Indonesian Green Map makers look into the future in Borobudur



Green Map needs to persistently engage people residing in the areas being mapped in order to help generating intimate knowledge of places, and giving local voice a chance in the changing world. Green Map needs to ever amphasize its participatory method. Indonesian Green Map makers all over the country need to assemble together the total assets they have so far generated to be the basis for strengthening their capacity to achieve that goal.

The Green Map makers in different places differ in stages of their respective map making projects, in their social characteristics, and resources and assets.  There is a need to organise themselves in such a way as to make possible for them to help each other with their complementary skills and resources. A dynamic flow of those skills and resources need to be created. To effect more impact, the Indonesian Green Map makers can also act as a coherent entiti with their assets consolidated as a whole. 

Those are among the lessons learned during the national gathering of Indonesian Green Map makers in Borobudur, Cenral Java, on July 17-19, 2009.  

The gathering took place in a hamlet within the village of Borobudur, in the centre of which stands the famous Buddhist temple of Borobudur, the largest of its kind in the world. Participants, obviously lacking representatives from outside Java, stayed in village houses with the the residing families. The plenary meetings were accomodated in a larger village house. They were also entertained by, and participated in, the village’ local children mask-dance and Kuda Lumping (“jumping horse”) dance, as well as many other spontaneous interactions.

The Borobudur villagers have just completed their first edition of Borobudur Mandala Green Map, that maps not only the area immediately surrounding the magnificent temple but also the hamlets surrounding it. This is very much in time for the villagers to use it to show their own view of the area, and to voice their thoughts  for the re-planning of the area as a strategic tourist destination by the government.

As mainstreaming green issues is no longer a challenge today, as it was 10 years ago, the use of Borobudur Mandala Green Map is an important step in the history of Indonesian Green Map making, as it has a potential to be used by the local residents to effect changes in the planning practice.

Recognising, generating, and giving a voice to “intimate knwoledge” of long-time residents of places are never more important than today, when we so desperately need to change the current simplistic and often destructive planning practices. We need to respect this intimate kowledge not only because of their rights to voice it, but also because there are often so much benefits in it for all humanity. This intimate knwoledge is also often an important source of solution to many development problems that cannot otherwise be solved by uninformed public policies.

Jakarta Green Map will start its second residents-based Green Map in August 2009 (see…) in Pondok Indah. (The first one being the unpublished Mangga Dua Neighbourhood Green Map made by 12 young residents n 2004). Hopefully lessons from Borobudur and Jogja Green Map makers will be informing Pondok Indah Green Map. Hopefully it will also leads to actions to positively change the neighbourhood and the residents.

More pictures at


3 thoughts on “Indonesian Green Map makers look into the future in Borobudur

  1. Francisco Goncalves says:

    I am a map maker and always interested on events or initaitives that make my environment better. Are foreigners accepted in the Rujak?

    • Marco Kusumawijaya says:

      Dear Francisco,
      Thank you for showing interest. To make a place better, we need global solidarity. Every on invited! You can also follow new postings in through Facebook page “Ruang Jakarta”.

  2. yaya says:

    We are Master students of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology.
    We are doing a research about Heritage in Yogyakarta, center of Java. We choose Borobudur and Prambanan to survey how heritage impacted or merged in tourism sites in Indonesia.
    And we really need your opinions about those two heritages so we could try our best to improve the tourism in heritage sites.
    Thank you for your help!! ? Thank you very much!!!
    My e-mail:

    The Questionnaire address:

    Best regard.

    All of Students of Graduate Institute of Architecture and Historic Preservation.

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