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BRIN-LDE ACADEMY 2023: The Smart, Sustainable, and Healthy City in Indonesia

We are pleased to announce a call for papers for the upcoming workshop on the study of smart, sustainable, healthy, and diverse cities in modern-day Indonesia. The workshop aims to explore the future possibilities and challenges of metropolitan centers such as Jakarta, the newly built IKN Nusantara, and other large and middle large urban hubs throughout the archipelago.

Urbanization in Indonesia has witnessed unprecedented growth in recent deacades, making it imperative to study its multifaceted impacts in times of big global challenges. Indonesia's urban centers are grappling with the adverse of climate change, including rising sea levels, pollution, and extreme weather events. Urbanization exacerbates these challenges by intensifying energy consumption, de-forestation, and greenhouse gas emissions. As cities expand, social inequality intensifies, creating stark disparities in access to basic service, housing, education, and healthcare. Indonesian cities serve as an interface where futures are made and unmade, with the rise of ever more sophisticated AI technologies, but also risking the loss of collective traditions and memories from which urban dwellers have long drawn their identities. 

This 2nd BRIN-LDE Academy is co-organised by Leiden, Delft, Erasmus Universities (The LDE Universities Alliance) from the Netherlands and the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) in Indonesia. We are also happy to announce that this year additional support will come from State Islamic University Syarif Hidayatullah, Jakarta. The aim of this 5-day progamme is co-creation in the field of teaching and research on sustainable urbanisation. It also aims to facilitate and foster international research collaboration and to nurture academic capacity for those researchers studying urban transitions in the context of a developing country where changes are particularly pressing: Indonesia, one the most rapidly urbanising nation in the world. 


The Academy aims to shed light on the importance of studying urbanization in Indonesia from an interdisciplinary angle, emphasizing its intricate relationship with the challenges. We encourage participants to submit original research papers, case studies, and theorical perspective addressing three critical topics:

1. AI and the Emergent Digital Economy

The urban future is here, and AI technologies are at the forefront of shaping Indonesian city life. These advancements offer immense potential to boost the new digital economy, revolutionizing sectors such as transportation, governance, and services. Generative AI enables innovative solutions and creativity, while self-driving cars promise efficient and safer mobility. Big data-driven urban governance empowers decision-making for efficient resource allocation. A prime example of this transformation is Go-Jek, a company that has revolutionized the urban landscape by integrating ride-hailing, food delivery, and various services. However, as AI permeates Indonesian cities, it also presents new ethical dilemmas. How does AI impact human relations, our social values, or all the things we believe in? Will it enhance or erode our urban ways of dwelling and living together? Moreover, sustainability concerns arise. Can and should we design sustainable AI technologies, or are they exhaustively consuming our natural resources? Additionally, there is a pressing need to address potential exclusions caused by AI-inspired technologies. To what extent might these advancements inadvertently deepen existing societal divisions or create new forms of exclusions? 

2. Human-Enviroment Relations in the City

Indonesian cities stand as stark hallmark of Anthropocene, an era in which humanity has become increasingly out of tune with the surrounding life and species. Amidst this disconnection, water in all its forms emerges as a crucial element for human survival, well-being, and the natural environment. Humans have demonstrated remarkable ingenuity in adapting to the complexities of their surroundings and navigating changing social and enviromental conditions. Remmants of past practices, structures, and objects persist within our built environment, institutions, ways of living, and even languages but are often ignored in modern day urban planning. In contemplating our future, we must reflect upon the lessons embedded in local approaches to climate change mitigation. How can we harness the wisdom of local communities and their sustainable practices? Furthermore, it is imperative to recognize that humans are not the sole inhabitants of this world. We must acknowledge the need to provide space for other-than-human entities and shift our mindset from working against the environment to working with it. Can we embrace the perspective of a river, a forest, or any other natural entity, to foster a deeper understanding of our interconnectedness and strive for more harmonious co-existence in and around the city?

3. Urban Heritage and Language Politics

Indonesians cities are blessed with an abundance of ethnic diversity encompassing a myriad of cultural groups, language, and literature. These distinct heritage, often rooted in traditions predating colonial times, form the tapestry of Indonesia's rich legacy. However, this invaluable heritage, whether tangible or intangible, faces the threat of neglect and marginalization due to ongoing urbanization, gentrification, and putting economic interest first. Intangible treasures such as oral histories, poetry, and literaturs rely on local languages, often unwritten and absent from formal education. Consequently, much of this heritage remains overlooked, under-documented, and under-researched. Moreover, the shift towards a more widespread usage of Indonesian among younger generations places this legacy at further risk. For this sub-theme, we encourage research that documents and investigates various aspects of Indonesian heritage, including older traditions and their contemporary manifestations. In which ways local languages within traditional regions are adapted as city dialects in urban communities, what is the presence of local art forms on social media platforms, and their incorporation into modern art forms like video clips and music genres such as hip-hop. How can we preserve a richness of local legacies in spite of urbanization. Indonesian city life may offer the key.

Open Call

The BRIN-LDE Academy is aimed at Indonesian participants, namely PhD candidates (with Master's degrees) and early career researchers (PhD degrees, obtained in the previous 5 year or less). During the course they will already write preliminary research papers on the urban challenges based on the above-mentioned sub-themes. 

You can send your expression of interest by submitting a (maximum of) 300 word abstract and curriculum vitae for review. Once selected, we will ask contributors to work on a 3,500-4,000 words paper that will be distributed well in advance of the academy dates. Please also indicate to which of the three sub-themes you wish to contribute. 

Papers accepted include but are not limited to research articles based on primary and secondary data and literature review including knowledge gaps, conceptual models, proposed tool/methods, etc.

For panel contributions - of maximum 4 speakers, - we require an abstract of no more than 1,200 words including a general introduction that explains why the papers fit together. Please submit your abstract here


Important Dates

Dates Remarks
28 July 2023 Deadline for abstract submission
11 August 2023 Notification of accepted abstracts
13 October 2023   Deadline for paper submission (3,500-4,000 words)
23-27 October 2023 2nd BRIN-LDE Academy in South Tangerang City, Banten Province, Indonesia




Subsidies are available for select Indonesian participants. PhD students from Leiden University, TU Delft, and Erasmus University Rotterdam are welcomed to contact the coordinators from each university respectively.


For further inquiries, send us an email via info@universiteitleiden.id.

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