Public Policy on Urban Heritage Conservation

Public Policy on Urban Heritage Conservation The Case of Solo City, Indonesia The rapid physical development in the cities has put great pressures to the historic monuments and urban areas. It has caused deterioration, or even, loss of historic fabric. Many historic buildings had to give way to the development. The challenge that has to be resolved at present is how to promote urban heritage conservation as an important principle in the progress toward sustainable development. Unlike those developed countries, Indonesia as a developing country has not done very much on the field of conservation. Indeed, the conservation of historic sites in Indonesia is not a new issue. Despite the adoption of the laws and legislations on cultural heritage, the existence of many urban historic sites is still in danger. Conservation issues have always been confronted with modern development. The rapid growth of population in big cities along with the extensive flow of urbanization continuously demands urgent developments and improvements, such as basic infrastructures, housing and jobs, as priorities. These demands are so pressing that urban conservation still at its beginning. Therefore, nowadays many urban areas in Indonesia, in particular historic cores, are suffering from overloaded infrastructure, traffic congestion and deteriorating old buildings. Historic structures have suffered from various problems, including careless material replacement, imprudent restoration and even demolition. At present, these problems are also being experienced by Surakarta, which is popularly known as Solo, the second largest city in Central Java Province. Solo is renowned as the ‘city of culture’ from having two important palaces of Javanese empire history. Accordingly, since the early independence period until now, the local authority policies had acknowledged the city’s culture and tourism as important aspects for development. At present, heritage conservation measures, such as revitalization programs, have been started in many urban areas in Solo, particularly in those of historic public spaces. Nevertheless, these programs are carried out moderately by projects and not by comprehensive programs. This paper explores public policy concerning urban heritage conservation of the Surakarta Municipality. It attempts to evaluate policy implementation in urban development and conservation. It tries to investigate current situations of historic monuments and areas of the city and the measures that have been carried out. As future choices, it addresses strategies not only to improve the city as a better place to live, but also to conserve its heritage for future generations. Putu A.P. Agustiananda Department of Architecture Faculty of Civil Engineering and Planning Islamic University of Indonesia


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