Two researchers from the University of Indonesia (UI), Dr. Rr. Dwinanti Rika Marthanty, ST, MT. from the Faculty of Engineering (FTUI) and Dr. Reni Suwarso from the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences (FISIP UI) received a grant from the Australian government as part of the Citarum Program to tackle heavy pollution in the Citarum River, West Java.

The program also aims to create a River Transformation Framework (RTF) by combining urban design principles with insights from the transition to urban sustainability and the circular economy. The Citarum program will also develop a living laboratory demonstration site on the Citarum River and will collaborate with the government, local residents, and agricultural industry players, to find solutions that can be run in a decentralized manner, and in the future will be owned, managed, and operated locally by the surrounding community. .

Project Director and Informal Cities Lab Director, Monash University, Professor Diego Ramirez-Lovering stated, “The Citarum river basin living laboratory is a form of place-based research initiative, where we collaborate with our partners and local villages to jointly design a model. integrated urban areas that address river pollution caused by a lack of sewage and sanitation infrastructure. The purpose of this program is to jointly create solutions related to waste and water pollution which are expected to encourage the creation of new behaviors and practices. Going forward, this will help restore and protect rivers, as well as improve the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable river communities.”

The Citarum project has started on October 15, 2021 and is expected to be completed on October 14, 2022. The project, which is jointly led by Monash University and the University of Indonesia, also involves several international research institutions, including Padjadjaran University (UNPAD), CSIRO, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science. and Technology (EAWAG) in Switzerland, as well as the Environment and Research and Development Agency of West Java, and in the future it will become a multi-year learning and innovation program.

The Citarum Program is one of 15 research projects that have received grants totaling AUD 2.8 million from the Government of the state of Victoria, Australia. These research projects span mining, advanced manufacturing, health and education, including the use of virtual reality to train healthcare professionals remotely in 12 countries, including South Korea, Japan, Indonesia and Vietnam.