Urban Water Research 2014-2018

Water management is one of the great challenges of the future. Providing secure supplies to highly concentrated urban populations, managing pollution and wastewater and controlling floods in a changing climate will test planners and policy makers around the world. Developing nations face even greater obstacles, but also have unique opportunities. In particular, countries such as Indonesia have the chance  to learn from the mistakes of the cities of the developed world and ‘leapfrog’ past them into environmentally and socially sustainable systems.

The Urban Water Cluster research program aimed to achieve a detailed understanding of the water systems of Bogor City and Bogor Regency, and to explore their potential to leapfrog to a water-sensitive future through socio-political and biophysical pathways. It did this through a process of benchmarking and diagnosing the water challenges and opportunities of Greater Bogor against other developed cities.

At the neighbourhood level, the research program looked at four sites in Greater Bogor – Pulo Geulis, Griya Katulampa, Cibinong Situ Front City and Sentul City. These sites reflected a range of spatial, social and economic conditions within the broader city and provided a comprehensive assessment of the different ways in which a city can develop and transform over time.

It is hoped that the insights gained and partnerships built will make a lasting difference, and help Indonesian cities to leapfrog to a water-sensitive future.

Key achievements 

  • Through three co-design workshops in Melbourne and three in Bogor, the cluster research partnership between Monash, Universitas Indonesia and Institut Pertanian Bogor evolved and strengthened over the two-year research program. 
  • Over 30 higher degree students across Institut Pertanian Bogor and Universitas Indonesia conducted research related to the Urban Water Cluster, under the supervision of cluster academics, and some of these students have also supported cluster data collection and translation activities. 
  • The Urban Water Cluster launched the Learning Alliance in November 2017 with the signing of the declaration of water-sensitive cities by the Mayor of Bogor, Head of Bappeda, cluster leaders and 82 “water champions”. The Learning Alliance was established early on in the research program, to connect thought leaders, decision makers, designers, planners, academics and residents.
  • The UWC designed and conducted four ‘community visioning’ workshops with the residents of Pulo Geulis and Griya Katulampa. These workshops explored the aspirations of the residents for their communities and how water could play a role in achieving this vision. For Pulo Geulis, the Cluster developed this vision into a number of water-sensitive urban design plans, incorporating nature-based infrastructure and roadmaps for implementation.
  • The cluster worked closely with government agencies in Greater Bogor to understand the barriers and enablers to transitioning to a water-sensitive future through water governance, water policy and regulations, urban planning and water resource management practices. 
  • Kabupaten Bogor government delegates and water resources management authorities from Bogor Regency (Indonesia) visited Monash University to attend a two-day Governance & Strategy Workshop series with the Urban Water Cluster research team.
  • The UWC was invited to a sharing session with PDAM Bogor Regency and its customers. This included a visit to Ciburial Spring Installation Plant and co-presentation of key insights by Cluster leaders. The delegation explored the scale and methodology of the research, insights for diversifying water resources, and how the Water Sensitive City (WSC) concept fitted into the SDG framework.
  • The Masters in Sustainability Industry project provided students the opportunity to work with an award-winning social enterprise in Indonesia, Ecofunology, to design a new educational game aimed at players building their knowledge on the future scenarios of climate change, urbanisation and society change, and how choices around water can impact the liveability and resilience of their cities and communities. 
  • Dr Dwinanti R Marthanty, the Urban Water Cluster Leader at Universitas Indonesia, was awarded the prestigious APEC Women in Research Fellowship in July 2018. 
  • The final Urban Water research summary report was launched on 4 December at the Urban Water Showcase and Exhibition at IPB International Convention Centre, attended by 120 stakeholders across government, industry, media and community. 
  • The Governor of West Java, HM Ridwan Kamil expressed a strong political will to include advice from the Cluster into the new urban design guidelines being developed.


Cluster outputs (not belonging to a specific project)

News updates

he AIC Urban Water Learning Alliance launches in Bogor, Indonesia

Showcase passes Bogor’s water sensitive future into the hands of local water champions

Bogor and Jakarta floods a wake-up call for water management action

Drinkable water: Mission impossible?

Governor Ridwan Kamil talks West Java, collaboration opportunities with Urban Water team


Cluster summary reports

Urban Water summary results (English)

Urban Water summary results (Indonesian)


Academic articles by GRIP students

Building effective Planning Support Systems for green urban water infrastructure—Practitioners’ perceptions – by Martijn Kuller (Monash University) et al.

A diagnostic framework of strategic agency: Operationalising complex interrelationships of agency and institutions in the urban infrastructure sector – by Wikke Novalia (Monash University) et al.

Biofilters for urban agriculture: Metal uptake of vegetables irrigated with stormwater – by K.T. Ng (Monash University) et al.

Urban Water Transformations: Can social innovations and entrepreneurships transform governance and citizenship in developing cities? – by Erika M. Duncan (Monash University) et al.

Towards water sensitive cities in Asia: An interdisciplinary journey – by N.J. Barron (Monash University) et al.

A diagnostic framework of strategic agency: Operationalising complex interrelationships of agency and institutions in the urban infrastructure sector – by Wikke Novalia (Monash University) et al.