A Forest Sensation in the Middle of the City

Sustainability is aimed to be integrated in urban developed a lot recently. A nice example we can find in Bandung where they use creativity for sustainable challenges.

A platform has been created named ‘The Creatives Cities’ for discussing sustainable urban development, like finding innovative ways of improving the sustainability of the city. Bandung hopes to find concrete solutions to urban issues by improving inclusive public spaces with design.

©Galih Sedayu

We have asked Dr. Dwinita Larasati, M.A.(Lecturer & Researcher at Industrial Product Design Program, Institut Teknologi Bandung) in here role of Chairperson, Bandung Creative City Forum to elaborate on a city-scale prototype of urban solution;  Baksil Forestwalk.

1.    Can you give a concrete example of a project that enhances the sustainable city?
Baksil (abbreviated from “Babakan Siliwangi”) is a city forest, a speck of valuable greens in the middle of a dense, growing city of Bandung. In 2011, there was a plan to build privately-owned multistories building at the site, which would greatly reduce the environmental quality of the area. Responding to this challenge, BCCF created a series of events; one of them was building “Baksil Forestwalk”, a canopy walk at one corner of the forest. It’s a ‘bridge’ that enables people to walk among the upper part of the tall trees, experiencing a different sensation of a forest while still being aware of its location at the busy part of the city.

With this project a new public space was created that enables people to get to know and better appreciate their city forest. In the following years, BCCF held a number of events in the forest: conferences, games, concert, and so on. About five years afterwards, when the former chairman of BCCF took the Mayor’s Office, the Forestwalk was extended and permanently installed.   

©Galih Sedayu

2.    How do you unite people to work on projects like this?
In the case of Baksil Forestwalk, we had different approaches to different segments. For instance, we held discussion sessions with local artists whose workshops are located at a compound next to the forest, made a “cleaning day” with local women and children, and held an idea competition for creative communities. In general, we aim to make everyone aware of the challenges, raising the sense of belonging to the issues, and generating aspirations in a co-designing process in order to reach an innovative, sustainable solution.