On the surface, architect and urban planner Ridwan Kamil may not seem like an instinctive choice for mayor of this vast city. But his 17 years of experience in the field of architecture together with his reform-minded vision led him to a landslide victory, winning 45 percent of the vote. His vision for Bandung is grand, involving transforming it into a “smart city” in which the city’s assets are managed by integrated information and communication technology.
Ridwan intends to make use of existing mobile technology to simplify bureaucracy and improve public services. In this smart Bandung of the future, mobile connectivity will give citizens access to various kinds of information and the ability to perform administrative tasks. Kang Emil, as he is more commonly known, is also looking to turn Bandung into a more livable and environmentally conscious city.
He is one of the few Indonesian mayors who has strongly emphasized the importance of environmental sustainability, and he pioneered the “Indonesia Berkebun” programme, which promotes turning unused urban land into agricultural spaces for the community. This programme has now been implemented in more than 30 cities across Indonesia.
Be sure to read more about Kang Emil's contributions to the development of Bandung in the August 2016 edition of Indonesia Tatler.
(Text by Kevin Sjahrial)