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

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“In the future, I see a blue Bogor Regency – based around our 8 rivers, our 98 situ, and our two-and-a-half metres of rainfall, annually”  – Dr Syarifah Sofiah, head, Bogor Regency Planning, Research & Development Agency (Bappeda-Litbang)


It was not only 18 months of collaborative research and design on show at the AIC Urban Water Cluster’s recent showcase and exhibition, but also the passionate, vital support of local stakeholders – from grassroots community members to top officials. These are the members of the Urban Water Learning Alliance, poised to carry this research beyond the existence of the Cluster and through to implementation.

On Tuesday 4 December 2018, Monash University researchers joined those from Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB) and Universitas Indonesia (UI) in Bogor, Indonesia, along with 120 guests from government, industry, NGOs, local communities and the media. The day featured presentations on the current water sensitivity of Greater Bogor and on pathways for leapfrogging to a more water sensitive and resilient future.

To support understanding of the work and the readiness of Learning Alliance members to play their part, researchers exhibited posters, models, videos and brochures, and they themselves spent time discussing their work with the roving crowd.

A woman studies a poster detailing findings and recommendations of the Urban Water Cluster research. The poster title asks ‘How water sensitive is Bogor?’ (Credit: AIC)

In opening the event, the head of Bogor Regency’s planning, research and development agency Dr Syarifah, speaking on behalf of the new Bupati Ibu Ade Yasin, reiterated the regency’s support for the work of the Cluster and, adding momentum to the water-sensitive movement, announced that Bogor Regency had just been awarded ‘national geopark’ status – a demonstration of the national government’s commitment to protecting Bogor’s natural environment and biodiversity. Dr Syarifah called for continued improvement of Bogor’s eco-friendly credentials, and highlighted the importance of a successful transformation of the Situ Front City development, and the understated role of women and youth in good environmental management.

The head of Bogor City’s planning agency Ir Hj Erna Hernawati, MM MBA also spoke, on behalf of Bogor mayor and keen Learning Alliance member Dr Bima Arya Sugiarto. Ibu Erna noted that Dr Bima’s recent re-election as mayor of Bogor City signified widespread support for his goal of transforming Bogor’s waterfront areas to cleaner, more social spaces. She expressed optimism that with the continued involvement of academics, local governments would be well placed to see the research through to implementation.

In the final opening remarks, Institut Pertanian Bogor rector Dr Arif Satria reflected on the power of smartphones and other devices for enabling the people power that successful uptake of this research will rely on. To facilitate the integrated water management needed for water-sensitive planning, he also encouraged Bogor’s city and regency-level governments to continue working together in harmony.

Co-Lead of the Urban Water Learning Alliance, Dr Dwinanti Marthanty from Universitas Indonesia, presents findings in Bogor. (Credit: AIC)

Leapfrogging showcase

Researchers’ first session was dedicated to the ultimate aim of the Cluster and the Learning Alliance – seeing Greater Bogor leapfrog towards a water sensitive future by skipping past some of the challenges seen elsewhere as a result of traditional, less-integrated approaches to city development.

Three Urban Water Cluster leads, Professor Hadi Susilo Arifin (IPB), Professor Diego Ramirez-Lovering (Monash) and Dr Dwinanti Marthanty (UI), explored the current state of water management in Bogor, from governance structures to community ‘water literacy’, and outlined the socio-political and biophysical pathways for leapfrogging, including short, medium and long-term suggested actions.

The leapfrogging session was moderated by Professor Yusman Syakaut and Dr Reni Suwarso and finished with discussions with planning agency heads on water sensitive approaches to design and water management, and how the research recommendations can inform development plans and programs.

Raul Marino Zamudio from Monash University poses with local water champions during the exhibition period of the day. (Credit: AIC)


Over lunch the exhibition opened up for delegates to roam between displays and talk to researchers about their work and the Cluster’s four study sites. Some industry and NGO exhibitors with an interest in water and waste management were also present, including social enterprise Ecofunology, co-creators of the ‘Water Sensitive City’ game which was on display. The game was developed in partnership with a group of Monash masters students.

Afternoon detailed showcase

The afternoon saw more in-depth presentations on the Cluster’s various areas of research: establishing new governance arrangements; selecting green infrastructure; applying modelling tools to support development decisions; the role of the Learning Alliance; and the four case study sites within Bogor.

(The summary results brochure can be found below, in English and bahasa Indonesia.)

Researchers outlined their assessment of water sensitive practices in the Cluster’s ‘lessons learned’ sites of Griya Katulampa and Sentul City and the ‘intervention’ sites of Pulo Geulis and Cibinong Situ Front City. For the latter two, they also showcased various proposed urban design scenarios, which were based on extensive discussion and ‘visioning’ with community members. As alluded to earlier, the two grassroots communities involved in the research, Pulo Geulis and Griya Katulampa, were well represented in the audience – a true symbol of the range and strength of the Learning Alliance.

Senior Urban Water researchers from Monash, UI and IPB shake hands in celebration of 18 months of successful collaboration. (Credit: AIC)

Research method

The Urban Water Cluster research and its Learning Alliance are great examples of Monash’s involvement in action oriented research, multidisciplinary collaboration and cross-sectoral engagement. In terms of discipline, Monash researchers involved in the Cluster are from MADA (Monash Art Design and Architecture), Engineering, Social Sciences and MSDI (Monash Sustainable Development Institute). IPB researchers are from backgrounds including Economics, Human Ecology, Civil Engineering, Climatology and Landscape Ecology & Management, and UI departments represented include Civil Engineering, Law and Politics.

The Australia-Indonesia Centre is also committed to research that blends together disciplines and that is done in close cooperation with local voices, making the Centre very pleased to support Urban Water Cluster’s work and the formation of the Learning Alliance.

View the research report factsheets on the Urban Water Cluster website.

See also videos on the Learning Alliance and Community visioning, and an interview with the Lurah of Pulo Geulis. These simple productions are designed to give viewers an insight into the Urban Water Cluster’s research aims and process over the past 18 months.

Summary results (English)


Hasil Ringkasan dalam bahasa Indonesia: