International Review for Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development
Online ISSN : 2187-3666
ISSN-L : 2187-3666
Local Wisdom As The Ontological Foundation To Postmodern Urban-Design In A Developing Country
The case of Semarang city, Mid-Java, Indonesia
Rudyanto Soesilo
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2014 Volume 2 Issue 4 Pages 54-67


Cities in a developing country play a role as a growth-pole, with high economic activity. This role, acts as a great magnet for low income rural people - who still live in a cosmocentric ontology - to migrate to the cities. This condition becomes a real challenge to urban designers in a developing country. The rural migrants accumulate as the majority of inhabitants and if they are not considered carefully there will be many problems to the city’s life, include the emergence of slums and shanties. Semarang is the municipal of Mid-Java province in Indonesia, a developing country. A significant case among many others, Semarang can be found at the Djohar traditional market at the center of the city. The traditional market was designed by famous Dutch olden-times architect, Herman Thomas Karsten. The market was designed for ordinary lowclass people complementary to the Bojong shopping street, which was designed for the Elite Dutch class. Indonesia proclaimed its independence on August 17th 1945. About the year 2000, some investors tried to change Djohar and its surrounds into an elite shopping area. This effort failed. The low-class people still exist in this area. This tells us about a different urban planning and design solution for different communities living in a city. A specific treatment in urban planning and design in a developing country that fits the worldview of the people living in it is required: Postmodern urban planning and design, with local wisdom as the ontological foundation.

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