Living with Nature: Water Stories of Kampung Naga, Indonesia

Ayu Ayu Tri Prestasia, B. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Rapid urbanisation and sprawling growth have become constant hindrances to nature in most developing countries. West Java is the most populated province in Indonesia under rapid urbanisation. In this rural area of the province, however, there is a traditional Sundanese hamlet called Kampung Naga that has succeeded in cohesively cohabiting with nature. This article discusses how the interaction of water, ecology, and anthropo-systems influences the spatial layout of the village, forms its cultural landscape, and shapes people’s social life. In addition to its sustainability, this article also reflects on the challenges of the possible application of this heritage landscape system in wider contexts. Three lessons can be learned from the water heritage system of Kampung Naga: (1) Understanding how the workings of the natural landscape are critical in determining the living space development; (2) The circular water system and its metabolism could only be maintained by integrating it into its cultural, social, and economical values; (3) Community planning and water circularity create a self-sustained living unit in Kampung Naga. Findings from this study can improve our body of knowledge of potential solutions for future spatial development, where the relationship between human and water could be profoundly re-established.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-76
JournalSpool. Journal of Architecture and the Built Environment
Issue number2 #7
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

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