Conceived as the modern uptown of Johor Bahru and differentiated from its historical down town, Danga Heights Masterplan will become a new high-density mixed-use city where leisure, work and living are integrated. The new city centre capitalises on its location, which is on an important trajectory of the Skudai Highway that leads southwards to downtown Johor Bahru and Singapore, and northwards to Senai International Airport. The nearby Skudai residential districts will provide the critical mass to support the retail-intensive nature of the development.
The master plan features multi-use plots with a one-kilometre long pedestrianised retail street set out in an axial pattern and interjected by nodes acting as city-rooms, as well as a large city park in a prominent and strategic location. The variety of city-rooms in turn fosters the vibrancy and colourful energy of the new city centre. Key attention is also paid to the design of interstitial spaces within the formalised programmatic spaces to promote informal and spontaneous activities.
The idea of a ‘walk-able city’ is another high priority in this master plan. Besides the main pedestrian retail thoroughfare, all serviced residence plots are kept at a maximum of 200m away from the retail street to encourage city living experiences on foot. The continuous pedestrian retail street is designed to be sheltered and will form the key circulatory spine that unifies the different phases of the masterplan.
The predominance of mixed-use plots is a departure from traditional land use zoning parameters in Johor Bahru. Ground floor spaces especially will be dedicated to retail commercial use as well as public plazas and amenities to generate interaction between users and to inject liveliness into the city throughout the day. The concept behind the retail outlets along the pedestrian street will allow for units to have double frontage facing the street and the internal road.
Urban greenery is designed to complement the pedestrian patterns, enhancing the city experience. With these planning strategies, the Danga Heights Masterplan encapsulates the key elements for the future growth of sustainable and dynamic city-living in Johor Bahru.