Date of Graduation

Spring 5-19-2023

Document Type

Restricted Thesis - USF access only

Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Studies (MAIS)


College of Arts and Sciences


International Studies

First Advisor

John Zarobell

Second Advisor

Dorothy Kidd


This MA thesis seeks to find ways to conceptually and practically approach kampungs (traditional urban villages that scatter around and across Indonesian cities) and other low-income communities in Jakarta, Indonesia, in terms of urban planning and development. The historical record indicates that when the capital city has undergone major transformations in its political economy, it has failed to fully take into account the existing urban landscape as a proper basis for viable developmental plans, which has led many to claim that the city is now beyond repair. In the last few decades, the forces of globalization, development, and capitalism have produced, in relation to the Indonesian state and to a national ambiguous system of land rights, a trend towards lower-income inner city population displacement and voracious and uneven urban development that has caused on-the-ground unrest, serious damages to the environment, and a potential loss of cultural and communal heritage. An on-the-ground study and a discursive analysis have shown that these interwoven aspects of state policy regulation and global capitalism have produced vibrant, resilient, and resourceful spaces that more often than not become stigmatized through the labels of illegality and informality. The essay asks the question: what is the kampung’s practical importance when it comes to imagining a livable city and the future of development? The study finds that kampungs and the formal sectors of the city have a mutually dependent relationship that points to the need for integrating the former into the processes of urban planning. In this sense, this exercise concludes that opening up and strengthening formal and informal channels of communication through exercises of community participation and mediated dialogue is desirable, conducted with the aim of having both a modern city and a healthy and wealthy society.

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