‘Urban Dynamics – Analysing urban development dynamics and impacts’ was the title of the joint workshop organized by the Department of Spatial Economics VU and Universitas Indonesia. The workshop was part of the WINNER Event (Week of Indonesia-Netherlands Education and Research)* and took place on October 27.

The rapid urbanisation process in Indonesia has resulted in numerous sustainability issues including congestion, deteriorating air quality and exposure to natural hazards. The latter is particularly urgent in view of climatic changes that may exacerbate urbanisation impacts. To discuss ongoing research on urban dynamics in Indonesia, Universitas Indonesia and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam organised a special session together. In this session recent research was highlighted in mapping the urban development process (e.g. relying on drones and interactive mapping tools), analysing the forces that influence this process (e.g., determining the impact of highway construction on urban sprawl) and assessing potential future developments (e.g., using spatially explicit modelling tools).

During the session Professors Holzhacker and Jayawardhana (RUG) explained how autonomous systems such as drones can be helpful in urban environments when their efforts are coordinated. Such collaborative efforts, referred to as a swarm of high-precision smart sensor systems can support the mapping of specific urban features or hazards such as floods or landslides. Dr. Yudhistira (UI) showed that improvement in highway access increased urban sprawl within the Jakarta Metropolitan Area, particularly within 40–50 km radius from the city centre. The results also confirmed the presence of highway-led urban expansion in several districts within the area over the last three decades. Nursakti Pratomoatmojo (ITSN/ VU) showed how a land-use model can be used simulate possible future urbanisation patterns and associated demand for electricity. His research supported urban planning in the cities of Surabaya and Bandar Lampung. Jati Pratomo and Professor Pfeffer (UT) demonstrated their interactive platform to map informal settlements. You can watch the recorded session here.

Longstanding cooperation Spatial Economics VU – Indonesia

The Spatial Economics Department at VU Amsterdam has a longstanding cooperation with several universities in Indonesia: Universitas Indonesia, Atma Jaya Yogyakarta University, Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember, as well as Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana. Since January 2018 VU Amsterdam and UI have organised several intensive courses on spatial and transport economics at Kampus Universitas Indonesia Depok. These two-week courses have inspired several students from UI to continue in this field and join the master programme in Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics at VU. In addition, UI and VUA have cooperated in several research proposal including one for setting up a joint course for Indonesian national spatial planners on Urban management for smart cities. More information about the intensive course can be found here.

Several Indonesian researchers obtained their PhD within the Department: Soenarto Rosidin recently defended her thesis (26 October) titled “Inequality, Regional Economic Development and Access to Public Services in Decentralizing Indonesia”. Hengky Kurniawan is researching regional economic development, Dhaniel Ilyas is currently collecting data in Indonesia for his thesis on transport economic models of Jakarta Greater Area, and Nursakti Pratomoatmojo started his PhD research on urban densification in 2021. The PhD researchers usually remain affiliated with their mother institutions such as UI, sustaining natural links between VU Amsterdam and its counterparts in Indonesia.

* WINNER is an initiative by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Jakarta, Nuffic Neso Indonesia, the Indonesian Academy of Young Scientists (ALMI), the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), and the Dutch Research Council (NWO). 


November 2021