Slum Transformation and Waterfront Development in Pontianak, Indonesia: Evaluating Inclusivity of Governance

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Waterfront development along the Kapuas River in Pontianak, Indonesia, is seen as a strategy to reduce slums in the city and create a new urban image of the riverfront area that would attract tourists and improve the area's aesthetics. Within the waterfront development initiatives, the focus has been made on infrastructure providing access to the riverfront area and upgrading houses and infrastructure in the vicinity of Kapuas River. The Waterfront project has mainly improved the area's aesthetics when other urban challenges have been neglected. Although, the needs of the slum dwellers for fresh water supply, sanitation and waste management in the area have not been met yet. The case of Pontianak illustrates the possible paths for slum area development and the practical problems and limitations related to this transformation. The primary objective of the thesis is to investigate the governance practices in the slum areas of the city, with a particular emphasis on the participation of slum dwellers in the decision-making process. This was done by mapping the stakeholders involved in the project development, understanding the causal relationships between the inclusivity and outcomes of the project development and developing practical recommendations for improving governance in future. The outcomes of the research showed that a mostly top-down governance approach was implemented during the project development, with the State dominating most of the processes. Partial inclusion of the residents in the decision-making process was proven. In the current state, inclusion bends towards the outcome-based dimension rather than process-based since many practical limitations hinder inclusivity. One of the biggest obstacles is financial dependency on the central government which makes the governance structure more complicated and limits the capacity of the local government to truly include residents in processes like urban planning.
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