Post Event Report: UTC #2 on “Reclaiming Commons Through Rights To The City”

“Reclaiming Commons Through Rights To The City” on UTC #2, World Urban Campaign, UNHabitat has been successfully held on July 6th 2020 by Rujak Center for Urban Studies (RCUS), together with Institute of Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) Indonesia. The session became a reflection moment among different stakeholders on the theme; think-tanks by ITDP Indonesia and RCUS, the government by Governor of Jakarta, Anies Rasyid Baswedan and Helga Leitner as a scholar activist. The event was attended by 478 participants and here is our recap:

Faela as South East Asia Director from ITDP Indonesia emphasized the importance of reclaiming back our streets through open street interventions. She argued that motorized vehicles domination deprives the public rights towards sustainable mobility. Thus, she and her team offered a solution on how to modify our existing streets for sharing the access of non-motorized vehicles, which includes the division of sidewalk until the usage of informal marking for physical distancing.

Urban commons, according to Elisa means that affordable housing provision and water access must be secured for all. She comprehends that privatization on housing and water as commons exacerbates the existing inequality as the impact is much severe for the urban poor. Representing RCUS work on housing and water advocation, she presented possible solutions that can be replicated for cities to improve access of affordable housing and water through land consolidation scheme and public-government partnership with emphasis on collective urban governance.

As a scholar activist, Helga gave her deepest reflection on “what is the true meaning of commons and rights to the city?”. She argued that practices of reclaiming commons must be within a principle of practices of caring. The government and the public must understand that collaboration only happens when there is a sufficient amount of power sharing and commitment to collective interest, which is practice of consent, collaboration and care.

Governor of Jakarta, Anies Baswedan has witnessed a major change during COVID-19 pandemic; a wake up call to learn and review/revise all the rules and policies that has been implied in Jakarta. He realized that the government eventually must come together with the people to find the solution through collaboration. Within this perspective, he learns that the government must act as collaborators and the citizens as the co-creator.

[watch “Reclaiming Commons Through Rights To The City” here]

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