Annex 1 International Case Studies

Yogyakarta, Indonesia – Pedestrianization

With Asian downtowns becoming clogged with traffic, wealthy shoppers and tourists are leaving urban markets for outlying, highway-side hypermarkets and multiplexes. Some Mayors are fighting back with new pedestrian zones that offer a more environmentally-friendly, attractive alternative that improve the quality of life and generating economic development.

ITDP has been working with the Municipality of Yogyakarta, Indonesia to help pedestrianise Malioboro Road. Yogyakarta is the centre of Javanese culture, and Malioboro Road is an ancient street that traditionally served as the ceremonial access road to the Sultan’s Palace (Kraton). For decades it has been an important commercial street, home to many of Yogyakarta’s most important markets and an important tourist destination.

With support from USAID and the Toyota Foundation, ITDP focused on work in the following three areas, in close cooperation with Instrans and Gadjah Mada University’s Centre for Transportation Studies (PUSTRAL):

  • analysis of the traffic impact of closing the Malioboro to automobiles and preparing a traffic mitigation plan;
  • modernization of the becak (see below);
  • outreach to the various interest groups to move the pedestrian zone forward politically

In the summer of 2005, the street structure along Malioboro was rerouted to divert the through-traffic, cutting traffic by about 30%. Several elevated crossings were also built to help make it possible for pedestrians to reach the area safely. ITDP also sent world-famous urban designer Jan Gehl to meet with municipal authorities to explain how Copenhagen, Denmark had pedestrianized large parts of its city centre, and the impact it had.

Based on ITDP’s success modernizing the traditional cycle rickshaw in India, we’ve also worked with our partners in Yogyakarta to similarly revitalize the becak as a mode of transportation through improvements to its weight, manoeuvrability, and passenger and operator comfort. (The becak is a non-motorized, three-wheeled rickshaw, distinct from the Indian rickshaw because passengers sit in front of the driver.)

The Yogyakarta Tourism Department directly ordered 50 of the modernized becaks to serve as special tourist vehicles. During 2005, the modernized becak model was further refined and updated to address the suggestions of the drivers and passengers who used the 2004 model, the Bisma. ITDP also provided modernized becaks to transport participants at the Better Air Quality conference held by the Clean Air Initiative for Asia in Yogyakarta in December, 2006. Efforts are currently focused on marketing the current model to reach a wider audience.

With help from Instran, a local non-governmental partner organization, a dialog was begun with various parking, becak, and street vendor interest groups to develop a Malioboro pedestrianization plan that could incorporate their concerns without sacrificing the public interest. Opposition from these groups, however, has proven to be a significant obstacle to further pedestrian improvements to Malioboro Road.


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