Chatting with Jakarta’s Deputy Governor – His Views on Inclusive & Sustainable Urban Development
In October, in conjunction with HCC’s Innovation Workshop in Jakarta, we had the honour of speaking with Oswar M. Mungkasa, Deputy Governor DKI Jakarta Provincial in Spatial Planning and Environment, about his support of HCC’s pilot initiative in Jakarta.*
Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
Deputy Governor Mungkasa: I am an expert in city planning and social economy, and I have worked in the DKI Jakarta Provincial Office for the past two years. Previously, I worked for BAPPENAS (the Indonesian National Development Planning Agency) for 21 years and the Ministry of Public Housing for 2 years. Given this work history, I have overseen many grand design concepts (so-called master plans) based on priority social issues. As for my education, I obtained my Master’s degree at University of Pittsburgh, USA and my Doctorate at University of Indonesia.
What is your role as Deputy Governor?
Deputy Governor Mungkasa: As Deputy Governor, I have six main responsibilities. First, I give advice and input to the Governor. Second, it is my job to coordinate, and monitor the implementation of government program with other units or institutions. For example, I supported the HCC Innovation Workshop by delegating the right person and units to support this initiative. I also communicate directly with the public and communities about the Governor’s policies and programmes. Furthermore, I carry out external communications with all partners and stakeholders. Sixth and finally, I regularly report to the Governor. As I’ve just mentioned, it is in my role to bring together various stakeholders and my office’s duty to pull resources together through workshops, training, FGDs, and open communications in order to generate the right outcomes – much like how the HCC initiative works.
Why have you decided to support the HCC’s activities, like the recent innovation workshop, in Jakarta?
Deputy Governor Mungkasa: I see that there has not been grand design or blueprint to address the issues of slums in urban settings. I see the steps that HCC is taking is simpler and solution-oriented. That’s why I support this activity because it will produce innovative and high-level solutions. This will be very useful as input for us when we need to develop a grand fesign for slum improvement.
In October I opened HCC’s Jakarta Innovation Workshop, which focused water, sanitation, and new socialised models for Penjaringan area in particular. The strength of this workshop was that HCC could generate feasible solutions by having the community play an active role in the workshop. One thing became clear because of the workshop, more in-depth research data and primary fact finding should still be carried out to fully understand why informal settlements arise. One such question might include: Why are people living in someone else’s land? A core problem is land tenure. By knowing these basic facts about a community, we can identify appropriate solutions regarding social housing options.
As a short-term solution, I agree to provide the community with clean water. Simultaneously, there should be ongoing mapping of slum areas. When it comes to a long-term solution, the social housing based in the community can only be done correctly if land consolidation occurs. The case of Penjaringan would require vertical land consolidation with the community for there to be a possibility to own or to rent a unit. And then, the community must have a DKI Jakarta identity card.
Based on your experience, does HCC’s approach differ from others?
Deputy Governor Mungkasa: Human Cities Coalition relies on a collaborative approach with the private sector, government, NGOs and the community. This approach, with its focus on collaboration, is a great way to source solutions. For example, Arcadis has expertise in building communal housing and together we can consider the social engineering aspects of housing through HCC’s international network of experts in housing and sanitation and water to achieve innovative, inclusive solutions. In addition, this way of working engages private sector players investing their funds or their technology to implement CSR and inclusive business strategies.
What are your hopes for the future of Jakarta with regards to rapid urbanisation and the improvement of slums?
Deputy Governor Mungkasa: Every year additional 200,000 people come and live in Jakarta. Most of them are unskilled and uneducated. This can be a burden for Jakarta. Informal sectors and informal jobs have increased and can lead to overcrowding. We need to work together with local regions and cities where many of the residents are leaving for Jakarta from, and provide skills trainings in these areas. Then, when these people arrive in Jakarta, they already have skills to find work. Or, alternately, we could provide training in their own city or region, and then more people could stay in their hometown to work and to sell their products to Jakarta. This would reduce the number of people coming to Jakarta. On the other hand, in that scenario, those who do come to Jakarta would still have skills and education level necessary to begin work in the city’s formal sectors. If we accept that each year 200,000 people will move to Jakarta from rural areas in Indonesia, then doing nothing means rapid urbanisation will continue in the same way: where people face a high number of informal jobs, high unemployment, unstable incomes, poverty, no land or proper housing for them to live on, and the growth of more slum areas.
And what do you hope the Human Cities Coalition can achieve in Jakarta?
Jakarta is currently lacking a blue print to tackle critical issues including for the improvement of slum areas and informal settlements. People come and live in Jakarta in areas where they are not allowed to live. And then, the government can relocate them at any time without considering that they have lived there for many years. We need to have answers for tackling these issues and clear policies and coordinated planning to reduce slum areas and the challenges around access to basic services.
I expect HCC to help us by providing input for the development of the grand design for slum areas, one that is made up of different schemes for working with the private sector and methods to reduce slum areas through pilot projects. Jakarta is a capital city, and a bustling place full of businesses and services. Jakarta must deal with slum areas because it is a city that provides services with high living expenses. The government of DKI Jakarta is only one player in this megacity called Jakarta. Hence, it is useful when HCC brings knowledge and expertise into Jakarta by sending international speakers or other experts in areas like water and sanitation or public housing to enhance and enrich our understanding of these issues.
*Periodically HCC asks its Board Members and others active in its coalition to author a think piece or interview. While these blogs touch upon core themes of HCC’s work, they do not necessary represent the official stance of Human Cities Coalition or its partners.