The World Bank estimates that by 2025 Indonesia will have 68 percent of its population living in cities or urban communities. As such, Indonesia’s cities are among the fastest growing cities in the world. However, without a unified spatial data system, urban planning is a daunting task while urbanization challenges become harder to predict. The World Bank's City Planning Labs project provides support for the development of a single spatial data infrastructure in the cities of Indonesia.
Currently, there exist a multitude of maps and information (released by separate government agencies) - often conflicting - which makes urban planning in Indonesia, one of the fastest-urbanizing countries, a highly complex issue. As a whole government agencies lack familiarity with systematic data sharing and lack information and communications technology (ICT) platforms. This limits the ability of Indonesian cities to manage information as well as the challenges they face.
The World Bank established the City Planning Labs (CPL) initiative to support cities’ efforts to develop unified infrastructure to collect spatial data. Arifin Rudiyanto, Deputy of Regional Development from the National Planning Agency, said this program will take city governments closer to an integrated system of data management and utilization. Doni Widiantono, Director General of Planning for the Ministry of Agrarian and Spatial Planning, said Indonesia is rich in data - stored at various government agencies - but poor in information. This situation makes it more difficult to engage in any kind of development, whether it involves property development, infrastructure development or even social development.
Ng Siau Yong, Director of Geospatial and Data Division from the Singapore Land Authority, adds that inter-agency collaboration usually forms the bottleneck, not so much the technology. That is why Singapore has successfully leveraged geospatial technology in order to address the urban planning challenges.
The problems with overlapping land in Indonesia are basically the result of many government agencies designing their own sectoral maps, while there is no uniformity as to which base map these agencies were using while producing their own sectoral maps. Besides urban areas, these problems can be found in the rural areas of Indonesia as well. According to information from the Oxford Business Group, there is on average more than one agrarian conflict occurring per day in Indonesia. Most of these conflicts are related to problems with overlapping land. This usually leads to delays in infrastructure development and other investments.
To resolve these issues the Indonesian government has already been preparing its "One-Map Policy", a new integrated spatial data system that is to serve as the reference. By 2019 all different themes (such as mining concession areas, land ownership, etc) should be harmonized in one map using a scale of 1:50,000. However, there occurred several difficulties in terms of drawing this map, particularly related to the limited number of skilled Indonesian personnel at the regional level.