Consortium of:

The Importance of Collaboration between Government and Civil Society Organizations in Co-Designing Sustainable, Just and Smart Urban Living


  May 26th 2021

Gunung Kidul's Regent delivers his idea in the International Mayor's Symposium 2021

The Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies (ICRS), which is a consortium of three universities in Yogyakarta, Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), Duta Wacana Christian University (UKDW), and State Islamic University Sunan Kalijaga (UIN Sunan Kalijaga) in cooperation with the Indonesian Hindu University (UNHI) in Bali, The Indonesian Academy of Sciences (LIPI) and Ford Foundation organized The International Mayor’s Symposium (April 8, 2021) to invite local government leaders, civil society actors, and academics from both Indonesia and other countries, such as Malaysia, Australia, and the United States of America, to share experiences, learn from each other and even to open opportunity to develop collaboration in overcoming many challenges and problem that faced by cities especially in the effort to create sustainable, just and smart urban living. On this occasion, Director of ICRS, Dr. Zainal Abidin Bagir, Rector of UKDW, Dr. Henry Feriadi, and Rector of UIN Sunan Kajijaga, Prof. Dr. Al Makin, in their respective remarks to open the event agreed that collaboration between academic, universities, stakeholder, government, is very important to tackle many problems within our societies. ICRS and the consortium welcome every collaboration and cooperation, disregarding religion, ethnicity. Furthermore, they also believe that humility is very important for fruitful cooperation and collaboration, collaboration not only in academic level because our society learns, but there is also no one discipline or one group that can overcome any problem by themselves. Regarding the goal to create such sustainable, just, and smart urban living, all stakeholder and policymaker have to take into account many issues such as environmental issue, public service with fast adaptation, education, health, economy, stability in politics and security, and many other issues, thus all stakeholder and policymaker have to work together.

This symposium is divided into three sessions. The first session was moderated by Dr. Jeanny Dhewayani from UKDW. There are four speakers in this session, and the first speaker was H. M. Sukiman Azmi, regent of East Lombok. In his presentation, he explained that East Lombok has many potentials starting from tourist attractions such as Mount Rinjani, beaches, waterfalls, to various superior products of Sembalun garlic, pomfret fish, and lobster. However, several challenges are still a concern in this area, namely the Human Development Index (HDI) challenge which is still ranked 9th among 10 cities in NTB. Stunting is still high, around 42.53%, the 2018 earthquake impacted 13 districts and is still in the recovery phase, the Covid-19 pandemic, and a dense population of 1,298,543 people (the largest in NTB province). Nevertheless East Lombok under his administration facing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic with two strategic innovation concepts facing challenges in East Lombok: first, is a capacity-building or increasing the capacity of human resources both in government (Governance Capacity) and in the community (Community Capacity). Second, evidence-based programs in collaboration with universities.

The second speaker in this session was Rick Cole, former Mayor of Pasadena, Santa Monica, and Venture, California, USA. He delivered a very interesting presentation entitled 'Think Globally, Act Locally'. In this presentation, Rick Cole explained that the US is responsible for 25% of the cumulative carbon emissions and currently generates more than seven times the annual carbon emissions of Indonesia. The US has 4% of the world population but generates 12% of the world's trash. The US ranks #1 in generating plastic waste. Thus it is pivotal for the US to move toward sustainability. Under President Biden's administration, America has rejoined the Paris Climate Accords. President Biden has prioritized renewable energy and green infrastructure in his American Rescue Plan and proposed American Jobs Plan. States and localities are pursuing their Sustainability and Climate Actions Plans. However, according to Rick Cole, to achieve sustainability society cannot make a little plan it has to be huge and massive, society also needs to set SMART goals and pro-actively monitor progress, and establish accountability. From the government side, it also needs to consider that the role of Chief Sustainability Officer is important because sustainability requires a sustained commitment and constituency. Finally, tools to achieve sustainability are regulation, purchasing, partnership, certification, and awards.

Furthermore, the third speaker of this session was Dwi Setiyani Utami (Chairwoman of Puanhayati Jawa Tengah). In her presentation, she emphasizes the importance of the local religious community to play a role in food sovereignty. She shares her experience from the perspective of the indigenous religious community that has much local wisdom in building harmony with nature. She took an example from a concept within an indigenous religion namely Sapto Dharmo. There are two local pearls of wisdom related to farming Pranoto Mongso and Pranoto Coro which are the process of placing offerings in the fields. According to Dwi Setiyani Utami, it is useful for increasing nutrients in the soil and as a reward for nature and other creations, there are many local pearls of wisdom in indigenous religions that can be practiced in agricultural activities for food sovereignty. Finally, the fourth speaker was Grace Dyrness. She is a senior researcher at the Institute for Transnational Research and Development and Associate Director and Director of Community Research at Center for Religion and Civic CultureLos Angeles, United States. In her presentation, she argues that it is very important to build capacity both in government and society to enhance the ability of resilience in response to the problem, challenging in society. The bind of the local community is very important to build sustainability and just in society. During the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, local communities should be more creative in enhancing their resilience, solidarity, and partnership.

Moreover, in the second session, the moderator was Dr. Leonard C. Epafras, Core Doctoral Faculty of ICRS. The first speaker of this session was Abdul Halim Muslih, Regent of Bantul (Yogyakarta). In his presentation, he explains that Bantul Regency is one of the regencies in the Special Region of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Its capital is Bantul. The area of ​​the Bantul Regency is 506.85 km2 with a population of 954,706 people. Agriculture is one of the leading sectors and the main livelihood of the majority of the people of Bantul, with the superior product of Bantul Rice which has been marketed outside the region. The manufacturing and handicraft industry sectors are also Bantul's leading sectors. More than 70% of the jobs in DIY come from Bantul. Kasongan pottery, manding leathercraft center, etc. Natural tourism objects are managed by community members in a group of tourism awareness groups managed by all Bantul and organizations that are responsible for paying attention to nature and forming tourist villages to take advantage of the potential of the village community. Currently, there are 43 tourist villages, Tembi tourist village, Kebon Agung tourism village for agriculture. The cultural heritage of the palace is also very strong in Bantul, with the history of the kingdom in Pleret. The Bantul government has preserved this cultural heritage by establishing 12 Cultural Villages in Bantul: Bangunjiwo Kasihan, Srigading Sanden, Trimurti Srangkan, Seloharjo Pundong, Selopamioro Imogiri, Sitimulyo Piyungan, Triwidadi Pajangan, Mulyodadi Bambanglipuro, Panggungharjo Sewon, Sabdodadiharjo Bantul, Dlingo Pandak, and . Bantul also plans to move towards 100 smart cities in Indonesia: SMART Government, Economy, Living, Society, Branding, Environment. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bantul district also faces tremendous challenges, especially in the tourism sector. However, slowly the Bantul district government tried to get up by taking restorative steps, for example opening tourist attractions with strict health protocols. For the economic sector, during the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bantul government has also succeeded in creating a Pasardesa.id market which has reached a sales turnover of Rp. 960,000 since 13 April originating from 4,000 transactions with 3800 products from five villages that are sold through 157 well-known shops in 5 villages so that people's lives remain alive and thriving.

The second speaker of this session was, Dr. Hezri Adnan. He is a development specialist and formerly the Chief Executive Officer of Langkawi Development Authority (LADA). Henri holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy from the Australian National University. In his presentation, Dr. Hezri argues that the spread of COVID-19 is a big challenge for the travel and tourism industry in Langkawi because the partial lockdown restricts the movement of people from one place to another. Even though 2019 was a good year when Langkawi in which they received 3.92 million arrivals, a new record for the island. Then when COVID-19 came knocking at our door, the situation changed and according to him, it is maybe not easy to get back to the pre-COVID-19 level. However, to overcome the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic on May 2020 LADA have a meeting in Putrajaya with all stakeholders and decision-maker to rethink about the development approach and give more attention to the local tourism businessman. From this occasion emerge the idea and movement namely Langkawi Economic Recovery Plan which consisted of three main concerns: First is save travel, in which Langkawi local government and LADA strive to create save travel for tourism activity. LADA focus on supporting the local community by distributing masks, hand sanitizer and even promote a health protocol that can create new normal for safe tourism travel. In the time of restriction for an international flight, LADA also focuses to facilitate and welcome more domestic tourists. Secondly, economic diversification is also very important because Langkawi depends on tourism so much, around 70% of Langkawi's economic resources come from tourism. Therefore, in the time of the pandemic, Langkawi should try to diversify its economic resources by focusing on retraining of hoteliers and those who involve in the tourism industry for them to learn a new skill, and drive to develop digitalization in the tourism industry, and empower some local community to be better in delivering tourism services with more hospitality and skills. Furthermore, LADA also focuses to develop a local product, farming initiative, raise prawn and lobster, and also develop mushroom, so this become agriculture for tourism. Thirdly localism and sustainability, it is important because tourism should not only sell the beauty of nature but also the richness of cultural aspect that may useful to decrease the damage of environment as a risk of tourism activity. The goal is to create Langkawi Festival to attract more attraction and bring all local communities in solidarity and engagement for the development of tourism in Langkawi.

The third speaker of this session was Dr. Galuh Syahbana Indraprahasta & Prof. Henny Warsilah from (LIPI). Their presentation entitled 'Smart CIty and Social Inclusion: Opportunities and Challenges.' In this presentation Dr. Galuh explains within 20 years, the notion of a smart city getting more and more popular globally. Thousands of cities in many different countries strive to become a smart cities, many of them in Europe, China even make 500 smart cities pilot project; while Australia and Japan have more than 50 smart cities project; South Korea with 67 cities; Brazil 200; and 100 in India. Dr. Galuh argues that the enabling factors for a smart city are digital omnipresent, In 2021 60% of cities in the world are already connected by the internet and 93% of them are internet via mobile phone devices. Therefore, the development of the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, and Artificial Intelligence also very progressive. Smart city main conditions are related to energy, city competitiveness, and traffic management.

Unfortunately, there are at least three challenges in implementing the concept or vision of the smart city: First, the techno-centric and neoliberal approach of smart city development in which people mostly concern with technology while there are many factors that determine a smart city. Secondly digital inclusion in the smart city agent. Many smart city concepts and projects tend to focus too much on the technology itself, while there is not enough focus on the outcome for the people and the betterment of their life. Lastly, digital literacy is still low, even though the benefits of digital technology can only be realized if people are empowered with the knowledge and skills to use them. Unfortunately, in developing countries, women are 23% less likely than men to be online. This gap soars to 45% of regions such as sub-Saharan Africa. However, In Indonesia, the increase of new cities is stagnant but the positive thinks are the focus of smart city in Indonesia is to improve government service to the public through e-government, online service and permits; digitalization of several sectors include education; and digitalization of data and real-time information such as spatial plan, tourism, and transportation. Therefore, the future agenda for Indonesia are mapping wider public needs in which smart city agenda should be inclusive and adding community or civil society organization activities into smart city agenda so urban citizen may use digital platform or tools more.

Align with that, Dr. Komang Gede Santhyasa from the Department of Urban and Regional Planning Universitas Hindu Indonesia also emphasizes the importance of participatory planning because technocratic planning has much weakness that depended on certain people who are in charge or in power. However, the participatory planning more democratic, through musyawarah or discussion in the local community, in regent, city, province event at the national level. This is a pluralistic approach that should be collaborative. Regarding the sustainability of a city, ideally, it is aligned with SDG's with its 17 goals and new urban agenda. Cities for all, rights and opportunities and equal for all, with justice, sustainable cities, and settlements. There is the availability of accommodation that is affordable and safe and with adequate facilities; has a public transportation system that is decent, safe, easy to reach; have a spatial and urban design that supports, for example, with disaster mitigation; an inclusive and sustainable urbanization approach that is environmentally oriented; protect the wealth of cultural and natural heritage.

The third session was moderated by Dr. Fatimah Husein, Associate Director of ICRS. In this session, the first speaker was Anna Mu’awanah, Regent of Bojonegorok, East Java. In her presentation, she explains that Bojonegoro is one of regent in the East Java province. The area of ​​this area is 231,125 km2, consisting of 28 sub-districts, 11 sub-districts and 419 villages. Furthermore, 40% of the Bojonegoro area is forest and Bojonegoro is also known as a contributor to 30% of national oil and gas, and is the 3rd largest food barn in East Java. In an effort to advance Bojonegoro district, the Bojonegoro district government continues to oversee and strive to develop various regional potentials, one of which is by developing village-owned enterprises (BUMDES) through training, capacity building, superior product development and funding assistance of Rp. 100,000,000 per village, so that there are no more disadvantaged villages in Bojonegoro. Throughout 2020, Bojonegoro has made efforts to continue to create jobs. Bojonegoro has successfully carried out 6388 manpower placements; 503 people attended certification training and the formation of 387 new entrepreneurs.

In terms of health, the Regent of Bojonegoro also explained that her administration applies universal healthcare for its citizens, which includes more than 95 percent of its citizens. Vaccination is also carried out quickly and safely by district governments. For the education sector, the Bojonegoro district government provides three kinds of scholarships, namely scientist scholarships, two undergraduate scholarships for one village and final project scholarships. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the government also succeeded in developing an online learning information system called SIFAJARGORO for the pandemic. And for public services, Bojonegoro has also made use of application-based information technology to get to a smart city.The second speaker of this session was Sunaryanta, Regent of Gunung Kidul (Yogyakarta). He started his presentation by explaining his vision and mission for Gunungkidul which is 'Improving the dignified standard of life of the people of Gunungkidul'. He argues that increasing the standard of living is interpreted as an effort to increase the degree of quality of life of all individuals who live and depend on their livelihoods from resources, economic networks, and income sources in the Gunungkidul district. Dignity means the fulfillment of the rights of everyone to be respected and respected and treated ethically and fairly following their dignity as humans and citizens, both in the fields of religion, morality, ethics, law, social, politics, and economics. Human beings with dignity are people who enjoy a long life, can live happily and have broad access to knowledge, and can live a decent life.

This is manifested through 7 concrete steps called Sapta Karya which are: Increasing the unity and integrity of all elements of society that prioritizes cooperation, social solidarity, cooperation, and tolerance. Carrying out bureaucratic reform, and applying the reinventing government paradigm, clean government to improve the quality of public services. Building healthy, superior, character, and cultured human resources. Manage natural resources optimally. Increasing economic development through strengthening the populist economy and increasing investment. Develop and preserve cultural arts to support tourism. And finally to increase the integrated and environmentally friendly regional development.

Moreover, the third speaker of this session was Mohan Roliskana, Mayor of Mataram (West Nusa Tenggara). He delivered a presentation entitled 'Building Harmony in the Pandemic Season: An Approach to Achieving the Development Goals of Mataram City During the COVID-19 Pandemic'. He explained that the city of Mataram has an area of ​​61.30 square kilometers with a population of 430,532 people. This city consists of 6 sub-districts and 325 villages or sub-districts, thus the city of Mataram can be said to be quite dense (around 7023 people / km2). The people of the city of Mataram are very diverse in terms of religion and ethnicity. This is very closely related to the history of the city of Mataram which was a port and trading city under the rule of the Karang Asem kingdom which formed the diversity in the city of Mataram. This appreciation for diversity is symbolized by the Tembolak Gate at the main access to the city of Mataram.

The problem that is commonly faced by the city of Mataram is urbanization which is quite high because many rural communities come and settle in the city of Mataram to seek opportunities to improve their economic level. To overcome this problem, the Mataram city government is working to realize the 'Cities for All' program as part of the SDG's and the New Urban Agenda to make Mataram an inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable city with universal access to safe, reliable, affordable and safe housing. does not indicate race, gender, and religion. This is in line with the new vision of the Mataram city development program guideline initiated by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor, namely 'Towards Mataram Harum'. Harum is an abbreviation of several words. First Harmonis or harmonious, creating a city for all and maintaining heterogeneity in society. Second, Aman or safe, creating a livable and peaceful city by promoting local wisdom. Third, Ramah or friendly, creating cities that provide good services, provide inclusive infrastructure, and ensure that all citizens have equal opportunities in economic activities. Fourth. Unggul or excellent encourages human resource development by building a character-based education system. And lastly is Mandiri or independent which aims to increase the capacity and skills of citizens and encourage the presence of creative economic space, support the development of micro, small and medium enterprises to reach a livable city of Mataram and bring happiness to its citizens. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mataram city government imposed a policy of limiting mobility, wearing masks, and working hours regulations, because in Mataram since March 2020 there have been 2763 people who have tested positive for the virus and 130 of them have died, so the city government is very focused on dealing with this problem.

Furthermore, the fourth speaker of this session was I Gusti Ngurah Jaya Negara, Major of Denpasar (Bali). He delivered a presentation entitled 'Creative City Based on Culture Towards Advanced Denpasar'. He explained that actually, Denpasar City is still 30 years old, this city has an area of ​​124 square kilometers with a population of 725,314. Denpasar City has the tagline 'Denpasar City of Life' by upholding awareness of three resources, namely natural resources, human resources, and spiritual resources (harmony between humans and humans, as well as humans and nature). The priority program that has been and will continue to be carried out is increasing local revenue (PAD) through the application of online taxes that are integrated into an e-government system to create an efficient, transparent, and accountable government service and system. In addition, the government also focuses on improving the quality of education, health quality, and cultural preservation. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic era, the city government of Denpasar is also focused on implementing health protocols and vaccinations for its citizens. The government also provides economic stimulus including tax relief and levies. In addition, the government also carries out training programs for residents affected by layoffs, preparing a marketplace by cooperating with micro, small and medium enterprises to develop imported standard products.

The fifth speaker was Ipuk Fiestiandani, Regent of Banyuwangi (East Java). However, the regent was represented by M. Yanuarto Bramuda Head of the Culture and Tourism Office of Banyuwangi. He delivered presentation entitled 'Strategi Pemulihan Ekonomi Sektor Pariwisata Dalam Era Pandemi COVID-19.’ In this presentation M. Yanuarto Bramuda explains that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism and the creative economy has been extraordinary: tourist arrivals have drastically decreased, tourism entrepreneurs have suffered heavy losses due to a drop in turnover of up to 70%, performing arts actors have been hit and musicians have been hit by the loss of income. To deal with this problem, the Banyuwangi government has made efforts to accommodate a paradigm shift from the best price to CHS (Cleanness, Healthy, and Safety); The crowd of tourist attractions is changed by limiting visitors and increasing outdoor activities, private tours, and helping to make tourists healthy; also regulates the opening hours of tourist attractions to make room for preparations for enforcement of health protocols. Crowd restrictions at tourist attractions are carried out using an online ticketing system through the Banyuwangi Tourism Application One-Stop Service. This application can serve tourist information, booking e-ticket for destinations and attractions, booking hotels, restaurants to transportation. Monitoring and strict sanctions are also carried out, for example by checking and simulating health protocols in cafes, limiting the opening hours of stalls and shops with an integrity pact signed by the business actor. This makes tourism and the economy in Banyuwangi survive.

The sixth speaker was Chris Elisara Executive Director of World Evangelical Alliance. Interestingly, in discussing sustainable, just, and smart urban living, he refers to the verse in the Bible especially from Jeremiah 29:7 in which it is mentioned that ‘But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.’(New Revised Standard Version). Based on this verse, Chris Elisara argues that the main question of the effort to create such sustainable, just and smart urban living is ‘how can we encourage every member of the religious community to be able to participate more in the development of cities that are inclusive, sustainable, just and smart?’ According to him every religion should share what they believe and know about the city and how it is taken into action to create a city that is inclusive, sustainable, just, and smart.

Finally, the seventh speaker was Irma Hidayana from an NGO namely 'Report COVID-19'. She argues that in the COVID-19 pandemic, it is very important to remember and place public health at the center of policymaking. According to Irma Hidayana, several things are still not being considered in the context of a pandemic, namely that everyone has the right to have equal access to their health needs. Therefore, the government must try to make this happen. The second thing is transparency and accountability of data because this determines the success of handling COVID-19. Finally, community-based sustainability of urban living and resilience, in which all parties must be involved and work together in solidarity for the betterment of life.