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Urbanisme Mikro is our initiative exploring Jakarta's other Urbanism. We identify community resilience strategies, the unique features of individual neighborhoods and the activities of its citizens carried
out on a micro scale which exemplify life in Jakarta.


What is Micro Urbanism?

Micro-urbanism is a reconceptualising of the city at a smaller scale, in which the lived experiences of spaces and their use form the basis of a framework for understanding and improving them.

While it may offer a smaller geographical scope compared to more traditional approaches for understanding the city, it nonetheless presents an extremely rich and highly complex urban environment, defined not only by physical size but also by changes over time, overlapping and contested functions, and even the subjective perceptions of individual residents.

It is by applying this powerful lens to study the essential minutiae of Jakarta’s vast urban landscape that we might identify, catalogue, replicate and empower some of the diverse strategies upon which its citizens successfully build their communities.


Key Principles
of Micro Urbanism             


Defining space by quality over quantity.

The potential for even marginal or seemingly unsuitable spaces to offer significant use-value cannot be overlooked in a city where real, accessible, public spaces are entirely lacking for the majority of citizens.


Accommodating sharing and managing contestation

Overcrowding and high density mean that monofunctional urban spaces in Jakarta are essentially non-existent. Managing access to and ownership of limited space is a fundamental component of urban life at the local scale.


Recognising the importance of time

Jakarta is a dynamic metropolis, constantly moving through hourly, daily, weekly and seasonal cycles which influence how residents interact with the city. Understanding the interaction between these rhythms and the outcomes they generate is an essential part of understanding how the city functions.


Integrating Informality

Much of what comprises micro-urbanism takes  place outside the boundaries of official authority,  where fluidity and flexibility replace rule-making and regulation. Decision-making in matters of economic and social life is therefore more likely to emerge via consensus and agreement at a given moment, rather than by establishing rigid precedent or procedure.


Facilitating dialogue

Micro-urbanism takes place at the local scale, where individual concerns and the nuances of daily life are a salient component of decision making. Dialogue and communication between stakeholders is an essential part of consensus building, which promotes ongoing collaboration and a sense of engagement with urban issues.


Building organically, working collectively

Equal access to the decision-making process is a critical component of small-scale resilience, to ensure participation in implementing and working towards positive outcomes for all. The fundamental unit of micro-urbanism is an engaged and empowered community.


Accepting the ‘subjective of the city’

Standardised frameworks for design and management cannot account for the highly variable way each of us interprets the urban environment. Micro-urbanism appreciates the differences in lived experience of a single space by people of different ages, genders, cultural or racial backgrounds and sexual orientations, as well as those with disabilities or significant physical and mental health issues, as a valid basis for decision-making.

Read the full Urbanisme Mikro Strategic Vision here

Explore "RT " - our Urbanisme Mikro pilot project  here

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