The Slow and Chaotic Cities of Indonesia: A Study of Urban Morphology, Crowding and Inefficiencies in a Developing Country

By Bambang Hari Wibisono.

Published by Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Cities in developing countries, including Indonesia, have been faced with various urban problems, not only physically, but also socially and economically. The rate of urbanization within the past decade tends to be uncontrollable, which has caused higher urban intensity. Higher motorized vehicle ownership is one of the consequences of the inadequate provision of public transport and traffic management. This has resulted in unorganized urban movements, which has led to sprawl. Meanwhile, no strict ordinance has been imposed to control physical developments, including through land use regulation. In addition, the urban inhabitants commonly are not aware of the essence and importance of an ideal or an orderly urban life, although they dream of it. No particular rule has been set to make them comply with the general norms of urban living. In some big cities, such as Jakarta, Surabaya and Medan, traffic jams have been part of the typical urban view, especially during rush hours. Such traffic congestion, which is indicated by slower traffic movement, has caused many forms of inefficiencies, i.e. energy consumption for the motorized vehicles, and environmental pollution. This paper aims to explain the current complex urban conditions and problems in Indonesia, and proposes some ideas for alleviating the problems.

Keywords: Slow City, Urban Morphology, Urban Management

Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp.35-48. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 3.426MB).

Dr. Bambang Hari Wibisono

Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, Department of Architecture and Planning, Faculty of Engineering, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, DIY, Indonesia

My undergraduate education was in architecture. I had a double degree (Master’s programs) in urban planning and transportation engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA. I got my Ph.D. from the University of Melbourne, Australia. My primary interests are in urban planning and design, particularly as these relate to urban morphological transformation and urban movements.