BAPPEDA, Semarang’s Development Planning Agency, is exploring if Transit Oriented Development (TOD) is the best solution for their city. To solve this concern, we worked with them in the development of more than 100 alternative scenarios. Of course, we expected that a TOD scenario would perform better than the rest in accesibility to public transportation, but we found surprises in other indicators as well.

Panoramic Semarang

The City of Semarang, capital of the Central Java province, is amongst the biggest cities in Indonesia. And just as other big cities in the world, Semarang has attracted people looking for more opportunities. This important surge of population density during the last decades, has particularly put Semarang’s mobility infrastructure to the test.

In an attempt to mitigate the mobility challenges, several BRT corridors have been built and a couple of ring roads are already planned. Albeit, a lack of integration within the public transport system, the lack of a confined lane in the BRT, and an important increase in private vehicle usage -average anual increase of 11.5% from 2005 to 2014, among others, remain as obstacles for the improvement of mobility and traffic congestion in Semarang.

Alongside City Planning Labs, we sat down with stakeholders of Semarang’s City Development Planning Agency and Semarang’s Spatial Planning Agency to gather a vision of the city, and asses how the current Spatial Plan matches this vision. More than 100 possible future scenarios were modeled and analyzed with a range of 14 indicators, including social, economical and environmental aspects. From all scenarios, we identified one that minimizes investment costs and significantly contributes to stakeholders vision. This was the Transit Oriented Development or TOD scenario.

Results show that the densification modeled in the TOD scenario near the existing transport network results in more than a 20% increase in access to public transport as compared to Semarang’s current Spatial Plan. This improved proximity to public transport reflects in a decrease of 16% of energy consumption for mobility and ultimately on its associated GHG emissions by almost 9%, compared to the Spatial Plan. This would represent the achievement of a third of Indonesia’́s National Commitment in GHG emissions reduction through urban planning.

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