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Three Indonesian smart cities to look up to

Willy Winarko
Willy Winarko

Content writer for Qlue Smart City

Jakarta  /  Fri, June 9, 2017  /  08:10 am
Three Indonesian smart cities to look up to

A view of Bundaran Hotel Indonesia, Central Jakarta. Winner of many international awards, Jakarta Smart City (JSC) is unique for giving Jakarta’s administration a dedicated hub for the latest technology. (Shutterstock/Andreas H)

From Bandung’s lavish command center to Jakarta’s smart city initiative, every local government in Indonesia is in a race to become the leading innovator of smart city technology. But what is a smart city? What does it do? And how does it impact the people?

Smart City is a term to describe an urban development vision to integrate information and communication technology (ICT) and Internet of Things (IoT) technology in a secure way to manage a city's assets. These assets include local information systems, schools, transportation systems, hospitals, power plants, water supply networks, waste management, law enforcement and other community services.

For Indonesia, smart city technology provides citizens with a higher quality of living and a more transparent government. It seems that Indonesia is now at the forefront of utilizing technology to make city governance more efficient and transparent.

Below is a list of three Indonesian cities that have integrated technology in urban living.

Jakarta Smart City

As the capital city of Indonesia, it's not surprising that Jakarta is at the top of the list. Winner of many international awards, Jakarta Smart City (JSC) is unique for giving Jakarta’s administration a dedicated hub for the latest technology.

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JSC has become the curator for local startups that focuses on smart city tech, from public transport apps like Trafi to smart waste management. JSC pushes for the adoption of these technologies in the daily use of official offices and citizens. Dedicated communication apps like Qlue also gives citizens a channel to voice their aspirations. With smart lighting, ERP and many projects connected to the IoT, it's easy to see how Jakarta is spearheading the smart city boom that many other regional administrations wish to replicate.

However, implementing these changes is still a big challenge. With the infrastructure in place, JSC has more to prove in promoting tech adoption by citizens and officials alike.

Bandung Smart City

Bandung’s Smart City initiative is also a huge part of Indonesia’s progress in smart city technology. With over 300 local apps in its arsenal, Bandung has proven to be just as capable as Jakarta in terms of nurturing new technology.

Bandung’s Command Center was also the first of its kind and has been implemented by many cities, including Jakarta. Programs such as E-budgeting gives a transparent view of administration spending. Smart CCTV and smart lighting have also been proposed by the administration.

What Bandung lacks is a dedicated bureau that can curate the technology and nurture its implementation by citizens and officials. This has been the main problem not just in Bandung, but many developed countries. City bureaus have technology that may not communicate with one another across other bureaus, and scaling up the technology will be a bigger challenge to tackle in the future.

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Smart City Makassar

The jewel in Indonesia’s eastern region, Makassar has implemented a smart city initiative that is high-tech and integrated. The city has been pushing to be Indonesia’s data center for the eastern region.

Although very new, the National Police (Polri) has praised Makassar for its Smart CCTV technology, with Jakarta’s police catching up with the tech this year. Makasar was also the host of many Indonesian smart city conferences, taking notes from success in Java cities. Smart City Makassar has become a hub for startups with its Technopark initiative.

Dubbed "the home of Indonesian software," Makassar has been investing heavily in its smart city infrastructure. Though still in its infancy, we see Makassar laying down solid groundwork for future developments to come.

Even in its early stages, we have seen the impact of smart city technology for creating more efficient governments, and higher quality of life. With many more local administrations implementing new technology every day, these cities will become the model as they progress toward an integrated system.

The challenge now is discovering how smart cities could benefit not only big cities of commerce and business, but also their smaller counterparts. Many smaller townships have been reluctant to adopt smart city platforms, with many others welcoming the change with open arms.

Indonesia is just getting started with its smart city programs and has much more room to grow and improve over time. (dev/kes)


Willy Winarko is a writer for Qlue Smart City. He is also a radio announcer at Mustang 88 FM.  He is interested in smart city issues and improving livelihoods in the city. Connect with him through Linkedin.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.