Toward Transformative Urban Spatial Change

Views from Jakarta

Authored by: Kian Goh

The New Companion to Urban Design

Print publication date:  May  2019
Online publication date:  June  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138302129
eBook ISBN: 9780203731932
Adobe ISBN:


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What is just urban design, in the context of burgeoning social and environmental challenges? Cities around the world face threats from climate change, increasing inequality, and rapid urbanization. Responses to these threats often involve large-scale urban design and development projects that promise resilient, sustainable urban futures. Questions about justice and the city have rarely engaged urban design as concept or practice. But design is often the medium through which contested ideas about the city are visualized and justified. This chapter conceptualizes just urban design across multiple scales and levels of urban spatial interventions. It looks at initiatives to “green” the city and protect it from environmental threats in Jakarta, Indonesia, focusing on how design is used to envision alternative futures. It finds that design works alongside political organizing to make claims on space and belonging, and calls for an expanded agency for counter-design practices to gain broader, enduring political-economic change.

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