The Car-Free (Day) Movement: Transformation of Space and Place in Bandung, Indonesia

The Car-Free (Day) Movement: Transformation of Space and Place in Bandung, Indonesia

Frans Ari Prasetyo (Independent Researcher, Indonesia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3507-3.ch005


As various cities around the world are implementing car-free policies, the need to understand it from a dynamic point of view becomes more pronounced. In effect, by invoking the organic nature of urbanism, a complexity involving the growth of cities in relation to their environment and human society emerges. Seeking to contribute to an understanding of the production processes of space in the contemporary street, the discussion of the planning future of cities, and perspectives on urban transformation, this chapter aims to build an understanding of the production of spaces for public life in Indonesian cities from the perspective of planning, production, and culture in car-free (day) movement in Bandung. This chapter contributes to the process of spatial production in car-free (day) and implies a reflective paradigm of practice and its potential to illustrate in planning the street transformation-productions of public spaces within the current process of globalization in car-free scheme.
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Forms of urban development, which are located in the global circuit, encompass the flow of capital accumulation but are also characterized by local history and landscapes as well as certain values and relationships (Bishop, 2003; Douglass, 2008; Harvey, 2012). Global citizens are experiencing a space of relationship in a globalized world through networks that continuously move in the realm of experience, practice, imagination, and memories. I just think it related to spatializing and visualizing Indonesian urban politics by uniting the imagination of urban, public, and political spaces and places.

Indonesian cities are diverse but always begin with Jakarta. The country’s capital, it is also the center of Indonesian politics and capitalist modernization sites that provide various streams of transformation, including the city space that image pursues and sometimes imposes on various other cities with global cities term, regulation or connection, including Bandung. One of them is through the Car-Free movement as a global practice. Bandung’s Car-Free (day) (CFD) began in 2009, following Jakarta’s lead; the first CFD in the capital took place in 2007. As an urban movement formed by formal-informal power, which civilians can test to enjoy the boundaries enforced by this spatial intervention, including landscape as a host, and risking the image of the city.

Car-Free as transformation investment in the urban space with a frame of public space and a package of sustainable environmental issues that simultaneously govern political and economic negotiations in the framework of developing shared knowledge in a city through infrastructure. Infrastructure, as a significant component of urbanism, reveals how people experience space. The pedestrian movement in Copenhagen follows at the same time -the 60s- as Jane Jacobs wrote The Death and Life of the Great American Cities (1961) and developing was experiencing unimaginable Car-Free movement in global cities. It began when, in response to the oil crisis of the early 1970s, Car-Free for four weeks was held in Switzerland. It took twenty years in New York in 1991 that created the first International Conference on Auto-Free City by transportation alternative and started experiencing unimaginable development in global cities.

This situation shows how the perception of the past, anxiety about the rate of urban change in the present, and hopes for the future of car-free development have been manifested in the infrastructure landscape in cities in different histories and practices. Seeing everyday infrastructure means investigating the intimacy of power in people's lives by emphasizing the individual body’s role in the diffusion of power in society as well as witnessing and examining different exercises and the effects of power in their daily lives citizens and in their streets as daily infrastructure.

The street is constantly throwing up new objects and new social formations that pique our curiosity and nudge us toward interpretive acts (Barker, 2009a). We can see how Walter Benjamin ((2002)416–55) became a flâneur, a person who wanders the streets or pedestrian zones in order to expose himself to urban life directly. Pedestrian zones usually involve a special legal procedure and demand that urban planners employ higher standards for design. Consequently, the physical installation of such a zone takes longer and is more expensive than a time-limited ban on car traffic.

This chapter examines the car-free movement through a case study of the changing dynamics of street development in Bandung. Taking Car-Free as the analyzed infrastructure allows this author to use a different approach compared to works of globalization, which have criticized as being overly broad perspectives that fail to consider daily practices in a local context. Car-Free is the most global sophisticated regulation and strategy in the urban life agenda. At its most sophisticated, this approach can offer us a historical understanding of how the role of space changes as technologies, shifting production conditions, and allied representations give rise to new patterns of capital accumulation and income distribution (Harvey, 1989).

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