Where: Central Java
Although largely overlooked by academia and the corporate planning community alike, Central Java is undergoing profound urban transformations. The east-west Island tollway is unlocking the industrial potential of Central Java. Meanwhile, the new Yogyakarta international airport increases the attraction of the larger Borobudur region. Anchored to the tollroads encircling the Merapi Volcano between Semarang and Yogyakarta, improved accessibility is fuelling an invasive urbanism dissecting the diverse geographies of Central Java. These forces make the Central Java region ideal to investigate and test alternative development models and strategies.
Our two local partners, The Ministry of Transportation and the Yogyakarta Heritage Society, have been working in the region to address the predicaments of development versus preservation. The Ministry has launched an initiative to improve urban-rural linkages. In line with the policy of decentralisation, enhanced local feedback planning tollroads, their exits, and allocation of surrounding land is considered pivotal. MJ45s approach, combining network analysis, land surveys and community workshops, will chart the impact and the opportunities of the new tollroads as travel times are slashed in half. This research will be presented at Ministry of Transportation.
Increased tourism is regarded as both a concern and opportunity by the second stakeholder, the Yogyakarta Heritage Society (YHS). Hence, YHS has designated a number of sites around the new airport and the Borobudur. Currently, facilities around the temple complex are unable to absorb the growing amount of tourism. YHS has set out to promote socially and ecologically sustainable tourism by enhancing the desakota as a cultural landscape. The YHS is speciﬁcally interested in the prospect of an online platform that enables them to share their data base of historical maps of the region, depicting how cultural practice has shaped the topography.
In turn, working with YHS provides MJ45 with invaluable insight and oﬀers access to the communities that are experiencing the transformations of the desakota landscape ﬁrst hand. Working online and in community workshops the maps and data will inform tangible spatial strategies. These will be packaged into a catalogue that highlights the correlation between macro/meso/micro scale planning. Working with academic partners at Gajah Mada University and UNDIP the ﬁndings are in turn shared with the local community of urban planners and practitioners, exploring how the land use strategies along this tollroad loop can be scaled up to Java Island.