“Smart is not Equal to Technology”

An Interview with Suhono Harso Supangkat on the Emergence and Development of Smart Cities in Indonesia


  • Arif Budy Pratama Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, Germany




urban development, urban governance, smart cities, information technology, Indonesia


In 2017, the Indonesian government launched the ‘100 Smart Cities’ initiative to mark the rise of smart city concepts in urban development. Rather than replicating what has been done by developed countries, Indonesia has experienced somewhat different pathways in developing its smart cities. This piece records an expert interview with Suhono Harso Supangkat, a professor of information technology at the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) and one of the pioneers of Indonesia’s smart cities program. He leads the Smart City and Community Innovation Center (SCCIC), which facilitates cities’ implementations of smart solutions to urban problems. He advises and assists many government agencies and industries, especially on information technology regulations and governance. He has also developed the Indonesian Smart City Rating (RKCI), which aims to survey and map Indonesian smart city development; it has been published every two years since 2015. This interview was conducted in Indonesian on 10 September 2020 via telephone call. For the purposes of this paper, the interview transcript was translated by the author. The interview relates to the emergence, prospects, and challenges of Indonesian smart cities and their development.

Author Biography

Arif Budy Pratama, Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, Germany

Arif Budy Pratama is currently a junior researcher at the Center for Development Research (Zentrum für Entwicklungsforschung, ZEF), University of Bonn, Germany. He is also a lecturer at the Public Administration Program, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Universitas Tidar, Indonesia. His research interests include smart cities, development policy, urban development, and governance. Recently, he has been conducting fieldwork on the dynamics of smart city development projects in the city of Magelang, Indonesia, for his doctoral thesis.


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