Having been involved in some studies, projects, and researches related to urban planning and design initiated by various institutions, I am concerned that Indonesian big cities (example: Jakarta) are having problems in housing provision and development. I am concerned that some systems running in Indonesian big cities, such as the economical system, land and space ownership system, transportation system, etc, create problems in urban housing spread and quality. The systems I mentioned specifically create problem in population density. Indonesian big cities face rapid sprawling low density suburbanization of their peripheries and surrounding cities, while on the same time face continuous high density slum creation on their core areas. Research done on 2010 by Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN) shows that population density in Jakarta vary extremely on suburb and slum area. Both phenomena (suburbanization and slum creation) tend to make city development not sustainable. Both phenomena tend to make city-wide problems such as traffic congestion, bad air quality, and even civil unrest. People living in both kind of settlement (sprawling low density suburb and high density slum) also tend to have low living quality.
The complexity of urban housing problems in Indonesian big cities demonstrate the need of experts within the field of Urban Planning who understand the social, political, and economical aspects of housing planning and development. Hence, I wish to pursue a master degree in Urban Planning specializing in housing planning and development. My main study objectives are to understand the contributing forces, methods and techniques, and impact of provision and development of urban housing. As part of my study, I plan to conduct a research on developments of small (below 5.000m2) low density housing projects by small private housing developers on perimeter of Jabodetabek (Jakarta megapolitan area). On one hand, those projects help coping the housing backlog/deficiency and generate entrepreneurship economic activities. On the other hand, in my opinion those projects also make land use inappropriate, inconsistent, and highly depends on economic demand. Therefore, those projects make conurbation area grow unpredictably. I plan to research the supporting factors of those developments from various perspectives (law, economics, engineering). I also plan to research the city’s development sustainability effected by those projects.
Even though US big cities’ urban housing quality is better than Indonesian, systems running in both countries’ big cities, such as economical system, transportation system, etc, have similarities. Some of the factors supporting and detaining the two phenomena I have mentioned before also take place in US big cities. I am informed that systems running in Indonesian big cities have more similarities with the ones running in US big cities than the ones running in European, Australian, or Japanese big cities. Regarding those facts, I suppose it will be easy for me to collect relevant references and resources for my study and research by studying in US urban planning school.
By having the degree, I hope I will have sufficient holistic understanding on urban housing planning and development which is severely needed on Indonesian big cities’ housing planning and development. I plan to be an urban planning lecturer so I can disseminate urban housing planning and development knowledge to Indonesian youngster and urban housing related parties. I also plan to be an urban planning researcher so I can develop comprehensive understanding on particular urban housing issues. Besides planning to be an urban planning lecturer and researcher of Universitas Indonesia (UI), I also plan to be an urban planning expert staff for Indonesian government. I plan to develop a system to synchronize UI’s urban planning research and government’s policy better. By doing so, I hope I can help making government’s policy more accurate.