Urban Material Flow Analysis: An approach for Greater Kuala Lumpur


  • Farah Ayuni Shafie Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Puncak Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
  • Dasimah Omar Faculty of Architecture, Surveying and Planning, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
  • Subramaniam Karuppannan Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Puncak Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
  • Nurhayati Shariffuddin Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Puncak Alam, Selangor, Malaysia




material flow analysis, urban management, resource consumption


The objective of the study was to estimate environmental impacts of the cities in Greater Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Kajang, Sepang, and Putrajaya by using material flow analysis. The study assessed prime material flows within three cities in Malaysia; electricity consumption, water usage, food consumption, carbon dioxide emission, wastewater production and solid waste. A functional unit of kg/cap/day was defined for all the material flows. Putrajaya was seen as the highest consumer of water, even with the lowest population. Kajang contributed the most of in terms of environmental impacts, followed by Sepang and Putrajaya.

Keywords: material flow analysis, urban management, resource consumption 

eISSN 2398-4279 © 2018. The Authors. Published for AMER ABRA cE-Bs by e-International Publishing House, Ltd., UK. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). Peer–review under responsibility of AMER (Association of Malaysian Environment-Behaviour Researchers), ABRA (Association of Behavioural Researchers on Asians) and cE-Bs (Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies), Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia. 



Alfonso Piña W.H., Pardo Martínez, C.I. (2014) Urban material flow analysis: an approach for Bogotá, Colombia. Ecol. Indic., 42, 32–42.

Gao, J., & Liu, Y. (2012). Deforestation in Heilongjiang Province of China, 1896–2000: Severity, spatiotemporal patterns and causes. Applied Geography, 35(1–2), 345–352.

Mabahwi, N. A., Ling, O. H. L., & Omar, D. (2015). Urban Air Quality and Human Health Effects in Selangor, Malaysia. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 170, 282–291.

Malaysia Performance Management & Delivery Unit (2016). Economic Transformation Plan. Retrieved from http://www.pemandu.gov.my/contact.aspx

Moore, J., Kissinger, M., & Rees, W. E. (2013). An urban metabolism and ecological footprint assessment of Metro Vancouver. Journal of Environmental Management, 124, 51–61.

Rahman, S. A., & Khalid, Rasyikah Md, Sahat, R. (2014). Sustainable Water Management: A Case Study of Putrajaya Malaysia. In University of Hong Kong (Ed.), Igarss 2014 (pp. 1–5). 16th Annual International Sustainable Development Research Conference 2010.

Rosado, L., Niza, S., & Feraao, P. (2014). A Material Flow Accounting Case Study of the Lisbon Metropolitan Area using the Urban Metabolism Analyst Model. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 18(1), 84–101.

Shafie, F. A., Omar, D., & Karuppannan, S. (2013). Environmental Health Impact Assessment and Urban Planning. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 85, 82–91.

Shafie, F. A., Omar, D., Karuppannan, S., & Ismail, N. (2016). Urban-scale Material Flow Analysis: Malaysian Cities Case Study. International Journal of Environment and Sustainability, 5(2), 104.

Singh, S., & Mishra, A. (2014). Deforestation-induced costs on the drinking water supplies of the Mumbai metropolitan, India. Global Environmental Change, 27, 73–83.

Tan, C. S., Maragatham, K., & Leong, Y. P. (2013). Electricity energy outlook in Malaysia. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 16, 012126.

Victor, D., & Agamuthu, P. (2013). Strategic environmental assessment policy integration model for solid waste management in Malaysia. Environmental Science & Policy, 33,

Wang, Q., Yuan, X., Zhang, J., Mu, R., Yang, H., & Ma, C. (2013). Key evaluation framework for the impacts of urbanization on air environment - A case study. Ecological Indicators, 24, 266–272.

World Economic Forum. (2011). Consumer Industry Emerging Trends And Issues Report Of The 2010-2011 Consumer Industry Agenda Council. Geneva, Switzerland.