MIT Public Service Center

Community data visualization and urban informal transportation study in Indonesia

Yayasan Kota Kita (Our City Foundation)


Yayasan Kota Kita (YKK) is an NGO that focuses on participatory urban planning, design, and development projects, with a specific presence in Indonesia. YKK's approach is highly inclusive of the communities where we work. We believe in helping citizens and government officials alike understand the complexities of the built environment so they can better take on the problems and opportunities that come with rampant urbanization. YKK is based in the city of Surakarta, locally known as Solo, but works in several cities throughout Indonesia. The project this summer will be in both Surakarta and Jakarta.

The Challenge

In 2013, we are launching two exciting projects — SKK 2.0 and an urban informal transportation study in Jakarta — that are opportunities for student volunteers to contribute meaningfully to participatory planning and research about urban poverty in Indonesia. SKK 2.0 will expand our eponymous community mapping and participatory budgeting initiative <> by developing a new design for the Mini Atlas neighborhood profile tool and updating it with recently collected data. We will be re-designing and updating the Mini Atlas for all the neighborhoods Solo, Central Java. Also this summer, we will initiate a research study about urban informal transportation in service of urban poor communities in Jakarta, which will include rapid assessments of riverbank slum communities in Jakarta, and a study of their use of informal transportation in Jakarta. The outcome of this research will serve to inform the city government’s approach to better integrating transportation options in strategic riverbank communities.

Qualifications, Preferences, and Assets

Time constraints

The duration of the volunteer opportunity is 10 weeks, with time in Indonesia split between Solo and Jakarta. YKK will provide housing in Solo and Jakarta, though students are responsible for their other travel and accommodation expenses. Departure to Indonesia will be in early June through to mid August. In past years, students have successfully applied for funding for travel expenses and YKK will support these efforts.


John Taylor, Director

PSC Support

MIT students who develop projects around these ideas may apply for support from the Public Service Center's Internships program. You will first need to contact the community partner to develop your plans.

If you want to volunteer or you have funding from outside the PSC that enables you to work on this project, that's great! However, please do let us know if you work on a project you saw advertised here, even if you don't use our funds. And remember, the PSC staff are happy to advise on service projects even if we are not funding them ourselves.