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Urban Setllement

Urban Setllement

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Published by: yoki rendra priyantoko on Nov 09, 2009
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 J. CobbanUncontrolled urban settlement: The kampong question in Semarang (1905 - 1940) In: Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 130 (1974), no: 4, Leiden, 403-427
 This PDF-file was downloaded from http://www.kitlv-journals.nl
 
JAMES L. COBBAN
UNCONTROLLED URBAN SETTLEMENT:THE KAMPONG QUESTION IN SEMARANG(1905-1940)
Introduction
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
{Stadsgemeenten)
ofindigenous villages which existed as independent entities, self-regulatingin their internal
[huishoudelijk)
affairs, and whose autonomy wasguaranteed by the Dutch East Indian Constitution
(Regeeringsregle-ment)
of 1854.
1
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.
2
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.
1
The
Regeeringsreglement
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.
2
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-,
Land-
en Volkenkunde van Nederlandsch-Indië,
deel 52, 1901, p. 20, and is still in general usage.
 
404 JAMES L. COBBANThe present article deals primarily with the indigenous settlements intheir relationship with the city of Semarang during the last twenty-fiveyears of colonial rule. It provides some insight into the nature of thecolonial city on Java during the twentieth century and gives historicaldepth to the phenomena of squatter settlements which have beencharacteristic of many cities in Southeast Asia during the past twentyyears.There is no atterhpt to imply that squatter settlements areidentical, particularly from the point of view of legal land titles andmagnitude of problems, with the urban kampongs and desas of the lastdecades of the colonial era, but there is a suggestion that the latter arepredecessors of the former and that the characteristics of squatter settle-ments are not new. The similarities between the two sorts of communitiesare striking and reiterate the view that the phenomena of uncontrolledurban settlement perhaps have only been rediscovered in recent yearsbecause of the numbers of people involved and the greater awarenessof the impact such people have on cities. Much of the information onSemarang was recorded in the bi-monthly
Locale Belangen
publishedby the society, with headquarters in Semarang, which represented thebody of civic officials created after the incorporation of the urbanmunicipalities in 1905 and 1906 and founded as a forum for informationand communication among civic officials in Indonesia.The problems presented by the existence of kampongs within thecities and the solutions which were proposed came to be known as theKampong Question
(Kampongvraagstuk).
The concept was tripartitein nature. It included abolition
(opheffing)
of the kampongs as inter-nally autonomous entities, the extension of the jurisdiction of the citycouncils into the kampongs, and improvement
(verbetering)
of suchcomponents of the urban infrastructure as roads, sewers, sanitation,garbage removal and water supply. The question was considered to bemost urgent in the larger cities of Java, such as Semarang, Surabaja,and Bandung, but the smaller centers of Sukabumi, Malang, Bogor(Buitenzorg), Tegal, Pekalongan and Madiun on Java also expressedtheir desire to abolish the desa autonomy in their midst, as did Makassaron Sulawesi and Pematang Siantar on the East Coast of Sumatera.
3
Thediscussions took on a flurry of activity during the few years around 1920,
3
See the report dated 20 September 1922 on governmental reform in the large
cities
on
Java
(De
Hervorming
van het
Bestuur
in de
Groote Hoofdplaatsenop Java)
by the
Assistant Resident
of
Semarang
J. van
Gigch, reprinted
in
part
in
Gellius Flieringa,
De
Zorg voor
de
Volkshuisvesting
in de
Stadsgemeen-ten
in
Nederlandsch Oost-Indië
in het
bijzonder
in
Semarang,
Rotterdam
and
Amsterdam,
1930, p. 295.

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