Understanding the City Where I Live
Bandung city, place where I lived in, situated in Indonesia. It’s a capital city of West Java, covering an area of 167.7 km2. It is the third largest city and second largest metropolitan city in Indonesia. It’s famous for its education at University level that brings a lot of young scholar around the city. For about ten years until current, 2010, the city was developed with great significance of urban changes that was mainly encouraged by a few major infrastructures like Cipularang highway that encompasses Jakarta and Bandung within 1,5 hour driving time; Pasupati bridge that was erected on 2005, making an ease connection between West and East Bandung, vice versa but it destroyed the beautiful Pasteur public thoroughfare that was so famous before for its frame by palm trees on both road sides; an agglomeration of a new mixed used building along Ir. Haji Juanda road that significantly shifting the city centre from Alun-Alun or Agung Mosque Square; and also the unsuccessful city centre around Agung Mosque, Pendopo or veranda for city mayor that couldn’t accommodate the public realm with inadequate green spaces, parking areas, activities generator, and so forth. Renewal of building functions around the city centre with numerous numbers of new hotels, malls, electronic centre, supermarket, are giving big implications to the city movement. Hence, the city has major problem ranging from unorganized waste disposal system, jumbled traffic, and flood at certain areas, many homeless people, and so on. However, Bandung still attracts people flocking into the city, either as weekend travellers or permanently stayed in.
As Bandung sited at the large numbers of volcanic terrain approximately 2400m with elevation above 768m above sea level with range of 400km2 flat land that runs over 2340.88km2 wide of Bandung basin, this land formation typifies a lot of residential that is sitting on a hill side or steep slope considering the potential of city view at night, yet the climate is colder in a high land. Having known the potential view toward the city a lot of investors are making real estate, villa, hotel, cafe, and amusement park were taken place spread at highland that mostly in the North area as the highest part of Bandung. Variations of land type in Bandung were extensively broadening the range of possibilities for investors to deem their capital in Bandung which also developed Bandung in rapid occurrence.
Economically, Bandung was famous with the creative industries, foremost its textile factories, leather products, jeans products, and nonetheless tourism, manufacturing companies, education institutions, factory outlets are the main supporting factors for the economic growth. By understanding the nature of the economic factors it was generated the building typologies which are mainly single or double storey buildings and a few varieties of three to four storey buildings. Recently, 2007-2010, appearance of high rise tower in Bandung was prominently fast spread over the city area; mostly used of apartment buildings that is bringing more people from other provinces to stay permanently in Bandung. As another major city problem that was evenly important remains unsolved is the ownership of each individual person of motor vehicle that brought the insufficient road sizes around city and ended up with traffic problems.
Looking back through history, there was a period where the city was very ideal as a city to live in; the ideal situation of Bandung was occurred during early 19th century, where the city planning was according to a formal representation of relation between important notions of the city with the buildings or spaces, which was very organized within a grid planning. Therefore Bandung known as Paris Van Java and It was given due to its beauty and charms of the basin area which is the most residential and commercial taken place and its enclosure of volcanic terrain where all fertile lands are abundant. It happened when Bandung still reigned by Dutch, It was flourished time of colonial Dutch architecture era that famous for the tropical Art Deco style that was striven from culture of local traditional architecture and shaped as a new modern style. As the city growth fast after, 1945, Independence Day, it was growing organically and sporadically majorly because of the urbanizations of people from Cianjur city, Garut city, Tasikmalaya city, and few other cities that is surrounding within the West Java territory but it was never balanced with sufficient city attributes. It was forced because the opportunities of having an urban life instead of Jakarta which was even more crowded until present. Nowadays architecture of the city was varying from classical notions, modern, eclecticism, preserving the art deco, and mixture of post modern ideas with the local architecture. These variations create faces of the city and it is neither good nor bad, it depends in whose believe which is the ideal for the city.
Lately there was a public manifesto that concerns about the pollution created by motor vehicles that brought a concept of health life by riding bicycle has given a large impact to the city planning e.g. there is new road division specifically for the bicycle rider around town, it was a good exercise for the citizens, yet it was only occurred during weekends where a lot of main roads are no longer accessible by motor vehicles. In spite of that numbers of motor vehicles during weekends was never less even though some major roads are blocked, these events was because most of people from outside Bandung was incredibly rapid coming to Bandung to spend their weekends, either for shopping, looking for leisure place, or visiting their family, and a lot of other reasons as the attractor. Again here we could see that Bandung has very dynamic increase in total numbers of people that occupies approximately 16500/km2. Hence the natural resources will be excessively exploited, in respect to the total numbers of the city residents.
Above mentioned descriptively all aspects about Bandung, personally I still conclude that Bandung is an idyllic city for everyone because of the hospitable people, fertile land, and many others positive reasons for it, despite that the urban major problems are remain unsolved.