Occupying Leftover Urban Space by Bajaj in Manggarai Station, Jakarta

Rumaishatul Ulya, Yulia Nurliani Lukito


In everyday life of the city, both formal and informal spaces exist with informal space as a sphere of spatial claim-making. The idea of informal space is very compelling to understand what really happens in everyday life of the city. The structure of the city, including its physical elements, contributes to the creation of informal space in urban life. It is the aim of this paper to relate the users or people in their everyday life with urban structures. We believe that informality in urban space, which is usually understood as a problem, can actually contribute to urban design development. As a basic platform to discuss informality in the city are some elements of the city such as nodes, corridors and connections, stepping stones, and barriers. Those elements define an absence of fixed values in informal space and, as consequences, there will be a negotiated space as a result of spatial claiming made by users. Here, we examine how informal space can create a negotiation of space and produce a specific space that experienced today, but might be different tomorrow. As a case study, this paper discusses the phenomenon of bajaj ‘ngetem’ around Manggarai Station, in South Jakarta. ‘Ngetem’ is an activity of waiting for users to use bajaj, which usually happens in a strategic city’s spot. The phenomena of ‘ngetem’ shows us how a leftover space can be used by people of the city and how the activity of occupying leftover space generates unique space and even produces new image of the city. By discussing the connection between the elements of urban informality around Manggarai Station and how users of the city occupy leftover spaces, we argue that urban informality becomes an important thing in the representation of the city. Moreover, the interaction between users and the physical elements of the city creates unique lived space. This paper suggests that considering and focusing on urban informality will offer new point of interventions and guidelines in our urban development.

Keywords— bajaj, leftover space, urban informality, negotiated space

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