The City Government of Surabaya recently hosted the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) in a Knowledge Sharing activity on 14 and 15 August 2018. Facilitated by GGGI Indonesia and GGGI Cambodia, the activity centered on learning about Surabaya City’s experience in implementing green urban projects.
On the first day, Tri Rismaharini, the Mayor of Surabaya, welcomed the RGC Delegates headed by H.E. E Vuthy, the Deputy Secretary General of Cambodia National Council for Sustainable Development (NCSD). The rest of the Delegation consisted of mayors and deputy mayors of seven cities, as well as Officials from various Ministries. The goal of the activity was to provide inputs for the development of Cambodia’s Sustainable Cities Development Strategic Plan for the seven secondary cities. Surabaya was chosen due to its best practices in the provision of green urban projects.
The activity was opened by Mayor Rismaharini and H.E. Vuthy’s opening remarks, which was followed by a presentation by the Mayor on urban projects commissioned by Surabaya City Government. Projects showcased varied from infrastructures such as wastewater treatment plants and socially inclusive city parks, as well as programs to support low-income communities such as free medical service provision and Pahlawan Ekonomi Program for accelerating SME growth. In addition, Mayor Rismaharini also emphasized the importance of the digital aspects of governance, dubbed as “e-government”, in providing efficient, transparent and participatory-based services to the citizens of Surabaya. She also gave credits to high citizen participatory rate in city programs for contributing to reduced government expenses. Closing the activity, a discussion session between Surabaya City Government and the RGC Delegates was held.
The RGC Delegates also visited Taman Bungkul, a once under-maintained city park which was revitalized under a CSR Program of PT. Telkom. The park was transformed into a public space for enhancing social engagements. The day ended with a visit to another Taman Flora, a five-hectare mix-use city park housing waste-to-energy and composting facilities, an endemic deer pen, children playground and a Broadband Learning Center. The park also stores plastic bottles serving as the “currency” for the Suroboyo Bus Program aimed at raising public transport usage and plastic waste recycling rate.
The second day kicked off with another site visit to a fecal sludge treatment plant which is of great interest to the RGC Delegates. The Person in Charge of the facility led the tour and provided explanation on the technical capabilities and treatment processes which provides full city coverage. The activity ended with a site visit to a neighboring kampung revitalized under a CSR Program of PT. Astra International Tbk., with a Representative of the company as well as Head of the three neighborhood communities (RT) under the Program leading the tour. The RGC Delegates were provided with information regarding leveraging fund from private entities and slum management, specifically on how private and public entities can cooperate to contribute to the provision of basic services to under-served communities. Under the CSR Program, the kampung was equipped with water provision infrastructure, IT learning center and pre-school classroom, urban farming area for mushroom growing, waste bank, and entrepreneurial skills-enhancing classes.
A reflection session was held to close the two-day activity. The discussion session and site visits produced inputs for the short, medium and long term development of the cities involved in the activity, generally focusing on waste and urban greenery-related projects.