2015 Holland Prize Recipients: Rita Padawangi and Mike Douglass

Water, Water Everywhere: Toward Participatory Solutions to Chronic Urban Flooding in Jakarta

Rita Padawangi
National University of Singapore, Singapore

Mike Douglass
National University of Singapore, Singapore

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Jakarta, Indonesia, suffers from regular floods that annually affect tens of thousands of residents mostly in the lower-income neighborhoods. How do urban development processes contribute to chronic flooding and compound disasters, and how is it that government responses continue without meaningful input from the affected residents who are forced to relocate as a result? What are effective and collaborative ways to respond to chronic flooding? This year’s Holland Prize-winning article by Rita Padawangi and Michael Douglass mobilizes a wide-range of empirical sources – ethnographic research, archival sources, and long-term field observation – under the political ecology framework to provide cogent answers to these questions. The article also engages not only with the academic literature on flooding and resilience, but also community aspirations for more inclusive and collaborative policy responses on a matter of high urgency for many municipalities in Asia.

Rita_resizedRita Padawangi is a senior research fellow at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. She received her PhD in sociology from Loyola University Chicago where she was also a Fulbright Scholar for her MA studies. Her research interests span the sociology of architecture, participatory urban development, social movements, and public spaces. Email: ritapd@nus.edu.sg.

MD_resizedMike Douglass is a professor at the Asia Research Institute and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.  He holds a PhD in urban planning from UCLA. His most recent book is Michelle Miller and Mike Douglass, eds., Disaster Governance in Urbanising Asia (Springer, 2016). Email: michaeld@nus.edu.sg.