A tale of Two Cities: Comparing Alternative Approaches to Reducing the Vulnerability of Riverbank Communities in Two Indonesian Cities
This paper describes initiatives in two Indonesian cities to reduce flood risks for those living in informal riverbank settlements. In Solo, the mayor encouraged dialogue with riverbank households, which evolved into government grants available to households prepared to relocate so that they could choose and purchase land sites in safer locations and build their homes. The government provided services and, where needed, official identity cards to those who moved. As a result of this process 993 households relocated - another 578 with legal tenure of their riverbank plots have not moved and are seeking higher compensation. In Surabaya, the mayor also encouraged dialogue with riverbank communities but no agreement was reached on tenure or alternative accommodation and compensation for those who were to move. Although neither initiative was a response to climate change, both highlight the importance of development solutions that increase resilience and that work with those most at risk from flooding and other risks that climate change is likely to create or exacerbate in Indonesia.