Small town urbanization and project experimentation in Pangandaran Region, Indonesia

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Issue: Volume 15, Issue 2, 2021


This article contributes to the debate of small centre urbanization and positions it amidst three emerging challenges: urban-rural transformation, economic experimentation, and disaster risk mitigation. To examine the entanglement of the three forces, we analysed the expansion of the Pangandaran urban area – a small urbanizing area in West Java. This expansion occurred as part of the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) project, in the form of a regional infrastructure plan including railway, airport, and harbour development to accommodate tourism flux. This study uses discursive and qualitative approaches to rural-urban transformation with data gathered through document analysis, mapping, and FGDs with local stakeholders. The results show that although urbanization was a complex process with promises of extensive infrastructure developments and national projects, little attention has been paid to the internal urban structure, utilities, and increasing vulnerability to natural disasters in Pangandaran. The study also addresses how urban theories and policies should deal with the complexities of small urban areas in Indonesia.

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Authors Affiliations

Wahyu Kusuma Astuti*(1), Nadia Ayu Rahma Lestari(1), Suryono Herlambang(1)

(1) Universitas Tarumanagara, Indonesia
* Corresponding author.


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Title: Human Geographies - Journal of Studies and Research in Human Geography
ISSN online: 2067-2284
ISSN print: 1843-6587
Imprint: University of Bucharest
Frequency: Biannual (May&November)
First volume: 1/2007
Current volume: 17/2023
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Prof. dr. Liliana Dumitrache
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Geography- Human and Economic Geography Department, 1 Nicolae Balcescu Av., 010041, Bucharest, Romania

Dr. Daniela Dumbrăveanu
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Geography- Human and Economic Geography Department, 1 Nicolae Balcescu Av., 010041, Bucharest, Romania

Dr. Mariana Nae
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Geography- Human and Economic Geography Department, 1 Nicolae Balcescu Av., 010041, Bucharest, Romania

Dr. Gabriel Simion
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Geography- Human and Economic Geography Department, 1 Nicolae Balcescu Av., 010041, Bucharest, Romania

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