The challenge of reclaiming the commons of the ciliwung river in depok city

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This study aims to understand the struggle of reclaiming the commons in Depok City to manage the usage of the Ciliwung River as a common-pool resource. The Ciliwung River is one of the main rivers that regularly brings flood hazards to the West Java province, Depok City, and Jakarta province. Uncontrolled urbanization, changing land use and a lack of community awareness to keep the river clean have been considered as the source of this hazard. This study borrows the Ostromian view to offer an alternative perspective for investigating the root of flood hazards. Through the case study research method, exemplifying the emerging big cities in Indonesia, this research inquires into the perception of community members who live in the Ciliwung River basin area towards Ciliwung River to understand the types of utility the river affords them as well as their action towards it. The findings of the qualitative analysis highlight the changing value of the Ciliwung River, from a common-pool resource to a public good, which has transformed their emotional attachment into an economic transaction. This transformation diminishes the sense of belonging of the community towards the Ciliwung River. However, initiatives from community groups have gradually improved the awareness of community members to preserve the Ciliwung River by claiming it as a common-pool resource, as a plausible response to the government's failure to deliver its obligation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-90
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Design Management and Professional Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Ciliwung
  • Commons
  • Community
  • Depok
  • Flood Hazards


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