JAMES L. COBBAN
UNCONTROLLED URBAN SETTLEMENT:THE KAMPONG QUESTION IN SEMARANG(1905-1940)
One of the characteristics of colonial cities on Java which came to thefore during the last thirty-five years of Dutch rule was the presencewithin the boundaries of the urban municipalities
ofindigenous villages which existed as independent entities, self-regulatingin their internal
affairs, and whose autonomy wasguaranteed by the Dutch East Indian Constitution
The inclusion of extensive and of en populous villages(both kampongs and desas) within the boundaries of the cities butoutside the jurisdiction of the city councils led to differences in whatmight be termed the areal distribution of prosperity, that is, thejuxtaposition within the cities of contiguous areas varying in physicalattractiveness, population densities, hygienic conditions and standardsof living, as well as to variations in the effectiveness of governingauthority.
Such differentiation led to tension between the city govern-ments and the population of the indigenous villages as both sought tochange conditions in the city kampongs and to introducé to them thephysical standards of the urban environment which the city councilshad succeeded in maintaining in the European parts of the cities.
was the result of a series of Government decreesbeginning in 1806 concerned with the governing of the Dutch East Indies.It remained in effect, with modifications, until its replacement in 1925 bythe
Indische Staatsregeling (Wet op de Staatsinrichting van Nederlandsch-Indië)
also periodically modified. The law as it had evolved by 1938 isreprinted as bijlage 2 in J. J. Schrieke,
Inleiding in het Staatsrecht vanNederlandsch-Indië,
Haarlem, 1940, pp. 193-236.
The desa is a village surrounded by cultivated fields and waste lands and isdistinguished from the kampong, a settlement with no fields or lands andfound usually within the boundaries of a town or city. This distinction wasnoted by L. W. C. van den Berg in "Het Inlandsche Gemeentewezen op Javaen Madura",
Bijdragen tot de Taal-,
en Volkenkunde van Nederlandsch-Indië,
deel 52, 1901, p. 20, and is still in general usage.