The Melaka River, which is located in the UNESCO World Heritage zone, runs through the heart of this historical city and forms the spine of its economy,

from the days of the Portuguese galleons and Chinese junks 500 years ago to the barges that unload a variety of cargo at steps of the Old Port just over 50 years ago. However, over the decades, the river had slowly degenerated into oblivion. It was perceived to have a negative effect on the city even though it has immense potential as a tourism draw and a tourism source of revenue.

The Melaka River, which is located in the UNESCO World Heritage zone, runs through the heart of this historical city and forms the spine of its economy,

The main impetus in the beautification and rehabilitation of the river, an initiative by the Melaka State Government together with Historical Melaka City Council (MBMB), is to provide for a flood mitigation project while enhancing the potential it has on the city’s economy and tourism. The beautification would also benefit the city environment and revitalise the historical city of Melaka as the oldest and, at one time, the most famous port east of India.                         

The concept masterplan proposes various activities such as leisure, commercial and riverfront activities with the incorporation of boat terminals with new, immigration and customs facilities. The atmosphere of the “old era” fused with contemporary ambience, together with the blend of various historical cultures had been taken into consideration in the overall urban design to preserve and highlight the historical elements unique to Melaka.                         

Zones were planned and designed to ensure that the river front retain strong links with the city’s trades and historical heritage as well as creating opportunities to initiate lively riverside activities. The purpose is also to regain the hustleand bustle of the riverlife duringthe past centuries, reinforcing the riverfront character as an integral soul of Melaka as a riverine city.                         

For these to be implemented, drastic riverbank treatment, improvement and enhancement are required. This involves all aspects of engineering, infrastructure and architectural work, in order to stabilize the riverbanks with sheet piles, constructing timber boardwalks on concrete piers and constructing new, pedestrian walkways complete with amenities.                         

Landscaping is introduced in varying degrees along the route, in line with the architectural concept of the variouszones. Soft landscaping along the riverbanks would include trees that would strengthen the embankment and provide shade. To create a linear park along the river, there has to be a proper jogging track, benches and pavilions for resting and contemplation. Suitable lighting and fittings would further enhance the ambience and safety for the users.                         

The Melaka River project had created interest among the city residents with social events like fishing competitions, boat cruises and tourism campaigns being held regularly. It is a catalyst for commercial, retail and other business opportunities which will bring economic revenue for the city and its people. The spill-over establishments of cafes, restaurants, boat cruises and the Casa del Rio luxury hotel are some examples of the benefits of the redevelopment and beautification of the river which has been long forgotten by history and time. The renaissance of the Melaka River has begun.

Project Details

Client

Majlis Bandaraya Melaka Bersejarah

Location

Melaka

Awards

PAM Awards 2009
MIP Awards 2009
FIABCI Malaysia Property Awards 2011

Year

2006

Status

On-going

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