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2020 Projects

The Pressing Global Issues Grant call goes out every two years. In 2020, the call was submitted and a committee selected one team of awardees for the 2020 – 2022 period.

Cross-cultural Community-based Strategies for Sustainable Urban Streams: Lessons from Des Moines and Jakarta

The awardees’ project seeks to compare community based sustainability/resilience approaches of two communities that live be streams and waters in Des Moines (USA) and in Jakarta (Indonesia). The awardees posit “the focus on two communities provides a novel comparison between a community based approach in Jakarta where the local residents really drive sustainability/resilience to flooding. Whereas in Des Moines, the municipal government in coordination with the state and federal government make projects happen (after community discussions and buy-in). Similarly, taking the lessons from collaborative efforts and community engagement in Des Moines into a pilot project in a selected community in Jakarta can provide alternative visions of the potential possibilities for utilizing spaces along other waterways in the city.” They contend that the potential benefits of this project extend beyond the surrounding communities of the selected streams from the perspective of the ecosystem consisting of the natural, built and human environment.

The awardees comprise of individuals with inter-disciplinary interest traversing environmental economics, freshwater ecology, and urban planning and design. The team consists of:

Dr. Dian Nostikasari (PI), Assistant Professor the Department of Environmental Science and Sustainability. Her background is in urban development, transportation and placemaking, specifically how the built environment and public policy affect people’s lived experiences and is conversant in interdisciplinary approaches of geospatial analysis, participatory mapping, and interviews.

Dr. Peter Levi (Co-PI), Assistant Professor the Department of Environmental Science and Sustainability. Peter is ecosystem ecologist interested in the function of streams, rivers, and reservoirs from both a theoretical and applied perspective. 

Dr. Brian Vander Naald (Co-PI), Associate Professor in the Department of Economics and Finance. Brian’s areas of expertise are public and environmental economics.

Dr. Eka Permanasari (Co-PI), Formerly Senior Lecturer and Researcher at the University of Pembangunan Jaya, Indonesia. Eka’s research deals with the issues of public place making as the implementation of political insinuation in architecture and urban design. She analyzes the image of public space from both government point of view and the everyday uses of space.

Irwan Tamrin (Co-PI), A founder and CEO of Wisata Sekolah in Indonesia, brings more than 20 years of experience in educational and experiential learning activities. His company was awarded the Top 3 Tourism Startup Winner in Wonderful Startup Academy 2019 held by the Ministry of Tourism Indonesia and part of Indigo Creative Nation Startup.

Students at Drake University and the University of Pembangunan Jaya, Indonesia.