SEED Case Study: Firm Foundation

Excerpt from a SEED Case Study
Firm Foundation, Banjarmasin, Indonesia

Environmental: Clean Water Advocacy
Social: Public Space
Economic: Water Economies

Summary: Firm Foundation reduces environmental vulnerability and heightens awareness about water issues in Banjarmasin by building a positive relationship between waterfront residents and the city’s river systems. The design team, led by the NGO Yayasan Kota Kita in partnership with AECOM and the Indonesian community empowerment program PNPM Mandiri, facilitated a participatory-design process that resulted in a new one-thousand-square-foot public waterfront space.

Goal: Advance understanding of water issues
Three priority issues were communicated to the local government: access to piped water, a restored boat port, and improved sanitation. The design delivered a new port, bringing public activity to the river and supporting the municipal government’s recent policies to make the river an asset for city development.

Community: The residents of Sungai Jingah in Banjarmasin rely on rivers for fishing, transportation, and informal vending. The river is also utilized for drinking water, sanitation, and solid-waste disposal. Nearly all of the 273 residents in seventy-five households in the project area live in dwellings with toilets that empty into the water below. Community life is negatively impacted by unplanned growth and a lack of waste removal and basic infrastructure.

Collaborators: AECOM UrbanSOS Program, Bappeda Kota Banjarmasin, DTRK Banjarmasin, PNPM Mandiri Korkot Banjarmasin, residents of Sungai Jingah

Design Team: Project lead: Yayasan Kota Kita


To read the entire case study, see Chapter 26: Case Studies and Issues Index, Project 2 Firm Foundation in Public Interest Design Practice Guidebook: SEED Methodology, Case Studies, and Critical Issues, edited by Lisa M. Abendroth and Bryan Bell, 190-3. New York: Routledge. 2015.


Ordering Information
Order your copy at best price here.
Order through Publisher here.
For bulk purchase discounts on 5 or more copies, contact Graham Kerr directly at (917) 351-7131 or at

PIDPG cover for order