Malang City’s ‘Local Data Revolution’ for the SDGs

December 4, 2016

IMG_0720In June 2016, Malang City of Indonesia announced the ‘Malang Environmental Data Challenge’ under ASEAN ESC Model Cities Year 3.  Malang city is attempting to implement an agenda following Measurement Reporting and Verification (MRV) schemes as an essential part of international processes, including for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Over a period of five months, Malang city provided 30 schools with training (in collaboration with GIZ) to measure, report and verify data on energy and waste in schools. The city decided to target schools over residential communities as schools have a relatively higher cooperation and retention rate (continue to implement activities after training).

IMG_0721After training, about 20 schools (60%) implemented MRV and about 10 schools (30%) managed to submit their data to the online database ( on a regular basis (daily/weekly).

To recognise the valuable cooperation rate and to motivate a better quality of data collection, further training and incentives (a professional language course supported by seed funds under ASEAN ESC Model Cities Year 3) was held for the best performing teachers from 1 – 3  December 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Malang City is making satisfactory progress on its proposed activity under Model Cities Year 3. To get a more accurate idea of the actual progress, project effectiveness and sustainability, the following matters need further investigation in the next phase of M&E:

  • The methodology employed by teachers in collecting the data
  • The level of analysis (including calculations on GHG) possible with the data collected in schools, and how it can be linked to the city’s existing projects/policies on environmental management.
  • The effect of data collection on the behaviour of teachers and students (do they lead to positive transformation in the school’s environmental quality, and how can it be proven?)

malang 1Group photo of and multi-department partners’ meeting in Malang City’s top Model School SMP10. Two years ago, the environmental board was working by itself, with some support from the social weflare department. As Malang City gets more involved in international projects, it has drawn the transport, education and PR departments also into its Model City teams.

malang 2Compared to IGES team’s visit 2 years ago, Malang City’s Model Eco-school SMP-10 has become visibly greener (more plant growth). A new measure is ‘free roaming’ chickens and geese in the school compound.

malang 3The Model School upgraded its main gazebo to become a visitor and public learning centre on environmental education. As one of the top-performing Model Green Schools under the national scheme, it receives at least 1 – 2 groups of study visitors per week.Expansion of the pedestrian walkways on one of the city’s most prominent boulevards (Ijen Boulevard) as measures to improve walkability. The city has a unique land tax system where taxes correspond to the width of the main facing road and total property area (richer people pay more).

malang 4Launched last year, the ‘Macyto’ city tour bus provides a 1-hour trip (free daily) around the main sights of the city to promote tourism as well as cultivate a sense of love and pride among citizens.



malang 5 The city has invested significantly to upgrade and beautify its parks. This round park in front of City Hall is visibly greener and more beautiful (more landscaping and art installation) compared to two years ago. Biking paths have been added to other parks.

malang 6New seating facilities and landscaping in the city’s main boulevard in line with th Mayor’s move to revive the city’s green and progressive reputation.

malang 7Kampung Tridi (3D) – Warna Warni (new touristic names for illegal village settlements on both sides of the Brantas river – Kampung Juanda and Kampung Jodipan) is a slum beautification project which originally began as an initiative by a final year university student to replicate the slum beautification project in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in July 2016. (A similar development was implemented in Kampung Code, Jogjakarta two years ago.)

The project was recently picked up by the Malang City government for further development into a prominent tourist destination site, which will the side effects of enhancing local livelihoods and improving public cleanliness. A local university has been tasked with proposing a development plan for the site, including plans to build a bridge to link both sides of the river. Meanwhile, the city government is providing business skills training to villagers and appealing to companies to contribute wall paints and other kinds of support in line with CSR. Apparently, many of the villagers are young artists who have created most of the artistic paintings. There are talks of government assistance for house repairs and new facilities, such as lighting – which will enable visitors to also view the site at night.

The site now receives some 600 visitors daily and it has become a hot spot for ‘selfies’ and ‘wefies’. Local villagers charge tourists IDR2,000 per entry to pay for public cleaning and waste collection services. According to some news reports, this initiative has successfully raised awareness and willingness among the villagers to take public hygiene and beautification seriously. Some parties, though, have expressed concern about the sustainability of the investments made since the riverside is vulnerable to serious flooding (predicted to happen once every decade or so), which will destroy all the existing infrastructure.


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