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BRIN-LDE Academy on “The Smart, Sustainable, and Healthy City in Post COVID-19 Indonesia”9 min read

May 28, 2022 7 min read

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BRIN-LDE Academy on “The Smart, Sustainable, and Healthy City in Post COVID-19 Indonesia”9 min read

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The 2022 Academy is co-organized by Leiden, Delft and Erasmus Universities (The LDE Alliance) from the Netherlands and the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) Indonesia. Aim of this five day-programme is co-creation in the field of teaching and research on sustainable urbanisation. It also aims to facilitate and foster international research collaboration and to nurture academic capacity for those researchers studying urban transitions in the context of a developing country where changes are particularly pressing: Indonesia, one of the most rapidly urbanising nations in the world.

Cities have become a vital part of the human experience and are arguably the locus of future humankind. As spaces, cities, be they small-medium towns, peri-urban areas, or megacities, have (re)shaped the natural and built environment. Cities are also places, where people live and work, form social relations, and establish unique cultural, political, and economic identities. Recently, as globalization has dissolved intercountry barriers, cities are also nodes in the global urban system that are interconnected through different flows, ranging from capital, goods, and knowledge to infectious diseases. These global flows are manifested in urban hubs such port city territories, where questions of space and place have created particular conditions of urban diversity. 

The recent COVID-19 outbreak has acted as a tipping-point reminding us all of the pivotal role played by cities and their strategic position in an era of increasing uncertainty and complexity. That said, cities are not only the locus where the multiple impacts of COVID-19 have been most severe, but they also increasingly have become a fertile ground for a multitude of interventions that can be (re)configured and deployed to achieve a more sustainable future. One important lesson gleaned from this global pandemic is that cities with more sustainable and resilience capacities (no matter how these concepts are defined) have handled the crisis much better, so far. Some types of cities, such as port cities have developed evolutionary resilience, to use a term coined by Simin Davoudi (2013), embedded in their institutions and built environment. Understanding these historic practices can help design more resilient futures in the face of contemporary urgencies, including climate change. Water-related transformations are particularly challenging for a country of islands.

In Indonesia, cities are increasingly becoming the pulse of life for most of its population. Based on the latest census (2020), it was recorded that about 57% of Indonesia’s population already lives in urban areas. This percentage is predicted to continue increase to about 67% by 2035. In this context of an urbanizing Indonesia, cities have emerged as probably the most dynamic spatial fabric. Not only do we find so-called megacities and metropolitan areas under constant change, other smaller urban areas are thriving. Meanwhile, the country’s drive towards decentralization, that has initiated since the early 2000s, has proven to provide greater room for local actors to manoeuvre and steer their own fate, and in aiming to make their cities to become more competitive and attractive.

The unfolding of globalization has further added to these dynamic gestures, in which Indonesian cities are competing to reap the various benefits from a seemingly borderless external world. As a case in point, the MotoGP event recently held in Mandalika, together with the overall package of tourism-based megaproject development in this area, has transformed Lombok Tengah, previously a relatively small agricultural-based town, and put in onto the global map. Cities, with all of their entailing multidimensional urbanization processes, are thus positioning themselves as places of growth, creativity, and innovation. Not all cities are alike though, capital cities, port cities, university towns, or tourist hubs engage with these challenges in unique ways.

While these urban dynamics have brought numerous positive trends and developments, cities also continue to be arenas of crisis and confrontations. Cities are a melting pot of people coming from different regions and backgrounds. As the influx of people continues also due to strong market incentives cities often have proven uncontrollable in accommodating each and everyone. Crumbling infrastructure, segregation and widening socio-economic gaps, massive land-use conversion turning vacant and fertile lands into construction areas, increased production of greenhouse gas emission, and rising incidence or simply rising health issues, to name but a few of the often-unintended externalities that result from urban dynamics and from their unique spatial patterns, size, and location.

Given the above, cities are not only places of inspiration but also arenas in which multifaceted problems are tested and unfold, ranging from social, technical, and ecological to health issues. Born from these urban environments innovative and apt solutions are also likely to be found in these environments. Understanding of place identity and space-based challenges is key to designing future solutions

For this year’s BRIN-LDE Academy, we welcome papers based on the four following sub-themes:

Sub-themes

Smart cities and the digital transition

One of the most prominent global megatrends has been the recent omnipresence of digital technologies that run and supervise all facets of urban life. The era of the smart city has definitely arrived and it has changed the way cities are organized accordingly, including some and excluding others from the digital dream. This panel seeks to understand how the introduction of digital technology such as big data dashboards, algorithmic surveillance but also open source and bottom-up tactic technologies have intensely reconfigured cities as socio-technical systems. It elaborates on how the idea and practice of the smart city has penetrated the everyday (individual and social) life of Indonesian citizens and how they have variously responded and made use of the affordances of the digital transition. Papers in this panel may focus on how government agencies, business actors, and civil society organizations have contributed to the (un)making of smart cities in the context of a developing country with ‘classic’ urban problems, including, but not limited to, urban poverty, slum dwellers, poor access to basic infrastructures, environmental problems and traffic congestion.     

Health in the city

Globally, the percentage of people living in cities is ever-growing. The urban population faces several major issues, including poverty, lack of access to safely managed drinking water and sanitation services, poor sewerage and the risk of infectious diseases, including zoonotic ones, as magnified by slum residences. The high socioeconomic segment residing in urban areas suffers increasingly from non-communicable diseases related to unhealthy diet/nutrition, sedentary lifestyle and exposure to altered biodiversity. Therefore, along with air pollution, the risk of respiratory diseases, cardiometabolic diseases and many cancers are concentrated in urban centres, calling for alternative preventive and health style interventions and addressing the (urban) social determinants of health. Lastly, the rising stressors in cities can lead to poor mental health, which needs attention. Taken together the epidemiological transition in health that takes places in an urban centre is posing pressure on the caring capacity of cities, exacerbating existing public health problems. All of these issues need to be dealt with to ensure sustainable and equitable development. Papers in this panel may focus on topics related to health in the urban environment, using medical, social scientific or other (inter)disciplinary approaches.

Sustainable cities, energy and water management

Cities and metropolitan areas are the power houses of economic growth but on the other hand are also the largest greenhouse emission producers, solid waste generators, and resource consumers vis-a-vis more rural compatriots. This panel seeks to understand how rapid urban development, as occurs in Indonesia, has exacerbated environmental problems linked with unsustainable land use, transport, housing, waste, water, and energy management. The ecological footprints of cities go even far beyond their urban boundaries to include neighbouring forests, agricultural areas, waters, and other non-urban surfaces, all of which are consumed to supply their residents. Climate change has complicated the environmental challenges faced by cities in turn massively threatening the livelihood of its inhabitants. Poor inhabitants not surprisingly are the most vulnerable of groups and first affected by a variety of natural disasters. This panel also aims to seek means to achieve more sustainable trajectories for future urban development, parallel with the need to counteract climate change and by replacing traditional energy sources such as coal and oil with more sustainable alternatives. Challenges of climate change and sustainable development are particularly urgent in coastal and port cities where easily flooded areas overlap with densely populated urban regions. Coastal cities particularly face unique challenges, as evidenced in the past, present and future of Jakarta, a capital city that is sinking and that has been the object of extensive future proposals, notably plans to reclaim land in front of the capital. 

Urban diversity and heritage

Diversity and inclusivity are key challenges of our time, and critical prerequisites of a healthy and sustainable urbanization. United Nations’ SDG 11 (“Making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”) acknowledges these interconnections for cities worldwide. One means to make oneself today a home in the city is by properly incorporating various (windows on) the past, thus doing justice to a wide range of cultural religious or ethnic traditions that come together in and because of the city, particularly in coastal and port cities. This panel aims to analyze how local communities’ harness diversity and inclusivity by resorting to a sheer range of urban histories and heritage: from architecture, monuments, to oral traditions and material objects. Celebrations of the past may help voice interest otherwise little heard and thus further add to urban diversity, but heritage projects may equally well be imposed top down, thoroughly commercialised and meant to silence others. We invite original work that explains the various faces of heritage politics, and how both state-run and grassroots initiatives may help add to urban diversity and prepare for better urban futures.

Main Activities
The main activities of BRIN-LDE Academy will be as follows: lectures, academic writing discussion (based on the submitted full papers), potential research collaboration, and field visit.

Submission

Please submit your extended abstract or paper (.pdf format) and your CV (.pdf format) for reviewing process through  https://s.id/RegLDEBRINAcademy2022. Use the following https://s.id/CVandAbstractTemplate abstract and CV formats when submitting. We accept various types of papers, including research article (based on primary and/or secondary data) and literature review article (knowledge gap, conceptual model, proposed tool/method, etc.): these papers must not have been published elsewhere and are not under consideration for publication elsewhere. Selected papers will be published in an international book (the book publisher will be later announced).

Important Dates

29 July 2022: Deadline for Extended Abstract Submission (700 – 1,000 words)

12 August 2022: Notification of Extended Abstract Acceptance

14 October 2022: Deadline for Full Paper Submission (4,000 – 8,000 words) and Registration

31 October – 4 November 2022 : BRIN-LDE Academy Programme

Eligibility of Participants

Early and mid-career researchers/lecturers with following criteria:

  • Indonesian citizens;
  • Education: master’s degree, or PhD students, or PhD degree (preferably within 5 years after graduation);
  • Preferably having experience in publishing article(s) in international journals/books/proceedings.

Venue

The 2022 Academy will be held fully offline at Puspiptek Serpong Complex BRIN, South Tangerang City, Indonesia.

Registration

There is no registration fee for participants (whose full papers are accepted). However, participants must bear their own travel and accommodation costs. The committee provides a limited number of rooms at Wisma Tamu Puspiptek, Puspiptek Serpong Complex BRIN, (https://puspiptek.brin.go.id/layanan-wisma-tamu-puspiptek/) at a relatively low price.

Contact (English or Indonesian)

Email     : brinlde.academy2022@gmail.com

Contact : Andhika (+6281310329897), Kusnandar (+6281320652612), Pusat Riset Kependudukan BRIN (+6281260466729)

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