"Smart City", and the Great Idea of ​​the National Capital

News , 17/01/2020

"Smart City", and the Great Idea of ​​the National Capital

On the occasion of the announcement of the design competition for the national capital (IKN) at the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Monday (12/23/2019), we can see a summary of ideas and fruit of collaboration by experts on a monthly basis.


The result is a pull of the line of ideas "if IKN is in an ideal location". A breakthrough initial step that needs to be appreciated.

There is a common thread that then bursts out of all ideas that come in. Namely fitness or smartness from IKN will be a determinant of how the new mainstay of the equatorial emerald state city can be a solution for a more decent citizen life.


On the sidelines of our black coffee, while discussing, PUPR Minister Basuki Hadimuljono assured me that smart city is Indonesia's step forward. And this fitness must be achieved on a more efficient scale of city citizens' lives, not only in terms of the existence of official office applications in the city government.

The question is, what is the most important aspect that the government must pay attention to, so that smart cities are reliable and can be implemented? Indeed, the term smart city has been formed as a phenomenon of the relationship between IT vendors and the city government, which is more coloring in the discourse among the laity.

During this time our cities are hypnotized by vendors of solutions both software and hardware. However, that is only one of the simplest aspects. There are two other important things that become smart city building blocks, namely citizen empowerment, and business case.


Citizen empowerment is related to the reliability of the city service system and governance that can be positively felt by the community and results in more efficient community activities based on ubiquitous. My best friend, a smart city expert, Dr. Ridwan Sutriadi, Chair of the Regional and Urban Planning Study Program of the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) agrees on this. The rise of smart cities is not only related to city development technically. However, there must be human and cultural values ​​in it.


Thus the city will have a character that distinguishes it from other cities.

The third most important thing is the feasibility of a smart city in terms of financing and benefits. Well, this aspect is actually the determinant of whether smart city solutions for IKN as a whole make sense, are feasible or are just baseless ideals. For technocrats, the government and investors, the issue of financing in the form of business case feasibility in the new city plan has become one of the most important topics.

Feasibility is an important thing that needs to be considered after aspects of urban planning and design in addressing the decision to relocate government functions, namely the financing aspect. Value For Money (VfM) is what should be the main guide for smart city projects, by comparing costs (whole-of-life cost) and quality (fitness for purpose) to meet economic, efficient and effective standards. We must be able to answer how the economic value of development in mangrove areas and the dominance of species of dolphin biodiversity (Orcaella Bresvirostris) and probosci's monkey (Proboscis Monkey) near the bay as planned by the competition winner, compared to the potential for catastrophic destruction of their habitat. If the reason for approaching the bay and water is to create a micro-climate, it is necessary to calculate how much the temperature has decreased and the increase in city productivity due to the improvement of the local climate. The smart city financing framework by the government, involving the private sector, both foreign and domestic investors, is not only in the form of providing the largest part of the funds needed, but also relating to technology, design, design, and pattern of income or business case. Financing agreements can take various forms such as incentives, equity and fiscal instruments, partial support for construction, subsidies, grants, and licensing.

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