We now live in a transition era between industry and post-industry phase where about more than 50% of the world’s total population is concentrated in urban areas. According to UNDESA (2015), this proportion might increase to about two third by 2050. By 2030 alone, at least 4.6 billion people will live in urban areas (IPCC, 2007; Ho et al. 2012). Many small and medium-scale urban areas have been rapidly turning as large-scale cities; they become the centre of economic, social, and political activities of their regions. Such urban areas face spatial expansion, population explosion, industry growth, and auto mobility trend (Ho et al. 2012; UNDESA, 2015). Rapid urbanisation and urban growth are particularly influenced by extensive development of road infrastructures, real estates, businesses, and industrial clusters.
To some extent, urban development has created environmental problems to cities, including greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. It is expected that 70% of the global gas emissions was caused by urban activities (Ho et al. 2012). At the same time, urban areas are the greatest segment that consumes energy, as at least 70% of the total usage of energy goes to cities. Consequently, urban areas are responsible for the growing trend of fossil-based fuel consumption as well as inefficient energy usage. A great hope has been pinned to policy makers, planners, environmentalists, and scholars, to uncover a better understanding regarding any innovative solutions that could help reduce gas emission, dependency on fossil-fuelled energy, as well as improve energy efficiency (Gossop, 2011; Lehman, 2015). Recently, innovations of renewable energy technologies in transportation sector such as hydrogen, electric, biogas and hydropower are considered as an important milestone to support low-carbon energy transformations (Tarigan and Bayern, 2012; Tarigan et al. 2012). Recent efforts under “smart cities” project are reported in many cities like in Europe (Haarstad, 2015b) that promoted different applications of technology, in order to create sustainable and liveable cities.
Furthermore, during the industrialisation era, cities paid a great amount of attention on industrialisation and physical urban development. Many farming areas and green zones around suburbs and certain part of city centres were gradually developed into new township and gated communities. However, following the emerge of the Brundtland Report, the Kyoto Protocol and the EU commitment to tackle energy crisis and climate challenge, many cities are part of the global agenda that provides comprehensive solutions on creating sustainable cities. At the same time cities and urban areas in both developed and developing countries have faced various challenges related to governance, urban management, infrastructure development, and finance.
To respond these urban issues, RDI launches a large scale and long term project, namely “Citypedia”. Citypedia aims to collect and depict urban recent phenomena and development, such as: economic growth, urban finance, smart city, smart infrastructure, renewable energy, urban creatives, climate change and environmental problems. Citypedia also offers a comprehensive profile of global cities in journal and working paper formats. The further goal of Citypedia is to have collections of case studies in the dynamic regions such as South East Asia and Africa. World Bank (2015) predicts urban areas will be increasing at 1.4 million people per week and it is projected that 90% of urban growth through 2050 will occur in Africa and Asia Continents. Therefore, another aim of this is to share case studies and to promote more collaboration among fast growing urban managers and researchers.
Starting with Indonesian cases, RDI’s researchers (Dr. Tarigan and Dr. Sagala as Principal Investigators) have published a number of papers on urban issues, as follows:
Malaysian Cases :
Europe Cases :