The Archipelago

Autonomy Watch: Makassar
grows with waterfront city
concept

The Makassar municipality’s initiative to become a world waterfront city has gained support from international institutions. The World Bank has given the municipality the chance to show the development progress it intends to implement over a 100 day period.

“After the 100 days, precisely when Makassar celebrates its anniversary in September, the World Bank will evaluate the progress that has been made. If it deems that we have met the standards, it will recommend Makassar receive funds from international institutions to finance development as a global city with a waterfront concept,” said Makassar Mayor Ilham Arief Sirajuddin.

Ilham and five of his team members attended the World Cities Summit, which was followed by a training session on waterfront city development in Singapore from May 22 until June 2.

During the summit, Makassar submitted a proposal themed “Makassar Waterfront, River and Canal Development”, approved by the selection committee. The committee invited 23 cities in Southeast Asia to participate in the selection process, where only four cities were selected — Makassar, Metro Manila, Haiphon and Ho Chi Minh City.

The proposal served as a progressive model that will be implemented over a period of 100 days and as a master plan reference of change in Makassar’s development as a global city over the next 20 to 30 years.

“In the next 100 days we will initiate a program to restore river banks and canal areas, including infrastructure development which would later make the city more comfortable for its residents,” said Ilham.

The municipality has planned to relocate residents to flats which it will build in coastal areas, provide employment and good surroundings so people could benefit from the development. According to plan, the Makassar municipality will build a number of flats to relocate residents. It has chosen areas along the Losari coast by reclaiming coastal area.

Hasanuddin University economist Hamid Paddu, who joined the team at the summit, said Makassar had very strong potential to become a global waterfront city given its character and condition, which was similar to other global cities such as Singapore.

He said that Singapore’s condition 28 years ago was as chaotic as Makassar is now, but its government was able to convert the city into a clean and comfortable city with a balanced lifestyle for its residents and the environment.

“The main thing needed to change the city into a global city is the political will from the government. The Makassar city administration has it now. With the support from every element of society, it could be achieved and donor institutions and private investors would surely come and invest in every development sector,” said Hamid.

Hamid said urban development in the city, which spans 175.77 square kilometers and is inhabited by 1.4 million people, would become stagnant if Makassar failed to change its development concept for the next 15 years.

“With redevelopment, the city would become a beautiful and clean city, not only in regards to residences, but also as an interesting tourist destination,” he said,

Hamid added that binding rules in the form of provincial bylaws incorporating a new master plan for Makassar and supported by every element of society were needed so that anyone who becomes the city’s mayor in the future would still be responsible for continuing the development plan.

Dani Pomanto, the architect who designed Makassar’s development concept, said the coastal reclamation concept carried out by the municipality would not disturb or damage the environment, especially the marine ecosystem, as the coast, which is located in the middle of the city, has continued to accumulate silt from sediment carried by the Jeneberang and Tallo rivers that empty into the Makassar Strait.

According to Dani, coastal reclamation would instead block sediment from flowing to the Soekarno-Hatta Port and protect the city.

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