Ideal Urban Form

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The aim of this essay is to evaluate two contradictory models of ideal urban form: the compact city model and the dispersed city model as contribution to sustainable development and examine whether the two ideas that have evolved in developing countries in the West have any relevance in the context of Southeast Asia. The cities in Southeast Asia are currently subjecting to rapid urbanisation and expansion. Through the case study of Jakarta, the essay will evaluate upon three major aspects namely economic, environmental and social performances to explore models and strategies suitable for sustainable development of cities in Southeast Asia. Review of literature Much of the urban planning literature from 1990 onwards argues for compact city…show more content…
It has left an obvious and significant gap in relation to knowledge about built form of urban settlements in different contexts. The benefits of compact development elaborated previously are very dependent on local conditions and global circumstances, especially of economy, energy and environment. If these parameters vary over time, then so should the conception of the optimal urban form. The climate, culture and government policies in Southeast Asian cities is obviously different from those developed countries. In Southeast Asia, there are mostly developing countries with lower levels of economic development, smaller urban budgets, shortages of environmental infrastructure, shelter and basic services and high levels of urban poverty have resulted in a different pattern of urban development and environmental degradation. (Jenks and Burgess…show more content…
However, common urban tools should be established for communication and discussion across the world since the studies of sustainable city model currently are fragmented. Different regions develop specific concepts, vocabularies and knowledge to describe urbanisation process and features. There are even different names for the two contrasting models. For the case of Indonesia, McGee has forged the expression desakota (desa=village; kota=city) to describe “regions of an intense mixture of agricultural and non-agricultural activities that often stretch along corridors between large city cores ”(McGee 1997). Therefore, it would be absurd to apply Western planning tools such as zoning or green belts to regulate this rather spontaneous phenomenon. Such instruments would erase this original mix of functions, land use and built forms that has both negative and positive effects(McGee 1997). Moreover, there remain questions over the scale and reference in undertaking compaction. Wether it is the city itself or the whole metropolitan region, or should it include the suburbs, or surrounding small cities? What would the scale be in poly-centric and mono centric cities? Singapore has been working quite well in compact city planning. However, its size is only comparable to one administration zone of Beijing. Would it be the same to apply the experience of

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