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An inclusive approach to developing the future Bandung community



In the background of this policy case, a general feeling of public mistrust towards the government after its failure in dealing with the economic crisis that occurred in Indonesia in 1997 must be acknowledged. In this context, a new approach was developed by public government to rebuild trust in the institution and between different groups by supporting cooperation to achieve agreed-upon development goals. This new approach was adopted in 2000 to develop a more inclusive Bandung’s community in terms of human resources, equity, economic and social welfare, and environmental sustainability. The vision crafted by the municipality also aimed to built an effective and efficient service city, with multi-sectoral programmes implemented to improve the quality of life of its inhabitants.


The missions for this policy approach were:


  • To improve the quality of human resources through education levels, health;
  • To achieve equity;
  • To improve the economic, social, and physical welfare of the population;
  • and to improve environmental sustainability.


The corresponding strategies included policies fostering sustainable development, community support, economic support and community participation.


To illustrate this new approach, the case of upgrading the Tamansari slum area in Bandung City is presented.


The upgrading programmes here, the Cikapundung Clean River Through Community Empowerment Program (2000-2005) and the Fly Over Development and Resident Relocation Through Community Approach (2001-2003), aimed to improve waste disposal behaviour and the environmental quality of the slum area located along the Cikapundung River by implementing an inclusive approach. The policy objectives for these interventions were: 


  • (1) to improve Tamansari’s environment quality and
  • (2) to improve the welfare and life standards of Tamansari’s poor communities. 

Tamansari had grown quickly as a slum area marked by a rapid physical development and its urban fabric is barely integrated into the surrounding environment of Bandung. Its current population is 70,000 inhabitants with an average density of 600 inhabitants/ha. Its proximity to commercial areas and 14 universities has attracted renting employees, temporarily living students, and new residents, resulting in a continuous increment of the population density. The upgrading intervention area covered a surface of around 300-400 ha along the river with a maximum density of 100/ha. The 80% of the total 250,000 inhabitants in the intervention area were poor and living with very limited urban sanitation facilities and without sewage systems, resulting in waste water being disposed in the river and causing very low river water quality.


The participation process within the implementation of the programmes included the constitution of the Tamansari Development Board as a people’s representative body that participates in the resettlement program; and Tamansari community action plans that included the development of local economic institutions such as Koperasi (cooperatives).


The programmes resulted in an improvement in environmental quality in several areas in Tamansari; housing upgrading and inspection paths along Cikapundung River; river water quality improvement; new main pipes and drainage; community relocation for fly over; and market and social housing development.


The main obstacles encountered were the population’s low education level, land limitations, and the high cost of upgrading activity.