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Gotong-Royong : Public Market as A Multilayered Sub-system

Bramana Ajasmara Putra

Institute of Technology Bandung

Food and the city are two things that cannot be separated. Everyone needs food. However, in the city, food security becomes an issue that is crucial for a city's sustainability. It is even more relevant when a pandemic occurs like today. A critical factor in food security is how a city can feed its people or the supply chain. Big cities like Bandung in Indonesia often have a high dependence on other regions to meet their food demand. Over 96% of food demand in Bandung is supplied from other areas outside the city. Therefore, Bandung City's food security very vulnerable when the supply chain is disrupted or cut off; for example, due to a pandemic, or prolonged drought, or even conflict. So, now the question is, how do we deal with certain situations when the supply chain is cut off? are we going to survive? In a simple term, the supply chain consists of suppliers, public markets, and consumers. Just assume the supply from suppliers is cut off. Then, it means the potential suppliers will be the public markets. Can we modify public markets scattered throughout the city to become "temporary" food suppliers to meet consumer demand? So, the idea is; to change the paradigm towards the public market; we cannot view the public market as a platform for only economic activity; instead, we should view the public market as a multilayered sub-system that forms a complete and comprehensive system - economic, social, ecological and educational. The economic layer presents the public market as, in general, as a place to buy and sell daily necessities. The social layer creates the public market for a community gathering place, information center, and food sharing place. The basic assumption is that when the public's awareness of farming at home had begun to grow, the excess production could be shared in the market. The ecological layer transforms the market into a place for producing food and energy. Our suggestion is to have permaculture, urban farming, hydroponics, mini animal farms, and organic-based vegetables at the public markets. Additionally, the public market is also equipped with solar panels and rainwater harvesting systems to meet its energy demands independently and help supply energy to the surrounding area. The educational layer provides an opportunity for people to learn how to grow crops properly and introduces the importance of organic farming. Apart from those four layers, it is also essential to create an inclusive market. It is achieved by designing buildings with appropriate horizontal and vertical circulation, such as using a continuous ramp from the ground floor to the rooftop, which can also be accessed by disabled people. Since Bandung has a tropical climate, the public markets allow optimization of natural lighting and natural ventilation, minimizing the possibility of spreading viruses and creating healthier public spaces. The modular system allows this market model to be implemented easily across cities. It is hoped that, together, these public markets will form interconnected food networks that make up a resilient city. Likewise, the original Indonesian motto, Gotong Royong, which means the collective work from the community, by the community, and for the community.

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