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Asia Public Policy Forum 2014; RFIA brings together Indonesian and Asian policy makers and leaders in Vietnam
June 9, 2014

HO CHI MINH CITY (6/6) Harvard Kennedy School Indonesia Program and the Fulbright Economics Teaching Program organized the fourth Asia Public Policy Forum 2014 entitled: “Urban Transport and Land Use in Rapidly Growing Asian Cities” on June 5-6, 2014 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The Forum has been held annually since the inception of the Rajawali Foundation for Asia in 2010. The first Forum in 2011 was held at the University of Indonesia with “Energy Policy” topic. In 2012, Asia Public Policy Forum focused on “Disaster Management” and was held at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Indonesia, again, became the host of the Forum in 2013 with topic: “Poverty, Inequality, and Social Protection in Asia”. In addition to Rajawali Foundation Institute for Asia, the Government of Indonesia’s Team to Accelerate Poverty Reduction (TNP2K), the Ministry of National Development Planning (BAPPENAS), and AUSAID co-sponsored the latter Forum. Outputs from the Forum including conference proceedings published online and in journals.

The goal of the 2014 Forum is to convene leaders in government, local authorities, and academia in the East and South East Asia along with leading international scholars to discuss key land use and transportation challenges Asian cities confront as they become regional economics hubs. Through a series of panel discussions that highlighted the experience of several major Asian cities, the conference hoped to enhance the understanding of urbanization and to identify policy recommendations that can provide guidance to urban planners, government leaders, and scholars in the regions as they strive to enhance the effectiveness of urban development.

After opening remarks by Ben Wilkinson, Director, Vietnam Program at Harvard Kennedy School followed by Jay Rosengard, Faculty Chair, Harvard Kennedy School Indonesia Program, and Academic Director, Rajawali Foundation Institute for Asia, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School, the Forum started with an overview of typical trends in urban transportation and land use as well as the implications for congestion and sustainability. This morning session on overview of the challenges was highlighted by Bambang Susantono, PhD’s – Vice Minister of Transportation, Ministry of Transportation, Indonesia  - presentation which focused on “Urban Transportation Development in Indonesia: Challenges Ahead”.  The afternoon session continued with presentations of three case studies, each from Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, and Jakarta. Professor Danang Parikesit from University of Gadjah Mada, who is also the Chairman of The Indonesia Transportation Society, delivered his presentation about “Challenges in Managing a Growing and Complex Mobility Demand for the Greater Jakarta”. The sessions during the two-day forum included topics on managing private vehicles, improving public transportation, land use and livability, governance and financing, and special focus session on encouraging private investment in urban development and infrastructure.

The Forum was particularly intended for and attended by many Indonesian’s transportation and infrastructure policy leaders and makers. The contingent comprised of Bambang Susantono, PhD (Vice Minister of Transportation Republic of Indonesia), Prof. Danang Parikesit (Chairman of the Indonesian Transportation Society), Tjokorda Nirarta Samadhi (Deputy for the Indonesian President’s Delivery Unit on Development Monitoring & Oversight/UKP4), Sinthya Roesli (CEO of Indonesia Infrastructure Guarantee Fund), Harun al-Rasyid Lubis (Assoc. Professor at Bandung Institute of Technology and Chairman of Infrastructure Partnership and Knowledge Center), Alvinsyah Muslihun (Professor at University of Indonesia), Wicaksono Sarosa (Director of Partnership for Governance Reform), etc. Other prominent speakers included Nguyen Xuan Thanh (Director of Fulbright Economics Teaching Program, Vietnam), Jose Antonio Gomes Ibanez (Derek C. Bok Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy, Harvard University), Robert Cervero (Priesen Chair of Urban Studies and Professor of City and Regional Planning, University of California at Berkeley), and many others.

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