__ a case study in bottom-up land use planning

A project by:

MARS Architects – Dynamic City Foundation // Krill o.r.c.a.

In partnership with:

Ministry of Transport of Indonesia

Gajah Mada University / UNDIP / RMIT / UTC, Sorbonne

Yogyakarta Heritage Society

A collision of morphologies and ideologies

Java, the world’s most populated island, is also one of the world’s fastest urbanising regions. Faced with profound challenges as well as big opportunities, Indonesia’s government is dedicated to delivering a comprehensive plan for its layout by 2045. It will consist of all the common elements of global urbanism, including new highways, ports and tech and industrial hubs. But rapid transformation brings real risk.

Java’s unique landscape and geography defy common planning models. While in other emerging markets economic growth has triggered migration from the countryside to cities, Java is slated to become a peri-urban landscape: dense but dispersed. Urbanisation occurs ad hoc, absorbed by Java’s ubiquitous ‘desakota’ settlements. These unique network of villages forms a productive landscape that is just as critical to Indonesia’s future as new infrastructure and industry.

In the grip of a complete urban overhaul Java’s officials and planners rely on common global planning models. But the juxtaposition of generic urban schemes on top of the fragile desakotas is eroding their cultural, spatial and ecological integrity. Representing opposing scales, speeds, and ideologies, the two urban systems simply collide. The complex landscape opportunistically forged on their intersection demands new geospatial tools and critically, a new planning model.

An integrated model in 3 parts

Metro Java 2045 (MJ45) responds to two new conditions that create opportunities to develop a truly multi-scalar and integrated planning approach: I. the arrival of cluster-based geospatial analysis tools, and II. a new mandate granted at the community level to Java’s villages to plan their own spatial development. MJ45 combines new geospatial analysis tools with collaborative community based planning. Working with local partners across ten pilot sites, MJ45 connects national goals to concrete village level opportunities to form a three-tiered strategy for Java’s desakota.

1. a spatial analysis tool is built that can intelligently translate complex land use patterns into functional clusters.

Network analysis and land use data are applied to produce GIS-based maps that unfold across scales. The functional clusters they reveal, inform communities to make strategic decisions, based on shared challenges and new opportunities, such as accessibility.

2. a virtual platform is built that facilitates both an on- and offline multi-stakeholder collaborative planning process.

The formal visions for 2045 will affect Java’s 140M inhabitants, yet national plans often fail to engage the communities shaping urban formation. The platform shares up-to-date analyses, which in turn inform stakeholder workshops. This sets in motion a feedback loop connecting higher scale goals and visions to local design solutions.

3. With our local partners two pilot sites will be selected across Central Java indicative of the island’s growth predicaments.

Highways, industrialisation and tourism are generating new rural economies, while transforming the desakota in their wake. MJ45 will publish a catalogue that maps ten research locations, all linked to the national tollroad between Semarang and Yogyakarta. For two of the sites Metro Java 2045 will develop a pilot project. As Java plans its infrastructure, these sites offer proof of concept, how ongoing highway-driven urbanisation could be guided sustainably.

Metro Java2045 strategy
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