Text and photos by Idhar Resmadi
Translated by Alfa M. Adiwidjaja
Bandung– Public spaces that were allocated as playing grounds in a city, is an important fixture in stimulating the creativity of the city’s inhabitants. Nowadays big city inhabitants are somehow missing the public spaces for their playing grounds. These mostly occur in big cities, where public spaces have been taken over by economic capitalism. And the result is the disappearance of the free playing grounds for its people.
“Big cities have been excessively utilized for the sake of economic capitalism. For the simple act of playing, people have to spend lots of money to enter places like Trans Studio or Kidzania. Yet playing, to a certain extent, is what defines people. Now, there has been a crisis in these big cities, in term of providing playing grounds for their own citizens,” said Ridwan Kamil in his speech for “Urban Play” in Indonesia Bermain (Indonesia Playing), an event that is being held at Sabuga Bandung on Sunday (10/23).
The city is also incapable of facilitating its citizens to play. For example, the Cikapundung river that is unsuitable to be used as a playing ground because of its polluted water. According to Ridwan Kamil, the lack of these playing grounds is causing vandalism by some of their own citizen. “Because the city does not have a skate park, the skaters utilize other public spaces as their play ground. Yet it is the government that should provide a skate park for them,” said the man who is also known as Emil.
The “Urban Play” concept that was presented by Ridwan Kamil is urging the city’s inhabitant to creatively make the most of the city facilities which are free and costs no charge. According to Emil, city facilities such as tall buildings, public areas, parks, streets, river, etc, can be used as play grounds.
One of the concrete example of making the most of the city facilities to be used as play grounds was Parkour, the sport that utilize buildings or high grounds as their play area. The concept of playing that was being applied by “Urban Play” is to create a city that is capable of being interactive with its citizens. Not only by playing, but citizens are also required to provide creative innovations for their city. The purpose of “Urban Play” is to build and to lift the citizens’ optimism towards their city by way of playing facilities.
“In a city we have to discipline people in creative ways,” told the architect whose designs and works have spread throughout various countries.
Ridwan Kamil also gave the example of the elderly park in France that has been able to stimulate the elderly to play and interact with each other by means of a ball game that is played in the park, and it resembles playing marbles. According to him, creative ideas can be born out of fun and relaxing thing. Besides, sometimes creativity emerges following an interaction between the citizens.
“If a city doesn’t have playing grounds, how do you expect its citizens to come out of their houses? Yet creativity appeared when people interact with each other. By meeting and having conversation with each other, then the ideas can come out,” he explained.
According to Ridwan, the idea of “Urban Play” can be accomplished with the basis of collaboration between the citizens with their various educational backgrounds. The example for this is the “Piano Stairs” at Stockholm, Sweden, which collaborate art, electronic, and music. And the after effect is that it had caused the citizens to choose the stairs rather than the elevators. The fun and playful concept that was combined with creativity have made the city more colorful and pleasing.
“The point is how to make the citizens collaborate their ideas for the purpose of transforming the city to become a more interesting place,” explained Ridwan Kamil.