Parks and public spaces in Bandung
Bandung, located in West Java, is the largest city in the region and the fourth most developed city in Indonesia. With over half of its population comprising of youth between the ages of 12 to 25, it is imperative that safe public spaces are available for them to engage in activities related to their diverse needs and interests where they can express themselves freely.
Unfortunately, most parks and public spaces in Bandung, like in most other cities are designed with small children and older adults in mind, which leaves the youth with limited options. As a result, they end up loitering at stations, shopping centres, and local parks. Furthermore, Bandung is facing a shortage of parks and open spaces due to funding and land procurement issues. In 2002, the city only had 8.8% green space, while the Law on Spatial Planning mandates 30%.
Although there are several open spaces in the city, many of them are underutilized. Compared to streets and buildings, open spaces are often challenging to police, making them attractive locations for illicit activities such as drug dealing and places for criminals to access potential victims. Physical characteristics like poor lighting, areas of concealment, lack of access to help, poor visibility, physical isolation, poor maintenance, or the presence of “undesirables” creates high-risk environments in and around the parks.
Transforming underutilized space under Pasopati Flyover into vibrant and inviting public spaces for youth
The Pasopati flyover is a significant landmark in Bandung city, but it has resulted in the creation of a lost space underneath it. Presently, the area is a non-green open space that is not being utilized to its full potential. The Public Works Ministerial Regulation No. 12 has encouraged the use of non-green spaces for public socio-cultural activities. In alignment to this regulation, ‘Rhino’, a winning youth-led initiative from Bandung, Indonesia, focuses on using creative placemaking strategies to transform space under Pasupati Flyover into vibrant and inviting public places.
Image credits: Team Rhino
Currently the open space sees very few visitors and becomes a spot for illicit activities at night. The initiative aims to transform this dead space into a safe and accessible public space for the local community. Rhino will adopt a range of placemaking strategies to achieve this transformation. These include creating clear walkable paths, installing lighting and music systems, and opening more entrances to ensure safety for park visitors. The space will be activated through events and activities such as movie screenings, yoga classes etc. By involving local residents and businesses in the process of transforming the park, the youth partners also aim to build a sense of ownership and pride in the community and ensure the long-term sustainability of the project.
The development of safe public spaces for youth, such as the parks under Pasopati flyover in Bandung, serves as an excellent example for cities in the global south with youth-dominant populations but lack accessible public parks. S²Cities programme is committed to helping cities prioritize the development of safe and accessible public spaces for youth to promote their overall well-being and sustainable development of their communities!
Rhino is a winning initiative by our youth partners Dheamyra, Donidarmawan, Irfan and Kenjiro from Bandung, Indonesia.