The floating houses of Sintang City: Space, resources and political nexus

M. S. Lubis, T. Y. Harjoko, D. Susanto

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Sintang is a city in the interior of West Kalimantan, located at the confluence of two large rivers, Kapuas River and Melawi River. Growing from the river's edge, the present Sintang still maintains its riverine culture in the form of floating houses ('rumah lanting'), as its legacy of the past, when rivers played important role as main transportation routes for political and economic activities. This paper explores several concepts related to power, space, and resources, to examine the complexity of life of lanting dwellers, conducted at two locations of lanting houses that spread around Sintang urban area: Pasar Sungai Durian and Pasar Inpres. The results show that there are two main factors affecting the life as well as the spatiality of lanting dwellers: First, the relationship with river's ecology and river's behavior, and second, the linkages with the activities on the mainland, where both of them are strongly influenced by political and economic considerations. The impact of changes in the river's ecology and behavior on the lanting dwellers has shown how government policies affected the rivers and thus, the lanting communities. The key contribution of this study is a clear depiction of the political and power relations in the context of spatiality and resources on the riverine culture, especially the lanting communities along Kapuas and Melawi River in Sintang City, which tends to reveal the marginalization of the lanting community among the other urban community. So far, there has been no serious and detailed studies about the politics of space in relation to nature and resources and local livelihoods in the area. This paper wishes to explore the challenges to strive for a livable and just place for river community in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012003
JournalIOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2018
Event15th International Conference on Quality in Research, QiR 2017 - Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia
Duration: 24 Jul 201727 Jul 2017


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