Marco Kusumawijaya, Founder and Director of RUJAK Center for Urban Studies

Marco Kusumawijaya likes everything about city.

He is an urbanist.
This blog’s header picture is from the cover of one of his books: Kota Rumah Kita (City Our Home).
A city good for walking is also good for most of everything else.

He is trained as an architect (Parahyangan University’s Architecture Department, Bandung, Indonesia;  and Post Graduate Centre Human Settlements, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium)

He likes to write his own pre-mortem obituary, as much as to walk and count his breath, and his blessings, at the same time.

He is based in the subject of his curiosity, the metropolis Jakarta.

He was (July 4,  2006 – January 25, 2010) the chair of Jakarta Arts Council

Curriculum Vitae

  • Marco Kusumawijaya is a practitioner, activist and thinker in the fields of architecture, environment, arts, cultural heritage, urban planning and development with more than 20 years of intensive experiences, orienting his practice and thinking towards sustainable urbanism and architecture.
  • He has worked as architectural designer, urban designer and planner, researcher and consultant on urban management and governance.
  • He has worked with private sectors, governments, international and local NGO’s, international agencies such as the WWF, the British Council, the World Bank and UNDP/UN-HABITAT.
  • He also sets aside his time to volunteer as a resource person and practical worker on urban issues for a number of NGO’s.
  • He writes frequently for a number of print media in Jakarta, and contributed to journals and books on urban, cultural and environmental issues.
  • He lectures in diverse fora: government-related policy making, trainings of NGO activists, training of members of parliaments, trainings of Buddhist monks, universities, and community-initiated advocacy and action planning exercises.
  • Community engagement, community-based approach, participatory democracy in urban development and planning are always a important emphasis in his approach.
  • His special interests include urban study of Jakarta, city and the arts, and social changes towards sustainability.
  • In 2000 he started Green Map ( in Indonesia.
  • He has published four books (including one translation) about architecture, urban studies, heritage, and citizen movements.
  • With the Imagining Jakarta programme, he explore the new area of the relationship between culture and urban development with a group of artists and architects.
  • His latest assignment with UPC (Urban Poor Consortium) – UPLINK in Aceh, May-December 2006, was the planning and reconstruction of 23 villages (with 3,331 houses) in Banda Aceh and nearby coastal subdistricts.  According to a UN-HABITAT survey, this project is considered the best in terchnical soundness as well as in home owners satisfaction.
  • He just completed a two-months research residency at Urban Future Initiatives programme of MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles, April-June 2008, on the topic of “urbanism and sustainability”.
  • He is currently developing, a website dedicated to the building of a better, sustainable Jakarta. It is a space where ideas, actions, questions, know-how’s, challenges and solutions are shared among active citizens to transform Jakarta into a sustainable metropolis. It is based on a trust that there are plenty of ideas and initiatives among citizens, and that every one of us, both individually ang collectively, can do a lot to change the metropolis, if we share them.
  • Latest architectural work: Galeri Salihara
  • He is preparing himself for a fellowship in The International House of Japan, September-November 2009. It is called Asian Leaders Fellowship Programme.







Current Position:

Founder and Director of RUJAK Center for Urban Studies

Place of Birth:

Pangkalpinang (Bangka Island, Indonesia)

Education and Training:

  • Project Management and Value Engineering on-job Workshops with Schaal International, 1997.
  • Master of Architectural Engineering (MAE), Post Graduate Centre Human Settlements, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, 1988-1990.
  • Certified Workshop and Training Course “Housing in Development”, United Nations Center for Human Settlements (UNCHS), Bangkok, 1987 and Leuven (Belgium), 1988.
  • Architect-Engineer, Parahyangan Catholic University, Bandung, Indonesia, 1980-1986.


Bahasa Indonesia (native); English (excellent); French (reading only, fair); Dutch (reading only, fair)

Memberships, Fellowships, Awards and Grants:

  • September 12-November 20, 2009: Fellow at Asian Leaders Fellowship Programme (ALFP) 2009 by The International House of Japan, and the Japan Foundation.
  • Indonesian Institute of Architects (IAI)’s Award, 2008, for work in Post-Tsunami Reconstruction of Aceh (with UPLINK Team).
  • Dubai International Award for Best Practice in Improving Human Settlement, 2008, for work in Post Tsunami Reconstruction of Aceh (With UPLINK Team).
  • 2-14 October 2008: Ove Arup Foundation Visiting Fellow (teaching at Master Programme in Urban Infrastructure Design and Management), African Centre for Cities, Department of Engineering, Faculty of the Built Environment, University of Cape Town, October 2-14, 2008. Lectures: Equity and Sustainability, Post-Tsunami Reconstruction, Public Space and Urban Structure. Public Lectures in Cape Town and Johanesburg: Can We Imagine the City Together? Changing Urban Habitat and Habitus towards Sustainability.
  • April 6 – June 6, 2008: Research Fellowship at Urban Future Initiatives Program at Mak Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles. (Topic: Towards Sustianability, Changing Urban Habitat and Habitus)
  • Selected as Eisenhower Fellowship, June 2007 (participated only in the first week and resigned afterwards)
  • Member, International Advisory Board, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore, 2006-2008.
  • Chair, Association for Conservation of Muarojambi Historical Site, since July 2006.
  • Coordinator, Reconstruction sub-commission of The Humanitarian Emergency Commission for Aceh and North Sumatra, a coalition of NGO’s and individuals for reconstruction of post-tsunami Aceh and North Sumatra (30 december 2004 -…)
  • Member, Board of Advisor, Indonesian Institute of Architects, Jakarta Chapter (2000-2003)
  • Member, National Executive Board, Indonesian Institute of Architects (1992-1996)
  • Member, Indonesian Association of Planners
  • Green Map System, Member of International Advisory Board (
  • Founder, Indonesian Green Map
  • Co-founder and Member, Executive Board, Indonesian Heritage Trust (Badan Pelestarian Pusaka Indonesia, BPPI), since 2004
  • Co-founder, Association of Young Indonesian Architect (AMI= Arsitek Muda Indonesia)
  • ARCASIA (Architects Council of Asia) Awards, 1995. (With Yori Antar)
  • Best Student Awards, Parahyangan Catholic Universityís Dept. of Architecture, 1982.

Other interests:

visual arts; literature, anthropology; journalism; gardening.

Writing Activities:

Writing of features, opinions, reviews and columns on urbanism, architecture, visual arts, governance and environment in several print media in Jakarta, Indonesia, among others: The Jakarta Post, KOMPAS, Majalah TEMPO, Koran TEMPO, Majalah Djakarta!, Warta Kota, Suara Pembaruan, as well as contributions to some books and journals.

Books, published:

  • Jakarta: Metropolis Tunggang-langgang (Jakarta: a Helter Skelter Metropolis, Gagas Media, 21 Juni 2004, Jakarta); reviews in The Jakarta Post, 11 July 2004, and KOMPAS, 24 October 2004).
  • Green Map Atlas (CD-ROM, on-line, Greenmap Foundation, New York, 2004)
  • Sri Sri Indrapura (Yayasan Lontar, July 2006 (Bahasa Indonesia), April 2007 (English)
  • Kota, Rumah Kita (The City Our Home, September 2006)
  • Mengubah Dunia, Kewiraupayaan Sosial dan Kekuatan Gagasan Baru, Yayasan Nurani Dunia dan Insist Press, 2006, translation of David Bornstein, How to Change the World, Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas, Oxford University Press, 2004.

Recent Lectures, Workshops, Seminars, Talks :

  • WWF’s speaker at the Development Planning Forum of the Province of South Sulawesi, Indonesia, on sustainable development.
  • Speaker at international symposium “Cities, Cultures, Languages” in Mannheim, Germany, September 17-22, 2008.
  • Key Lecture and Workshop, “HAO” (workshops and seminars with young artists and arts managers from South East Asia), Singapore, September  8-13, 2008.
  • Keynote spaker at seminar “Sustainable Architecture”, University of Syah Kuala, Banda Aceh, August 26, 2008.
  • Panelist at seminar “Mumbai East Coast”, organised by the Goethe Institut Mumbai and Urban Design Research Institute, Mumbai, August 18-23, 2008.
  • Sustainable City is a Possible Dream, at Department of Environment, Republic of Indonesia,  2 June 2007, Jakarta.
  • Green Map in Surabaya, Petra University, 11 May 2007.
  • An Experience in Sustainably Reconstructing Aceh, Petra Unversity, 10 May 2007.
  • Flood and the City, in Kendari (WWF small campaign team), 19-22 March 2007.
  • Flood and the City, in Medan (City of Medan’s parliament and government), 15 March 2007.
  • Urban Social Movements in Indonesia, Institute of Khmer Studies, Rockeffeler Foundation, Phnom Penh, 11 January 2007.
  • Green Map Experience in Indonesia, at Thai Environment Institute, Bangkok, Thailand, September 2006.
  • Imagining Jakarta at Mohile Parikh Centre for Visual Arts, Mumbai, and at Pune Institute of Architects, Surveyors and Engineers, Pune, India, February 2005
  • Flying Circus Project, Theaterworks, Singapore, 2-19 December 2004.
  • Imagining Jakarta, Goethe Institute, Jakarta, June-October 2004.
  • BAPENAS (Indonesian Board of Development Planning), Kota Berkelanjutan (Sustainable City), 9 September 2004, Jakarta.
  • Department of Settlements and Regional Infrastructure, Habitat Day, 4 October 2004, Yogyakarta.
  • Japan Foundation and Center for Heritage Conservation, University of Gajah Mada, Jogjakarta (2003).
  • Jakarta Legal Aids Institute (every year since 2002);
  • Indonesian Association of  Architectural Historians (2002), Solo
  • Indonesian Institute of Architects
  • University of Tarumanagara, Jakarta (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, …)
  • University of Parahyangan, Bandung (2001)
  • University of Indonesia, Jakarta (1990-2)
  • University of North Sumatera (USU = Universitas Sumatera Utara),  Medan (2003): Friendly City.
  • University of Petra, Surabaya (2002)
  • The British Council, Jakarta (2001)
  • Komunitas Utan Kayu (2000)
  • Erasmus Huis, Jakarta (2000)
  • Coalition to Save Borobudur (2003)
  • Ruang Rupa artists community (2001)
  • The Goethe Institute (2000)
  • Indonesian Corruption Watch (2002)
  • INCIS (2002)
  • Ministry of Settlements and Regional Infrastructures (2000)

Recent International Conferences/Workshops/Visits:

  • The Future of Jakarta Urbanism, University of British Columbia, March 3-6, 2009.
  • World Urban Forum III, Vancouver, 17-23 June 2006.
  • Workshop “Damage and Losses Assesment”, Asian Disaster Preparedness Center, Bangkok, September 2005.
  • Asian Green Map Makers conference and workshops, Aichi, August 2005.
  • Berlin conference on sustainable metropolis, May 2005.
  • Regional Visitors Programme to US, invited by US Embassy in Jakarta (2001).
  • Fellow at Rockefeller Centre at Bellagio, Italy, The first Global Green Map conference (2002)
  • Visit to Berlin, invitation by the Goethe Institute, Jakarta (2002).

Other Work Experiences:

September 2007-Februari 2008: HIVOS’s external evaluator on IVAA (Indonesian Visual Arts Archive).

March – December 2007: Housing Policy Analyst at Community Housing and Monitoring Programme (CHAMP), a programme of Australian-Indonesian Partnersip for Reconstruction and Development  (AIPRD) for Aceh.

Since July 2006: chair of Jakarta Arts Council.

August-December 2006: UN-Habitat’s writer/evaluator, Lessons-learned in Reconstruction of Housing and Settlements, Spatial Planning in Aceh and Nias.

August 2005-April 2006: Juror, International Design Competition “Equatorial Plaza”, Riau.

January-October 2005: Curator, CP International Biennale Urban/Culture, Jakarta, 5 September-5 October 2005.

May-December 2005: Technical Team Coordinator, UPLINK reconstruction project in Banda Aceh dan Aceh Besar (23 villages, 3.500 houses in total)

February-May 2005: volunteer for Koalisi Masyarakat Sipil in West Coast (Nagan Raya) of Aceh, as architect and village planner.

February 2004 – September 2005: Consultant for World Bank on Squatter Settlement Management Strategy and other grant programmes.

August 2001-July 2003:
Team Leader of participatory City Development Strategy (CDS) for 9 cities in Indonesia, a programme funded by Cities Alliance and UNDP, implemented by the World Bank and UNCHS, executed by Ministry of Settlement and Regional Infrastructure and Ministry of Home Affairs.

October 1999 – February 2001:

Governance Programme Specialist at the British Council, Jakarta.

December 1998 – September 1999:

Urban Management Advisor and Partnership Management Expert for Breakthrough Urban Initiatives for Local Development (BUILD) Programme (a UNDP programme). June-September 1999: interim National Programme Manager.

July 1996 – June 1998: Vice President, Project Director and Head of Planning and Design Division at PT Bentala Sanggrahan, Jakarta. (With high rise, mixed use projects, up to 110 millions USD).

February 1994 – June 1996: Director, Planning and Urban Development at PT Panca Wiratama Sakti (Tigaraksa New Town , 1,000 Ha township West of Jakarta)

November 1993 – February 1994: Architect and Urban Designer, Division Head, at Budi Lim and Associates, RIBA, chartered architect and urban designer.

September 1993 – 1995: Architect at Han Awal and Associates, Chartered Architect.

Project: self-help housing project for Plan International in Kupang, East Indonesia. (This project won Architects Council Asiaís Award 1996).

April – December 1993: Planner at PT Fincode International.

1991 – 1992: Partner Architect at PT Agrakreasi Ruang.

1990 – 1992: Architect-Urban Designer at Budi Lim and Associates, Chatered Architect and Urban Designer.

1990 – 1992: Consultant to United Nations Center for Human Settlementís Program in Indonesia.

Guest Speaker and Resource Person at UNCHS regional workshop (Asia) ìHousing and Urban Coherence, Bandung, September 1990.

Resource Person and Instructor at UNCHS workshop and training course, Leuven, 1992.

1986-1988: Architectural Practice in Kupang.

1986 – 1988: Lecturer and Researcher at Widya Mandira Catholic University, Kupang.


Settlement of Belu, Timor, published in Paul Oliverís Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World, Cambridge University Press, November 1997.

Public Housing in Kupang, presented to UNCHS.

1984 – 1986: Architect at PT Ciptapura.

Project: Inter-university Center for Bio-technology, Bogor Institute of Agriculture.











36 Responses to Marco Kusumawijaya, Founder and Director of RUJAK Center for Urban Studies

  1. Yuli says:

    Halo Pak Marco,

    Saya Yuli, anaknya pak iim, unpar 78.
    Salam dari papa.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Saya dibayar Anies Baswedan – Pandji Pragiwaksono

  3. salman al faris says:

    malam pak marco,

    salam kenal,saya salman. Saya sedang tergabung sbg anggota IAI Jakarta. Saya sedang mencoba membuat acara berkaitan dengan bagaimana peran seorang arsitek menyikapi pengembangan & revitalisasi bangunan cagar budaya berdasar kondisi & wajah kota serta tuntutan terhadap fungsi. Kalau berkenan boleh saya tau kontak bapak.

    terima kasih,

    salman AF


  4. Nadia says:

    Pak Marco, saya ngefans. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Golda meir says:

    Bang, bisa kali dimasukkan pernah menjadi pemateri “hak atas kota dan ketidakadilan ruang ” di kalabahu 37 LBH Jakarta (walau hanya 20 menit) wakakakaakakak *becanda* 😀


  6. Rony Maulana Ramadhan says:

    Pak marco yth,
    Saya termotivasi membaca CV bapak, Terima kasih pak.


  7. Veronica Desi Puji P says:

    Halo Pak Marco,

    Saya suka dengan tulisan Anda terutama yang menyangkut dengan keterlibatan masyarakat sipil. Apa ada buku yang sudah diterbitkan berkaitan dengan topik ini?.

    Terima kasih & Salam,


  8. Arthur says:

    Selamat malam pak,
    saya Arthur mahasiswa DKV Binus sedang dalam tahap skripsi, kebetulan saya sedang browsing mengenai masalah banjir di Jakarta dan menemukan artikel bapak yang pada akhirnya mengacu ke wordpress dan
    Setelah beberapa analisa, saya menemukan beberapa poin kecocokan artikel bapak dan skripsi saya yaitu mengenai kampanye sosial banjir di Jakarta
    apabila bapak berkenan, maukah bapak mengadakan sesi wawancara dengan saya sebagai narasumber

    Terima Kasih banyak atas waktunya,
    God Bless,
    Bina Nusantara


  9. selamat pagi pak, saya mau tanya apakah rujak center sudah membuat software aplikasi tentang tata ruang? masyarakat mungkin sulit untuk mengetahui rencana tentang tata ruang dalam bentuk pedoman hardfile sehingga dibutuhkan aplikasi tata ruang sehingga masyarakat mudah memahami dan mudah menemukannya.,.


  10. Membaca tulisan anda “Angkutan Umum Saja Tidak Akan Mengurangi Macet”

    Saya tidak setuju dengan tulisan Bapak, tidak ada salahnya dengan jumlah penambahan jumlah trip karena memang setiap orang melakukan aktivitasnya, tinggal dilayani dengan prasarana kendaraan umum yang lebih baik dari pelayanan dan biaya yang terjangkau atau kalau mau lebih modern lakukan segala meeting, pertemuan dengan life conference melalui internet skype dan lain hal.
    Statistik komparasinya mungkin tidak bisa diperbandingkan antara Indonesia dengan iklim-cuaca, prasarana angkutan umum dan infrastruktur internet yang jauh berbeda dengan Amerika ataupun Singapura….Ayolahhh…sebagai orang yang mempunyai pengetahuan jangan menyebarkan pesimisme dalam perbaikan, buat semakin banyak orang optimis…..


  11. Salam kenal Pak Marco,, senang membaca ide-ide Bapak yang mungkin “berbeda” tapi sangat pas menurut saya. Termasuk tentang taman tersembunyi. Saya termasuk yang suka mangkal di taman suropati untuk baca buku atau mendengarkan suropati chamber, tapi memang kalau terlalu banyak yang dateng, kesan nyaman di taman jadi agak berkurang… 🙂


  12. Salam kenal Bung Marco, saya saat ini concern pada isu creative city, pengen bisa menularkan semangat kreativitas dan inovasi pada kota-kota di Indonesia. Kapan ya bisa ketemuan dan ngobrol langsung ? Atau mungkin lewat email dulu ? 🙂 Thanks !


  13. Rosa Sanjaya says:

    Salam kenal Pak.
    Saya sangat tertarik dg topik yg Anda kemukakan. Semoga sy bisa belajar banyak dg bapak. Saat ini saya sdg studi master ttg sustainable building design. Semoga bs menambah ilmu saya dan berkontribusi jg.

    Oh ya saya juga dari Bangka, hehe.



  14. Ei says:

    Siang, sy Ei, rencana nya saya mau bikin seminar di 3 kota (Bdg, Jkt & Sby) butuh keynote speaker untuk interior designer. Bisa mnt contact nya ? Thx


  15. Ibe wanuata says:

    Pak marco, apa kabar? Lama tak jumpa. Moga msh ingat. Irfan(sama2 dulu di udep besare NAD.)


  16. Endah says:

    hai salam kenal, terima kasih telah berkunjung di blog saya 🙂


  17. Zico Pestalozzi says:

    Selamat sore…

    Pak Marco, saya Zico, mahasiswa hukum dari Universitas Trisakti. Saat ini saya sedang mengerjakan projek film hukum kehutanan bertema hutan lindung. Kasus yang saya angkat adalah dampak reklamasi pantai jakarta terhadap hutan lindung muara angke. Saya memerlukan pandangan para ahli untuk menjadi narasumber dalam film saya tersebut, dalam bentuk interview. Salah satu narasumber yg saya harap bisa memberikan pandangan adalah pak Marco. Kalau bapak bersedia, bisa me-reply saya via email.

    terima kasih

    Zico P.


  18. Jasmine Lau says:

    Dear Mr. Kusumawijaya,

    My name is Jasmine Lau. I’m a staff writer of The Yale Globalist, an undergraduate magazine on international affairs at Yale University. The Globalist’s website is:

    This summer, a group of writers and editors will be traveling to Indonesia to do research on a wide-range of issues affecting daily life in Jakarta. Articles we produce over the summer will be included in our first Fall 2010 issue.

    We came across your work several times when we were doing research on Indonesia, and we are extremely interested in hearing your perspective on urban development, planning and sustainability. Several of our trip participants will be researching on urban issues in Jakarta and they would be extremely honored to meet you. I’m writing to ask if you would be willing to meet with 2-3 members of our group for an interview. Most of our meetings in Indonesia will last 30 minutes, and we are confident that we could hold a meaningful interview with you in this time-frame as well. Half of our group will be visiting Banda Aceh after Jakarta, and as we know you have done important reconstruction work there, we’d love to discuss that with you as well.

    We will be in Jakarta and able to meet from May 13th to May 18th. After that we will be in Banda Aceh from May 19th to May 23rd. Is there a time during one of these days when we can meet?

    Thank you very much, and I look forward to hearing from you.


    staff writer, the Yale Globalist
    Yale University 2012


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