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Putting the Buffer in Between Urban Development and Natural Heritage

Forest City published its ecological development action plan and launched Forest City Eco Museum Phase 1 Exhibition Hall

- Advertisement -Putting the Buffer in Between Urban Development and Natural Heritage

2020 has been a year of transformation for Forest City. From construction development, urban operation and management, to city cultural formation, Forest City is making its way to become a prime model of future cities with industrial integration and great livability.

As a city operator, Forest City recently published the Forest City Ecological Development Action Plan in lieu with the launch of their Eco Museum Phase 1 Exhibition Hall. The plan includes the mission of Forest City ecological development, and it clearly defines the goals and targets of eco city development, operation and management from the start of project development in 2014 towards the future. Forest City will carry out green infrastructure development as a foundation, leveraging on high-tech industries to enhance urban economic development, and eventually become a green and vibrant city with diversified industries and cultures.

Forest City Ecological Development Action Plan encompasses three phases that were executed from 2014 until 2023 and beyond, right from development to integration and setting up futuristic urban development plans.

Urban Development - Forest City
As an important supporting facility of the city, the Eco Museum will serve as a knowledge exchange platform for the residents, local community and other environmental volunteers

Phase 1 (2014 to 2019): Urban green ecosystem development, applying environmental concepts throughout the urban planning, development, construction, and city operations.

Forest City Environmental Measures in Construction and Development

Forest City has a strong belief in sustainable development and always finds the balance in between urban construction and the natural environment – then implementing the green development plan of the city step by step.

Before the start of the project, Forest City has generated a comprehensive environmental impact assessment report for large-scale engineering projects such as reclamation and further invested over RM20 million to set up a double-layer sand prevention net during the land reclamation process to minimise the environmental impact.

Since 2014, Forest City has been continuously cooperating with professional environmental consultant AES, hydrological consultant DHI, Universiti Putra Malaysia and other research institutions to monitor the surrounding ecology, hydrology, seagrass, and improve the surrounding marine ecosystem.

Forest City uses satellite remote sensing technology to monitor the mangrove’s conditions and a special mangrove protection task force was formed in 2017 which has effectively stopped 5 illegal logging cases as of end of 2019. The combination of satellite remote sensing and ground field patrol and inspections by the taskforce has ensured the mangroves to be well-conserved with care.

In February 2020, the Forest City Construction Environmental Management Plan was implemented, with detailed management measures like monitoring water quality, sediment quality, ecological, sedimentation, shoreline, air quality and noise control during the construction. All contractors are enforced to comply with the management plan accordingly and the environmental management budget will be accounted into project cost, providing financial assurance for sustainable development.

Urban Development - Forest City
An advanced ecological sewage treatment system enables Class II B effluent water to be recycle and reuse

Forest City Environmental Measures Urban Operations

As an advocate of Sponge City, Forest City strives to build a low-impact development rainwater system, which absorbs, stores, seeps, and purifies water when it rains, and “releases” the stored water when needed.

Urban Development - Forest City
A special mangrove protection taskforce was formed in 2017, and it has effectively encountered 5 illegal logging cases and put it to an end

In practice, large areas of green space and permeable materials reduce rainwater runoff and collect and stores rainwater in artificial lakes for irrigation, and effectively utilises rainwater resources to reduce environmental impact. At the same time, all sewage from Forest City is collected for centralised treatment. After an advanced ecological sewage treatment system and a wetland treatment, the effluent water quality is able to meet CLASS II B standard, higher than the Malaysia discharge standard. The effluent will then be used for irrigation of roof gardens, vertical greenery, outdoor landscapes, as well as public toilets flushing, etc. Wastewater recycling has significant environmental and economic benefits.

Rubbish classification and recycling has been widely adopted by the municipal and property management teams. Since 2017, Forest City has deployed hundreds of rubbish classification and recycling devices all over the island.

Forest City’s Industrial Development

Forest City has already laid a solid foundation of the green industry in its initiation, with the launch of leading IBS plant, golf resort and some other related industries while also trying to promote the integration of industry, education and research, working with scientific research institutions in the field of green development and environmental protection. A long-term cooperative relationship with a number of local universities and institutions such as UPM, AES, and UMT has been established since then.

Urban Development - Forest City
The combination of satellite remote sensing and ground field patrol and inspections by the taskforce ensures the mangroves to be well taken care and safeguarded

Forest City Green Culture Formation

The launch of Forest City Eco Museum is yet another milestone in this process. As an important supporting facility of the city, the Eco Museum will serve as a knowledge exchange platform for the residents, local community and other environmental volunteers. The completion of Phase 1 and upcoming Phase 2 and 3 of the Eco Museum shows that it will surely become a gathering point for public cultural exchanges, providing support for both hardware and heart-ware to promote the integration of multi-cultural integration and CSR.

“Love Nature, Love Forest City”—“Go Green” project was launched in 2019, and has spearheaded multiple environmental activities to-date. “Go Green” is an iconic programme among Forest City’s residents, the local community, NGOs, and its surrounding school premises on green initiatives garnering support from various end of volunteers to participate and explore the balance between urban development and natural heritage.

Urban Development - Forest City
Love Nature, Love Forest City”—“Go Green” project was launched in 2019, and it has spearheaded multiple environmental activities to-date. “Go Green” has now become an iconic programme of Forest City connecting the residents, local community, NGOs, and surrounding school premises on green initiatives

Forest City’s green movement is widely recognised by the industry

Forest City’s green movement in phase 1 has been widely recognised by the public and the society and since 2016, Forest City has won more than 10 international and national environmental awards:


  1. 5th May Forest City won the Merit Award for Landscape Analysis and Planning. As the first city adopting vertical greening, Forest City is the only real estate project in Malaysia that has won international recognition by virtue of its unique environment protection and architectural concept.
  2. 5th August Forest City Sales Gallery won the gold level pre-certification under LEED-CS that has the most advanced and pragmatic scoring system in green building certification – considered to be the most complete and influential in the evaluation of green buildings and building sustainability.
  3. 17th October Forest City won the Global Human Settlements Award on Planning and Design. Subordinated to SCAHSA (Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements Award) known as “the Oscar Award in Human Settlements”, it received strong support and high recognition from UN organisations such as UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme).


  1. 31st October Forest City won the Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements Award (SCAHSA) again, clinched the title of Global Model of Green Building Industrial Park (IBS Park).
  2. 24th November Forest City was awarded 2017’s Best Sustainable Development (South Malaysia). Known as the “Oscar Awards” in Malaysia’s real estate industry, the award granted in Best Sustainable Development aims at commending the real estate projects which showcases environment-friendly elements in its planning, design and construction processes, and encourages environmental sustainability as a way of life.


  1. 18th September Forest City championed the Star Property Award, named as the Most Iconic International City Planner & Sustainable Smart City Developer.
  2. 22nd November Forest City Island 1 and Shattuck-St. Mary’s Forest City International School Multi Use Centre received GreenRE Sustainable Design Award 2018 Gold Certification respectively. GreenRE is one of Malaysia’s most influential assessment and certification institutions for green buildings. The award for the Sustainable Design Gold Certification is a recognition of the green development of Forest City by Malaysia’s industry.

Urban Development - Forest City
2019 Global Green Smart City


  1. 15th March Forest City won ASEAN Property Award for Best Sustainable Green Development. Forest City has a leading industrialised building system (IBS), and committed in Green & Smart construction, creating over hundreds local job positions.

2. 6th September Global Green Smart City, being the fourth time for Forest City to receive the international award and is the only Malaysian project to receive this award in 2019.

3. 29th November Forest City won the 2019 Asian Townscape Jury’s Award and Asian Townscape Design Award – Innovative Design Award. Forest City’s “Feather of the Sea” International Business Complex won these 2 awards by virtue of its comprehensive planning and application of a smart city as well as protection measures for the ecological environment.

Phase 2 (2020-2023): To gradually achieve the goal of industry-city integration and empower Forest City development with leading industries

In order to realise the integrated development of industry and city, Forest City takes “Green” and “Smart” as the key focuses in phase 2 ecological development. It is committed to developing Industrialisation 4.0 and bringing in high-tech industries like robotics to empower the green development, making Forest City truly a prime model of future cities that is livable with industrial integration.

According to the plan of “Industry-City Integration” in phase 2, Forest City will work on infrastructure development, supporting facilities and government incentives, focusing on the development of e-commerce centres, high-tech industries and green and smart industries.

In terms of urban development and operation, a 4km eco corridor, with multiple interesting hot spots such as the green plant maze, ecological base, seagrass conservation area, a wedding square, tree house Café, and an open-air cinema will be built along the way to create an immersive eco experience.

The eco corridor will form one of the main components of the Forest City, Open Eco Museum phase 2. Completed eco projects will become a popular ecotourism place in Johor Bahru, Malaysia and will further develop multiple themed ecotourism routes, such as the golf resort route, ecological health route, environmental education and experience route to attract tourists locally and from all over the world and elevate the local tourism industry. Forest City envisions itself as a centre for eco-tourism cultural exchange, environmental education, health care and leisure.

Urban Development - Forest City
In phase 1, Forest City has already laid a solid foundation of the green industry, with the launch of IBS plant

In addition, the phase 2 exhibition hall of Forest City Eco Museum will leverage high-technology like VR immersive experience, LIVE recording of seahorse and seagrass conservation to provide visitors with a new natural ecosystem experience while also serving as an environmental education hub and a communication platform for the local community and the environmentalists.

In the city culture building, Forest City will continue to promote environmental protection and multi-cultural integration. The “GO GREEN” project initiated by the residents and employees will reach out to the audience beyond Forest City and inculcate the environmental mindset in a wider community.

Phase 3 (2023 and beyond): Building a harmonised urban ecosystem with the co-existence of city development and natural heritage

As a prime model of future cities, Forest City will continue to create the buffer point in between urban development and natural heritage, hoping to create a better society and will become a perfect “sponge city” to better manage the rain water and achieve zero discharge of sewage via the robust water recycling system.

Industrial development-wise, under the guidance of the ecological development plan, Forest City will continue to develop industries of Tourism & MICE, Healthcare, Education & Training, Regional Headquarters and Nearshore Finance to achieve industry-city integration, industry-education-research integration and a coordinated order of city functions.

Putting people first, Forest City aims to establish and enrich the green and diversified city culture, and to create a future city with a harmonious coexistence of city and nature.

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