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Tangerang chosen to join World Cities Summit 2014

World city: A group of boys pass the early evening fishing in the Cisadane River at Jl. Kalipasir, Babakan Subdistrict, Tangerang. The city has been chosen as one of 162 cities taking part in the World City Summit in Singapore on June 1-4. JP/Multa Fidrus

Multa Fidrus | The Jakarta Post | TBJ | Environment | Tangerang, Banten

Tangerang municipality has been chosen as one of 162 cities that will take part in the World Cities Summit from June 1 to 4 in Singapore, clinching a spot from the total 500 cities that were up for selection.

Tangerang Mayor Arief R. Wismansyah said the municipality was chosen because it was considered to have a lot of potential to become a world city.

He said Tangerang was among eight Indonesian cities that would attend the summit. The other seven are Batam and Bintan (Riau Islands), Jambi (Jambi), Bandung (West Java), Palembang (South Sumatra), Makassar (South Sulawesi) and Yogyakarta (Yogyakarta).

Arief said the global forum at the summit gave the participating ma- yors access to various opportunities to exchange knowledge and attend training sessions to get solutions for creating a livable and sustainable city.

“Equipped with new knowledge, I hope Tangerang municipality will become a megapolitan that is not only environmentally friendly but also works for its residents,” Arief said.

The summit is a follow up to a seminar on urban infrastructure management in March organized by Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA) in cooperation with Singapore’s Foreign Ministry.

“I hope this forum can become a sharing tool on experience and innovation from each city, and a chance to learn about alternative solutions in urban planning,” he said.

Besides being a knowledge forum, the summit was expected to give Tangerang access to cooperation networks with other world cities, Arief went on.

Besides participating in the summit, the mayor also got a US$13,500 (US$10,800) scholarship from Temasek Foundation for a Leaders in Governance Program.

Arief, who took office last year, was deputy to his predecessor, Wahidin Halim, from 2008 to 2013. Arief continued most of Wahidin’s programs, which focused on creating a livable and sustainable city.

One of the highlights of Wahidin’s administration was clearing the Cisadane riverbanks in 2008, and creating lush green areas along the river.

One of the municipality’s programs is Tangerang Jempol (Thumbs Up Tangerang), which is a campaign to train children to promote a culture of good sanitation, kicked off last week.

The program includes preventing illicit graffiti and murals. Thus, the municipality allocates certain public spaces, like walls under overpasses, as canvases for young people.

At the program’s launch, Arief joined the youths to paint a wall under the Cikokol overpass.

“Please, express your artistic talent here. The municipality now provides the space for young people who love murals,” he said.

He welcomed any murals as long as it was in line with the city’s programs, like murals about the environment, Arief said.

The coordinator of the mural action, Romi Abidin, said that the program was expected to curb illegal murals and graffiti with no concept.

The municipality, however, is still lagging behind in open green spaces, with only 11 percent established out of the required 30 percent.

Iskandar Zulkarnaen, a United Development Party councilor, prompted the administration to use the city budget to buy land from developers to create open green spaces.

“Much of the land cannot be turned into green areas because developers have built on them even though they were designated as green areas according to the detailed spatial planning.”

Another councilor, Hidayat, from the Prosperous Justice Party, said the administration had to make permit issuance for developers stricter to ensure they would comply with the detailed spatial planning.

“If their property does not comply with the detailed spatial planning, the administration has to consistently enforce the law and impose administrative sanctions or even criminal charges,” he said.

Also see : http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/05/19/tangerang-chosen-join-world-cities-summit-2014.html

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