Urban parks for people in a megacity: green spaces as social places in the twenty-first century Jakarta, Indonesia

MD Alwi, Najah (2020) Urban parks for people in a megacity: green spaces as social places in the twenty-first century Jakarta, Indonesia. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis explores how the social experiences in urban parks and green spaces contribute to urban “conviviality” in the twenty-first-century city of Central Jakarta, Indonesia. Urban parks and green spaces are indispensable urban assets that help support the social sustainability of cities and potentially improve the quality of life of its citizens. Places that promote social cohesion through meaningful interactions between residents can improve the mental and physical well-being of residents. In the context of Asian megacities, where pressures on the development space are high, the socio-economic and cultural diversity of the population is significant, the governance and design of open green spaces, and the different ways that locals ‘produce’ space, is complex.

The case study approach was used to examine the relationship between governance, culture and identity of places that exist in the contemporary practices of Indonesian urban context. The study area is the small but central administrative village of Menteng, located within the Special Capital Region of Jakarta Central, where the spatial segregation history as part of the Dutch city Batavia began. The case study is two locally renowned parks: Taman Menteng and Taman Suropati. Local authorities, representatives of green space organisations and the local park users constituted the study of population. Several qualitative research techniques employed during fieldwork included ethnographic observation of park users, questionnaire, focus groups and in-depth interviews with park users and the different stakeholders to address how open green spaces and urban parks fit into day-to-day urban living in contemporary Jakarta, what events or activities (formal and informal) found in urban parks and green spaces in the city provide opportunities for meaningful interactions between urbanites, and to what extent do they provide a social platform for the city.

The analysis identified several emergent themes regarding people’s experiences of Taman Kota [urban parks] in Jakarta; these were sociability, everydayness, diversity, place attachment, physical quality, safety, security, accessibility, maintenance and management. Results show that despite tensions between government agencies and other stakeholders who manage these public spaces, the day-to-day activation of the parks by NGOs and informal economic activity does allow meaningful social interactions between different park users. Cultural (e.g. music and concerts), culinary (e.g. food vendors) and other recreational activities (e.g. sports and hobbies) are key to how these spaces function, as well as their central, accessible location and the provision of facilities that can accommodate these functions. The findings of this study impact on important implications for future practices in revealing the ways individuals negotiate and adapt to rules about park use (written and unwritten) and how diverse populations all can contribute to public conviviality.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Porter, Nicole
Keywords: conviviality, social interaction, urban green space, urban social space, Jakarta, Southeast Asian cities, Landscape architecture, planning
Subjects: S Agriculture > SB Plant culture
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering
UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering > Built Environment
Item ID: 59836
Depositing User: Alwi, Najah binti
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2020 15:36
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2020 15:45
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/59836

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