UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Where there is sugar, there are ants : planning for people in the development of Batam, Indonesia Peachey, Karen Joanne


The Singapore-Johor-Riau Growth Triangle (SIJORI GT), a cooperative cross-border arrangement to link the economies of Singapore, Johor in Malaysia, and Riau in Indonesia, has been praised for its ability to promote investment and accelerate production in the subregion while side-stepping problems inherent in state-level political and economic agreements. Based on initial successes, the GT arrangement quickly acquired a legitimacy of its own as an economic development model. However, after nearly a decade of accelerated change, the shortcomings inherent in this model are becoming apparent, most dramatically, in its implications for local level development. This study focuses on a particularly visible indicator that all is not well in the Indonesian corner of the SIJORI GT. It focuses on the squatter housing problem on Batam, the first island in the Riau Archipelago to be developed. By examining the squatter housing issue and investigating why policies and regulatory measures to control this sector have failed, this study questions the validity of Batam's development model -one based more on visions of modernity and planning control than on the urbanization experience of the Third World. Tiban Kampung and Tanah Longsor, two illegal settlements with different development trajectories, were the focus of field research. This comparative work demonstrates that current policies focused on settlement clearance, resettlement to temporary sites, and formal housing delivery are not effectively addressing the squatter problem. In fact, these policies have aggravated the situation by disregarding the needs, limitations, and demonstrated commitment of squatter residents. In addition, this research demonstrates that control over human settlements on Batam will continue to elude planners unless an alternative planning perspective is adopted that includes the informal housing and economic sectors as legitimate components of the Third World city. Basic services and shelter must be reconceptualized as essential prerequisites to stable and sustainable development. By reorienting the 'fast track' development focus of planning, the local reality -that experienced by migrants, workers, and other residents- and true development indicators such as quality of life, access to basic services, and employment opportunity, will be improved significantly.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.