This research is part of 5 years research in The Netherlands which focuses on resilient city issues in Rotterdam. Resilient issue has been chosen by the team since Jakarta and other big cities in Indonesia give a big concern on it. It is important to highlight that cities have to consider using a new paradigm to manage themselves. Cities, as complex entities, need a more comprehensive approach to synergy economic, social and cultural, politic, and environmental aspects.
From this point of view, the team has been conducted research to analyze sustainable cities concept in 2015. Rotterdam, one of the main cities in The Netherlands, was chosen as the research site. Some studies show that this city is successful to transform itself from industrial city to post-industrial city. Recently, Rotterdam shows itself as a modern port city and innovative in adapting to climate change.
In 2016, the research focuses on resilient city’s concept as part of sustainable city’s issues. Due to the climate change impacts, water management is one of the highest priorities of The Netherlands’s government. The team started to learn some facts that 80% of Rotterdam area is below sea level. With this condition, Rotterdam has built up centuries of experience when it comes to resilience, particularly on the topics of integrated water management and innovative climate adaptation.
Nowadays, sea level rise and flood risks still become the main attention of the municipality. The local government tries to make cooperation and coordination with other stakeholders; academicians, NGOs, private sectors, and society. They also have some programs to empower people to raise their awareness and participate in development programs. Based on our interviews with some academicians and the government, not all of people in Rotterdam have awareness to flood or other climate issues. It is because the people are strongly believed that the government will handle the problems. Based on these findings, we analyze that people feel secure because the system works well.
Moreover, the government stated that collaboration between the government and other stakeholders is very important. For water management, including flood prevention, the government cooperates with academicians in some universities, private sectors, and NGOs to enrich people knowledge and to open opportunities for people to create innovations to make the city water proof. Therefore, collaboration between stakeholders in Rotterdam also gives us important lesson for Jakarta. Effort of Rotterdam to be a more competitive, attractive, and modern delta city in the world can also be followed by the government of Jakarta.
In that context, Jakarta has been started to cooperate with Rotterdam. Experts from Rotterdam have been invited by the Jakarta’s government to share their knowledge and innovation in flood protection and water management. One of the innovative solutions that have been taken by the municipality of Rotterdam was Water Plaza in Benthemplain, which has multi-function as the public space as well as for water storage during the rainy season. Based on information, DKI Jakarta has plans to build the same thing near in Monas as flood management.
As part of the cooperation, the Jakarta’s government has sent some of their staff to get train and lesson in Rotterdam. They stayed for 3 months to learn how to anticipate flooding and manage water. Long history of water management of Rotterdam makes this city reliable to solve water problems. Nevertheless, as Jakarta citizen, we should also consider that Jakarta is not Rotterdam. Jakarta has its own social, cultural, and environmental context that need to study before all of these infrastructure developments are implement.