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Housing in the Kampong; The Contest between dwellers and the Government

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Chapter Summary

The Japanese occupation, the Indonesian Revolution, the resumption of Dutch rule, and the introduction of the Republic of Indonesia to sovereign rule in the 1950s all created insecurity for some occupants of houses and opened opportunities for others. Competition over control of urban space for housing and other purposes is found in any city, but in a colonial society the struggle was more brutal, because it was 'a battlefield between unequal powers with unequal wants'. Both before and after Independence, the majority of people found shelter in kampongs. The struggle for kampong improvement between dwellers and administrators was infused by moral concepts of filth, untidiness, and tradition versus purity, order, and progress. Efforts to improve kampongs were initially hindered by the fact that most kampongs within municipal boundaries had maintained a degree of autonomy. Kampong improvement elicited mixed feelings among target groups and caused as many problems as it solved.

Keywords: administrators; Dutch rule; dwellers; Indonesian Revolution; Kampong



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