Trash, Cities, and Politics: Urban Environmental Problems in Indonesia
“Trash, Cities, and Politics” describes Indonesia's ADIPURA, an environmental program begun in the mid 1980s to focus on waste management, cleanliness and sanitation, and green spaces. The paper discusses the program within the larger context of Indonesia's urbanization and its environmental consequences, from the time of the New Order up to today's decentralization era. The essay describes ADIPURA's continuity and evolution, with respect to central and local governments, law enforcement, financing, and community and private sector participation. It also provides specific data from more than 300 cities, and presents statistics to reveal trends and disconnects and to examine the program's successes and failures. For example, the study found that the program's incentives are inadequate, given Indonesia's regional autonomy and decentralization; that government ministers' credibility may be too weak to encourage municipalities' participation and compliance; and that the program comprises an unmanageable number of targets and is excessively expensive to administer, especially the inspections. The study concludes that ADIPURA is potentially useful to clean up cities, but needs to be overhauled, modernized, and coordinated with other government policies, and further transformed to eliminate actual and potential corruption and manipulation.
Volume & Issue:
Page range: 73-90
Cornell University Southeast Asia Program