Activating Urban Alleyways as a place for people: Bogor Case, Indonesia

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Submission Summary
Alleyways play a vital role in urban life. It is a public space, it cannot be called a road, but it can still be used as a corridor for pedestrians to pass. Alleys usually dominate the urban structure; recent research by Gehl Architects stated that more than half of urban space is usually alleys. Therefore, Alleys have the potential to increase the number of public space in the city. Gehl's research also stated that activating alleyways as public space will result in 50% public space addition in the city. Activating alleyways had been done successfully in cities in developed countries. For example, in European cities such as Paris, Rome, and Barcelona, beautiful alley serves as a vital pedestrian passageway. In Japan and Australia, alleyways serve as retail hubs. They had successfully activated the alley as a place for the community. What is interesting about the alley is that the alley provides great opportunities to walk through in a human-scaled dimension, so that they offer something a little more intimate. Many cities are trying to activate alleys and make them human-scale places, sometimes provided with cafes, retail, and street art. US Cities are activating alleys for social events as well as making a beautification, especially outdoor arts. However, in Indonesian cities, such efforts have not been done much. Alleyways are always considered the backyard of the city and tend to be neglected space. Therefore it is necessary for city leaders in Indonesia to rethinking their alleyways. In the case of Bogor City, which also has a considerable number of alleys, the alleys are generally in an uncomfortable, dark, smelly condition, used by homeless people, many illegal stalls and dwellings; it becomes a forgotten urban space. Bogor Mayor innovated by starting to reactivate the alleyways as public spaces. Efforts made are through a human-scale intervention to make the city more human friendly. With so many potential culinary street vendors in the city, the alley is suggested to become a culinary corridor to enable urban life in the alleys. The alleyways will be one of the essential assets in the city, as well as an asset for pedestrians, which serve not only as a passage-way but also a sought-after place. This paper presents one of the alley revitalization projects in Bogor City, located in Chinatown. These alleys are spaces between two shophouses, with 80-100 meters long. These alleyways function as passing through, which connects two main roads in the Chinatown District. This project was carried out in 7 corridors. The planning and design process was conducted in 2019 and will soon enter the construction phase. Initially, the government planned to carry out the construction in mid-2020, but due to COVID-19, the construction project had to be postponed. The author acted as a design consultant on this project, assisting the government and mayor in the design process. The design results show that the alley will function as new public spaces for people. Through human-scale intervention, beautification, street arts, lighting, turning the alleys into park corridors, and a place for culinary streets, the corridor can be more vibrant. Although it has not yet been constructed, the response of various stakeholders to the design results is quite positive, and they feel confident that this alley will become a thriving new public space. It can be learned from this project that small scale interventions in public space could have a significant impact on the city. It is more than merely a beautification, but providing places for people, towards a human-friendly city.
Submission ID :
ISO488
Submission Type
Case Study Report
Submission Track
7: Shaping Liveable Places