Public housing can show us important things about Indonesia in the 1950s, because seemingly technical, neutral planning decisions were in reality highly political choices. Public housing was restarted on a massive scale in Indonesia in the early 1950s, but the building volume soon fell off because of financial constraints. This limited success raises the questions of what happened to public housing during the decolonization, which groups were reached, what the size of the public housing sector was, and why public housing soon failed to live up to the high expectations of the political leaders, and perhaps the general public too, after Independence.
The Politics of Urban Space and Housing during the Decolonization of Indonesia, 1930-1960
The author challenges the idea that a shift from ethnic to class differences was the overriding social change during decolonization. He argues instead that class differences had already formed the predominant dividing lines in colonial urban society. Colombijn also focuses on the shifting balance of power between the main agents in the urban arena.
Through the use of hitherto unused historical sources, the book presents a wealth of new data about the Indonesian city and the decolonization process.
Published in cooperation with the Netherlands Institute of War Documentation (NIOD).
Originally published with imprint KITLV (ISBN 9789067182911).