Living on the Water: Spatial Planning Experiences from The Netherlands and Indonesia

Paper presented at 1st Biennale International Conference on Indonesian Architecture and Planning,  Gadjah Mada University, 9-11 July 2012


A ‘hate and love’ relationship is a common term used in describing how people in waterfront cities are dealing with water. In spatial planning perspective, areas with water bring some challenges and opportunities, especially if there is a conflict of interests between flood protections and the need of lands for urban development. This paper is aimed at understanding the development process and changing relationship with water in the Netherlands and Indonesia (Banjarmasin); a special attention is paid for water-based dwellings; or the way of living on the water or next to the water. Factors that influence spatial planning and living on the water from those cities will be analyzed. In the Netherlands, In addition to the history as a trade nation, water management is highly influencial to the development of the cities. They are emphasized by some stages, the acceptation toward water; defensive actions; offensive strategies; manipulation or the era of marvelous engineering works; and the current stage – a new insight and acceptation toward  water.  The innovation in water management and the awareness of water in spatial planning have brought back the confidence of living next to the water and  the possibilities to develop  the new typology of water-based dwellings in urban areas.  While in the case of Banjarmasin, Indonesia the history and cultural attachment to water does not help to maintain the positive attitude toward water in the current urban development process. It still uses old paradigm in dealing with water by avoiding it (the stage of acceptation and protection).

© 2011 1st Biennale ICIAP. All rights reserved.

Keywords: : Living on the water, spatial planning, water management, Netherlands, Banjarmasin


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