Co-creating an Ideal City for the Youth in Bandung

Young people walking in Bandung City. (Zulfikar Arifuzzaki/Unsplash)

Bandung City in West Java, Indonesia, is collaborating with its youth to make the city more sustainable through the development of youth-driven policies, public spaces, and programs.

Former Bandung City Mayor Yana Mulyana said she is optimistic that collaboration between the local government and the youth will allow Bandung City to grow better and progress more quickly.

“We invite all young people to work together to overcome these challenges. The government cannot solve problems on its own, so it must work with and collaborate with the youth,” said Mulyana.

Bandung, which was awarded the title of “Youth-Friendly City” in 2016 by the Indonesian Ministry of Youth and Sports, has been committed to providing budgets, policies, facilities, programs, creative, and inclusive spaces that directly benefit the youth.

Youth-focused Policies in the City

The Bandung City government issued Regional Regulation Number 1 of 2016, which aims to enhance the capacity of the city’s youth through various initiatives. One initiative, for example, aims to encourage innovation among the youth through a program implemented at the sub-district level. With this, the sub-district government plays a more active role in developing youth programs, empowering them, and encouraging them towards positive work.

During the Youth Pledge Day last October 28, 2022, the Bandung City government recognized five sub-districts in the city as “Youth-Friendly Districts,” namely Rancasari, Sumur Bandung, Cibeunying Kidul, Astana Anyar, and Cicendo.

“This award demonstrates the [Bandung City] government’s collaboration with the youth at the local level. Many activities can be supported by the youth development program in Bandung. This will allow us to synergize with related agencies,” Mulyana explained.

Eric Mohamad Atthauriq, Bandung City Assistant for Economy and Development said that Bandung had implemented a number of programs aimed at youth organizations, communities, and individuals.

“In order for young people to be enthusiastic in activities, several things are required, including providing a positive platform for them,” said Atthauriq.

To maximize youth participation in various sectors, Bandung’s youth regulation is expected to work in cooperation with regional and national youth development initiatives. This follows the Presidential Regulation Number 43 of 2022 concerning the coordination of cross-sectoral youth services, issued by the Indonesian government in recognition of the important and strategic role of developing the youth as future leaders of the country.

Establishing Youth Spaces

Youth space at Andir Sub-district. (

Bandung also provides facilities for its youth to share ideas and develop relevant programs. The Bandung City government has built 11 physical youth spaces since the enactment of Mayor Regulation Number 35 of 2020 regarding the construction and development of youth spaces.

The Green Investment

C-Bodas RC Circuit, a green, open space at Antapani, Bandung that opened in 2022. (

Activating green, open spaces for youth activities, known as the “green investment,” has also been one of Bandung’s key initiative towards low-carbon development.

Bandung has been growing more and more vulnerable to the risks and consequences of climate change, brought in part by its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from its transport and waste sectors. Because of this, the city government’s priority programs for young people to be involved in are efforts on climate change and the reduction of GHG emissions, including the improvement of the city’s air quality, waste management processes, and reduction of traffic congestion.

One environment-focused program for the youth, said Atthauriq, is a youth-led reforestation effort being carried out along the banks of Cipamokolan and Cikapundung Kolot rivers. The reforestation program targets maintenance-due river banks and areas within Bandung City.

“[The] youth play a very important role in addressing climate change, and Bandung is known to have a significant creative community,” said Atthauriq.

For the City’s creative and innovative approach in finding solutions to urban issues, Bandung was recognized as a Creative City of Design by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in December 2015, making the city a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN).

With Bandung City’s efforts to collaborate with the youth in creating a safer urban environment, the city has moved beyond being “youth-friendly” and has become “youth-focused” to achieve a sustainable future.

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