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Messy UrbanismUnderstanding the "Other" Cities of Asia$
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Manish Chalana

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9789888208333

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888208333.001.0001

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The Order of Messiness: Notes from an Indonesian City

The Order of Messiness: Notes from an Indonesian City

(p.41) Chapter 3 The Order of Messiness: Notes from an Indonesian City
Messy Urbanism

Abidin Kusno

Hong Kong University Press

Historically the non-European quarters in any colonized Asian cities have been depicted as messy and disorderly. Post-World War II cities of the Global South are seen as messy and subject to incorporation into an urban order. In this work the author argues that representation of messiness is imbued with political significance to justify the urban spatial transformation to restore “order”. By engaging the spatial location of kampong (the relatively marginalized urban neighborhoods) in the postcolonial era the work demonstrates how that which is socially and politically marginalized remains economically central to the city. The author presents a response (or a challenge) to the order of the city—the recent domination of motorbikes in the city street—as a form of engaging in messy urbanism. The notion of messiness thus links space, power, and knowledge and is not an isolated category; instead it is a term central to the organization of power relations between the state, the capital, and the divided civil society.

Keywords:   Urban order, Post-colonial, Kumpong, Jakarta

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