UNS — The Urban-Rural Design and Conservation Laboratory (URDC Labo) Faculty of Engineering (FT) Universitas Sebelas Maret (UNS) Surakarta held a webinar on “The Role of the Young Generation in Building the Ecosystem of Solo as Creative City”, Wednesday (14/10/2020). In the webinar held through Zoom Cloud Meeting and live stream in FT UNS YouTube channel, URDC Labo invited three speakers, Dr. Eng. Kusumaningdyah N.H (the Chief of URDC Labo), Kandi Windoe (City Branding Practitioner) and Dr. Andre Rahmanto (Head of Master Program in Communication Science FISIP UNS).

As the first speaker, Dr. Andre stated that the efforts in city branding, in this case, Solo City, is not an easy task. This is due to a large number of stakeholders, potential, and interests in a city. Dr. Andre stated that the young generation is one of the important stakeholders in a creative city or city branding. “City branding is not similar to product branding, city has diverse stakeholders with diverse interests, thus, it is far more complex. But that is the art,” Dr. Andre stated.

In an effort of city branding, Dr. Andre mentioned the importance of data collection concerning the potential of a city. Several themes can be raised in creative city brandings, such as tourism, trades, and investment. Other creative city environments also can be achieved, for example, the ability to change challenges into creativity, crafting creative people, utilizing catalysts in the form of creative space (physical and non-physical), balancing cosmopolitanism and localism of a city, and practical and effective bureaucratic management. To evaluate Solo City branding in the past, Dr. Andre underlies several matters, among others the evaluation, strategic planning, politic and leadership, promotional strategy, institution and stakeholder’s commitment.

“Policy and leadership are very important. In past, Jokowi was very passionate in branding and after him, there was no passion, so that it was very different. If branding is integrated, it will change many things and in Indonesia, I have not seen any city that performs comprehensive branding,” Dr. Andre added.

Adding to the statement from Dr. Andre, Kandi Windoe, explained that city branding is the overall efforts in advancing culture. In this matter, city branding must consider the social system, religion, culture, and technology. He stated that city branding must be followed by a work to create a forum for diverse ideas, thoughts, cultures, and creative works. He also reminded the importance of young generation role as mentioned by Dr. Andre, that the young generation is a driving force that capable of creating works through various media.

“Young people can fill the media with creativity and innovation in the forms, works, and colors,” Kandi Windoe explained.

As the last speaker, Dr. Eng. Kusumaningdyah stated that Solo City with its limited natural resources has taken the efforts to emphasize its creative industries for a long time. In term of Javanese culture, Dr. Eng. Kusumaningdyah gave an example of the phase of human life in Kasunanan and Mangkunegaran palace culture (Rites of Passage).

“From birth to death there is always a celebration in Javanese culture. For example, in handicraft products, starting from decoration and bouquet, and performing arts such as ceremonial arrangements and dances. These things exist, but oftentimes, we are not aware of them,” Dr. Eng. Kusumaningdyah stated.

Dr. Eng. Kusumaningdyah who is also a Faculty Member of Architectural Engineering Program FT UNS explained that many of her students are interested in the creative field and public space in the last 3 – 4 years. She considers the involvement of Architectural Engineering Program students in the spatial field and image creation for city branding, both concerning building and city design, including exploring the culture of a region. Humas UNS

Reporter: Yefta Christopherus AS
Editor: Dwi Hastuti

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