Raphaella Dewantari DWIANTO

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Gentrifying segregated neighborhood : politics of housing in an Indonesian city

In an attempt to speak of gentrification in the languages of the Global East, Paul Waley (2016) suggests four-fold typology, namely slash-and-build gentrification, orientalising gentrification, tower-block gentrification, and rice-paddy gentrification. The typology can be a useful measuring tool in explaining and understanding gentrification in Asian cities. Yet, still, the typology works best only when the East is positioned vis-à-vis the West. The urbanization trajectory in one single Asian city can exhibit gentrification of all four types in Waley’s typology.

Adjacent to Jakarta the capital city of Indonesia, there is Depok, a city with 2.5 million inhabitants, known as the city with rapidly growing number of Islamic gated-housings. The authors of this paper aim to discuss gentrification in Depok based on urbanization trajectory of the city, borrowing Waley’s typology.

Co-author: Tyka Rahman

The authors argue that gentrification in Depok embraces four types in the typology, across time and during the present time.

Depok was originally a plantation area with special autonomy status during Dutch colonial era. Under Soeharto regime’s centralized housing programs, Depok developed into a ‘bed-town’ for government employees during 1970s until 1980s.From 1990s Depok was invaded by elite housing developer investment. Another important aspect is the moving of the country’s flag-carrier university Universitas Indonesia’s campus from central Jakarta to the city in 1987. Depok city in 21st century then is flooded with investments of Islamic housings where the voluntarily-segregated neighborhoods serve as space for reproduction of ‘educated-middle class-urbanist Islam’ collective identity.

The first section of this paper describes the urbanization trajectory of Depok The second section of this paper highlights the emergence of conservative Islam in Indonesia since in 21st century The third section of the paper analyzes the shifting urban politics that produces a politics of housing segregation based on religion, while aiming at understanding the gentrification in an Asian city.

Raphaella Dewantari DWIANTO is a senior lecturer at Department of Sociology in Universitas Indonesia. Prior to joining Universitas Indonesia in 2008, she obtained her Master degree in area studies from the University of Tokyo, and her Ph.D in sociology from Tohoku University in Japan with scholarship from Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and research funding from Toyota Foundation. She conducted her post-doctoral research in Ecole des Haute Etudes en Science Sociales Paris in 2006 and completed a one-year research fellowship from the Japan Foundation in 2007 in Tohoku University.

At the Department of Sociology, she is now responsible for lectures of urban sociology, sociology of social change, Indonesian social system, while also conducts interdisciplinary research on urban and rural communities in Indonesia.

Her research interest covers empirical research on urban from comparative sociological point of view, cultural sociology, and social change in Asia.


Universitas Indonesia