UCL Bartlett DPU MPhil/PhD Application Research Proposal


In order to apply to MPhil/PhD program, I need to make a research proposal. This proposal is one of the hardest thing I have ever made on my entire academic life. Enjoy and wish me luck! 😀


UCL = University College London

Bartlett = popular name of Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment

DPU = Development Planning Unit; a special school/department in the Bartlett researching architecture and planning issues on developing countries

MPhil/PhD = integrated Master (by research) and Doctorate program, normally take 3-4 years of study


City infrastructure’s development in areas consisting small and decentralized housing. case study: Jabodetabek, Indonesia.

Based on governments’ report, in recent years abundant of small and decentralized housings are being developed in Jakarta’s surrounding areas (Jabodetabek).[i] While housing development is still highly demanded, some city officials complained that small housing developments detain them to develop integrated infrastructure within and around the areas. [ii]

This research will analyze city infrastructure’s development in areas consisting small and decentralized housing, with case studies in areas around Jabodetabek, Indonesia. It aims to explain issues affecting city infrastructure’s development in such area and condition. This research will start with a comprehensive overview of the factors supporting the development of small and decentralized housing. Some of the issues to be studied are regulations, economical dynamics, society’s characteristics, etc. This part will mainly be literature review. Recent study shows that decentralization policy was implemented to cope the high demand of housing.[iii] [iv] Recent study also shows that small housing is related with security issue of its inhabitants.[v]

The main part of the research will depart from some researches analyzing the infrastructure cost in conventional American cities’ sprawl and alternate ‘compact city’ idea.[vi] [vii] [viii] Some of the independent variables studied in those researches, such as land use, density, building lot size, etc, will be studied in this research as well as their relationship with dependent variables, such as infrastructure requirement, infrastructure cost, etc. Those approaches will be enhanced with analysis of other issues and variables such are housing size, responsible parties in infrastructure development, infrastructure development time and staging, etc. This enhancement may include explanation of some relevant issues on infrastructure development such as privatization and . [ix] [x] [xi] City infrastructure’s development in area with big and centralized housing will also be analyzed as supporting comparison. This part will mainly be empirical data gathering, analysis, and synthesis.

The research questions are:

  1. How much does it cost to develop recommended city infrastructure in areas with small and decentralized housings?
  2. What are the schemes of developing city infrastructure in areas with small and decentralized housings?
  3. How does housing size affect infrastructure development?
  4. How does housing decentralization policy affect infrastructure development?

This research will help expanding understanding on physical and non-physical issues  affecting infrastructure development in an area. This research will also help expanding understanding on infrastructure development in developing countries.


[i] -. ”Dilema Pembangunan Perumahan Kecil”. http://bisniskeuangan.kompas.com/read/2011/08/01/13184913/Dilema.Pembangunan.Perumahan.Kecil (October 11, 2012)

[ii] -. “Kendalikan Perumahan Kecil yang Menjamur”. http://bisniskeuangan.kompas.com/read/2011/08/04/07294681/Kendalikan.Perumahan.Kecil.yang.Menjamur (October 11, 2012)

[iii] Dwyer, D J.  1986. Urban Housing and Planning in China. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, New Series. Vol. 11, No. 4 (1986), pp. 479-489

[iv] Chen, Xiangming and Xiaoyuan Gao. 1993. China’s Urban Housing Development in the Shift from Redistribution to Decentralization. Social Problem. 40:2, 266-283.

[v] Aryani, Novi Dwi. 2011. Gambaran Umum dan Perkembangan Town House sebagai Alternatif Wujud Perumahan; Studi Kasus Town House di Wilayah Kebagusan Jakarta Selatan. Jakarta: Departemen Arsitektur FTUI

[vi] Ewing, Reid. 1997. Is Los Angeles-Style Sprawl Desirable. Journal of the American Planning Association. Winter 1997 (63, 1), 107

[vii] Gordon, Peter, and Harry W Richardson. 1997. Are Compact Cities a Desirable Planning Goal?. Journal of the American Planning Association. Winter 1997 (63, 1), 95

[viii] Burchell, Robert W, et. al. 1998. The Cost of Sprawl – Revisited, Transit Cooperative Research Program Report 39. Washington DC: National Academy Press

[ix] Eichengreen, Barry. 1995. Financing Infrastructure in Developing Countries: Lessons from the Railway Age. The World Bank Research Observer. Vol. 10, No. 1 (Feb., 1995), pp. 75-91

[x] de Castro, Julio and Klaus Uhlenbruck. 1997. Characteristics of Privatization: Evidence from Developed, Less-Developed, and Former Communist Countries. Journal of International Business Studies. Vol. 28, No. 1 (1st Qtr., 1997), pp. 123-143

[xi] Kikeri, Sunita and John Nellis. 2004. An Assessment of Privatization. The World Bank Research Observer. Vol 19, No. 1 (Spring, 2004), pp. 87-118