Developing Sustainability Indicators by Communities: Lessons Learned from the Spatial Planning of Kembang Tanjong District

By Agung Sugiri.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Developing sustainability indicators from below has rarely been done in Indonesia. This may be because indicators for certain aspects of sustainable development are beyond ordinary people’s perception to comprehend, especially those related to ecological functions which can only be figured out by the associated experts. However, when participatory approach to development is preferable because of its many advantages compared to the top down one, sustainability indicators should consequently be settled on with communities. In the spatial planning of Kembang Tanjong, a tsunami affected district in Aceh Province, sustainable development indicators were defined using community participation approach. Field observation, problem mapping and focus group discussions involving no less than 40 key persons of the community were conducted during the planning process, and 17 indicators of five categories were finally agreed to be applied in planning the district. It becomes evident that not only has the community’s identification of the indicators been proven to be a sort of innovation in Indonesian spatial planning practices, but also assisted in empowering the people themselves, especially in monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the spatial plan, something that people have almost been powerless.

Keywords: Community Participation, People Empowerment, Sustainable Development Indicators

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp.257-266. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 637.264KB).

Agung Sugiri

Lecturer, Department of Regional and Urban Planning, Faculty of Engineering, Diponegoro University, Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia

Mr. Sugiri is a lecturer at the Department of Regional and Urban Planning, Diponegoro University, Semarang - Indonesia. He worked as a consultant for the BRR (Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Agency) Aceh in 2007-2008 in the post-tsunami planning of Kembang Tanjong District. He pioneered teaching “Sustainable Development” in his university in 2000 as a subject for bachelor and master programs. He has got his bachelor degree from ITB (Institute of Technology, Bandung) and his Master of Planning Studies from University of Queensland (UQ), Australia. He is now finishing his PhD research, upon completion of which will be submitted to UQ for examination. An important excerpt of his PhD thesis has been published as a chapter (“Redressing Equity Issues in Natural Resource-Rich Regions: A Theoretical Framework for Sustaining Development in East Kalimantan, Indonesia”) in a book (“Environmental Ethics: Sustainability and Education”, edited by E. Weber), published by, Oxford in 2009.


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