The geography education department study program at the Faculty of Social Sciences held a studium generale on Current Challenges of Development Planning in The Cities of The Global South by Dr. Sonia Roitman from the University of Queensland, Australia. This studium generale was attended by lecturers and students at the department.
In her lecture, Sonia highlighted the importance of planning. She included five considerations in development planning that is a belief that action now can shape future potentialities, an emphasis on liveability and sustainability for the many, not the few, an emphasis on interdependences and interconnectivities between one phenomenon and another, across time and space, and a commitment to open and transparent government processes.
Sonia added that development planning should include planning for urban and rural areas which gives the focus on strategies to make positive changes in answering the development challenges in the future. Meanwhile she also suggested that development planning in the Global South should focus on improving people's prosperity and access and distribution of resources. In general the Global South are facing challenges in urbanisation and growth, poverty and social inequalities, social diversity and citizenship, urban sustainability and disaster management, planning and local governance, as well as planners values and attitude.
In Indonesian context, development planning for urban areas is urgently needed. Prior to the planning, analysis on the needs and challenges for different regions in the future should be done, because thorough understanding of the development needs is the base for the development planning. The challenges include public service for sustainable development for reducing emissions.
Currently, in spite of their development, many cities in Indonesia are facing climate change challenges. Yogyakarta is one of the cities. This city is facing problems in water resource availability. Her research in Yogyakarta, she found that the problem of the water resource availability is the city is due to imbalance water use by hotels. In this occasion, she also gave her appreciation for Yogyakartans who have quickly recovered from the Merapi volcano eruption in 2010.