In the early 50s, Kuala Lumpur experienced an overcrowding due to a rapid increase of residents and many squatter areas developed in the outer regions of Kuala Lumpur. In order to overcome this problem, the Selangor State Government had identified a rubber estate with an area of 1,200 acres in Jalan Klang Lama for creating a new settlement or settlement area to overcome the overcrowding as well as the squatter problems that had arisen. This settlement in the Petaling District was named Petaling Jaya to picture the hope of development so that this settlement will become a successful town (Jaya loosely translates in to ‘Success').

In the early stages, Petaling Jaya gave priority towards developmental works. The authorities had made an effort to encourage the opening of industrialization areas and public facilities. Petaling Jaya's development began in the "Old Town" with the construction of shop houses, community center, movie theater, bus station and others. Jalan 1, which is now known as Jalan Templar, was the first road built in Petaling Jaya.

Until the end of 1954 Petaling Jaya was administered by the Kuala Lumpur District Officer and Petaling Jaya Municipal Board. The administrative authority of Petaling Jaya was then transferred to a Statutory Body which was Petaling Jaya Authority. January 1st, 1964 was a historical moment for Petaling Jaya as through the Selangor State Government Gazette No. 2/1964, a Town Board which has ‘Financial Autonomy' was established to administer Petaling Jaya.

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