Firm Foundation Opens in Banjarmasin

Over 100 residents and government officials gathered in Sungai Jingah last month to celebrate the opening of Firm Foundation!

Solo Kota Kita has been working together over the last year and a half with residents, BAPPEDA and DTRK, and the PNPM Mandiri program to develop a new waterfront public space in the Sungai Jingah neighborhood of Banjarmasin.

The design is the result of a two-week participatory workshop with residents that we organized last August. Three teams of residents selected sites in their neighborhood and proposed new programs and public realm improvements. The result of the workshop was a design for a new port and a gateway to the neighborhood at the confluence of the Martapura river and Andai canal.

The most important priority for residents of the team whose design was selected for construction was establishing a place where boats can dock. This is especially important since most residents in this area purchase vegetables and goods from floating vendors.

And it didn’t take long for the vendors to find the new location – even at the opening celebration, drink vendors were paddling up to offer refreshments to attendees.

Firm Foundation also provides a recreation space for neighborhood children, a covered seating area, and multiple points of access to enjoy the river edge and engage the water. By bringing these activities to the water, Firm Foundation positions the river as an asset for the neighborhood and the city.

We are also working on a new “Social Design Field Guide” that documents and illustrates the participatory tools the team utilized throughout the initiative. Watch for its release in print and on the Internet in August.

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