Innovation & Smart Technology in Pacific Cities

Highlights from the 4th Annual PCSI Forum in Jakarta, Indonesia

The 4th Annual Pacific Cities Sustainability Initiative (PCSI) Forum, Building Innovative and Climate Smart Cities, was held in Jakarta, Indonesia from May 31 – June 2, 2016. Organized by the Asia Society in partnership with the USC Marshall School of Business and University of Indonesia Research Center for Climate Change, the Forum brought together 130 leading experts from the private sector, public health, government, non-governmental organizations, and academia from across the globe for a multi-sector discussion on how new innovations can help cities achieve their resiliency goals.

Jakarta embodies many of the challenges and potential solutions that were addressed at this year’s Forum. One of the top 20 fastest growing ASEAN cities, this economic success does not come without growing pains. The city is crowded and polluted in areas, and transportation infrastructure is reaching maximum capacity. Water control is a particular challenge for Jakarta and other major port cities in the region as extreme weather events increase in frequency and sea levels rise. Simultaneously, preserving the essence of the best of urban living - its history and culture - is critically important to ensuring that Jakarta remains a livable urban center.

To address these challenges, the Forum aimed to define best practices and innovative technologies for city leaders, and make progress toward ensuring that cities in the Asia-Pacific region are able to prosper in the face of rapid climate change, urbanization, and globalization.

The Forum opened on May 31 with a keynote panel discussion with Indonesian regional mayors Ridwan Kamil (Mayor of Bandung), Illiza Sa’aduddin Djamal (Mayor of Banda Aceh), and Rachmat Witoelar, the Indonesian President’s Special Envoy for Climate Chang. These local leaders set the stage for the Forum by introducing the various approaches Indonesia is taking to increase livability. On June 1, addresses were given by Sutanto Husodo, Deputy Governor of Industry and Transportation of Jakarta, and Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Subsequent dialogues and discussions explored issues including sustainable water solutions for Southeast Asian cities, low carbon urban mobility, and new approaches and funding mechanisms for sustainable infrastructure development. The Forum also held interactive dialogues organized by AECOM that brought participants together for group discussions on case studies of best practices to urban design in Asia and an experts’ consultation meeting to help address Bangkok’s Mobility Challenges in partnership with 100 Resilient Cities.

The Forum also included mobile workshops to several sites in Jakarta, where delegates were shown initiatives and projects to enhance Jakarta’s overall resiliency and sustainability. This included visits to the Pluit Reservoir Revitilization Project, Batavia Old Town, and Ancol Ocean Ecopark.