Petaling Jaya is an urban city in the heart of Selangor, originally a satellite township of Kuala Lumpur that now comprises part of the greater Klang Valley Metropolitan Area with KL, Subang Jaya, Shah Alam, Putrajaya, Ampang, Rawang, Semenyih and Klang. One of the richest cities in Malaysia, 'PJ' is an economic powerhouse that houses an affluent multi-racial demographic.
This is expressed by its numerous commercial centers, upmarket residential zones, trendy lifestyle districts and massive shopping malls. Due to its proximity and shared neighbourhood with Kuala Lumpur, PJ areas are sometimes interchangeably referred together as 'KL'.
Petaling Jaya was built by the British during the Colonial Era to meet a burgeoning population from Kuala Lumpur. Established in 1952 on rubber estates, the first 800 homes were situated on the site called 'Old Town' today. When Kuala Lumpur became Federal Territory in 1974, PJ became a part of Selangor and rapidly increased its size from rural-urban migration.
An important development was the construction of Federal Highway (1974) that connected KL to Klang through the heart of Petaling Jaya, which brought urban growth to important districts along the way such as New Town (State), Section 13, Subang Jaya, Sungai Way (now Bandar Sunway), Kelana Jaya and Shah Alam. In 2006, PJ was officially accorded city status by state government and Cabinet approval.