High GHG Emissions – If nothing is done, 13,554 tonnes of GHG emission will be released for the next 20 years.

Low public transport usage – Public transport modal split will decline from 15% to 10% by 2030 if nothing is done. Coverage of public transport corridor is still small and along existing development corridors.

Urban Sprawl – Land use development will continue sprawling over 68% of urban area in Iskandar Malaysia. The urban sprawl is spreading from Johor Bahru City Centre via major roads.

High road congestion – All major transportation corridors in Iskandar Malaysia are projected to be three times congested or more than how they are today. The volume on those roads is estimated to be more than 1.5 times over their capacity

The Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) is a Malaysian Federal Government statutory body. It is tasked with regulating and driving various stakeholders in the public and private sector towards realising the vision of developing Iskandar Malaysia into a strong and sustainable metropolis of international standing.


Future Cities Catapult, the UK Government-backed global centre of excellence in urban innovation, led a project in conjunction with IRDA to identify Iskandar’s key city challenges. The aim was to improve urban mobility whilst achieving a reduction in carbon emissions.

The project was funded by the British High Commission as part of the Prosperity Fund, a global funding programme created by the UK government to help promote economic and sustainable growth in emerging economies.

City Solutions

The project team undertook research and a series of workshops in Malaysia and in the UK, with key transportation policy decision makers from federal, state and local governments, along with industry experts to explore and address the challenges identified.

The urban transport challenges faced by Iskandar Malaysia are not dissimilar to other cities around the world. Cities have high levels of accumulation and concentration of economic activities, with complex spatial structures supported by transport systems. As a city grows, the complexity of transporting people and goods increases, especially if it is not planned for and effectively managed. Some of the city solutions identified to help address city solutions included:

  • Congestion charging and Ride Sharing services
  • Integrated Smart Parking
  • Smart border crossing technology
  • Guidance systems for the visually impaired
  • Automated detection and enforcement
  • Integrated Management systems

The outcome of the project resulted in a recommendations report being produced, highlighting suggested mobility solutions and approaches IRDA could implement to help achieve its long-term vision. The report was presented to IRDA in the presence of its Senior Vice President and senior government officials on March 17.

The report and input from key industry experts will help address Malaysia’s city challenges and highlight how innovation may increase low carbon transport practices in the region to achieve the long term vision.

For more information, visit our project page.


Sign up for the latest news and updates