CityNet Indonesia National Chapter (NCI) successfully organized a Congress and Workshop attended by over 120 delegates from Indonesian cities and organizations. The meeting was hosted by NCI head Sidoarjo Regency on 21 August.
CityNet CEO Jeong-kee Kim kicked off the meeting by acknowledging the many hurdles that Indonesian cities are facing but remarked upon the eagerness with which Indonesian members have participated in CityNet activities. He closed by stating that CityNet would always be there to help its Indonesian members form connections and learn best urban practices from one another. After that, Sidoarjo Regent Ahmad Muhdlor delivered his encouraging remarks and formally opened the meeting.
The event included 7 workshop sessions on topics such as localizing the SDGs in cities, sustainable investing according to ESGs, and improving the capacity of local leadership. Presenters included Airlangga University of Surabaya, University of Kuala Lumpur, Clean Ciliwung River Movement, INADATA Consulting, Kota Kita, and more. Ivo Setiono of URDi moderated the workshop.
After the workshop session, 9 CityNet full members, supported by NCI officials and CityNet associate members, discussed the future direction of the Indonesia National Chapter. This meeting was presided over by DSG Aisa Tobing, Ari Suryono of Sidoarjo Regency, and Rahmat Sukandar of Sukabumi Municipality. Membership in NCI currently stands at 26 cities and organizations, making it one of the bigger and more active CityNet national chapters. The assembly agreed for Sidoarjo Regency to retain its spot as NCI chapter head until another meeting could be called following Indonesia’s national elections in 2024. As a way to make NCI activities more sophisticated and engage more members, the group also resolved to create a staff position for an executive director. The 9 cities in attendance were: Bandung, Banjar Baru, Jambi, Semarang, Sidoarjo Regency, Sukabumi Municipality, Sukabumi Regency, Surabaya, and Tarakan.
The Secretariat took the opportunity to visit key Indonesian members while in Indonesia. They first stopped over in Denpasar to meet with Mayor I Gusti Ngura Jaya Negara and a large delegation from the city. Denpasar, (newly elected to the Executive Committee in 2022), expressed interest in city to city programs on water & waste management and to assist with the rebirth of its sustainable tourism industry following the pandemic.
Following the NCI Congress, the Secretariat met with Dr. Ikhsan S.Psi., MM, the Regional Secretary of Surabaya City and toured Surabaya’s impressive command center which includes a one stop hall for citizen complaints in addition to safety monitoring for roads and waterways. Surabaya City is willing to serve as a local example city for other cities in the region and may host future CityNet events.
On a short stay in Jakarta, the Secretariat touched base with Climate Change Cluster Lead City Jakarta on the resumption of in person climate workshops in the city and explored setting up a CityNet satellite office in the near future. Nearby, CEO Kim also spoke with Mr. Lee Jangkeun, the Ambassador of ROK to ASEAN to learn more about ASEAN’s regional priorities and how ROK based institutins can contribute.
In many ways, Indonesian cities represent the future of the Asia Pacific and their development can be a lesson to all CityNet members. One big takeaway from this time is that Indonesian city stakeholders are more than willing to work together within the nation and overseas to bring about a more sustainable tomorrow.
This article has been written by Chris DiGennaro, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chris Di Gennaro is a Program Officer at CityNet, where he manages the Urban SDG Knowledge Platform, a joint project with UNESCAP and the Seoul Metropolitan Government. Previously, he worked at ESCAP to organize an urban innovation themed startup competition. Chris holds a Master of Korean Studies from Yonsei University and a Bachelor of Psychology from Vassar College. He is keenly interested in the workings of cities and facilitating sustainable urban development.