PhD students: Topics (26), Abstracts (21), Research Proposals (29), Progress Reports (20) and Viva Slides (17) of Theses

PhD Graduates (24)

1. Mazlina Mansor (2011)
Effects of Experiential Contacts with Green Infrastructure on Well-Being of Residents in a Small Town

2. Zumahiran Kamarudin (2012)
Wood Carving in Selected Kelantan and Terengganu Houses

3. Nor Zalina Harun (2012)
Place Making and Meaning of Padang as a Public Place in Historic Cities of Malaysia

4. Mohammed Saeed Ahmed (2012)
Park Visitation Characteristic in Khartoum, Sudan

5. Mansoureh Rezasoltani (2013)
Influential Factors on Enhancing Intermediary Spaces as a Context of Children’s Walking to School

6. Widya Fransiska Febriati Anwar (2013)
Identification of Morphological Characteristics of Palembang Riverside Settlement

7. Mohammad Paydar (2013)
Perceived Complexity and Perceived Legibility on Choice of Pathway by Urban Residents

8. Oloruntoba Kayode (2014)
Impact of Public Space on Knowledge Sharing in Science City

9. Nor Fadzila Aziz (2014)
Affordances of School Grounds For Children’s Outdoor Play and Environmental Learning

10. Mohammad Medhi Mehran (2015)
Children Friendly Environment in a Low-cost High Density Neighbourhood

11. Hesham Omran (2015)
Small Town Community Social Interaction in Public Spaces

12. Muhammad Isa Bala (2015)

13. Ibrahim Alkali (2015)

14. Badrulzaman Jaffar (2015)

15. Usman Bukawa (2015)

16. Nurul Nadiah Sahimi (2016)
Adapting Bronfrenbrenner Bioecological Model at the Preschool within the Double Storey Residential Building

17. Henry Ojobo (2016)
Psycho-Physiological Benefits of Mountain Landscape Environment as Stimulus for Directed Attention Restoration and Stress Mitigation

18. Paul (2017)

19. Fatimah Adi (2017)

20. Wan Saiful Nizam (2017)
Street Connectiviy and Wayfinding in Teluk Intan

21. Noorliyana Binti Ramlee
Shopping Malls as a Third Place for Positive Socialization of Teenagers (2017)

22. Abu Taib Shahjahan (at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, 2018)
Urban adaptation measures for Climate Change: study of Urban Wetlands in view of potential urban cooling

23. Nurun Nadhirah Md Isa (2018)
Tree Community Structure and Carbon Stock of a Secondary Forest in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Campus

24. Amataroaf Abdullah Alsharif (2019)
Biomimetics for Passive Air Conditioned Design for Buildings in the Hot Arid Regions

25. Noraini Bahari (2019)
Tree Species Composition And Configuration Based On Squirrel Behaviour Pattern In Selected Malaysian Urban Parks

26. Daudo Oluwatosin (2020)
Independent Mobility of Children in the Military Barrack Urban Milieu of Nigeria

27. Yeo Lee Bak (2019)

Achieving Synergy in Ecosystem Services at Muar District in Malaysia

Thesis Abstracts (14)

1. Nor Fadzila Aziz (2015)

Children’s outdoor play in school grounds is a fundamental component of environmental learning because it creates meaningful, enduring environmental connections and increases children’s performances. However, the extent of children’s engagement in outdoor play and the way they can learn through play is strongly influenced by the physical and social contexts of school grounds. Adults, including the schools, have often overlooked the values of outdoor play for learning that takes place outside the classroom. Thus, many schools are designed without considering children’s needs and desires. The spaces in schools are shaped with mediocre design standards and school grounds are not recognised as essential to a school’s mission or curriculum. This study explores the factors that influence children’s play behaviour patterns and the actualisation of affordances in school grounds, and the connection with children’s conception of ideal school grounds for outdoor play and environmental learning. This study was conducted with children (n=80) and teachers (n=71) at two primary schools in Johor, Malaysia. Data on the children’s behavioural and perceptual responses were elicited using five methods: walkabout interview and mapping, photography, drawing, preference survey and survey questionnaire. The data were analysed using descriptive statistics, Rasch Model, and spatial and content analysis. The results revealed different play behaviour patterns and preferences among children regarding the use of school grounds during non-formal and informal learning sessions. The differences that were identified were influenced by the degree of functionality, attractiveness, aesthetic quality, comfortability, accessibility and safety of the school grounds environments. The findings of the actualisation of affordances and children’s conceptions of ideal school grounds suggest that children desire school grounds environments that meet their physical, communal, emotional and educational needs. These findings contribute to a better understanding of children’s interaction with and perceptions of their school grounds environment, and highlight the importance of such environments in promoting outdoor play and environmental learning.

2. Nurul Nadiah Sahimi (2015)

With the release of TASKA and TADIKA 2012 Guideline, privately owned preschool operators are allowed to operate their preschool at a residential buidling with the required specifications. With the increase demand of preschool centers among families with young children, the number of preschools located at the residential buidling is growing. However, the conversion of the residential building into an institutional one could affect the quality of childhood education due to limited classroom space. In most cases, the minimum requirement of the learning space could not be met and several classroom arrangements proposed by Moore (2002) could not be used as a higher number of children are located in a classroom. Such situation happen because operators need to balance the number of children in a classroom and the fees collected for them to operate and sustain. However, quality education can still be afforded if children have a sense of place in the classroom in addition to a good education program. A suitable classroom arrangement could offer a place for privacy, especially if chosen by children themselves would allow children to feel belonged to the space. Hence, this study investigates elements and possible preschool classroom arrangement in small spaces through children’s active participation. Forty five (N=45) children age 5 (n=20) and 6 (n=25) in a preschool located in Kuala Lumpur were involved actively through lessons on ‘Classroom Design’ using the Inquiry Based Approach. Through active interaction and engagement, children have obtained an in-depth understanding about designing and arranging the classroom. The activities has allowed them to design and rearrange their classroom based on their preferences with practical considerations on its suitability and safety elements which indirectly has developed a sense of placeness and beloningness to the classroom. Results on the elements and considerable classroom arrangements were retrieved from the analysis of children’s words and behavior during the inquiry session. Children recorded words were transcribed and their recorded behaviors during classroom re-arrangements was categorized into three main elements, (i) furniture arrangement and re-arrangement patterns, (ii) seat selection, and (iii) ingress and egress behavior. Observation shows that children sense of placeness in a classroom was at their seating place and at the same time requires a common area. Children were observed to prefer to be seated together as a whole group instead of being clustered with the opportunity to select their own seat. Such opportunity could be a starting point to develop children’s sense of belongingness to the classroom.

3. Nur Zalina Harun (2012)

Meaning of place is an important issue in social science and urban design today. Not knowing the meaning of place to some extent may create alienated space and discontinuity of experiences which finally produced ‘placelessness’. Moreover, the failure to acknowledge the people’s perception of change or disruption on their favourite place would have impact for both place meaning and place attachment. However, up to the present, little thought is given to the ways such circumstances are viewed by the residents and the consequences of such changes. Cast against these issues, therefore, the research makes a case for how the existence of padang, a public place which is commonly found in most of historic cities in Malaysia, contributes to the image formation of the cities, develops place meaning and place attachment amongst residents. Using mixed method approach and examination of literature across urban design and environmental psychology disciplines, a framework for the understanding the psychological dimensions of resident’s continuous interactions with padang is demonstrated. Face to face interview and surveys were conducted with residents of two selected padang; Padang Kota Lama, well preserved padang with minimal changes and Padang Pahlawan, demolished padang with totally new development. A total of 374 randomly selected respondents participated in the survey and 70 participants were interviewed in the study areas. The findings extend current conceptualization of place meaning and place attachment by showing (a) three processes and levels of place meaning; (b) the association between place meaning and place attachment; and (c) how changes of place changed people’s perception and meaning to particular places. The major findings of this study suggest that residents developed deep attachments to both padang; however change of physical character, discontinuity of place experiences and insecurity have altered its meaning. As a consequence, residents were psychologically affected. This study provides substantial aspects of people-environment relationship and has important implications to the task of place creation which is the professional domain of architects, landscape architects and urban planners. Furthermore, the results of this study can be broadly applied to any discipline on which the meaning and values of urban public place is important.

4. Mazlina Mansor (2011)

Green infrastructure network is a composite of various green spaces linked by streets, waterways and drainages encircling and connecting urban areas, at all spatial scales. It facilitates residents’ ability to recreate, socialise and perform other regular transactional activities, thus, fulfilling their nature and human interaction needs. Despite such understanding, the roles of green infrastructure to urban residents are often forgotten. Little is known on the causal relationships to urban residents’ experience and well-being. This study explores residents’ experiential contacts of residents in Taiping with the green infrastructure’s properties and attributes and effects to well-being. Its green infrastructures consists of a town park, a large open playfield, various pocket spaces and incidental loose-fit places in town centre, neighbourhood open spaces, home gardens and green networks. Theoretical framework of this study was grounded by landscape perceptual theories and green infrastructure framework which link diversity, naturalness and coherence of a green infrastructure to well-being of the residents, physically, cognitively and socially. Data were gathered from mixed-methods approach involving three data: survey questionnaire (n=335), semi-structured interview (n=33) and unobtrusive behavioural observation. Quantitative statistics and qualitative content analysis were used to analyse the data that were triangulated to examine the causal relationships. The findings suggest that the presence of diversity, naturalness and coherence in the green infrastructures facilitates residents’ experiential contacts affording them physical, cognitive and social well-being. The experience of the attributes induces the feeling that different types of green infrastructure to integrate as a network. The attributes induce frequent use of the green infrastructures, in which the spaces support physical-kinetic, leisure and social activities that fulfill residents’ nature and social interaction needs. Physically, the residents feel active, healthy and happy from engagements in the activities. Residents attain cognitive well-being by physical and visual encounters with the green infrastructures dominated by matured greenery, plants, water and hills that relieve negative emotions affording relaxation, comfort and calmness. Socially, the green infrastructures allow more social encounters with other individuals resulting in satisfaction towards the community, being friendly and happy living in Taiping.

5. Zumahiran Kamarudin (2011)

This study aimed to determine the significance and meanings of thecarved components and their placements within the timber houses of Kelantan and Terengganu during the periods of 1800s to 1930s. An analytical review on 25 sets of measured drawings of 14 Kelantan houses and 11 Terengganu houses including a total of 148 carved components was conducted by visual descriptive and interpretative analyses. The analytical review of the drawings which were obtained from the Centre for the Study of Built Environment in the Malay World or KALAM at the Department of Architecture in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia was embraced as a principal method of data collection. Semi-structured interviews with five prominent woodcarvers on art and crafts of wood carving were conducted to substantiate the findings from the analytical review. The woodcarvers’ interpretations were required for verification and validation. The results suggest that 17 types of carved components were found in the houses which were dominated by ventilation panels. A significant pattern of visual attributes was prevalent in the components including types of motifs, shapes and layouts, forms of incision and perforation, carving patterns and compositional principles. Motifs of flora, geometry, Arabic calligraphy and combination of these were depicted in two and three dimensional compositions either in relief or non-relief and perforated or non-perforated forms. Configurations of carving pattern, shapes and layouts of the components were in agreement with the nomenclature of their placements within the interior and exterior fabric and the different forms of the houses. Consistency in the distributions of the components suggests its functions for practical, aesthetical and socio-cultural values and signifies hierarchical utilization of spaces whilst strengthening the regional forms of the house architecture. These qualities including the visual attributes contribute to the significance and meanings of the carved components in the architecture of the selected Kelantan and Terengganu timber.

6. Widya Fransiska Febrarti Anuar (2013)

Urban development and changing life style of locals is inevitable. These phenomena challenge the uniqueness of the old area due to destruction of the elements and city identity. This research questioned on how the morphology of urban elements can be utilized to rebuild the identity of a river city. It is aimed to identify the morphology of riverside settlement in Palembang to rebuild the city’s identity by investigating on how place character can establish the identity of city, identifying the physical and spatial patterns of Musi riverside settlement and investigating the interdependency between urban morphology and identity. A mixed-method approach was derived from the disciplines of urban morphology and environmental psychology. This approach was used to examine the people-place relationship and the morphology change at Musi riverside settlement. For people-place relationship, a total of 144 residents participated in the survey, 25 residents were interviewed and a total of 152 old photos were used. For urban morphology, the research used four maps of year 1875, 1920, 1945 and 2004. The findings reveal an understanding on the relationships between identity and urban morphology by showing (1) the influence of the river and the tributaries in creating the city’s structure as well as its identity, (2) the role of place attachment and sense of place in encouraging the persistency of identity, and (3) the interdependency between urban morphology and identity. The major findings suggest that the people’s cultural activity is the key element to create a strong identity of a place. In turn, it leads to a strong place identity. Thus, the old urban elements that accommodate the cultural activities should be protected, preserved or conserved. This study provides a new framework to assist urban planners, architects and policy makers in determining the appropriate actions in redeveloping the old area in the city.

7. Muhammad Isa Bala (2015)

Cultural landscape is the way of life of people as they relate with their environment. Overtimevalues are culturally developed by people as they relate with the environmentin both tangible and intangible forms. However, preconceived western concepts have influenced policy formulations on cultural landscapes thus leading to unsuitable physical planning especially in developing nations such as Nigeria.Furthermore in Nigeria, cultural studies and government policies are concentrated on the major ethnic groups of Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo and have led to the neglect of minority ethnic groups such as the Nupes in central Nigeria. The thesis thus set out to understand the cultural landscape values of a Nupe community in Nigeria through the eyes of the inhabitants. However reading of the landscape through the perspective of the inhabitants is better captured using participatory approach. Consequently, ethnography was employed in conducting this phenomenological study with an eight months engagement at the Nupe community of Doko in central Nigeria. The data gathered were through multiple sources of participant’s observation, photographs, field notes and interviews. The data gathered were content analysed using QSR Nvivo 10 software towards the generation of categories and factoring into comparative groups of themes.  Also, the transcribed data were subjected to word frequency counts for contrast and comparison of the all data collected. It was then followed by contextual mapping of words to generate their cultural values. The results shows the cultural values associated with the key attributes of the landscape which include the professions of the Nupe people, the family structure, the architecture, and the natural landscape. Findings show the loading of cultural values in both the tangible and intangible forms. These finding contributes to the generation of a grounded theory on the cultural landscape of Nupe community of Doko, in Central Nigeria. The theory states that frequency and contextual mapping of words use in native narrative discourse gives the cultural landscape values of Doko community. The extent to which the findings might be applicable in other cultural landscapes especially the Nupe communities.

8. Usman Bukawa (2015)

Illness and medical protocols in hospital wards cause stress to children. This leads to regressive behaviors including being fearful, boredom, anxiety and depression.  As a result, children functioning particularly movement and interaction decreases. This phenomenon is common in many paediatric wards in Nigeria. The healthcare management of hospitals has overlooked the aspect of children psychosocial needs which includes space for play. Play as a routine behavior ofchildren shouldbe included as part of their healthcare delivery. Concern is more on pathogenic treatment with provision of ward facilities and equipment and no attention to salutogenic approach. This study investigates the restorative benefits of loose play items in a ward as a play milieu on early and middle childhood paediatric patients aged 3 to 12 years. Playing indoors with loose items increases the children functioning and improves on their behavior. For instance, they become fascinated and more relaxed, being friendly with their peers and caregivers, more active in completing a task. This is considered as restoration in children healthcare management. Restoration refers to the person resumption to normal functioning; physical, cognitive and social as a result of loose play items in the ward.  The study was conducted with children (n=17) and caregivers (n=25) at the paediatric ward of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital Bauchi, Nigeria. Data on children responses such as physical, social and cognitive performances were elicited using: observation with video recording, photography, judgmental scale questionnaire, interview and drawings. The data were analyzed using interpretive content analysis and Experts’ Choice 11.The result indicates changes in children physical functioning by engaging in play activities suchas sand and water play which allowed them to digged,sievedandmixed. Socially, they interact and play with their peers, sharing, and support for one another, relate well with their caregivers and accept routine medication. Cognitively, the children became fascinated with the settings, they learn skills like making a sand “cake,” sharing the play items and assigning responsibilities to each other, they became more relaxed and happier. The changes were attained because the play milieu offered children more play properties than the conventional ward settings. The findings suggest that the loose play items in a ward as play milieu supports the restoration process of children. Progressively, they become calmed, excited, peaceful, cheerful, forgetting worries and making friends. Such play settings should be incorporated in the provision of children hospital wards.

9. Hesham Omran (2015)

Interaction of people in public spaces of a multi-ethnic urban community can generate cohesion. In turn, this social action within a neighborhood leads to a harmonious community and simultaneously promotes national unity. This issue is relevant in towns of Peninsular Malaysia with multi-ethnic population of Malay, Chinese and Indian. However, there is a lack of studies that look at the interaction between these ethnic groups in public spaces such as parks, squares and playfields. This study investigates the relationship between physical attributes and utilization of public spaces and its effects on social interaction among users in multi-ethnic urban community in Malaysian towns. Survey questionnaires and interviews were conducted to elicit responses from users of parks, squares and playfields within Batu Pahat town in Johor, Malaysia. A total of 378 respondents participated in the survey and 34 respondents were interviewed in three study sites. The data were analysed using descriptive statistics, Rasch Measurement Model and Structural Equation Model. The questionnaires and interviews elicited three main parameters which were socialization, quality of the setting attributes and attractiveness of experiences on public spaces. It is found that the Malays utilized urban square and playfield more than the Chinese and the Indians because they frequently visited the night market. The Chinese utilized the park more than the Malays and Indians because they wanted to engage in jogging and walking due to aesthetics of the parks. The Indians were the least attracted to the urban park, urban square and playfield because they perceived that the qualities and activities of the space were not reflective of their cultural values. The results revealed different degree of public space utilisation and perceived interaction among the different ethnic groups. It uncovered that most of the visitors like to meet and interact more with family members in the park and square, while they preferred to be with their friends from same ethnicity in the playfield. The attributes such as aesthetic nature, security system, lighting and cleanliness in public spaces attracted more people to visit public space and contributed to positive social interaction. Therefore, the study concludes that public spaces with adequate attributes are avenues for diverse multi-ethnic of public users to meet and socialize.

10. Mehdi Mehran (2015)

Child-friendly environment allures children to become active citizens. This environment in turn increases the children’s quality of life. Children’s physical, social and mental skills which are essential in their later adult life are achieved through their interaction with the outdoor environment. It encompasses a network of places where children can experience a sense of belonging as individual or collectively. Children participation in shaping their settings plays a role in the creation of child friendly environments. Nowadays, children are not only forced to be in places that are not relevant from their point of view, but with various constraints that reduces their movement in outdoor environment. The aim of the research is to determine the child friendly environment from the view of Malaysian children in places that they play and interact in urban neighbourhood. This is to reveal the factors that influence the range of children’s movement and the places they interact and play among middle childhood age (7 to 11 years old) in urban neighbourhood. This research was conducted at Flat Larkin, a residential area in Johor, Malaysia. Data was elicited from three methods, namely, children’s questionnaire (N=120), seven-day-log activities (N=39), and children’s drawings (N=52). Confirmatory factor analysis, frequency analysis, and content analysis were used to analyse the data to acquire results. The results revealed three main constructs affecting children’s range of movement in urban neighbourhood. They were independent, humanity, and outdoor environment. Playgrounds and courtyards were the most visited open places for playing and interacting in the urban neighbourhood. Recreational services with emphasis on natural elements in children’s drawing afforded highest contribution to ideal places for children play. The result showed that as children play in the outdoor environment, they form their own personal relationships with the environment. An assessment model for a child-friendly environment was constructed which comprises of two central criteria for environmental child friendliness: the amount of outdoor environment for children play and children’s range of movement. These findings contribute to a better understanding of children’s interaction and play in outdoor environment in their urban neighbourhood, and highlight the importance of such environment in promoting outdoor play.

11. Alkali Ibrahim Abubakar (2015)

Family participation in caring for their hospitalised ones have been identified to provide the psychological and emotional support a patient requires. Their presence in hospital wards in Nigeria and other developing countries provide not only the psychological and emotional support to the patient but they also assist them in their activities of daily living. Furthermore, they complement the insufficient services provided by inadequate healthcare personnel. Despite the importance of patient’s family’s presence in a hospital, the hospital ward setting has little or no consideration for their accommodation. Attempts to configure hospital with facilities for the patient’s family were limited to specialised settings such as paediatric, psychiatric and neonatal among others. Furthermore, single bed room inpatient setting configured with family zone to support family presence has been seen as a provision for the privileged few. The open ward system operated in most developing countries was not configured to provide for the patient’s family. This study was aimed at examining the design implication of hospital ward in providing for the familial caregiving in Nigerian hospitals with a view to informing design decision. Data on the dimension of familial caregiving, their actions and interaction within the hospital spaces was elicited using five methods: observation, interview, survey questionnaire, architectural drawing and visioning charrette session. The data was analysed using content analysis and structural equation modelling (SEM). Findings from this study shows that, despite the fact that patient’s family compliment the insufficient services provided by the healthcare personnel, the cultural practices of the people in the area plays a significant role in promoting the practice. The study further revealed the frequent occurrences of deviations of the hospital ward spaces from their intended functional usage by the patient’s family who negotiate any available space in order to make it function. The study subsequently identified the cultural and clinical considerations necessary in providing for the patients family. The study suggests that achieving a patient and family centered hospital ward environment that provides for the patient’s family requires provision of adequate and convenient spaces and facilities that can accommodate the familial caregiving practices and support the families’ presence and participation in care.

12. Monsoureh Soltanim (2013)

Student’s journey to and from school is a routine activity that can influence the acquisition of their environmental knowledge, skills, and their travel behavior that can continue to adulthood. It is a phenomenon that can create real benefits for children and their parents. The school journey can also be affected by the environmental factors both socially and physically. There is a growing trend to motorized travel mode to school in Iran as well as United States of America, United Kingdom, and Australia that can be influenced by many factors. Moreover, it also affects children’s interaction with the environments in their journey to school that causes many consequences for them. With focus on student’s travel behavior, this study addresses different types of students’ travel mode to school and also targets to determine the extent of their active and passive transportation. Moreover, this study discussed some effective factors affecting students’ travel mode choice in their way to and from school in Iran. This research was conducted at Omid town as a residential area located in northeast (Zone 4) of Tehran. The method used in this study was analysis of collected data through questionnaires, interviews, and behavioral mappings. Three types of analysis were used to acquire the results including frequency analysis, factor analysis, and confirmatory factor analysis. The results revealed the numerous factors affecting students’ and also parents’ preference in choosing travel mode to school and back. In this regard, three significant factors were identified as the most important motive factors in choosing active mode in students’ journey to and from school: independent mobility, safety and security, and play time. These factors influencing students’ travel mode choice in their way to school are considered as significant principles to design appropriate settings for students’ journey. It can be also noticed by parents and those who deal with students such as city authorities to create proper settings for children in choosing travel mode to school that can cause benefits for students.

13. Henry Ojobo (2015)

The evolutionary perspective of human-nature synergy maintains that humans evolved in natural environments over a long period. Hence, humans are largely adapted to nature. Several studies evaluating encounters with nature have been supportive of its restorative and therapeutic effects.However, most of the studies carried out in real-site, natural environments have been largely done in forests and wilderness, while mountain environments have merely been mentioned as part of picture slides or video simulations. Additionally, very little research in the assessment of nature and human wellbeing relationships has adopted a synergetic approach of the mix of real-site and psycho-physiological mode of measurement. This study explores the mechanism and intricacies of the link between restorative environments, human response and psycho-physiological wellbeing in Obudu mountain landscape environment in Nigeria. Psychological and physiological experiences were explored using quantitative research method to elicit subjective and objective responses from individuals. A total of 200 adults were engaged in the psychological measures of preference and perception of the environment, while 38 adults participated in the physiological experimental measures. A tripartite data collection strategy was utilised: (1) psychological data were elicited through self-report measures using questionnaires, (2) physiological data were gathered through pre-test and post-test measures of blood pressure, pulse rate and respiratory rate, and (2) physical measurements of the ambient environment conditions were carried out to acquire temperature and humidity data. The data were analysed using inferential and descriptive statistics and content analysis. The results revealed that preference and perceptual patterns were incongruent with evolutionary assertions suggesting that the tendency of human stress mitigation in nature is not shaped by innate or evolutionary factors. Experiential contact with the mountain landscape environment influenced individual’s ability to attain a relaxed state through the reduction of their diastolic blood pressure and pulse rate. It was found that tangible psychological and physiological effects can be obtained through short term contact with a multi-stimulus mountain landscape environment. The study concludes that contact with mountain landscape environment promotes spontaneous recovery from stress and restoration of directed attention. Policy makers, designers and developers within the context of creating buildings and cities would eventually refer to this evidence as it pertains to the potential of mountain landscape environments in mental wellbeing promotion.

14. Paul (2016)

The success of neighbourhood open space planning, design, and management to house diverse ethnic groups depend on the interaction of residents’ cultural perceptions, utilization, satisfaction and sharing capability. Recent developments in the field of built environment have led to a renewed interest in exploring neighbourhood open space’s perception and its impact on residents’ sense of community. There are numerous types of open spaces in Nigerian environment such as neighbourhood market square, sport and playing ground area, neighbourhood streets space, public plazas and town park. This study focuses on market square known as Oja which remains a dominant character in Nigerian rural neighbourhood space context. Currently, there is a little effort is geared toward the exploration of the significance of Oja towards achieving harmonious social relationship among diverse ethnic residents. To fill this gap, this research explored the potential contributions of residents’ perception on Oja towards achieving a sense of community through the place meaning and attachment. A quantitative research approach was adopted in order to explore the people-place relationship. The data comprising a duly filled 382 purposive structured survey questionnaires were analyzed using SPSS Version 22 and AMOS software package version 22 of Structural Equation Modeling techniques. Results obtained were triangulated with feedback from participants’ observation and focus group interview to validate the research hypotheses and questions. Research findings revealed that (i) Oja equally connotes cultural heritage as new meaning ascribed, (ii) establishment of a new hub of interactive concept consisting of ten main actors and five forms of relationships among the ethnic users of Oja, (iii) residents were physically and socially attached to the present location of Oja and therefore opted for its re-planning rather than being relocated, and (iv) residents’ utilization of Oja impacts positively on sense of community and satisfaction. Conclusively, improvements on Oja could better achieve residents’ sense of community which plays a vital role in rural developments and sustainability. Thus, the research recommends an appropriate managerial policy formulation and introduction of clearly defined social interaction spaces in future planning and design of Oja in Nigeria. This research outcome is beneficial to all stakeholders in built environment through the establishment of the significance of creating Oja as a sustainable neighbourhood open space in Nigeria.

15. Wan Saiful Nizam (2017)
The connectivity within a street network is a major consideration in the planning and design of a town. The overall effectiveness of a town design by considering the human connection with urban space encourages street environments towards a smart and efficient urban lifestyle. However, the spatial connection of human behaviour in a street network is influenced by the design and planning of street designs, patterns, structures, and character of the town. Malaysian towns have experienced various developments of street network that were planned, not only by
colonialist ideologies, but also by various governments that came after Malaysian independence 1957, as well as developers who include architects, landscape architects and urban planners. The mixed designs of a street network cause negative effects towards pedestrian wayfinding, attributable to poor urban design, confusion in streetscape identity, and new developments that lead to the change of familiar environments to become unfamiliar. Therefore, this research aims to develop a spatial evaluation of street network connectivity for effective wayfinding behaviour in a small town in Malaysia. The town of Teluk Intan, Perak was selected as the study site based on the street network structures, patterns, designs, and characters of a Malaysian small town. In developing the evaluation, a survey questionnaire was distributed to pedestrians (n = 200), and then analyzed using SPSS to determine the index of fifteen street features that influence pedestrian wayfinding in this predefined context. With the aid of ArcGIS, the index was applied to produce a spatial map. Following this, axial-line data, convex-space data, as well as solid and void data were elicited from land-use data and Google images. In identifying the impacts of spatial connection, the data were analyzed utilizing the space syntax analysis from Depthmap. Next, the spatial map of street features and the spatial connection map were overlapped and analyzed to determine the spatial connection for wayfinding. The results were validated by triangulation from behaviour mapping and interviews (n=30). It was thus found that the combination of familiar street features strongly improved pedestrians’ ability to identify their locations, positions, and routes to the destination better than from a feature. Furthermore, spaces with visualization, movement, and interaction assist pedestrians to identify street features, and lead to an
effective wayfinding process. These findings provide more fine-grained insights on street network connectivity of small towns in Malaysia, especially those which help to improve wayfinding. As such, the findings suggest that for a small town in Malaysia to be systematic and organized, it is important to conduct a spatial evaluation of street connectivity prior to and during the planning stage.

16. Noorliyana Ramlee (2017)
Teenagers’ socialization is a crucial component of adolescene as it prepares them when they enter the adults’ world. Acquiring social skills is not limited to their usual social environments which are home and school but can be extended to their third places such as the shopping malls. However, adults see their presence in the shopping mall as a nuisance that leads towards negative behaviours. Thus, the presence of teenagers at the shopping mall is either restricted or over-controlled which limits their process of acquiring social skills in more comfortable ways. This study explores the influence of preference and utilisation of spaces in the shopping mall in the shopping mall. The study was conducted in two stages. The first stage was the survey questionnaire involving 250 teenagers (13-19 years old) in three shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur. The second stage comprised the field observations and interview sessions with 23 teenagers (13-19 years old) from the same shopping malls. The data were analysed by using SPSS 16.0, AMOS 21, and spatial and content analysis. The results revealed sets of positive social skills acquired by teenagers such as cooperative, supportive, considerate, and excitable behaviours during their utilisation of spaces in the shopping mall. These sets of social skills are influenced by the physical setting of the social spaces such as the degree of likeability towards convenience, design, comfort, and the aesthetic values as well as the companionship of teenagers in the shopping mall. The influences from these factors lead to the attachment to the social spaces which determine the number of social skills acquired in different types of social spaces. Entertainment places were found to allow the highest social skills to be acquired by teenagers compared to other types of spaces which suggests more positive social skills in the third places are acquired when the place involves excitement and pleasure to the teenagers. These place through their preference and behaviours within the spaces, and highlight the importance of such environments in promoting positive socialisation among teenagers.

17. Abu Taib Shahjahan (2018)
Urban Adaptation Measures for Climate Change: Study of Urban Wetlands in View of Potential Urban Cooling

Urbanization in the developing world took place at an unprecedented rate which outpaced that of the developed world except for few exceptions. Much of the urban areas of the developing world are in the tropical zone, which has gone through an inadvertent environmental modification due to increased built density. This environmental modification due to high built density resulted in an adverse thermal environment in the urban area which is further exacerbated by global warming due to climate change. This adverse thermal environment in the city resulted in a much-reported phenomenon known as Urban Heat Island. An adaptation measure against Urban Heat Island in the tropical cities of the developing world can be used of the natural cycle to cool down the overheated urban fabric. Dhaka is one of the most densely populated cities in the world, where the juxtaposition of wetlands and built up area coupled together may have an opportunity for creating a viable and distinct character of its own while addressing the challenges of inadvertent environmental modification. Increased built density and reduction of wetlands are making Dhaka’s climate uncomfortable in comparison to its rural surroundings, resulting in increasing number of air-conditioned buildings, which in turn elevate urban air temperature and consequent energy demand. Thus, urban land use in Dhaka is directly contributing to the Urban Heat Island effect. Coolth produced by urban wetland can be an adaptive measure against urban heat island in Dhaka. This study approaches the problem by identifying wetland as existing and potential cool spot and analyzing their characteristics for cooling efficiency. Remote sensing technique was used to identify the existing and potential cool spot at surface level for analysis. This technique applied to analyze the morphology of the wetland as a producer of coolth with potential to counterbalance for the urban heat. As a part of the study, field campaigns were conducted and environmental variables were recorded on the buffer area of selected wetlands indicated in the remote sensing study. Evaluations were undertaken with respect to the design factors such as the orientation of the wetlands, riparian shading characteristics, urban permeability for the cooling effect, as those factors affect the cooling intensity produced by the wetland. Through simulation studies, some aspects are identified which could not be derived from the fieldwork. They are the effect of differential riparian shading on the wetlands, effects of variable temperature and relative humidity on the coolth produced by the wetland. Based on the simulations some urban design recommendations was derived.
The research finding that indicated the relationship between some important factors like the interdependency between fetch and inversion height to control inversion layer over the water surface that regulates the urban cooling effect of the wetland at an urban scale. This relationship informs as to what extent urban wetland design might impact the thermal environment leading to possible urban microclimatic cooling. These findings, in turn, might help in the development of certain policy guidelines for the urban designers and planners to more positively impact the urban thermal environment.

18. Nurun Nadirah Isa
Forest Community Structure and Biomass of Secondary Forest in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Campus

Recently, anthropogenic activities such as forest logging, plantation and urban development have influenced the growth of secondary forests throughout the tropics. In Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), secondary forest has emerged after the removal of rubber plantation, which has led this study to identify secondary forest composition, estimate the amount of carbon stock from the above-ground biomass (AGB), below-ground biomass (BGB) and soil organic carbon, and identify tree distribution based on soil, chemical and physical properties. In this study, 200 plots with an area of 100 m2 each were established within UTM’s secondary forest. The diameter at breast height (DBH), the tree height, coordinates for each tree species and soil samples were collected. Top-soil samples in 50 selected plots were collected and analysed for texture, pH, base cation and available nutrients, including Mg, P and K. Shannon diversity index was applied in measuring species diversity. Then, a satellite image acquisition from Pleiades and spectral radiometer data collection were carried out to compile spectral data of fresh leaves from 25 species. For species composition, a total of 1,917 tree stands, comprising 25 species from 17 genera and 15 families were enumerated in all the study plots. Euphorbiaceae is the largest family with a total basal area (BA) of 29.6 m2/ha which contributes to the high density in UTM secondary forest. The Shannon Diversity Index in UTM secondary forest was 2.248 (Hmax= 3.219) which is lower than for primary forest. The total tree biomass was 84.6 t/ha, which was composed of AGB of 61.3 t/ha and BGB of 23.3 t/ha. The amount of carbon stock in this forest was 40.1 t/ha for AGB (28.8 t/ha), BGB (11 t/ha), and in the soil (0.79 t/ha). The total amount of soil organic carbon in UTM was 37.39 t/ha. Finally, ordinations by using Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) indicated that soil, chemical and physical factors had no relationship with vegetation distribution. According to supervised classification for carbon stock estimation, the total carbon stock from 173.80 hectares of secondary forest in UTM amounted to 11,731.5 tonnes of carbon. Therefore, the secondary forest in UTM should be conserved as a carbon reservoir.

19. Amataroaf Abdullah Alsharif
Biomimetics for Passive Air Conditioned Design for Buildings in the Hot Arid Regions

The high energy consumed for air conditioning in buildings become a serious concern in the scientific research due to its negative consequences on the earth’s ecological life. In nature, animals regulate their body temperature in extreme environments without using fuel or prejudice to their environmental system. Therefore, this study aims to emulate one of the biological cooling strategies to design passive cooling unit for buildings in the hot arid regions. It adopted a biomimetic exploratory method to determine three of the efficient biological cooling strategies in nature based on the morphological attributes. They are cooling through animals’ respiratory passages, thermal radiators and air flow cooling in termite mound. A comparative study was conducted on four case studies under each of the three cooling strategies to come up with the working principles that can be used as a guide to design biomimetic cooling system. One of these strategies, the camel nasal respiratory cooling, was simulated to design a cooling unit installed in wind tower for buildings in the hot arid regions. To validate the applicability of the camel nasal-inspired cooling design, a set of experimental tests have been conducted in one of the desert cities that is Seiyun in Yemen by using both wind tower and wind tunnel. The study main parameter was the design cooling efficiency for (i) three materials which were clay, clay with jute fiber and clay with wood wool pads, (ii) the design height, and (iii) climatic environmental variables. The results showed that the best cooling efficiency among the three materials was the design of clay with jute fiber 85.2 %, followed by clay with wood wool pads 76.6 %, and the clay design 66.3 %. The former two designs have effectively dropped the temperature in hot arid climate up to 18.9 °C for jute design and 16.5°C for wood wool design. This indicates that the bio-inspired design can replace the mechanical air conditioning system. Additionally, the cooling efficiency of the design increases by the increment of its height and the ambient temperature. However, it decreases with the increment of the inlet air wet-bulb temperature, air humidity, and air velocity. It is concluded that emulating biological thermo-regulatory strategies is useful to design energy-efficient buildings. This study contributed to proposing a new passive cooling design for buildings in the hot arid regions.

20. Noraini Bahari (2019)
Tree Species Composition And Configuration Based On Squirrel Behaviour Pattern In Selected Malaysian Urban Parks

In Malaysian urban parks, observing wildlife activity, particularly squirrels, is not a popular recreational activity among their users. This is due to the lack of attention being placed in the planning and design stage of the park in order to create good quality wildlife habitats which meet their ecological needs, particularly in urban parks. As such, this study aims to discover the tree species composition and configuration which influence the squirrels’ activities and behaviour and consequently encourage squirrel-observing as a recreational activity. The three selected urban parks represent the northern, central and southern regions of Peninsular Malaysia where plantain squirrels can be found in abundance. The parks are the Taiping Lake Gardens, Taiping Perak, the Hutan Bandar, Johor Bahru and the Botanical Garden, Putrajaya. The software ERDAS IMAGINE 2014 was used to classify the land use features in each park. This is an essential tool used for extracting quantitative information from remotely-sensed image data. High resolution images of all three parks were obtained from Google Earth 2016. Each individual tree in which the plantain squirrels were sighted was plotted on GIS database using ArcGIS 10.0. Direct observations and focal animal sampling, with the help of binoculars, digital camera and activity check sheets were used to record the activities during the most active period for the squirrels, namely early in the morning and late evening. A total of four plots, with fifty-meter diameter for each park, were established based on the most squirrels sighted during the preliminary study. The relationship between the squirrels’ behaviour and the tree characteristics was analysed with Chi-Square independent test in SPSS ver. 23. The findings revealed that plantain squirrels were strictly diurnal species with their peak activity during the early morning and late evening. Trees were mostly used for food sources as plantain squirrels mainly consume fruits. In terms of tree composition, native species were more dominant than non-native ones. Clustered tree configurations that exhibited connected canopies dominated all observation plots. Tree species which produced fruits all year round were widely planted in all these parks. Plantains frequently used the upper double vertical space which is in the middle and upper storey (5m-10 and 10-15m), for foraging and feeding where fruits were found in abundance. Hence, travelling activities were also mostly seen in the same storey as this activity was mainly related with looking for food source areas. In conclusion, this research allows park planners and designers to understand that the composition of trees and its configuration should be in accordance to the squirrels’ ecological requirements. Therefore, this study reveals the fundamental factors for designing urban parks which will be able to offer squirrel-observation activities among Malaysian park users.

21. Daodu Oluwatosin
Independent Mobility of Children in the Military Barrack Urban Milieu of Nigeria
Independent mobility in military barracks is crucial for a child’s proper physical, social, and cognitive functioning. However, despite the contribution of mobility to health and overall quality of life, barracks create a high level of parental restrictions. The restrictions and the children’s immobility are linked to an unfriendly environment, non-active travel behaviour, and the exclusion of children’s experience. Hence, this study aims to build a conceptual framework of independent mobility that fits into the military barracks in Nigeria. Consequently, children’s independent mobility indicators were identified in Sam Ethnan Air Force Barracks in Lagos and Nigerian Air Force Barracks in Kaduna. The barrack-environment characteristics were examined, and travel mode behaviour factors were assessed. The set of rules for a parental licence was also explored. Data collection and analysis followed an explanatory sequential mixed method strategy, which is grounded on post-positivism and social constructivism. Barracks’ spatial data was acquired using Geographical Positioning System devices and Landsat imagery. Subsequently, the research used a semi-structured interview and paper-based participatory mapping. The participants of the study comprised 60 children aged 5 to 12 years of age, living in the barracks. The research answered seven research questions. The spatial analysis was carried out using ArcGIS 10.3 ESRI, descriptive analysis in SPSS 22 version, and thematic analysis in NVIVO 12 Plus software. Focus group discussions, face-to-face interviews with policymakers, and photographs were used in triangulation. The findings revealed that home, school, and play areas were meaningful destinations, within 100 m to 1900 m walkable buffer distances within 5-20 minutes for children in the two barracks investigated. The study is aligned with child-friendly environments and socio-ecological theoretical frameworks. Thus, seven characteristics emerged for the barrack environment theme, six factors for travel behaviour, and three sets of rules for parental licences upheld by parents and children. Thus, permission to engage in walking or cycling to school and to the play areas was the most frequently granted. More licences denote higher independent mobility for children. Therefore, the independent movement of barracks children is the degree of freedom from parental restriction to engage in short-distance active travel to school and leisure activities within a specific home range and travel time. The conceptual framework for the independent mobility of children is useful for the Nigerian Air Force policymakers and design professionals such as architects, landscape architects, and planners, to create a child-friendly barracks. It is relevant to address children’s immobility and improve their health in barrack environments, including the para-military barracks, housing estates, and compact cities across Africa.

22. Yeo Lee Bak (2019)

Achieving Synergy in Ecosystem Services at Muar District in Malaysia

An ecosystem supplies various goods and services to support human well-being, directly and indirectly. However, unrestrained development has changed the ecological function of the ecosystem and has damaged the condition of the environment to sustain life. Nonetheless, most of the developing countries that are rich in natural resources still have not scrutinized the benefits delivered explicitly by ecosystem services, especially trade-offs. Hence, this study aims to examine the relationship between climate regulation (regulating service) and recreational provision (cultural service), which rarely been studied together. The study site was located at Muar, a district of Johor in Malaysia. The spatial data (2010) of Muar district were obtained from the Department of Agriculture Muar. To examine the ecosystem service on the village/plot scale, three study areas were plotted (2.7 km x 1.8 km) at urban (Bandar Maharani), suburban (Sungai Terap), and rural (Ayer Hitam) areas. The methodological design used was quantitative research which involved different types of analysis techniques and tools. Firstly, ENVI-met ver. 4 microclimate simulation model was used to generate the thermal comfort maps. Secondly, integration of an analytic hierarchy process and GIS-based modelling was employed to generate the recreational provision maps. Lastly, Spearman’s correlation test was executed in SPSS ver. 21 to analyse the relationship between thermal comfort and recreational provision. In term of climate regulation of urban, suburban, and rural areas, the results suggested people were not experienced heat stress in tree covered areas, be it agricultural plantation or forested areas. In contrast, they experienced extreme heat stress on asphalt road, sandy, loamy, and concrete surfaces due to direct solar radiation. In term of recreational provision, green spaces in urban area provided more recreational opportunities because of their usability and accessibility. Conversely, the recreational opportunities provided in suburban and rural areas were inferior because agricultural plantation covered majority of the land. For the trade-offs assessment, Muar stadium in the urban area provided many recreational provision, and the thermal comfort was also good. Hence, they were in the position of synergy. In contrast, agricultural plantation in suburban and rural areas provided with good thermal comfort but weak in recreational provision, which have contributed to a trade-off position. In conclusion, this research provides stakeholders to promote the recreational values of the space and to mitigate the problems of climatology, which eventually can help in improving the synergies between these two ecosystem services for the betterment of the people.

Research Proposals and Others (28)

1. Padang as public place in historical cities in Malaysia
2. Green Infrastructure as Network of Social Spaces for Health and Well-being of Urban Residents in Towns in Malaysia
3. Affordances of School Grounds in Malaysia for Children‘s Environmental Learning
4. Carbon Sequestration by Trees Species in Urban Forest
5. Cultural Landscape Values of Nupe Communities in Niger
6. Iconography, Meanings and Significance of the Placement of Woodcarvings in Malay Houses
7. Urban Morphology at Historical Urban Riverside Settlement Area Rebuilding City’s Identity
9. Modelling of street network connectivity for good wayfinding in small towns in Malaysia
10. Cultural Landscape Values of Nupe Communities in Nigeria
11. Restorative Benefits of Paediatric Ward as a Play Environment in Nigerian Hospital
12. Ecosystem Services Assessment and Modelling for Trade-off Melioration in Urban-Rural
14. Artworks for Children in Urban Spaces
15. Middle-childhood-children-outdoor-learning-through-farming-activities
18. resilience-of-communities-in-pontian-district-from-rapid-development
20. Restorative Effects of Open Spaces at Well-Planned Cities on the Physiological Health
21. Greenery Effects on Thermal Comfort of Students in Universities of Northeastern Nigeria
22. I N D E P E N D E N T M O B I L I T Y OF CHILDREN IN Military Barracks of Nigeria
24. A Conservation Guideline for Traditional Palaces for the Resilience of Traditional Palaces in Kano, Nigeria
25. Thermal Performances of Vertical Green Systems at Building Corridor in Industrial Area of Pasir Gudang
26. Thermal Performance of Vertical Greenery Systems
27. Literacy of Children on Ecological System and Environmental Learning in Home Garden

Progress Report Presentations (19)
1. Methods for Evaluating Responses of Children with Outdoor Environments
3. Restorative Benefits of Paediatric ward as Play Environment in Nigerian hospital
4. Rebuilding City’s Identity Through Morphology Of Historical Area
5. Method to Elicit Local Wisdom in Perceiving the Transformation of Historical Living Environment
6. The Dynamic of Cultural Expression of Ethnicity
7. Urban Morphology at Historical Urban Riverside Settlement Area
8. Affordances of Home-school Journey to Less Privileged Children
9. Cultural landscape value and spatial representation of trees in a rural Nupe community of Nigeria
10. Land Use and Land Cover Change (LULCC) mapping and assessment of carbon stock changes at urban forest in Johor
12. Rethinking the Ideal School Ground Environments for Environmental Learning through Children Drawings
14. Greenovation Infrastructure Network in Taiping Questionnaire
15.Ecosystem Services Assessment and Modelling for Trade-off Melioration
16. Ecosystem Services of Urban Greenery
17. Early Childhood Engagement with Nature
18. Squirrels in Urban Parks
20. Greenery Effects on Thermal Comfort of Students in North-east Nigeria
21. A Conservation Framework for the Emirate Palaces of Northern Nigeria

13. rural-sense-of-community-of-oja-in-nigeria
14. Street Connectiviy and Wayfinding in Teluk Intan
15. Shopping Malls as a Third Place for Positive Socialization of Teenagers
16.  Yeo Lee Bak Viva Slides 14 Feb 2018
17. Forest Community Structure and Biomass of Secondary Forest in UTM
21. Independent Mobility of Children in the Military Barrack Urban Milieu of Nigeria