Looking to revive activities at The Linc
With a vaccine against Covid-19 expected soon, trendy retail mall The Linc, that supports community-related projects, is drawing up plans for people to converge and have activities again.
“As the mall comes alive again, we will create back lots of community-driven projects.
“There will be a lot of buzz and activities, with children hanging around, and among other things, people taking part in workshops for painting, baking and calligraphy,’’ said PPB Group (property division) general manager of retail, Alan Cheong.
By now, it has become part of the DNA of the PPB Group to develop assets around community hubs; as they enhance the locality into a growing community, this will in turn, help to improve the tenancy at their projects.
The PPB Group sees it as their social responsibility to help local communities thrive.
The Linc is not just a commercial center but has its concepts rooted in business sustainability; it supports small businesses, artisans, single parents, artists and has projects that include urban or rooftop farming and textile waste recycling.
The mall does not only feature green design elements but also strives to educate the future generation on biodiversity, which stresses on the inter-relationship between man and nature.
“Our new conservation and outreach programme ‘The Chrysalis Project’ aims to increase and protect the surrounding biodiversity.
“It will also engage the surrounding community, especially the younger generation, through education and conservation programmes,’’ said head of development planning and design, Lim Siew Yee.
Visitors appreciate the layout of The Linc, with weeping fig trees (ficus benjamina) conserved around the center; food is hung in baskets for squirrels and other small animals.
With natural ventilation, the open air environment around these trees is also appealing to visitors who may, sometimes be seen, having a drink in the open courtyards below.
Many are excited to explore the rooftop at The Linc; they climb up to take photographs of the colourful roof and the surrounding areas.
The rainbow staircase with colourful, hanging lights is also a gathering place especially for young people.
The Linc provides a platform for local artists to showcase their works, and their nature-inspired art installations are often captured on Instagram by visitors.
It also serves as a meeting place offline and increasingly, online, as digital marketing and social media have become more effective in reaching potential customers.
A partner of artisans digital mall, The Artisans Haven, The Linc has a physical tenant BinaSinar that sells handmade items, on board The Artisans Haven.
At The Linc, there are seven groups of small businesses selling local food with flexible operating hours.
Single parents rent push carts to sell their products, while the management helps them to market their products online, and organize weekend bazaars at no charges.
“We are quite happy to engage with them,’’ said Alan. “We ask them if they can sustain and we help them.’’
The Linc also supports an association for medically challenged children, called Tender Hearts; the children are given free space in the weekends to cook and bake, while the management buys up the products and donates them to other places.
Locals including craftsmen, housewives and artisans with special skills are invited to set up their businesses here; to help them start up, they are allowed to set up shop at no cost.
Urban farming at the rooftop, where people used to bring baskets to buy the fresh produce, has been disrupted by the Conditional Movement Control Order period; while movement is restricted, online orders are permitted within the zones in Kuala Lumpur.
Currently, the vegetables and herbs grown are supplied to restaurants at The Linc and food and beverage outlets in the surrounding areas.
Oasis Urban Farming, the current farm-to-table concept garden at the rooftop, will be joined by another by end of the year.
The textile waste recycling project called Kloth Cares Bin which is located at The Linc, has collected 1,283.9kg of unwanted fabrics from March till September.
Since it was installed in September last year, Kloth Cares has collected 2,346kg of fabrics.
Within all these community and people-centric works at The Linc, everyone in the company from top to bottom, stays involved to make the vision a success.
Chrysalis project to focus on environment
The ‘Adopt a Caterpillar and Host Plant’ programme within The Linc’s Chrysalis project, is aimed at fostering a sense of responsibility towards the environment.
Targeted at especially at the younger generation, the programme also aims to instil awareness of the interdependent relationships in an ecosystem.
Caterpillars are available for adoption as the laboratory for the project is already operational.
The nursery which cultivates the host plants that caterpillars feed on, is being stocked now and is expected to have plants by month end.
The main butterfly display, named ‘Flying Flowers’ after a poem entitled ‘Blue-Butterfly Day’ by Robert Frost, is targeted to be up by middle of next month.
Young entomologist program workshops, involving the study of insects, are ready and awaiting the right time to be announced.
A three-part conservation project, the first phase will focus on protecting the current ecology at The Linc, and creating more sustainable hotspots, which are areas with varied and diverse ecology, within the property.
Under the second phase, there will be an experimental butterfly (lepidoptera) release and repopulation programme right in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.
Among the many repopulation programmes, this will be the first time in the world that such an attempt is made in the center of a cosmopolitan metropolis.
An education programme for young children, under the third phase, aims to help bring up a new generation of ecological guardians who can think critically and are environmentally conscious.
The name ‘Chrysalis’ was chosen to indicate change and the process of transformation, as in the life cycle of a butterfly, from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis and finally, adult.
While uncontrolled exponential growth of humanity has spurred rapid urbanization and development at the expense of the planet, this project can hopefully generate awareness, within the vicinity, of the importance of a sustainable biodiversity.
By Yap Leng Kuen, Chief Storyteller, The Artisans Haven