My Urban Challenge: Mayor of Makassar

By Apala Bhattacharya

The city moves to curb excess waste, led by citizens.

“Technology is no problem, we can buy anywhere and anytime,” quips Makassar Mayor Ramdhan ‘Danny’ Pomanto. The biggest challenge, he points out, is public engagement. The challenge in Makassar city is to move from a Makassar smart city initiative to making Makassar’s residents city-smart, he adds.

For a smart city in Makassar, getting information from people, providing faster public services and then engaging residents to access smart solutions starts with citizen collaborations. For example, the Mayor points to waste management. Makassar’s waste management system is an initiative led by citizens.

Today, over a thousand of these wastebanks exists in the city. The local government buys waste from these banks to use in their waste to energy plant. The wastebank project reduces waste dumped in sanitary landfills by 20%, and the Mayor’s office is now expanding on the initiative by planning to implement IoT sensors in the waste to energy plant to increase waste efficiency.

We summarise Makassar's challenges and solutions in the infographic below: