In Jakarta, the street is not only used as a space for movement. In this city of ten million, 25% who live in densely populated urban kampungs use the street to escape from their crowded living arrangements to do domestic pursuits. Furthermore, 350.000 others operate as street vendors and contribute up to £950 million to the city economy per year. Despite those significances, both central and provincial governments outlaw street activities other for the means of transport. This move has been taken to make way for a modern image of the city. Four different laws condemn the presence of street inhabitations, specifically targeting street vendors, buskers, the homeless, beggars, and car wipers. This criminalisation put the livelihood of many in jeopardy. Street inhabitations become the target of raids and evictions carried out by the Satpol PP, the municipal police unit in Jakarta. Those attacks threaten and limit the movement of street activities. Furthermore, the inhabitants are also exposed to the corrupt officials who demanded illegal retributions in exchange for protection to operate in the streets. It is estimated that Jakarta’s street vendors alone paid up to £20.5 million per year for illegitimate protection fees.
Most government policies about urban planning are oriented toward modernising Indonesia, which translates into absorbing everything ‘western’. This attitude to urban planning frames street inhabitation, which falls outside the canons of design, as practice with no intellectual preconception, hence having no cultural value nor meaning. This research argues that not only the citizens of Jakarta appropriating the street using interior practice know-how, it also has a considerable socio-cultural impact on its surroundings. By organising a variety of street inhabitation into a typology of actions, this research aims to disclose its alternative spatial structures and mechanisms that make the practice an important aspect of Jakarta’s urban fabric. Typology of actions is used to understand situation-based space as such that relies on everyday tactics and has no fixed shape. With the emphasis on actions, this form of convention focuses on grasping the intimate properties of space such as body and objects to device conceptual types of street inhabitation.
Initially, theory exploration of interiorisation is needed in this research to determine the dimensions of the typology. These dimensions are used to classify the cases which are gathered from digital news outlets and geo-tagged social media posts. Aside act as alternatives from a limited number of studies and government reports about street inhabitation, these resources also reveal the stories of the mundane and articulate the everyday which shapes the meaning of space but is rarely considered as a base to analyse urban fabric. Types are also identified from fieldwork to Jakarta. This step is taken to calibrate the types resulting from investigating digital materials as well as to reach a holistic understanding of street inhabitation’s creative agency. Through all these processes, the dimensions continue to develop, resulting in an open-ended definition of types. These types are expected to be instrumental tools that can assist a more sympathetic approach in urban planning that involves Jakarta inhabitants from different backgrounds and financial incomes. Eventually, understanding the alternative stories of Jakarta might richen and broaden the general perspective of how to inhabit the city. The research’s framework is also expected to become applicable in addressing other objectives involving urban informal activities in other places.
First Supervisor: Professor Graeme Brooker
Second Supervisor: Dr. Tania Lopez Winkler