Co-design Ngampon

Surakarta (Solo)

Since 2018, Kota Kita has worked with residents of Kampong Ngampon—an urban settlement and industrial cluster in Solo, Indonesia known for its bamboo birdcage craft—in a community-driven placemaking initiative to strengthen the capacity of key community institutions in improving their living spaces.  Ngampon residents rely heavily on home-based craft businesses or their livelihood, but they face daily challenges such as a lack of economic capital and limited market access. This is exacerbated by poor housing and infrastructure, including a lack of proper working area for the craftspeople, which hindered production during the rainy season, leading to a substantial loss of revenue.

Through a series of focus group discussions facilitated by Kota Kita in 2019, Ngampon residents identified a pressing need for a multi-purpose common space that could support community-based economic development and social activities. 

Together with Ngampon residents, we devised three solutions in revitalizing new common spaces for the neighborhood. The space would serve as a hub for community meetings, play, and production, while also strengthening their identity as creative kampong. Simultaneously, the co-design process seeks to strengthen social resilience in Ngampon by putting residents in charge of creating necessary community institutions for the future of the kampong.

There are three priority solutions in the Co-Design Ngampon initiative:

  1. A communal workspace for Ngampon birdcage makers—which can also be used as a public space—to address the lack of proper work areas for bird cage makers;
  2. Urban farms, as vacant lands which had been previously used by residents to grow crops and other plants, are now slated for development; and
  3. A safer playground, where parents can work and supervise children at the same time—to improve children’s safety when playing in the neighborhood.

In 2021, the Co-design Ngampon initiative was honored with a recognition from Placemaker Awards ASEAN 2021 as the Best Placemaker in the NGO/Community (Public Space) category and also as the Best Placemaker of the Year.