Sustainability through subsistence: the case for de-urbanization in Malaysia

Hussain, Nur and Byrd, Hugh (2013) Sustainability through subsistence: the case for de-urbanization in Malaysia. In: The Asian Conference on Sustainability, Energy and the Environment, 6th-9th June 2013, Osaka, Japan.

Full content URL:


Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive


Industrialization was the catalyst for the growth of cities in Southeast Asia, in
particular Malaysia. However, in many cities industrialization has peaked and is now
declining. This raises the issue of increased urban poverty as a significant problem
facing these cities in the 21st century.
Evidence from other developing countries is that faced with the choice of urban
poverty or rural subsistence, there appears to be a trend towards de-urbanization. As
Malaysia is unique in imposing laws that protect rural land ownership, this study
investigates the capacity of the available land to absorb migrants from the city and
seeks to identify whether the returning migrants have the capabilities required to
maintain a subsistence lifestyle.
This paper presents a case study analyzing the trends of urban to rural migration in
Malaysia. An audit of land capacity was carried out in a typical kampong and an
investigation of the capability of migrants has been done in both urban and rural areas.
In conclusion, this study has found that the land abandoned by the rural-urban
migration of the 1970s is available and remains accessible for future use. The findings
also identified several examples of returnees who have shown that they have adapted
well to a rural lifestyle. The results indicate that there is evidence that de-urbanization
can result in a sustainable lifestyle through subsistence living in Malaysia.

Keywords:land capacity, society capability, de-industrialization, de-urbanization
Subjects:L Social studies > L391 Sociology of Science and Technology
K Architecture, Building and Planning > K420 Urban and Rural Planning
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Architecture & Design > School of Architecture & Design (Architecture)
Related URLs:
ID Code:11591
Deposited On:07 Aug 2013 13:51

Repository Staff Only: item control page