NAIROBI - West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil received appreciation from UN-Habitat YM Executive Director Dato Maimunah Mohd Sharif for being considered a leader who succeeded in building cities when he became mayor. This praise was obtained after Emil - his nickname - after becoming the keynote speaker at the UN-Habitat Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa, Monday (05/27/2019).
Before the opening of the UN Session on Settlements began, Maimunah said, Emil's experience in building cities was very important to be shared with UN-Habitat member countries. Therefore, Emil was considered important in the meeting and was the main speaker at the UN-Habitat session.
Maimunah mentioned a few of the breakthroughs made by Emil, thus attracting the attention of UN-Habitat. Some of them are the leadership of Ridwan Kamil who transformed society from power to empowerment. One of them is to foster trust by opening up a wider communication space between the government and the community.
In addition, Ridwan Kamil is also able to utilize information and communication technology to provide speed of government services. The development approach is no longer just building physical infrastructure, but also in the non-physical or mental direction, by growing the community's happiness index using a soft approach.
With these successes, Maimunah said, he wanted to study at Emil about how to organize the city. He also assigned his colleagues to deal with Emil regarding the collaboration.
Emil expressed his gratitude for the appreciation of UN-Habitat for giving him the keynote speaker at one of the prestigious congregations at the United Nations. Moreover, the UN-Habitat session was the first to be held with 193 member countries participating.
Emil said, with a background as an architect and urban planner, he was grateful to have the opportunity to make wider changes, from the mayor to the Governor of West Java. He admitted that making changes was not easy. Citizens' rejection with citizen demonstrations posed a challenge for him to make changes in the city of Bandung.
Some of the programs that he has run and succeeded in the city of Bandung are changing negative spaces into positive spaces. For example, Cihampelas Skywalk (Ciwalk) as a public space, not only for hanging out but also can be used as a student to complete a thesis. These projects he called the happiness project. Emil said, with the project, Bandung's happiness increased.
"Happiness increased from 60 to 70 percent," Emil said. After a brief discussion, Maimunah and Emil took a group photo. On that occasion, Emil handed over a souvenir in the form of a batik cloth designed by Ridwan Kamil. The batik cloth has a Garuda Kencana motif and there is written by RK.