What do women want? The impact of female participation in Jakartan community sustainable transport projects

As one of the world’s largest mega cities (Greater Jakarta over 30 million) Jakarta’s transport network is under a lot of pressure and is currently dominated by private vehicles, both cars and around 15 millions motorbikes, leading to heavy congestion and non-pedestrian friendly street environments.

Jakartan traffic congestion and Bus Rapid Transit system

As part of initiatives to develop more people and sustainable oriented transport networks community engagement has been shown to be a key part of transport oriented development (TOD) in the city; and is essential to creating sustainable urban development that meets the needs of people. 

Car and motor vehicle dominated wide roads

ITDP Indonesia with their head office in Jakarta, runs in-depth engagement with the cities’ communities to truly understand what transport issues local populations in the mega city face, what they need and then develops associated interventions with them to improve the safety and health of their streets and lives of the communities. 

Jakarta’s urban villages

Discussions with ITDP staff highlighted how traditionally the majority of voices and stakeholders that are engaged in transport development in the city were male and female voices were largely absent. 

However, a project delivered by ITDP and the Jakarta Government in Sunter Jaya one of the cities’ urban villages, has resulted in deeper engagement with women and children and therefore understanding their transportation needs.

Engaging whole communities. Credit: ITDP Indonesia

It was identified that women are more likely to support sustainable transport options, including slower speeds in residential neighbourhoods, more space for pedestrians, play and people and child friendly streets. This was because men are more traditionally interested in the speed of work and commuting related transport; whereas women make a wider variety of journey types, spend more time in residential areas and more day time transport. 

People friendly streets. Credit: ITDP Indonesia

In summary – This shows how essential it is that all stakeholders and areas of communities are engaged with to create transport oriented development that focuses on the whole communities needs. And how fully engaging with women can lead to more sustainable and people friendly transport systems and streets.