Urban civilization has been evolving for 6,000 years and will continue to change at a rapid pace. City and regional planners play a crucial role in building an advanced and just future city for its inhabitants.
“Planning is the spearhead of development. Moral integrity is crucial for a city planner as it provides long-term direction,” said Professor Bakti Setiawan of the UGM Faculty of Engineering during a seminar titled “Planning Revisited: From Knowledge” on Friday, October 13.
“A key aspect for a planner is the ability to communicate and construct a framework for future development because urban development is never-ending.”
The importance of a city planner’s role in regional and urban development was also emphasized by the Acting Regent of Bekasi, Dr. Dani Ramdan.
According to him, the knowledge of urban and regional planning is highly beneficial in his role as a regency head official.
“My work does not directly relate to spatial planning. However, the knowledge of urban and regional planning that I gained at UGM is essential for understanding the preparation of development plans, RTRW (spatial plans), and various infrastructure master plans,” said the alumnus of the UGM Master of Urban and Regional Planning.
When planners enter the public sector, he stated, they face many challenges, such as dealing with businesspeople and politicians. These ultimately require consistency and integrity as policymakers.
“The spirit of planning is optimism, and this is the key. Planning graduates are the most optimistic group. The aspects of professional and moral integrity must be prioritized,” he explained.
“In Bekasi, for example, there hasn’t been an RDTR (detailed spatial plan) for several years. It turns out there is one actually, but it has not been approved because it hinders projects (permits), which is a challenge for integrity.”
Moreover, he noted that the direction of industrial area development in Bekasi needs to be better connected between regions.
“Currently, we are working on integrating industrial areas through RTRW,” he said.
The Head of the HR Bureau of the Ministry of Public Works and Housing, Canka Putri, acknowledged that planning maps serve as references for development across all ministries, including her own.
“Maps are the number one thing in every development activity. The Ministry of Public Works and Housing focuses not only on building infrastructure but also on quality, the environment, and aesthetics,” she stated.
For Canka Putri, an optimistic spirit must be firmly held by the city and regional planners at the ministry, especially when considering the Nusantara (IKN) development planning.
“We must be optimistic about IKN. The planning process is fundamental and continues to be perfected to be adapted to field conditions,” she concluded.
Author: Gusti Grehenson