THRIVE would like to extend warm gratitude to Paramita for her presentation at our most recent webinar.
Doctor Paramita Rahayu is an associate professor, speaker, and researcher in the Urban and Regional Planning Program at Sebelas Maret University in Indonesia. THRIVE Project was fortunate to have Paramita privately present at its monthly Tribe Webinar on the 21st of September 2021.
Paramita spoke about sustainability in cities and the struggles and complications associated with their growth. Since 2007, the majority of the world’s population reside in urban environments rather than rural ones. This global trend continues to rise. Paramita explained how uncontrolled city growth leads to inadequate provision of public services, preventing entire regions from accessing clean water, sanitation, health care, stable employment, schooling, and more. It also has a large environmental impact. Congested living leads to congested traffic and makes it difficult to dispose of waste, which leads to further pollution.
In her presentation, Paramita used Indonesia as a case study in population density and urban growth. Indonesia has a population of 270 million, which is the fourth-highest in the world. The island Java takes up just 7% of the nation’s landmass, yet contains 58% of the population. She stresses that the importance of foresight in urban planning is to make sure that the entire population has access to public services. To achieve more sustainable cities, the bigger picture needs to be observed. Cities need to be seen as part of a bigger network, rather than individual systems.
Paramita graduated with a doctorate degree from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, taking up Spatial Planning and Environment. She’s currently leading the Regional Planning Laboratories and working as the coordinator of International Cooperation in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at Sebelas Maret University. Her passion for these issues of sustainability and human rights, elevated by her extensive experience and research, made for an insightful presentation that left the THRIVE team with a new understanding of how city growth is linked to these issues.
From her research, we learn that Indonesia needs to develop new techniques and policies in managing the growth of urban regions, as well as their urban development, and to redefine the concept of metropolitan in Indonesia to be based on all urban regions and not only the largest cities. Whilst the problems associated with city growth paint a bleak picture, passionate researchers such as Paramita make it easier to be optimistic that positive changes are within reach.