Below is my writing for City Mayor as he will join the 2013 CITYNET Seoul Congress, which i finished writing last night and submitted it to the Mayor and the Adpem Setda Kota Sukabumi today. I wish this writting meet the requirements and could be published along with others writting in the Congress Booklet.

Creating Solution in Developing Sukabumi City Into A People Friendly City

A Brief of City Overview

Sukabumi is a medium city with some rural characters, located between the capital of Indonesia and the capital of West Java province, and surrounded by the area of Sukabumi Regency. Provided with amenities, this city is developed to be the center of service provisions in health, education and trade fields. Based on those purpose, the city has to organize itself into a people friendly city, the city that provide what people required it to be, of which will attract more visitors, investors as well as new residents.

As described by Gehl (2009), what mostly people want themselves to live in is an attractive, safe, sustainable and healthy city. These descriptions are also well fitted to what so called a people friendly city. In some big modern cities, these are indicated by a good and affordable provision of public facilities for examples bicycle lane, sidewalks, adequate and comfortable public space, a smooth traffic; a good quality of air and water, the comfortable and the safety of living in a city, or like in Bhutan, it is also indicated by the happiness index which also indicates the equitable social development in the country. And here in Sukabumi, we are still trying do our best in order to develop our city into a people friendly city.

Developing a People Friendly City toward “The Improvement of Community’s Participation in The Development Program”

One of the programs developed to make Sukabumi a people friendly city is the Improvement of Community’s Participation in The Development (Program Peningkatan Partisipasi Masyarakat dalam Pembangunan or P3MP). The program is breakdown into several activities :

–          Renovation of house for poor in order to support poverty alleviation

–          Improvement of citizens’ health through hygiene, sanitation, integrated waste management system and  neighbourhood-scale of health care center

–          Imrpovement, maintenance and development of neighbourhood infrastructures.

–          Disaster preparedness

–          Renovation of Worship facilities

–          Biopore to preserve ground water provision

–          Green villages

This program is targeted to the development activities which will create high economy impact for citizens, particularly for poor. It is supporting the activities which encouraging citizens to engage in the development process, in terms of planning, financing, and conducting the program itself. It combines between the empowerment of community and the assistantship from the government institutions. The communities get the guidance and technical assistance from related government institutions, from which they get sharing knowledge and technology in developing their neighbourhood, such as:

–          Public Work Office

–          City Planning Board

–          Department of governance

–          Department of Administration and Regional Cooperation

–          Department of Finance and Asset Management

The technical assistance consists of the assistance in term of planning, site analysis & assessment given to the selected community. In term of financing, this program required cost sharing from the communities. So, basically government will provide some amount of money as stimulant distributed to each village (Kelurahan) with condition that the village itself would contribute some as the cost sharing. This contribution is not only in the term of money but more to participation, labours, building material, land, etc.

So, in brief this program is not merely to gradually create a people friendly city, starting from the neighborhood, but more. It is also to engage and empower citizens in the development process.

The Achievements of the Program

This program was initiated in the middle of the budgeting year of 2009 as the grant program for development in villages. In 2010 this program is developed in to what is now known as The Improvement of Community’s Participation in Development (Program Peningkatan Partisipasi Masyarakat dalam Pembangunan or P3MP). From the annual evaluation (2010-2012), it is shown the achievement of the program as follow:

–          The percentage of citizens participation is increasing, shown by the ratio of the cost sharing between government and citizens and also the engagement of the citizens toward the whole process

–          The capacity of local community organizations is increasing, shown by the increasing quality of each phase of the development process and the end result.

–          Increasing of number and quality of the infrastructure provisions in the neighbourhood

–          Increasing of the quality of the living environment

–          Increasing number of healthy and descent house for poor.

Lesson Learned, Challenges and Best Practices

It is understandable if citizens value their living environment and all facilities it has if only they were engaged actively to the development process itself. Yet, engaging citizens to a thorough development process requires a real hard work. Challenges come not only on how hard it is to get a concrete decision from citizens in determining which activities will they conduct for their neighbourhood, conflict of interests, let alone the fact that it will be hard for them to set aside some of their precious time to get involved in the process. Setting priority and the placemaking process are also the issues.

Creating a people friendly city through community empowerment consumes time and energy. Yet, there are some added value created by that process. The empowerment of citizens, as well as their improving capacity as the planner, implementer and the end user of the development are the good points. Through the technical assistance given to the selected community, enabling the achievement of these good points:

  1. Increasing the local organization capacity in development
  2. Engaging the community with the development process in order to create a great environment to live in
  3. Increasing the sense of belonging from the citizens toward the end result of the development

The Final Thoughts

From the implementation of the program in our city, we conclude that in creating a people friendly city, what we need is not only a SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely) planning program or the provison of public facilities, but also the engagement and the commitment of the citizens toward the development.

As for us people friendly city not only means an accessible, a comfortable pedestrians, a safe walk across the streets, an attractive city with greener and nice public spaces, some playground for children, a city that provides affordable facilities, but also a city that gives a room for its citizens to be creative and actively participating in the whole process of the development.

*****

Refferences:

–          Bagian Tata Pemerintahan, Sekretariat Daerah Kota Sukabumi. 2012. Sosialisasi Program Peningkatan Partisipasi Masyarakat Dalam Pembangunan Di Kelurahan, Tahun 2012. Sukabumi

–          Gehl, Profesor. Dr. Jan. 2009. Cities for people. Gehl Architects Urban Quality Consultants, Copenhagen.

–          Gehl Architects, August 23 2013, Cities, Presentations.

Note:

This briefing paper is written for Sukabumi Mayor, H. Mohamad Muraz, SH., MM, for 2013 CITYNET Seoul Congres by Deary Artayanti, ST., M.Sc., M.Eng, (Office of Public Work, Sub Division of Building Maintenance).

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