Development Leapfrogging? From Desakota’s Informal Urbanism to BRI High Speed Rail in Bandung

Dr Sidh Sintusingha1, Dr Amanda Achmadi1

1The University Of Melbourne, Australia

Bandung, Indonesia’s third largest city and the capital of West Java province, is undergoing rapid changes through mega-infrastructure developments that is enmeshing it into part of Jakarta’s extended urban region (Jabodetabek). This is transforming the functions and meanings of its desakota (‘village-city’) patterns of urbanization, characterized by a high degree of informal urbanism practices whether of housing or the economy. The latest mega-project under-construction, the Chinese-funded Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Jakarta-Bandung high speed rail promises to catalyse new Transit Oriented Developments (TODs) at stations in the outskirts or exurbs of urban centres along the way. This includes the Bandung terminus Tegalluar Station and depot ~20km from the centre of Bandung that is even touted to possibly become West Java’s new capital. Through these development leapfrogging initiatives, the Indonesian politicians and planners hope to compete with other Southeast Asian centres. The presentation speculates implications of the contrasting scales of spatial practices and poses the question whether this will further reinforce synergistic-juxtapositions of socio-economic extremes, ubiquitous in Indonesian and many Southeast Asian cities?


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