We are delighted to announce that our student from the Urban and Regional Planning program, Ikhsan Mauludin, won first place in the national essay competition ACCER 2021 organized by the Faculty of Human Ecology, IPB University. Ikhsan was the only individual finalist in the competition. He single-handedly outperformed other teams from various prestigious universities in Indonesia, namely IPB University, Brawijaya University, Diponegoro University, Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology, and Sriwijaya University.
In the competition that centered around environmental issues and sustainable development goals, Ikhsan highlighted the use of the low-impact development (LID) approach to the village planning to improve water quality and create a sustainable community. He picked Pakuncen Village, a village located on the banks of the Winongo River in Yogyakarta, for the research. Through his findings, Ikhsan discovered that low-impact development and modification of village planning could help address the issue of water quality in the Winongo River.
“People’s habits and the absence of standardized infrastructure and good system are the main causes of the problems. They hamper the measures to achieve SDGs in the area, especially regarding clean water and sanitation and sustainable cities and communities,” said Ikhsan when interviewed on Tuesday (6/7).
According to him, the LID approach to the planning will focus on four aspects:
1) protecting the water flow to maintain the natural water cycle,
2) preserving the river buffer by dividing development zones to safeguard the water body from runoff,
3) protecting ecologically sensitive areas by building infrastructure to manage the environment both in aesthetics and quality-wise, and
4) establishing connected and well-calculated rainwater network management.
Throughout the competition, Ikhsan admitted he encountered many challenges. As other participants were in groups, Ikhsan understood he needed to put tremendous effort into his essay to win the competition.
“As I am on my own, the brainstorming process was quite time-consuming. I had to read journal articles, look for precedents, and string and edit sentences to make them readable, concise, and easy to understand, all by myself, not to mention modeling in several relatively unfamiliar software. Hard work paid off in the end, and hopefully, this idea can improve environmental sustainability,” he said.
Ikhsan expressed his hopes for Indonesia’s future spatial planning to continue to develop and innovate. He realized that continuous development and innovation would help the country provide clean water and sanitation for the community and create sustainable cities.
“Let’s share our knowledge and ideas to create better spaces for better living and prosperity for all beings in the universe,” he said.