Challenge of 100 smart cities in Indonesia: The cost of infrastructure investment

Restu Mahesa, one of the DSM program students, is declared to have graduated as a doctor through a virtual doctoral promotion session, Wednesday (23/9/2020). Restu passed after successfully defending his dissertation entitled “Ecosystem Platforms for Smart Cities: Case Studies in Indonesia.” Gatot Yudoko, Ph.D., and Yudo Anggoro Ph.D. as the promoters attended the session; also the examiners for this trial were Dedy Sushandoyo, Ph.D., Yos Sunitiyoso, Ph.D., and Dr. Rini Rachmawati from UGM.

In front of the promoters and examiners, Restu explained an interesting phenomenon amid the increasing population density in urban areas. This phenomenon has resulted in new challenges, namely the limited capacity of the environment and its impact on social and economic aspects. On the other hand, there is the Indonesian 100 Smart Cities Movement, which aims to create a sustainable city and support the quality of life of its citizens. However, Indonesia faces challenges from different levels of urban development progress in each region.

Restu then examined the concept of urban sustainability amidst the increasing smart city initiatives in Indonesia in the information and communication technology era. He proposed a framework analysis of the platform’s ecosystem as a normative conceptual model for smart cities in Indonesia, which includes six latent variables, 26 dimensions, and 98 indicators, and 12 hypotheses. “The pilot model testing using the PLS-SEM method by SmartPLS software has confirmed a new construct called Cultural Systems with a high significance value indicated by the value of Composite Reliability and Average Variance Extracted (AVE),” said Restu.

Furthermore, the model testing uses the CB-SEM method by AMOS software on a sample of 1021 respondents surveyed in six cities, namely Medan, Jakarta, Semarang, Surabaya, Makassar, and Samarinda. The result shows the value of reliability and validity, which is very significant. “This study succeeds in revealing that in Indonesia, where culture is a genuine resource, and political leadership is one of the stakeholders who play an important role as a policymaker, citizen preferences are significant to be assessed and handled in a policy process,” he said.

This research finds problems in the causal relationship caused by the failure to transform contemporary cities from “Non-Sanitary City” to “Sanitary City” due to expensive infrastructure investment and the complexity of technical solutions. This study finally claims that the new construction and conceptual model framework is the novelty of this research has expanded the body of sustainable urban development knowledge.

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