A Regional Perspective on Urbanization and Climate-Related Disasters in the Northern Coastal Region of Central Java, Indonesia

2018 Land  
Indonesia, as an archipelagic nation, has about 150 million people (60%) living in coastal areas. Such communities are increasingly vulnerable to the effects of change, in the form of sea level rise and stronger, more intense storms. Population growth in coastal areas will also increase the disaster risk mainly because of climate change-related effects such as flooding, droughts, and tidal floods. This study examines the dynamic changes of urban population and urban villages in three decadal
more » ... in three decadal periods, from 1990, 2000, to 2010. To highlight different disasters that are increasingly tied to climate change, the analysis was conducted in the northern coastal area of Central Java province using village potential (PODES) data, which are routinely collected by the government. Results show that about 41% of people in Central Java province live in the northern coastal region and 50% live in urban areas. The numbers of hazard events within a distance range of 0-40 km from the shoreline are: flooding (non-tidal)-335; tidal flooding-65; and droughts-28. Based on this study, about half of flood disasters (non-tidal) occurred within 10 km of the shoreline, while tidal flooding accounted for 80%. Most of the climate-related disasters were found in rural areas at low levels of population growth, while in urban areas the disasters were found to be associated in less than 1% and in more than 3% of population growth. Land 2018, 7, 34 2 of 15 problem for different coastal areas, including impacts such as salinity [6] . There are also similar issues taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil [7], and Vietnam [8] . Most climate-related disasters, such as floods, tidal flooding, and windstorms, affect coastal areas. The coastal area is a dynamic area where there is an interaction between land, water, and the atmosphere, with human activity also playing a part [9] . Due to this dynamic character, coastal areas are also considered preferable to inland areas in terms of settlement. High population density, infrastructure development, and other supporting facilities have made the coastal urban areas the most dynamic areas and a major destination for people to live, and therefore human settlements were concentrated in this area [10, 11] . Urbanization obviously changes the global environment of many cities across the world and will continue in the future [12, 13] . Furthermore, coastal areas are at risk not only because of climate change impacts but also from the combined impacts arising from rapid urbanization. More flood events were found in areas where urbanization had taken place and changed land surface properties [14] [15] [16] . We define urbanization as taking place if the share of people who live in an urban area is higher than the rate of urban population growth [17] . The increasing urban population in coastal areas has indeed reshaped coastal geographies and the built environment, and it is often found that urbanization processes are not adaptable to future climate change where potential disruptive effects include the potential for large-scale disasters such as flooding, overproduction, energy inefficiency, and other environmental threats [18] . The Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) Program highlights the experiences of 10 cities planning for resilience [19] . One of the key findings from the ACCCRN initiatives is that climate change impact is closely related to the urbanization phenomena. Large and growing populations are increasingly experiencing higher levels of vulnerability in coastal areas from the impacts of climate change, such as sea-level rise [20] [21] [22] [23] . Migration patterns from rural to urban areas due to disaster risks were found in developing countries that were characterized by low-income urban settlements with about −30 million of the poorest people moving from rural to urban areas per year [24, 25] . This phenomenon is also found in most Indonesian cities located in coastal areas, particularly on the island of Java, where about 60% of Indonesia's total population lives [26] . From a total of 118 districts/cities on Java Island, more than half are located in the northern coastal areas [27] . Different activities in these regions have evolved from basic coastal activities utilizing land and water resources from surrounding areas into more urbanized activities such as industrial and service sectors [10] . The transformation of activities in the northern coastal areas of Java has led to a concentration of development and, consequently, the island become more susceptible to various kinds of natural hazards such as flooding, land subsidence, and coastal inundation [20, 28, 29] . It is believed that these are due to urbanization pressures and environmental change. Coupled with the existence of climate change, environmental degradation as part of the ill effects of the current trend of urbanization in coastal areas has further deteriorated the environment and created new hazards. Overall, the high concentration of housing and people has indeed resulted in coastal areas becoming more prone to various climate change-related coastal disasters. The increased exposure is evident in various ways, and therefore, climate change impact in coastal areas is of a major concern around the world [30, 31] . There are some studies connecting climate change, climate hazards, and urbanization. Most of them focus on phenomena in particular cities. For instance, spatial vulnerability assessments were developed for Haikou, a coastal city in China [32]; flood risk assessments due to climate change were elaborated upon in Addis Ababa City [33]; urbanization and increasing vulnerability were studied in three Sri Lankan cities [34] ; the increasing vulnerability of three different cities of coastal Central Java was revealed [20]; a study on future urban flooding explored climate change impacts in Can Tho City, Vietnam [35] ; and an examination of climate change phenomena in relation to urbanization was undertaken in the Yangtze River Delta [18] . So far, the attention has been focused on tools to measure the vulnerability of a particular city but not to explicitly connect it with urbanization (i.e., differences in terms of urban and rural status) on a regional level. Therefore, this article is aimed at connecting climate-related disasters and urbanization from a more regional perspective. The scope of this paper
doi:10.3390/land7010034 fatcat:o2xn6qdx4fbublbrihwnbdrvma