Press Release

Smart City to Livable and Sustainable City

Jakarta- It began in the world summit in Bilbao in 2005, which discussed about increasing the role of information and communication technology in public service, and got more popular since the World Intelligent Cities Summit and Exhibition in Istanbul, Turkey in 2013. The idea on Smart City was intensely becoming the hot topic among global communities. News on Smart City started to emerge, and many cities started to self-proclaim themselves as smart cities.

To be a smart city, many city governments equip their working equipment with advanced information and communication technology, both software and hardware. “Keep in mind that technology is only a tool used to make a city smart and not the final destination. After that, a smart city must be able to become a livable and sustainable city,” explained Wicaksono Sarosa, Senior Advisor of Transformasi for Urban Development Affairs.

Smart City is the answer to the global challenge of inevitable world urbanization activities, such as transportation, energy, health, clean water provision, and waste. The United Nations’ report in 2014 stated that so far, more than half of the world population live in cities, and this percentage will increase into two third of the world population in 2050. In Indonesia, according to World Bank, 68% of the population will live in cities in 2025.

Urbanization in Indonesia is indeed a classic problem in need of national attention. The unpreparedness of cities in facing the flow of urbanization is seen from their bad infrastructure system, lack of jobs, and insufficient public services. Data from World Bank shows that for each 1 percent of urbanization, Indonesia can only achieve a GDP growth of 2 percent.

If managed well, urbanization should be able to provide positive impact. Therefore, it is necessary for city governments to take smart and innovative measures to make cities remain comfortable and sustainable. The level of smartness and innovation of city governments must be higher than the growth of the urbanization.

Infrastructure development like roads, irrigation, and green open space must first be done and made sufficiently compared to TIK development. The fulfillment of basic needs and immediate solutions to real problems experienced by the community make a city smart. Afterwards, the city government must create innovations to keep improving the level of comfort, thus making it sustainable.

“A smart city must be able to convince its people in terms of fulfillment of basic needs and livability, and sustainability of its resources. After that, a city must continue to innovate to increase public services, improve the economy, mobility, and social activity of its citizens,” said Nugroho Wienarto, Executive Director of Transformasi.

A livable city must be able to provide comfort, stability, and opportunity as much as possible to the current citizens and newcomers. Smart long term planning must be the beginning of an establishment of a smart city that upholds the spirit to become a livable and sustainable city.

Several world consultancy institutions have issued a livable city index each year. In 2015, the survey from ECA International made Singapore the most livable city in the world, while Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) awarded it to Toronto. The variables of quality living according to ECA International include climate condition, availability of health services, housing and utilities, access to social facilities, infrastructure and facilities, the quality of air, personal security, political stability, and security.

EIU- Economist Intelligence Unit, has issued an index based on the variables of security, livability, cost of living, business environment, democracy, and food security to rank the most livable city.

In Indonesia, based on the survey of Indonesian Most Livable City Index published by Indonesian Planning Experts Association (IAP) selected Balikpapan as the most livable city in Indonesia. This survey referred to several indicators such as the availability of health facilities, the quality of health facilities, the availability of educational facilities, the quality of educational facilities, the availability of recreational facilities, the quality of recreational facilities, the availability of electricity, the availability of clean water, and the quality of clean water.

Each person or institution has their own definition on a livable and sustainable city. Hahlweg, a city planner expert, defines Livable City as “.... a city where I can have a healthy life and where I have the chance for easy mobility… The livable city is a city for all people”.

About the Center for Public Policy Transformation (Transformasi)

Transformasi is a networked think tank that engages policy makers, scholars, and the public in the investigation of public problems. Transformasi is established and organized as a network of domestic and international institutions committed to the development and implementation of evidence based policy making by finding and implementing solutions, and monitoring and evaluation such solution results.

Transformasi underlies the policy innovation steps in Indonesia to find pragmatic and tested solutions in order to address economic and social issues. A new paradigm in public policy innovation can provide a new paradigm for real changes in Indonesia.

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