Megaregion as the new scale of urbanization: Exploring Urban Structure and Policy in Contemporary Java, Indonesia

Authors: Delik Hudalah*, Bandung Institute of Technology
Topics: Urban Geography, Urban and Regional Planning
Keywords: megaregion, mega-urbanization, urban form, urban flow, urban policy, Java
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Regency Ballroom, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The aspiration for global competitiveness drives urban and metropolitan areas to merge and consolidate across borders forming megaregion. Several schools of thought have developed to conceptualize the formation of this new scale of urbanization. Currently, the North America School focusing on the physical expression (urban form) tends to dominate the global discussion on this emerging urban phenomenon. Megaregionalization is deemed the globalization’s new urban frontier. However, its hegemonic perspective makes us difficult to seek its relevance for developing and transitional countries. Indonesia has specific socio-economic and institutional trajectories. Over the past decades, Indonesia has been experiencing mega-urbanization around its major cities. Particularly, Java Island has become the most populated island in the world with more than one thousand people live in one square kilometer. This paper aims to comprehend the extent to which megaregion has emerged as a new scale of urbanization in the island. We argue that the physical expression of megaregion formation cannot be universalized. In the case of Java, the physical formation at inter-urban/ inter-metropolitan scales is not necessarily new and has strongly been shaped by its longtime historical origins and development. Furthermore, the urban form perspective is inadequate and cannot entirely reveal the complexity of urbanization at this higher spatial scale. Therefore, we suggest combining it with non-physical perspectives that acknowledge the reproduction of inter-urban/ metropolitan networking through flows of people, good, and capital. Furthermore, our analysis suggests that sectoral development policy formulation and implementation have in part unintentionally facilitated megaregionalization in Java.

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