Prathiwi Widyatmi Putri

Prathiwi Widyatmi Putri


Prathiwi was formally trained as an engineer architect and spatial planner. Her work in the post-2004-tsunami reconstruction project has led to her engagement in the water sector beyond the modern conception of service and infrastructure. ‘Water landscape’, ‘water cycle’, and ‘water service’ are her heuristic devices to understand the territorial dynamics involving diversity of agencies and institutional layering, to question the actual meaning of public-private and formal-informal within the intermingling economic-production and social-reproduction spheres. She obtained her doctoral degree of engineering science from KU Leuven in October 2014. Her thesis addresses the issues of wastewater management within the context of fragmented spatial development in cities of the Global South, using the perspectives of Urban Political Ecology, Institutionalism and Social Innovation.


Current Research at the Rule and Rupture Programme

(This will be regularly updated)

The research investigates how public authority is exercised within post-Soeharto social housing projects in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. It seeks to understand how sense of ownership and citizenship come into being through ex- and inclusion in meeting basic household needs i.e. housing, water and sanitation.

The housing blocks were dedicated to mainly accommodating evicted communities from poor kampungs along the river banks and other water fronts in the city. In the colonial period, the indigenous word ‘kampung’ referred to urban settlements of different ethnic groups that were non-Chinese and non-European, or villages in rural areas. Today, a kampung is a type of neighbourhood where blue collar workers, low middle class families and informal sector workers live together and support the economy of the whole city, involving different forms of informalities. These informalities have been considered as both ’friends’ and ‘foes’ within the plurality of statutory policy making and planning arenas.  

Having been previously accused as water polluters and encroachers, it remains a question if in the new housing, the poor households could sustain their institutional practices and modes of livelihood or there could be new institutional arrangements and agencies of survival, let alone the question of a socio-economic leap-progress within the life of the marginalised communities. Several civil society organisations have reported that many of the households are prone to further evictions because their irregular income patterns do not fit within the regularisation procedures in the new housing blocks that are in the forms of e.g. monthly rental and utility fees, including for water.


Past Publications

(Please see the next page for a more updated publication list)

2016. Moulding Citizenship: Urban Water and the (Dis)Appearing Kampungs. A book chapter in Urban Water Trajectories, edited by Tse-Hui Teh, Sarah Bell, Pascale Hofmann and Adriana Allen. London: Springer.

2015. The Seedbeds of Active Citizenship? Community Gardens in Kampung Tugu Selatan, Jakarta - A Research Note. Pacific Geographies No. 44 July/August 2015.

2014. Black Water - Grey Settlements. Domestic Wastewater management and the Socio-ecological Dynamics of Jakarta's Kampungs. Doctoral thesis, Faculty of Engineering Science, Department of Architecture. Leuven: KU Leuven, Science Engineering and Technology. ISBN 978-94-6018-892-3.

2010. (With Aryani Sari) Jakarta Waterscape: From Structuring Water to 21st Century Hybrid Nature? Nakhara, Journal of Environment and Design, 6, 59-74.

2010. Seeking Creative Collaborations for a Sustainable City. Giving Way to Water. In A. R. Soemardi et al (Eds.), Artepolis 3. Creative Collaboration and the Making of Place: Learning from Shared Creative Experience (Conference Proceeding) (Vol. 2, pp. 831-840). Bandung.


Invited Talks

Hanoi, 25 April 2016. ‘Multiscalar Governance of Environmental Sanitation’ at the 2016 Annual Meeting & Workshop of the Urban Climate Resilience in Southeast Asia Partnership (UCRSEA), Engaging Cities in Climate Resilience.

Brussels, 22 April 2014. ‘Looking Back for Progress: an experience of reconstruction projects after the 2004 tsunami in Aceh’. International Master of Architecture at KU Leuven, LUCA Brussels Campus, Belgium.

Ghent, 9 March 2011. ‘Development Interventions: from Emergency Shelter, Transitional Shelter to Housing’. Master programme at the department of Industrial Building Engineering of KAHO Sint-Lieven, Belgium.


Previous Consultancy Works

Key expertise: water management, public health and sanitation, housing and informal settlements, post-disaster reconstruction.

Various international organisations for Indonesia and Vietnam, see

ID: 164500066