The Pandemic Challenge on Temporary Public Space in Indonesia: The Cases of Car-Free Day (CFD) in Two Cities

The Pandemic Challenge on Temporary Public Space in Indonesia: The Cases of Car-Free Day (CFD) in Two Cities

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The Indonesian cities have been developed by the escalated privatization, profit-oriented development, and the rapid growth of automotive industries that prioritizing road infrastructure to serve the car-oriented city. As a result, the deficit of neutral public spaces is overlapped by the growing concern on the environmental crisis, which manifested in the increasing air pollutions and lack of green spaces. Motivated by this concern, Car-Free Day (CFD) has emerged from a mere occasional environmental initiative to temporarily give-up certain streets free-off motorized vehicles to balance the city’s environmental and social needs. It becomes a weekly Sunday program to provide temporary free public space for all citizens, supported by local city governments and societies. The CFD, has been successfully filling the lacuna of public space in Indonesian cities and well-embedded in the public domain for the past ten years.
However, the COVID-19 outbreak has brought a dilemmatic stance to the CFD’s existence. It significantly shifted the policy upon CFD initiatives, as well as the stance of the citizens toward the CFD program. The pandemic brought contradictions in societies and policy-makers on the CFD’s existence and its relevance for sustaining the mental balance and needs of being in public. This paper attempt to analyze the impact of the pandemic on CFD program by taking cases from two different scales of Indonesian cities, Jakarta and Surakarta. It will identify the changed social pattern before and during the pandemic period in conveying the CFD’s attachment to the cities’ life by processing collected data from interviews, news, and questionnaires to capture people’s opinions towards the CFD. By this discursive stance, how the CFD shall be maintained/stopped/redesigned in a supportive scale can be captured. The analysis will unfold the relevance of CFD as a temporary public space for the future post-COVID cities and their social condition in different city-scales.

Corresponding Author

Diana Zerlina

Independent Researcher

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Independent Researcher

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Independent Researcher

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Preferred Track

7. Urban competitiveness and social challenges

Second Preferred Track

6. Urban policies

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