Category Archives: forest

Whose Version of “Smart”?

Bandung Creative City Forum (BCCF) was invited to take part in Asia-Pacific Week in Berlin in 2013, which brought up “Smart City” as the theme, in a traveling exhibition and a debate session. At that time, our understanding about the term “smart city” circulates around digital application for public facilities, full Internet access for communication purposes; mostly aims to make life more practical. The curator of the exhibition, Ulla Giesler, challenged us to define what is “smart” for our city by presenting one of our projects, and through a series of questions concerning the project, of which answers were then referred to as our main statement for our display and/or debate. I’m publishing them here since “Smart City” has now become one of those overused buzzwords – and it seems that some people (or worse, people with power, or authorities) are entranced by that term with less (or no) consideration on the essential foreground that needs to be firmly planted in the daily life of a society, before adding virtual aids.

For this Asia-Pacific Week in 2013, BCCF chose to present Helarfest2012. Helarfest, one of BCCF main programs, is a community festival that initiated the establishment of BCCF. In 2012, Helarfest was held based on the four typical elements of Bandung City: forest, park, kampung and river. Each element was activated by a number of creative communities, resulted in four event titles: Lightchestra (forest), Ulin.bdg (park), Kampong Festival (kampung) and River Cinema (river).

In short, “smart” for us refer to the capability of the citizens to fulfill their needs and to activate their own living habitat, sometimes using tools that are not necessarily digital or hi-tech, but they can even come in another forms, such as creativity, active involvement and initiatives.

Infographics on BCCF programs and activities from 2008 to 2013, responding to diverse urban issues (stated in middle circles)

Infographics on BCCF programs and activities from 2008 to 2013, responding to diverse urban issues (stated in middle circles)

Following are the questions and answers, and an overview on Helarfest2012.

1 How does your project “smarten up” your city?

All Helarfest sub-events in 2012 responded to urgent issues in Bandung, such as preservation of a city forest and revitalization of kampungs that have been enduring ecological and social pressures caused by rapid physical development of the city, by raising awareness towards the issues among local people, and encourage them to become active citizens who knows that they have all the rights to enjoy, create, activate and maintain their living space.

The projects “smarten up” Bandung by raising engagement through creative events and activation programs, these projects increased the confidence and sense of belonging of local citizens toward their habitat. With this new/revived relation, they become eager to learn about various simple yet creative ways to maintain their living space, i.e. keeping vertical gardens, not throwing garbage to the river, personalizing their neighborhood by painting mural arts, etc. These methods are relatively easy to duplicate and applied to different areas with diverse themes, and are expected to be contagious to the neighboring areas, initiated by local communities and conducted using local resources, as much as possible.

2 Why does your city need your project and what challenges are country‐specific to your urban context?

Similar to other growing cities in Indonesia, Bandung becomes highly populated and denser. However, the rapid population growth exceeds the city’s ability to provide adequate facilities for its citizens, including physical infrastructures and public services. Urgent issues that rose due to this condition include the decrease of environmental qualities that has caused disastrous flood, the absence of garbage and solid waste processing, substandard sidewalks and bike lanes, etc. These issues, added by the insufficient governance and lack of law enforcement, have become the common main challenges faced by growing cities in developing countries, including Indonesia.

On one hand, local people have become tolerant of such disorderly conditions and accepted them as the “new normal”. On the other hand, the facts that 68% of Bandung citizens are below 40 years of age, and that Bandung has around 50 colleges and universities, show that Bandung has the potential to produce active citizens. This is what makes it possible for Bandung to respond creatively to the urban issues.

3 What are the new behaviors your building/planning/initiative encourages?

The 2012 program focused on four elements of Bandung: forest, kampong, park and river, involving local people who live around those specific areas, with an objective to raise their responsibility toward their own urban habitat. The programs created in each sub-event encouraged people to understand their specific living space, and, most importantly, to become active urban citizens.

With the Lightchestra event, people take care of the city forest that is actually located at a busy part of the city, and can be easily accessed. During the Kampung Festivals, the inhabitants gained confidence and became motivated in maintaining their cornered neighborhood. In Ulin.bdg, children who are used to find entertainment in shopping malls, or play alone with gadgets and computers, could spend one weekend in a city park that provided a lot of adventure games and activities. Cikapundung River Cinema offered a new experience for people to watch movies for free, while appreciating the unique surroundings, due to the main river that slices Bandung in two. All these events encouraged people to enjoy public spaces in different settings, with different activities, and to gain a sense of belonging to the city.



Helarfest is an annual festival for creative communities held by Bandung Creative City Forum (BCCF). Helarfest started in 2008, when creative communities in Bandung gathered and agreed to make a common “umbrella” for their various events. As the result, in 2008, there were more than 30 events within 1,5 months in Bandung. Helarfest 2009 used similar format, which ended up with 67 events within 2,5 months. In 2010, Helarfest took a break. Instead, BCCF held Semarak.bdg, an event (with 7 sub-events within 1 month) that focused on the use of public space, creative intervention to public facilities, heritage building preservation, vehicle-free road, and other issues related to urban space. In 2011, BCCF collaborated with UNEP and The Indonesian Ministry of Environment as a creative consultant for TUNZA, an international conference for children and youth on environment. During this event, BCCF succeeded in having Babakan Siliwangi – an area with conflict of interests – declared as a World City Forest, and to build a canopy walk at the location (called ForestWalk), where people can enjoy walking among the high trees. In 2012 Helarfest was held again, focusing on Urban Acupuncture with the following themes, which were chosen according to the specific urban characteristics of Bandung: forest (Lightchestra), kampung (Kampung Kreatif), park (Ulin.bdg) and river (Cikapundung River Cinema). All events were held in coordination with BCCF, but each was organized and executed by different communities.


5-7 July 2012

At Babakan Siliwangi City Forest, Jalan Tamansari, Bandung

HELARFEST #1 : LIGHTCHESTRA – Music Festival, Light/Laser Show & Community

Organizer: Design Hub Indonesia

Lightchestra was the opening event for the whole Helarfest series, a music and light concert held in Babakan Siliwangi World City Forest. Design Hub Indonesia was a community of designers/ entrepreneurs that was in charge of this event, which included activities such as a photo contest, spontaneous painting (inviting artists from an artist compound that is located next to the forest), etc., inviting i.e. BULB (Barudak Urban Light Bandung) who makes light graffiti, Bandung Urban Jedi (“lightsaber fighter”), Sahabat WALHI that works with ecological issues in urban areas, Open Your He(Art) Studio that works with orphans, etc. The aim of this event was to re-introduce the World City Forest, which was declared one year before, to public. This forest has been in dispute due to the developing license given by the municipality to a company, which was said to have planned to build a restaurant, a mall and an apartment at the area. Therefore, it is hoped that people become aware of this available urban space, so they would use this inspiring green open space for various activities, to show the government and developer that people still need such space. The music and light concert invited indie band from Bandung, held at an arena in the forest that is used for traditional ram fight each first week of the month.


Creative Kampung program for 2012 involved 5 (five) kampungs or urban villages in Bandung; each needed different treatment, according to each potentials and characteristics. The five kampungs chosen for this program represented the entrance points to Bandung. These points are: Dago Pojok at the North (entrance to Bandung by car), Cicukang at the West (entrance to Bandung by train and airplane), Cicadas at the South (entrance to Bandung by car), LeuwiPanjang at the East (entrance to Bandung by city bus) and Tamansari that is located at among the most crowded areas in Bandung. A person responsible for this project was Rahmat Jabaril, an artist who has been living in one of these kampongs himself, but then brought the ideas to other kampongs in Bandung, which are mainly inhabited by people with low-income and who have substandard education levels.

Following are the considerations for this program:

  • Bandung has been known as a “creative city”, but upon entering Bandung, people rarely see any display of creativity from the infrastructure and conditions of Bandung. Therefore these entrance kampongs are chosen, with the hope that they could give positive impressions about Bandung at the first sight a visitor enters Bandung.
  • People who live in these urban-kampungs commonly range within the poverty line. However, the locations of their kampungs are strategic, and are mostly targeted by developers (assisted by the government) who would have them evacuated. Knowing this fact, the people of these kampungs have gradually become apathetic toward their own environment, since they kept being pushed by the physical development around them. Therefore, this program aimed to return their confidence by assisting them in discovering their potentials, with the hope that once they gain their confidence through programs that activate their neighborhood, they also gain the sense of belonging toward their habitat and hopefully would take a better care of their living environment.


10-11 November 2012 at Cilaki Park, Jalan Citarum

Organizer: HONG Community and EcoEthno

Ulin.bdg is a festival for traditional and adventurous games for children. This program meant to tackle two issues at the same time; one was the activation of parks as public space, another was to provide alternative activities for children who rarely have the chance to play outdoor or in a city park.


22 December 2012 at Cikapundung Barat

Organizer: House The House

This event was the closing of the whole Helarfest 2012, held at the bank of Cikapundung River that runs along the City of Bandung. An inflatable giant screen was the center of the event, as an open-air cinema, where indie short movies were projected for about 10 hours. Next to the screen, a stage was set up for live performances and another was set for food stalls, which were run by young culinary entrepreneurs. This event was held to make people realize the importance of Cikapundung River as the beginning of civilization that formed the City of Bandung, but somehow got neglected and gradually become a place where citizens throw any kind of garbage, which has caused damaged to the river’s quality.


All these events in Helarfest 2012 responded to the issues of public space and urban villages within the context of Urban Acupuncture, which is an effort to educate fellow inhabitants of Bandung to appreciate their living space by activating and maintaining their surrounding environment. For the condition of Bandung, active involvement of its citizens is important, since it is their contributions that define a city. Bandung can be seen as “smart” in a way that the city thrives due to the people and their creative potentials, despite the insufficient governance and infrastructures.

Here is the link to a video recording on the talk session at ANCB (Bandung is in Panel VI)

Merayakan Hari Pohon dengan Kreativitas dan Aktivasi Ruang Kota

*Pertama kalinya menulis artikel untuk Warta Gereja GKI Maulana Yusuf, Bandung, dalam perjalanan antara Seoul dan Jeju, Korea Selatan. Artikel ini dapat pula diakses di


Merayakan Hari Pohon dengan Kreativitas dan Aktivasi Ruang Kota


Dari sekian banyak hari besar dan peringatan di muka bumi ini, salah satu yang paling mengekspresikan kemesraan antara manusia dan habitatnya adalah Arbor Day, atau Hari Pohon (arbor berarti “pohon” dalam Bahasa Latin), yang jatuh pada tanggal 21 November, di mana orang diajak untuk menanam dan merawat pepohonan. Pada awalnya, Hari Pohon ini dimulai di Villanueva de la Sierra, sebuah kota kecil di Spanyol, ketika seorang rohaniwan lokal mencanangkan inisiatif tersebut pada tahun 1805, yang disambut dengan antusias oleh seluruh warga. Hingga kini, Arbor Day masih dirayakan di berbagai negara, meskipun dalam tanggal yang berbeda-beda, disesuaikan dengan iklim dan musim tanam di negara masing-masing.

Bagaimana dengan kita? Apakah kita pernah memberi perhatian khusus pada pohon yang terus memberi manfaat bagi kita? Atau mungkin karena saking terbiasanya merasakan kehadiran pohon, kita terkadang menganggap remeh keberadaannya? Bagi kita yang hidup di kota besar, padat penduduk, dan terus berkembang seperti Bandung: perilaku apa yang kita biasakan dalam menghadapi sesama makhluk hidup ciptaan-Nya ini?

Berbagai hal yang berkaitan dengan kualitas lingkungan, yang telah menjadi keprihatinan bersama belakangan ini, antara lain meliputi bencana banjir, polusi udara, dan suhu yang makin panas dan tidak nyaman, terutama di berbagai wilayah padat penduduk. Secara langsung maupun tidak, hal-hal ini berkaitan dengan keberadaan dan kualitas pepohonan di lingkungan tersebut.

Terbatasnya Ruang Terbuka Hijau di perkotaan padat penduduk seperti Bandung ini menjadi salah satu sebab berkurangnya lahan yang dapat ditanami dan ditumbuhi pepohonan. Namun hal ini tidak menjadi halangan bagi berbagai komunitas dan masyarakat lokal untuk dapat memperbaiki kualitas lingkungan hidupnya. Tentu beberapa dari kita telah akrab dengan istilah urban farming dan sejenisnya, yang mengarah pada pemanfaatan lahan yang paling sempit sekali pun untuk bercocok tanam. Bahkan juga pemanfaatan berbagai lokasi tanam yang (dulunya) tidak lazim, seperti dinding, pagar, hingga atap rumah, dengan media tanam yang juga berbagai rupa. Bandung, yang dikenal sebagai kota dengan berbagai komunitasnya yang sangat aktif, telah banyak pula melahirkan gerakan yang berkaitan langsung dengan upaya penghijauan wilayah permukiman, hingga aktivasi ke kampung-kampung kota dan taman-taman publik, hingga hutan kota.

Forest Walk at Babakan Siliwangi. (c)GalihSedayu2013

Forest Walk di Hutan Kota Babakan Siliwangi (c)GalihSedayu2013

Kreativitas warga dan komunitas di Bandung bahkan telah berupaya mengajak masyarakat luas agar menyadari adanya hutan kota satu-satunya yang ada di Kota Bandung, Babakan Siliwangi, dan memanfaatkannya sebagai ruang publik yang inspiratif. Hutan kota ini telah dideklarasikan menjadi Hutan Kota Dunia pada tahun 2011 bersamaan dengan event Tunza, sebuah konferensi internasional untuk anak-anak dan pemuda yang diadakan oleh United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) dan Kementerian Lingkungan Hidup (KLH), bekerja sama dengan Bandung Creative City Forum (BCCF). Saat itu, Hutan Baksil tengah menjadi subyek pembicaraan yang hangat berkenaan dengan rencana pembangunannya menjadi sebuah apartemen bertingkat dan ditentangnya rencana tersebut oleh masyarakat luas. Pada saat yang bersamaan, sebuah komunitas mengadakan sayembara pemanfaatan Hutan Baksil, yang desain pemenangnya benar-benar diwujudkan di hutan kota tersebut. Hasilnya adalah ForestWalk, sebuah canopy walk, atau “jembatan” di mana kita bisa berjalan sejajar atau mendekati pucuk pepohonan besar. ForestWalk dilihat sebagai salah satu upaya pernyataan warga terhadap keinginannya untuk tetap memiliki hutan kota, juga sebagai upaya mendekatkan warga kepada hutan kotanya, di samping mengekspresikan pula kesadaran warga terhadap pentingnya memiliki paru-paru kota yang tetap dapat menjadi sumber oksigen dan peredam polusi suara. Sejak didirikannya pada tahun 2011 lalu, ForestWalk hingga kini masih dapat dinikmati warga Bandung, namun, sayangnya belum dapat terawat secara optimal, sehingga banyak bagiannya yang rusak dan kotor.

Regia Infographic

Regia Infographic

Usaha untuk mendekatkan warga kepada hutan kota dilakukan lagi pada tahun 2012, ketika, dalam rangkaian acara Helarfest, diadakan Lightchestra, sebuah konser musik dan cahaya yang digelar selama tiga malam berturut-turut dalam Hutan Baksil, tanpa dipungut biaya dan dilaksanakan dengan penuh pertimbangan terhadap habitat alami dan komunitas dan warga yang beraktivitas di hutan kota tersebut. Di tahun berikutnya, 2013, bertepatan dengan Hari Bumi, Hutan Baksil kembali diaktifkan dengan event bernama Regia. Dalam Regia, dilaksanakan berbagai acara seperti yoga pagi di ForestWalk, workshop anak-anak di dalam Hutan Baksil, konser blues di Sanggar Olah Seni yang berlokasi di sisi Hutan Baksil, Forest Dining untuk memberikan pengalaman makan malam yang berbeda, pameran dan workshop fotografi, dan lain-lain, yang semuanya masih tetap bertujuan untuk mendekatkan warga pada hutan kota, dan secara kreatif memberikan informasi seputar hutan kota dan berbagai faktanya, seperti jumlah oksigen yang dihasilkan, jenis pohon yang mendominasi Hutan Baksil, fungsi Hutan Baksil sebagai tempat singgah berbagai spesies burung yang bermigrasi, dan sebagainya.

Berbagai aktivitas kreatif seperti ini dapat menjadi salah satu cara untuk kembali menyadarkan warga akan pentingnya keberadaan pohon dalam jumlah yang memadai di wilayah tempat tinggal kita, sekaligus juga mengajak warga untuk dapat merawat dan menambah jumlah pohon yang kita butuhkan tersebut. Adalah baik untuk mengadakan acara menanam pohon dalam merayakan Hari Pohon ini, terutama di area yang benar-benar membutuhkan, namun akan lebih seru lagi bila dilakukan juga berbagai inisiatif dalam bentuk yang baru dan menyenangkan untuk mengaktivasi ruang-ruang publik sekaligus merawat pepohonan yang sudah ada di tempat-tempat tersebut. Mari, tingkatkan apresiasi terhadap pepohonan, bukan hanya dengan menanam dan merawat, tapi juga dengan mengajak keterlibatan warga seluas mungkin untuk menjaga keberlangsungannya dengan cara-cara yang menyenangkan.


Tita Larasati, Dosen Program Studi Desain Produk FSRD ITB & SekJen BCCF

Story of a City Forest

Not every city has a natural forest, moreover a World City Forest, like we have in Bandung: Babakan Siliwangi (BakSil). Now that we have one, what do we do with it? Merely disrupting it by replacing the trees with massive concrete buildings would be unimaginable, since that is the same as destroying the forest; but this is what seems to be the near future of BakSil City Forest if local people and communities do nothing about it.

Forest Walk at Babakan Siliwangi. (c)GalihSedayu2013

Forest Walk at Babakan Siliwangi. (c)GalihSedayu2013

Therefore, several communities have been holding events in this area to activate the idle space, while inviting more people to interact with the forest. Among the communities is Bandung Creative City Forum (BCCF), an independent organization that has previously hold two events to intervene BakSil. The first one was in 2011, during TUNZA: having BakSil declared as a World City Forest and building a canopy walk, presently called ForestWalk, at the premise. The second one was in 2012, with an event called Lightchestra as the opening of Helarfest2012: a three-days sound- and light-play in the forest, with an open-air concert of local indie bands, painting artists’ live performances, a photography contest, a paper lantern workshop for children, communities that perform best at night such as B.U.L.B. (Barudak Urban Light Bandung, a light graffiti community) and Bandung Urban Jedi; also collaborating with an environmental organization to limit and measure solid waste (food packaging, plastic bags, etc.) produced during the event.

"Al Fresco" forest picnic at Forest Walk during REGIA. (c)GalihSedayu2013

“Al Fresco” forest picnic at Forest Walk during REGIA. (c)GalihSedayu2013

This time, as the first 2013 program, BCCF held “Regia”, which aimed to refresh our relationship with our only city forest. The name “Regia” was taken from a dominant tree species that grows within the area, Delonix Regia, or Flamboyan in local name. During the two days of Regia, 20-21 April 2013, a lot of people gathered for various events, such as “Al-Fresco” or potluck picnic at the ForestWalk, children activities and games, open library, photo exhibition, morning yoga, forest dinner, live blues performance “Blues Leuweung” by several local blues musicians, and a discussion session about urban forest to close the series of event. An infographic, that was especially made for this event and was published in a regional newspaper and online social media, presents a number of facts about BakSil City Forest and how important it is for us.

From time to time, we need to celebrate our public space. Especially in a dense, growing city with substandard infrastructures like Bandung, whose inhabitants often need to take their own initiatives to improve their living environment.

After Regia, it seemed that there is hope that the company who has the developing right over BakSil would postpone its plan to build any commercial entity on the area. But our hope is yet again on trial, due to today’s update that the developer now has possessed permission to actually build a restaurant. Irritated as we are, we shouldn’t lose focus and conduct, within our capacity, smart responses to this issue. Let’s just make sure with all of our might that the story of our city forest continues for generations, onwards.

Related links:

Today’s news: the company is granted a permission to build on that area

Why we should care about our city forest

I wish these trees could stay

BCCF event announcement: REGIA

A photo essay by Galih Sedayu: on REGIA event

A photo essay by Galih Sedayu: about a series of graffiti that protests the commercialization of the city forest

Why we should care about our city forest

Regia Infographic

Regia Infographic by BatasFana (c)2012

Babakan Siliwangi, a Green Open Space in Bandung, is maintained as a preserved area up to today. On September 27, 2011, Babakan Siliwangi was declared as a World City Forest by the United National Environment Program (UNEP) in TUNSA event (an International Children and Youth Conference on Environment). There are not too many people, even those living in Bandung, know about Babakan Siliwangi City Forest, including a number of its interesting facts. Therefore, a wider dissemination is necessary, in order to reintroduce Babakan Siliwangi City Forest, among other by conducting a variety of creative activities in the area, and by spreading the information about the area. Following are a number of facts about Babakan Siliwangi City Forest.

In the earlier days, there were twelve fresh water springs within Babakan Siliwangi City Forest area, but today only one is left. Soil water surface has been reduced from 22,99meter to 14,35meter (data from 1999). If the area of this city forest is reduced, so will the soil water surface, due to the reduction of its absorbing area.

Babakan Siliwangi City Forest is a habitat for 120 plant species and 149 animal species. It is also a transit spot for six species of migrating birds. If this forest area is gone, the migration route of these birds will be cut.

Trees that grow within the area are, among others, Cola (Cola nitida) and Sempur (Dillenia Indica L.), but the dominant one is Flamboyan (Delonix Regia). Plantations in this area function as a buffer for air and noise pollutions. Whoever spends time in the middle of this city forest will feel a sense of serenity, although it is located very near to crowded big roads.

The width of canopy from the trees that grow in the forest reaches up to 5 hectares, while the width of Babakan Siliwangi area itself is only 3.8 hectares. The canopy functions as a shade that can reduce stress in human beings that stand under the area, since the trees also produce Oxygen.

The function of trees in this area as CO2 absorbance reaches up to 13,680 kilograms per day, while releasing O2 up to 9,120 kilograms per day. If the price of pure O2 is up to IDR 25,000 per liter, then the economic value of Babakan Siliwangi reaches up to IDR 148,000,000. From this calculation, it can be figured that if the area of Babakan Siliwangi is reduced even “only” up to 20%, Bandung will have a loss of about IDR 10 billion.

This information is only a few, compared to all the facts around Babakan Siliwangi City Forest, and these are facts that can mostly be observed and measured. However, beyond these facts, there are other evidences such as people’s interaction, communal activities, and social relationships that are established due to the existence of this unique, open urban space, such as this city forest. Such advantages cannot merely be quantified, since their widespread impacts and sustainability cannot be measured in a short, limited time scope. Judging from the height of activities in this area, which shows the crucial role of an urban space that invites its citizens to come out and enjoy their habitat, it can be concluded that Babakan Siliwangi City Forest should be preserved as a qualified Green Open Space that is kept open for all Bandung citizens.

*the Indonesian version of this article was published in Pikiran Rakyat

Membeli Kayu Sonokeling, Segoroyoso-Wonosari

Sonokeling merupakan salah satu kayu eksotis Jawa, di mana bagian tengah kayu berwarna hitam gelap dengan urat-urat kayu yang sangat indah. Kayu kehitaman dengan nuansa kehijauan, keunguan, kekuningan, kemerahan, tergantung lokasi dan jenis tanah di mana dia hidup. Wonosari merupakan daerah yg sesuai, ini terlihat dari luas penampang ‘galeh’ kayu yang hampir penuh menutup seluruh penampang melintang batang. Kayu sonokeling ini semakin langka, karena cukup banyak juga industri yang menggunakan bahan yang sama dengan volume yang tinggi, bahkan ada yang diproses hanya dalam bentuk papan dan kemudian diekspor. Kayu ini memiliki kecepatan tumbuh yang lambat, konsumsi nampaknya melebihi kecepatan tanaman ini beregenerasi. Magno dalam 1 tahun hanya membeli maksimum 4 truk atau setara dengan 4x4m3 log (16 btg pohon), mampu menghidupi 35-40 perajin dalam setahun dan terus melakukan penanaman kembali. Saat ini saya telah memiliki 300 batang sonokeling yang saya tanam di lahan sendiri dan ratusan yang ditanam petani di lahan masing-masing secara tersebar.

Singgih S. Kartono, 25 Januari 2013

tanah lereng dipinggir kali kuas ini saya beli murah karena katanya 'wingit' ... setelah dibersihkan dan digarap kembali ternyata menjadi tidak menyeramkan

tanah lereng dipinggir kali kuas ini saya beli murah karena katanya ‘wingit’ … setelah dibersihkan dan digarap kembali ternyata menjadi tidak menyeramkan

setiap membeli pohon ke penebang, saya selalu mengedukasi ke mereka ttg pentingnya melakukan penanaman kembali. dan menyampaikan bahwa saya telah melakukan penanaman kembali. "mas, kalau anda menanam kembali pohon yg anda tebang, rejeki akan terus mengalir"... bhs sederhana semacam ini sering mengena mereka. atau saya juga sering mengajak mereka untuk menjadi pedagang kayu yg berbeda, berbeda karena melakukan upaya penanaman kembali. saya sampaikan ke mereka, menanam kembali tidak membutuhkan biaya besar, hanya perlu niat dan ketekunan menjalankannya.

setiap membeli pohon ke penebang, saya selalu mengedukasi ke mereka ttg pentingnya melakukan penanaman kembali. dan menyampaikan bahwa saya telah melakukan penanaman kembali. “mas, kalau anda menanam kembali pohon yg anda tebang, rejeki akan terus mengalir”… bhs sederhana semacam ini sering mengena mereka. atau saya juga sering mengajak mereka untuk menjadi pedagang kayu yg berbeda, berbeda karena melakukan upaya penanaman kembali. saya sampaikan ke mereka, menanam kembali tidak membutuhkan biaya besar, hanya perlu niat dan ketekunan menjalankannya.

menanam sonokeling, menanam untuk anak cucu kita.. karena kita juga telah dihadiahi oleh kakek buyut kita

menanam sonokeling, menanam untuk anak cucu kita.. karena kita juga telah dihadiahi oleh kakek buyut kita

baru kali ini saya harus melihat sendiri pohon sonokeling yg akan ditebang, ada perasaan sedih dan tidak tega melakukannya... karena pohon ini telah tumbuh puluhan tahun, bisa jadi lebih tua dari umurku sendiri... namun saya bisa merasa sedikit tenang, karena telah lama melakukan penanaman kembali tanaman ini. pohon ini terendam bagian bawah karena baru saja hujan deras sehari sebelumnya. saya sempat khawatir kualitas 'galih'nya kurang bagus, tapi ternyata cukup baik.

baru kali ini saya harus melihat sendiri pohon sonokeling yg akan ditebang, ada perasaan sedih dan tidak tega melakukannya… karena pohon ini telah tumbuh puluhan tahun, bisa jadi lebih tua dari umurku sendiri… namun saya bisa merasa sedikit tenang, karena telah lama melakukan penanaman kembali tanaman ini.
pohon ini terendam bagian bawah karena baru saja hujan deras sehari sebelumnya. saya sempat khawatir kualitas ‘galih’nya kurang bagus, tapi ternyata cukup baik.

keindahannya merupakan rekaman perjalan hidupnya...

keindahannya merupakan rekaman perjalan hidupnya…

harga kayu sonokeling log sekarang ini sekitar Rp. 6 juta/m3, kayu ini semakin langka dan akan semakin mahal. proses penanamannya sebenarnya sederhana, hanya dengan stek akar. namun membutuhkan kesabaran yg luar biasa menanti dia dewasa, bahkan kerelaan ketika kita nanti tidak memanennya. menanam sonokeling adalah menghadiahi generasi penerus kita karena kita telah menerima hadiah tersebut saat ini.

harga kayu sonokeling log sekarang ini sekitar Rp. 6 juta/m3, kayu ini semakin langka dan akan semakin mahal. proses penanamannya sebenarnya sederhana, hanya dengan stek akar. namun membutuhkan kesabaran yg luar biasa menanti dia dewasa, bahkan kerelaan ketika kita nanti tidak memanennya. menanam sonokeling adalah menghadiahi generasi penerus kita karena kita telah menerima hadiah tersebut saat ini.

jumlah lingkaran tahun 23 = umurnya 23 tahun

jumlah lingkaran tahun 23 = umurnya 23 tahun

I wish these trees could stay…

The story of Babakan Siliwangi Forest Walk goes a long way back, although the Forest Walk itself has been around for only less than three months. I won’t go in length here to tell the story, but anyone living in Bandung knows that Babakan Siliwangi (Baksil) has become one of the most disputable areas in Bandung, concerning building rights and ownership status. Being about the only forest in a dense urban area that is gradually being cramped by concrete buildings, roads and automobiles, it naturally becomes our concern to protect it. The concern becomes more intense upon knowing that a developer plans to build multi-stories apartment, a restaurant, and so on. The struggle goes on, especially since the municipal government seems to take on the developer’s side instead of ours.

Baksil Forest Walk

Therefore it was such an opportunity when about 1300 children and youths from 120+ countries gathered in Bandung for the TUNZA event in September 2011, held by The Indonesian Ministry of Environment (KLH) and The United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP). The venue was SABUGA conference hall, which is actually located within the Baksil area, so it was relatively easy to grab the attention of whoever attended and/or covered the event to the preservation of Baksil forest. Partnering with KLH, Bandung Creative City Forum (BCCF) therefore made sure that the following important events happened during TUNZA: the launching of Baksil as The World City Forest, the opening of Baksil Forest Walk, and the declaration of Urban Farming Global Network. Why are these things important? They somehow validated the existence of Baksil as a city forest that needs to be conserved, voiced by the world’s young generations, who are going to face the consequences of what we do today.

Here’s a video that shows a glimpse of BCCF contribution to the TUNZA event.

Back to the Forest Walk. It’s such a shame if you lived in Bandung, especially in the Northern part, and had never experienced the Walk. It was build at the height of the trees, so one doesn’t walk below the trees, next to the roots on the ground, but at the level of the trees’ huge branches, leaf crowns and the hanging, curtain-like roots. The Walk was built without disrupting any tree, giving way for them to keep living and growing by providing holes wherever necessary.

Dhanu's "Apple Birdhouse"

I took our kids to the Walk in separate times. Getting back home, Dhanu (10) who read about the fact (at info boards placed along the Walk) that Baksil is a habitat for various animals, especially birds, right away designed a birdhouse for the birds that live in the forest. Lindri (8), who was very much impressed by her surroundings, spontaneously exclaimed, “I wish these trees could stay forever”.

Lindri at The Forest Walk

Her wish, I’m sure, also belongs to a lot of people who live and breathe the air of Bandung. Baksil is among a few green sites in the city that provide us with oxygen, and whoever plans to demolish these sources must be ignorant of common human rights to have access to clean air and water. Baksil Forest Walk is a design that serves as a form of protest, to show what people actually want and need, as opposed to what the government and the developer have planned. Let’s just hope that the Walk stays intact, or even grows bigger, and that people can take care of it: keeping it clean, safe and comfortable. Let’s express our care for the site by enjoying the space, making it our playground – like HUB!, a community that concentrates on having fun activities at Baksil, does.

Save. Babakan. Siliwangi.

Magno’s Agro Forestry Program (2/2)

Tree nursery

Dataran tinggi membutuhkan jenis kopi yang berbeda dengan kopi dataran rendah. Tahun 2010 kami membeli kopi Arabica F1 bersertifikat untuk ditanam di wilayah lereng Sumbing. Saat ini telah ada sejumlah 5 petani dengan luas area sekitar 5 Ha yang bersedia beralih dari pertanian tembakau ke kopi.

The highland area provides for different coffee variation, compared to the lowlands. In 2010 Magno bought certified Arabica F1 coffee plants to be grown on the side of Sumbing mountain. At the moment there are five farmers within an area of 5 Hectares who are willing to switch from tobacco to coffee.

Local crop

Learning from the above and from various sources, we conclude that agro forestry is the right activity to be proceeded. Agro forestry, on one hand gives more economical benefits for the farmers, while nurturing and improving the quality of the environment on the other hand.

Berbeda dengan wilayah lereng sumbing, desa-desa disekitar masih banyak memiliki wilayah yang hijau. Namun  sampai kapan hal tersebut akan bertahan? Gambar berikut adalah gambar satelit Desa Kandangan, blok-blok berwarna kuning  adalah wilayah-wilayah yang telah beralih menjadi pemukiman dalam kurun 20 tahun terakhir, dan lajunya semakin cepat dari tahun ke tahun.

Kandangan Village

Different from the Sumbing mountainside, green areas in the surrounding villages still exist. But is it going to last? The picture above is a satellite shot of the Kandangan village: the yellow blocks are the areas that have transformed into dwellings within the past 20 years. The pace is getting faster throughout the years.

Magno location

Wilayah-wilayah desa sekitar kandangan saat ini masih banyak memiliki wilyah hijau, namun wilayah-wilayah tersebut terus mengalami penciutan. Sebab yang paling mendasar adalah nilai ekonomi yang  didapat pemilik  masih rendah perluas lahannya. Selama nilai ekonomi yang diperoleh dari aktivitas pertanian rendah, sehingga lahan-lahan hijau akan semakin menghilang.

Around Kandangan village there are still some green areas, but those areas keep shrinking.  The main cause for this situation is the low economic value per acre that is determined by the owners hold. As long as the economic value obtained from farming activity is low, the green areas will gradually disappear.

A new green property

Baru-baru ini kami membeli lahan sawah seluas 2.2 Ha. Lokasi ini selama ini diincar pihak lain yang ingin menggunakannya untuk membangun kompleks perumahan.  Kami ingin tetap menjadikan tempat tersebut  titik awal mengenalkan pertanian organik kepada para petani disekitarnya. Pertanian organik secara bertahap akan mengembalikan kesuburan tanah, pada gilirannya nanti akan memberikan hasil yang lebih banyak dan menyediakan bahan pangan yang sehat bagi masyarakat.

We have just acquired a rice field with the size of 2.2 Hectares. Others have eyed this location to be turned into a housing complex. We plan to keep it as the starting point of teaching organic farming to the farmers who live in the surrounding areas. Organic farming will in time bring back the soil fertility, and will in turn yield better results in terms of providing healthy food for the local communities.

Singgih & visitors

Agro forestry merupakan jawaban yang tepat, karena agro forestry  mampu memberikan hasil yang lebih tinggi perluas lahan sekaligus menjaga wilayah hijau menjadi tetap hijau. Wilayah ini akan memiliki kemampuan untuk mempertahankan diri.

Agro forestry is the right answer to maintaining the prospective value of the land, since it can bring better results per acre and also to keep the areas green. The area will be able to fend for itself.

Productive crops

Petani sebaiknya menanam berbagai jenis tanaman yang bisa menghasillkan panen dalam jangka pendek, sedang dan panjang.  Tanaman aren (Sugar Palm) merupakan jenis tanaman yang baik untuk konservasi air,  dapat ditanam bersama  tanaman kopi, namun bisa disadap tiap hari air gulanya untuk kemudian diproses menjadi gula aren.  Perlu penyempurnaan dalam budidaya aren dan pengolahannya agar hasilnya bisa untuk membiayai kebutuhan hidup sehari-hari. Pemenuhan kebutuhan finansial harian akan menghindarkan petani untuk memetik kopi dalam kondisi masih muda dan menebang pohon-pohon yang belum cukup umur.

Farmers are better off growing all kinds of plants which yield short-term, mid-term, and long-term harvests.  Palm sugar is the kind of plant that is good for water conservation, will co-exist with coffee trees, and yet can be tapped on daily basis to be processed into palm sugar. The process still need further improvements in growing the plant, to be able to get the kind of results that will provide for daily needs. Fulfilling daily financial need will keep the farmers from picking the coffee beans or from cutting down trees before its time.

On the mountainside

Salah satu penyebab melemahnya sektor ini adalah akibat kualitas SDM yang menurun. Sarjana pertanian tidak mau bekerja di pertanian. Perlunya pengembangan SDM petani agar bisa mengelola aktivitasnya dengan manajemen usaha yang lebih baik.  Peningkatan kualitas SDM menjadi salah satu faktor kunci keberhasilan pengembangan agro forestry.

One of the weakest factors in this sector is the human resource. University graduates in the field of agriculture are rarely willing to work in the agriculture sector. Farming needs its own human resource development in order to be able to manage its activities with better business management. The quality of the human resource is one of the key factors to achieve successful agro forestry.

Production site

Nilai tambah yang lebih besar juga akan didapat jika  para petani mampu menjual hasil pertaniannya dalam bentuk sudah diproses. Mereka perlu membangun semacam koperasi untuk dapat mengolah hasil pertaniannya menjadi bahan/produk yang lebih berkualitas. Aktivitas pengolahan ini selain memberikan nilai tambah pada hasil pertaniannya juga memnciptakan lapangan kerja baru bagi masyarakat sekitar.

Greater added value will be gained when the farmers can sell their product in processed forms. They need to build a co-operation system in order to be able to process their farm products into quality commodities. This processing activity will yield an added value and also could also create job opportunities for the surrounding communities.

Giving back to each other

Kita harus belajar dari keterkaitan hidup yang saling bergantung dan mempengaruhi dalam sebuah ekosistem alam. Kegiatan apapun di alam ini akan secara otomatis menjadi bagian dari sebuah ekosistem. Jika kita memberi sesuatu yang positif ke alam, alam pun akan memberikan hal yg sama ke kita.  Kegiatan industri akan menjadi bagian yang positif dari sebuah sistem alam jika kegiatan itu didasarkan pada kesadaran akan daya hidup, keseimbangan dan keterbatasan alam.

We will have to learn from the interconnectivity of lives that is interdependent and influencing each other within a natural ecosystem. Any kind of activities in nature will automatically become a part of an ecosystem. If we give positive things to nature, nature will do the same things to us. Industrial activity will become a positive part of a natural system if the activities are based on the consciousness of the living force, balance, and the limitation of nature.

Magno’s Agro Forestry Program (1/2)

Singgih and his workshop

Magno merupakan brand dari produk kayu yang saat ini telah mendunia. Produk ini didesain dan diproduksi di Kandangan, sebuah desa di Jawa Tengah, Indonesia.  Singgih S. Kartono  desainer produk kelahiran desa tersebut merupakan kreator dan pendiri Magno.  Singgih memutuskan kembali ke desanya  karena merasa hal itulah yang seharusnya dilakukan setelah melihat kenyataan desanya telah kehilangan banyak para pemikirnya

Magno is a brand of wood products which has achieved global recognition.  This line of products is designed and manufactured in Kandangan, a village in Central Java, Indonesia.  Singgih S. Kartono, a product designer who was born in the village, is the creator and founder of Magno.  Singgih decided to return to his village after graduating from ITB, since he felt that it was the right thing to do, considering the situation that the village has lost most of its thinkers.

Magno products

Pada tahun 2008 Magno memperoleh Good Design Award di Jepang. Penghargaan ini sangat berarti, karena tidak diberikan semata pada produknya namun juga pada aktivitas pengembangan komunitasnya. Produk-produk Magno saat ini telah tersebar luas dan dijual di toko-toko desain terkemuka di dunia, di MoMA New York dan Design Museum London.

In 2008 Magno received the Good Design Award from Japan. This award meant a lot, since it was not just dedicated to the product, but also to the related community development activities.  The Magno products at the moment have been distributed widely and are available on the shelves of prominent design shops around the world such as MoMA in New York and Design Museum London.

Human being is a part of nature

Kecintaan Singgih pada kayu dan kehidupan masyarakat desa pada satu sisi dan sikap kritisnya pada perkembangan teknologi dan industrialisasi pada sisi lain telah melahirkan pendekatan baru dalam desain.  A perfect design should be an imperfect one. Ketidaksempurnaan yang disengaja ini memberikan ruang pada user untuk membangun  hubungan user-product yang lebih dekat, hal ini akan menghindarkan sikap pakai buang sebagai ekses dari industrialisasi.

Singgih’s love for wood, also the lives of the villagers on one hand and his criticism of technology and industrialization on the other hand, brought forward a new approach in design.  A perfect design should be an imperfect one. This imperfection that is created on purpose provides a space for the user to build a closer user-product relation, and this will avoid wasteful attitude, which is an excess of industrialization.

Magno products

Singgih memilih untuk hanya membuat produk kayu berdimensi kecil dengan teknologi craft. Produk ini  lebih sedikit menggunakan  kayu dan menciptakan lebih banyak peluang kerja. Dalam 1 tahun kegiatan produksi hanya menebang kurang dari 75 pohon, memberikan lapangan kerja secara kontinyu 35 perajin dan menanam lebih dari 8000 pohon/tahun. Permasalahan lingkungan pada dasarnya adalah permasalahan ekonomi, aktivitas ekonomi yang benar  akan berakibat positif pada alam.

Singgih chose to focus on small-sized wooden products, produced with craft technology. This kind of product will use less wood and create more job opportunities.  Within one year, its production process only consumed less than 75 trees, and provides continual job opportunity for 35 craftsmen/women and planted more than 8000 trees/year. The environmental problem is at the core of economic problem, therefore the right economic activities will bring positive impacts to the environment.

Tree nursery

Singgih menyadari  bahwa kayu yang digunakan dalam produksi bukanlah yang dia  tanam. “Kami memanen kayu yang ditanam generasi sebelum kami,  sehingga kami berpikir harus menyediakan hal yang sama untuk generasi berikutnya“.  Singgih membangun tree nursery di sekeliling workshop produksinya dan melibatkan perajin dalam proses pemeliharaannya. Singgih ingin menanamkan  kesadaran pada mereka bahwa menanam dan menumbuhkan kayu membutuhkan kesabaran, ketekunan dan waktu yang panjang.

Singgih realizes that the wood he uses in production is not the variation that he planted.  “We harvest wood that our previous generations planted, therefore we think that we have to provide the same thing for the generations after us.” Singgih established a tree nursery around his production workshop and involved craftspeople in maintaining the nursery. Singgih wanted to teach them the idea that planting and growing wood need patience, determination, and a long time.


Tahun 2008 Magno membagikan gratis 8000 bibit pohon, tahun 2009 sebanyak  lebih dari 10000 bibit. Bibit tanaman tersebut berasal dari bibit yang dipelihara sendiri dan dibeli dari para pembibit di luar untuk menambah jumlah.  Berdasarkan pemantauan yang dilakukan secara periodik, tingkat hidup bibit yang dibagikan mencapai lebih dari  75%.

In 2008 Magno distributes 8000 tree saplings for free, and in 2009 over 10000 trees.  These were from their own nursery plus the ones bought from outside sources to add to the sum. Periodic monitoring indicates that the life expectancy of these trees reaches 75%.

Local forest

Bibit dibagikan ke masyarakat sekitar untuk ditanam di lahan mereka sendiri. Masyarakat di sekitar desa memanfaatkan lahan non sawah untuk menanam kopi.  Mereka juga menanam pohon2 untuk diambil kayunya.  Tanaman kopi merupakan jenis tanaman yang membutuhkan teduhan, sehingga  kami tidak menemui kesulitan dalam membagikan bibit pohon ke wilayah ini.

The trees are being distributed to the local communities to be planted in their land. The surrounding village communities use the non-rice field land to grow coffee. They also planted trees for the wood. Coffee trees is the kind of plant that can only thrive in the shades, so we don’t encounter any problem in distributing these tree saplings to be planted around the area.

Mountainside areas

Singgih menghadapi hambatan ketika membagikan  bibit tanaman untuk wilayah lereng gunung. Wilayah ini sebagian besar digunakan untuk menanam tembakau, dan jenis tanaman ini membutuhkan paparan sinar matahari yang maksimal.  Pohon2 yang rindang ditebang.  Pertanian tembakau telah menjadikan wilayah ini mengalami kerusakan yang cukup parah.

Singgih faced a challenge when distributing the trees to the mountainside areas. These areas are largely used to plant tobacco, and this kind of plants needs maximum sunlight.  The shady trees are being felled. The tobacco industry has rendered the areas severely damaged.

Temanggung tobacco

Tembakau temanggung  dikenal dengan jenis tembakau berkualitas tinggi dan banyak dibutuhkan oleh para produsen rokok. Harga tembakau sesungguhnya tidak stabil, namun kadang harganya demikian tinggi sehingga membuat petani selalu ingin menanam. Kegiatan penanaman tembakau telah berlangsung demikian lama, sehingga telah menjadi  tradisi.

Temanggung tobacco is famous for its high quality and it is most sought after by cigarette companies. The price of tobacco is unstable, but occasionally the price is so high that farmers always want to grow it.  The tobacco growing activity has been going on for so long that it has become a part of the tradition.


Pada tahun 2008 dilakukan kerjasama pembibitan pohon dengan sebuah SMP di lereng Gunung Sumbing. Pada saat itu kami menyiapkan bibit pohon Mahoni. Pada tahun 2009 atas masukan dari masyarakat sekitar kami menyiapkan bibit kopi.  Beberapa orang di wilayah pertanian tembakau berniat untuk beralih ke tanaman kopi. Progam ini berhasil menyiapkan 900 bibit dan telah ditanam di lahan.

In 2008 tree nursery activities are conducted in a partnership with a secondary school on the mountainside of Mount Sumbing.  At that time, Magno prepared Mahogany saplings. In 2009, several people around the area suggested to prepare coffee saplings. Some people wanted to change their tobacco plantation to coffee. We succeeded in providing 900 coffee saplings, which are already planted in the area.