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The hybrid urban geography of Indonesian cities

Authors: Chantal Rietdijk*, National Taiwan Normal University
Topics: Urban Geography, Asia, Political Geography
Keywords: informal housing, urban geography, hybrid geography, Indonesia
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2020
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 1:15 PM
Room: Virtual Track 2
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Indonesian cities are spatially and culturally shaped by colonial powers, post-colonial authoritarian regimes and more recently democratic governments. The urban structure and especially the dual system of land ownership legislation, which was introduced by the Dutch during the colonial era, continued under post-colonial regimes and still exists today, resulting in high percentages of informal housing within Indonesian cities. In this paper the changes in urban assemblages are examined, with special focus on the shifts of power within these assemblages and the consequences for residents of the urban kampongs. Following Kwan’s call for a closure of the spatial-analytical and socio-cultural divide in urban geography, this paper examines housing in the Indonesian urban kampong as part of the multiplicity of the city, by both examining the implications of the top-down spatially enforced dualism of land ownership rights, as well as the socio-cultural everyday realities of kampong residents. As the urban surroundings are a reflection of constant change by its actors, the distinction between formal and informal land rights cannot be merely regarded to as the force shaping the city. By using this hybrid approach, this paper reveals how the dualistic ‘border’ of formal and informal development sustained by the state and developers, is trespassed by day-to-day interactions and mentions the practicalities and struggles encountered by residents in establishing their livelihoods.

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