One Architecture & Urbanism

One Architecture & Urbanism

Amsterdam, NL and New York


Water as Leverage: Semarang

For the Dutch government-led Water as Leverage challenge, ONE assembled an interdisciplinary, international team of designers, engineers, economists, ecologists, anthropologists, art activists, and academics to tackle water-related risks and opportunities in Semarang, Indonesia. 

The ONE team developed a city-wide, integrated vision spanning from the region’s coast to its hilly urban periphery. The proposal puts forth potential interventions with multiple benefits centered around eco-industrial clusters, water security, resilience communities, and a protective coastal greenbelt. Only as part of a comprehensive approach, the team described, would any individual infrastructure project achieve a net positive effect on the drastic rates of subsidence (largely due to groundwater extraction and aquifer depletion), sea-level rise, and rapid urbanization presently occurring in Semarang. 

The design approach is comprised around three connected resilient systems: 1) an optimized water capture and recycling system; (2) an integrated (eco, industrial, logistic) protective coastal zone; and (3) a network of resilient kampungs (districts). Many of the component sub-projects within these systems – street-level green infrastructure, water conveyance and retention systems along toll roads, protective greenbelts built into waterfront industrial sites, offshore barriers around inundated port areas – tie into the city’s planned or ongoing capital projects in the coming years. As part of the challenge, the team co-developed these potential projects and concepts alongside city agencies, local stakeholders, businesses, and communities. 

Since the delivery of the final program proposals in mid-2019, ONE and Kota Kita have continued working between RVO and the Indonesian government entities on capacity building, integration and adoption of concepts, and (ultimately) a series of targeted infrastructure investments. 

The Final Report is available here.   

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Status: Unbuilt