A Historical Overview of the Spatial Planning in Indonesia

Spatial planning in Indonesia began in 1926 when the Nuisance Ordinance was introduced. The ordinance regulated certain industrial installation in certain areas through zoning and permit systems. Twenty-two years later, the first planning regulatory framework known as City Planning Ordinance or Staadvorming Ordonatie (SVO) was introduced and then followed by the implementation ordinance known as Stadsvorming Verordening (SVV) in 1949 (Hudalah et. al. 2007; Winarso and Firman 2002).

city (11)1, originally uploaded by budibudz.

After the enactments of SVO and SVV, there had been no legal frameworks for spatial planning until 1976. Several legal frameworks for spatial planning were enacted between 1976 and 1992. These legal frameworks regulated particular areas including the Greater Jakarta Area (Keppres 13/1976), Batam Island (Keppres 41/1973) and Puncak Area (Keppres 48/1983) and certain development sectors including rice field areas (Keppres 54/1980), industrial estate (Keppres 53/1989), tourism (Keppres 15/1983) and housing (Keppres 8/1985). All of these legal frameworks are presidential acts.

In 1982, the Ministry of Home Affairs enacted a decree on the guidance of city plan-making process (Permendagri 2/1987). This ministerial decree stipulated the standards and regulation for city plan-making process. Four years later, the Ministry of Public Works enacted similar decree on city plan-making process (Permen PU 640/1986). Both ministerial decrees became references for urban planners when they prepared city plans.

In response to the growing need for coordinating the management of natural resources, the Indonesia parliament passed the first spatial planning law, The Spatial Planning Law 24/1992 in October 1992. Spatial planning was defined in this law as plan-making process (proses perencanaan tata ruang), plan implementation (pemanfaatan ruang), and development control (pengendalian pemanfaatan ruang). The provision of this law is the guidelines of plan-making process, plan implementation and development control for national, provincial and local levels.

The Spatial Planning Law 24/1992 stipulated the principles of the spatial planning in Indonesia included integrity, sustainability, effectiveness, efficiency, compatibility, harmony, openness, equality, justice, and legal protection. The rights, obligations and participation of the people in the spatial planning were also stipulated in the Spatial Planning Law 24/1992. The people have rights to know the spatial plan, participate in the plan-making process and receive just compensation when their property is acquired for public uses. The detail regulation on the rights, obligation and participation of the people in spatial planning was issued in December 1996 (Peraturan Pemerintah 69/1996). This regulation was the first detail regulation enacted by the Indonesia government from the Spatial Planning Law 24/1992.

The Spatial Planning Law 24/1992 also stipulated the hierarchical spatial planning in Indonesia consisting of the national spatial plan (RTRW Nasional), the provincial spatial plans (RTRW Propinsi) and the district spatial plans (RTRW Kabupaten and RTRW Kotamadya). All levels of the government were required to make spatial plans for directing the development in their respective regions.

This law also differentiated spatial plan by the main function and the main activity of the area. Areas by the main function include environmental conservation areas (kawasan lindung) and non environmental conservation areas (kawasan budidaya). Urban areas (kawasan perkotaan), rural areas (kawasan perdesaan) and specific areas (kawasan tertentu) are areas differentiated by the main activity. Kawasan tertentu is area that has national strategic value and its spatial plan needs to be prioritized.

jakarta sunset, originally uploaded by chillntravel.

The fundamental institutional changes in Indonesia following the fall of the New Order Regime also affected the Spatial Planning Law 24/1992. This law was considered to be no longer relevant with new institutional settings. The Indonesia parliament passed the bill of spatial planning in April 2007 to replace the Spatial Planning Law 24/1992. The new law, the Spatial Planning Law 26/2007, contains some provisions that are not included in the previous law.

In accordance with the new decentralization laws, the Spatial Planning Law 26/2007 stipulates explicitly the authority of provincial governments (pemerintah propinsi) and of district governments (pemerintah kabupaten and pemerintah kota) in spatial planning. Such provision is not stipulated in the previous spatial planning law. In the previous law, the central government is responsible for spatial plan that covers areas in two or more provinces and the provincial government is responsible for spatial plan consisting of areas in two or more districts (kabupaten/kota). In the new law, spatial planning consisting of two or more provinces becomes the authority of respective provinces and should be used as a coordination tool for both provinces. The central government is no longer authorized to coordinate the spatial plan in the areas consisting of two or more provinces. The similar rule also applies to spatial planning covering two or more districts.

The Spatial Planning Law 26/2007 has one new principle of the spatial planning that is not included in the previous law. The principle of accountability is included in the new law and it is presumably to correspond with the enthusiasm of Indonesian people for more transparent and accountable system of government. The new law also stipulates the minimal standard of services in spatial planning. Such provision is to ensure the good quality of basic services of spatial planning for the Indonesian people. This is a response to the dissatisfaction of the Indonesian people over the poor quality of services from the government during the New Order Regime.

The new spatial law also takes into account the rapid urbanization in metropolitans in Indonesia particularly in the Greater Jakarta Area. The concepts of metropolitan area and megapolitan area are introduced in the new law. Such concepts were not parts of the previous spatial planning law. Metropolitan area is defined as an urban area with the population of at least 1 million people. The Spatial Planning Law 26/2007 defines megapolitan area as two or more adjoining metropolitan areas that have functional relationship.

One of the important provisions of the Spatial Planning Law 26/2007 is the requirement of at least 30% of urban areas for open spaces. The open spaces can be public and private open spaces. More specifically, public open spaces account for at least 20% of urban areas. In addition, this law stipulates that forest areas must be account for at least 30% of river stream areas. Such provision was not included in the previous spatial planning law.

The new spatial law provides some new ways for enhancing the development control including zoning, planning permits, implementation of incentive and disincentive and imposing sanctions including administration and criminal sanction. The incentives could be tax cut, compensation, cross subsidy, planning permit deregulation, and awards. The disincentives include higher tax, the limitation of infrastructure, imposing compensation and penalty. The implementation of incentive and disincentive could be from the central government to local governments (province, kabupaten and kota), from local government to other local governments and from governments to community.

The Spatial Planning Law 26/2007 also validates the importance of public participation in spatial planning. The new law provides more detailed regulations than the previous spatial planning law including rights, obligations and the forms of public participation in spatial planning. Such provisions correspond with the more participatory system of government after the fall of the New Order Regime.

  1. Larsson, Gerhard. (2006). Spatial planning systems in Western Europe. Washington, DC: IOS Press
  2. Hudalah, Delik and Johan Woltjer. (2007). Spatial planning system in transitional Indonesia. International Planning Studies 12(3): 291-303
  3. Winarso, Haryo and Tommy Firman. (2002). Residential land development in Jabotabek, Indonesia: triggering economic crisis? Habitat International 26: 487-506


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