Planning for walkability and accessibility: an exploration of planning process and shaping form of housing estates in suburban Bandung, Indonesia

Indrasari, F 2019, Planning for walkability and accessibility: an exploration of planning process and shaping form of housing estates in suburban Bandung, Indonesia, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Planning for walkability and accessibility: an exploration of planning process and shaping form of housing estates in suburban Bandung, Indonesia
Author(s) Indrasari, F
Year 2019
Abstract There has been a significant change on travel patterns found in Indonesia in the past two decades. The change has been marked with high vehicle ownership and notorious traffic jams in its large cities. By comparison, there was only one tenth of the current vehicle ownership back in the late 1990s. Yet, this time is also marked with the emerging middle-class aspired to living in a housing estate. It is suspected that such change has received some influence from how housing estates have been developed and taken shape.

Housing estates are built by separating themselves from kampung. As the indigenous form of housing, kampung seems to have been largely disregarded within planning and development practice. Since access to kampung is made limited, its alleys are rarely found to be connected to the roads within housing estates. Following how the built form has taken shape, there have been significant implications for travel behaviour. People were used to walking to warung and taking public transport but now they no longer travel in these ways. People, including the underage children, are riding their motorbikes and cars everywhere.

Drawing upon the example of housing estate development in the northwest suburb of Bandung - a city in Indonesia - where the development of gated communities are prominent (Hun, 2002; Kusno, 2013; Leaf, 1996; Leisch, 2002), it would seem that the form of housing estates is making it difficult for its residents, as well as those living outside the estates, to access a range of destinations on foot therefore limiting travel options.  For kampung dwellers who live adjacent to housing estates, their paths are truncated and their access completely cut off. This is a problem for accessibility and walkability.

The thesis aims to provide a nuanced and in-depth understanding of planning process and how this process shapes the form of housing estates. There are factors shaping Indonesian planning and these factors have also led to the undermining of walkability and accessibility. These factors are explored through a study of housing estates, as one significant change to the built form in Indonesian cities. In terms of method, walkability and accessibility assessments on housing estates were done in addition to semi-structured interviews with local planners and developers as well as policy analysis.

From the assessments it has been revealed that the housing estates have low walkability and accessibility. The form of housing estates disrupts the interwoven network of street and path made by any previous residential development including kampung. As a result, lengthy detours shaped by cul-de-sac and long blocks lower the merit of walking; making it harder for public to access uses and street hawkers to roam the residential area. However, in some cases there are street hawkers and warung (local small shop in kampung) offering a variety of goods for purchase.

Interview participants provided their viewpoints on the planning process in shaping such form. It was found that planning process is practiced as though it is a routine. This promotes a degree of clientelism whereby planners maintain a personal approach in dealing with developers throughout the permit process, regard developers as their clients, and act only to serve them. This is to the detriment of the built form outcomes. Using a hands-off approach in shaping the form, planners are merely a facilitator of development¿far from being an advocate for walkability and accessibility. In this context, developers are given considerable freedom to shape the form of housing estates.  The research also found that the permit process has been commodified. The form of housing estates is determined through a set of market processes, and is only moderately shaped by the actual processes of planning. The housing estates built are characterised by a distinct set of physical features, particularly gates, walls and cul-de-sacs for reasons related to land acquisition, budgeting strategies, and profit maximization of the developers.

The thesis concludes that the planning system in suburban Bandung has produced a form of housing estates that discourages walkability and accessibility. Planning has been practiced in a very limited manner. Instead, housing estates are being shaped by developers and market demand. The practice shows how planners have a minimalist role. In the end, the problem of walkability and accessibility could not be resolved by simply bringing about different forms or pedestrian facilities though it would be good to provide more space for the pedestrian to safely walk along the roads.

The thesis contributes to the literature on Indonesian planning. It does so by examining how the culture of planning, which has been determined by the country's colonial Dutch history, along with the relatively recent introduction of housing estates, has shaped planning and housing form. It suggests that a stronger role for planners is critical to the development of walkable and accessible urban environments, including housing estates.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Global, Urban and Social Studies
Subjects Housing Markets, Development, Management
Transport Planning
Keyword(s) planning
housing estate
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Created: Fri, 08 Feb 2019, 08:03:46 EST by Keely Chapman
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