The Adipura Award has been used as sticks and carrots to encourage Indonesian cities and urban regions to be clean and green since 1986. It stopped for a few years after the fall of Soeharto in 1998 but was rejuvenated during Megawati’s presidency in 2002.
Every year, there is an Adipura contest among metropolitan cities, big cities, medium cities and small cities in Indonesia. Additional categories include the best cities in urban-forest ratio, the best city markets and the best city parks.
In the 2009 Adipura, Bandar Lampung city won in the big cities category. The perception was, however, that the real face of the city was a lot dirtier. Some people even noted that heaps of garbage could be found in many places. But, yes, the officials were happy.
The situation changed when some of the local and national media broadcast that Bandar Lampung was the dirtiest ci...