Researcher form Transportation and Logistics Centre of Studies (Pustral) of UGM, Dwi Ardianta Kurniawan, ST., M.Sc., said the city’s spatial development had decreased in quality, even abandoning the concept of sustainable development. This is observable as indicated by the lowering of ground water surface, traffic jams, decreased quality of air, and the lack of green, open areas.
“The lowering of ground water surface, traffic jams, and decreased quality of air, these indications are strong hints in terms of qualitative sides,” said Dwi Ardianta in a discussion on Yogyakarta’s spatial development at the office of the Centre at UGM on Monday (27/2).
Economic speaking, it has experienced growth in Yogyakarta, but in terms of sustainable development concept and human quality of life, it has decreased. It is not easy for the city government to put the sustainable development concept into practice without the support of adequate infrastructure. On the other hand, the government is faced with the demands from society for change of life style and social impact that emerged due to economic orientation development policy.
Empty plots, said Dwi, were difficult to find in Yogyakarta to be made into green zone areas. For example, it is difficult to relocate people living on the riversides without providing alternative empty plots for them. “This needs to be prepared in advance and it should not uproot the people from their origin places. It’s easy to say but difficult to do,” he said.
In his opinion, to improve the Yogyakarta spatial arrangement would face complexities. It requires awareness of leaders and society to resolve the problem together to make the city better and more comfortable to live in.
UGM’s Centre for Studies on Regional Development Planning researcher (PSPPR), Pritaningtyas, said one of the problems affecting Yogyakarta was the lowering of ground water surface due to the expansion of settlement land and hotel construction in Yogyakarta. “Hotel construction affected the lowering of ground water surface in Malioboro,” he said.
The research done by PSPPR UGM in 2016 found over 100 water resources in three rivers in Yogyakarta, namely Code, Winongo, and Gajahwong rivers. But all had not been well maintained by the government and society. Even people built settlement above those resources. “Apart from the lack of maintenance, people can even build houses on the water resources. But currently, we have reported this problem to the city government, and there have been efforts to do maintenance,” he concluded.