Slum Dwellers’ Strategies and Tactics in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Authored by: Sonia Roitman

The Routledge Handbook on Informal Urbanization

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  January  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138183889
eBook ISBN: 9781315645544
Adobe ISBN:


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Slum dwellers are active agents and makers of the city often ignored by other stakeholders. This chapter utilizes primary and secondary data collected over two years to analyze the trajectory, strategies, and tactics of Kalijawi, a recently created network of slum residents in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, fighting for their needs to be recognized. The organizational skills and active citizenship demonstrated by the membership of Kalijawi enable them to undertake strategic actions and form alliances to improve their lives and contribute to the city. While the lack of formal land tenure represents an obstacle for them to negotiate with the government, this shared vulnerability is their starting point to come together as a collective claiming their rights. The key finding is that over their five years of existence, Kalijawi has developed tactics to achieve internal strength and external visibility as producers of their city, ultimately being able to improve their material and non-material living conditions. This case reveals that, despite the lack of formal land tenure, slum dwellers can be active and engaged citizens in their cities.

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