Get to Know About Conurbation

Research & Ideas
February 13 , 2024

Conurbation is a condition in which both large and small cities that are in close proximity tend to be interconnected through a transportation network, forming a larger extended area. An area with urban and suburban regions that mutually influence each other contributes to inter-regional mobility.

Conurbation has a higher likelihood of occurring in geographically adjacent areas with different industrial functions, encouraging people to cross borders to obtain what they need. How does an area experience conurbation?

Transformation in an area undergoing conurbation can be observed through several indicators, including:

1. Population Density Growth
   High population density often accompanies conurbation. These areas become centers of economic, social, and cultural activities, attracting people from surrounding regions.

2. Urban Area Merging
   The boundaries between urban areas become blurred due to continuous growth. Previously separate urban areas can unite, forming a larger geographical unit.

3. Economic Activity Diversification
   Diverse industrial sectors, shopping centers, and other economic activity hubs create opportunities for job creation and economic growth.

Conurbation and urbanization are distinct concepts, but mature conurbation is a continuation or outcome of prior urbanization that has already spread.

Urbanization is marked by a growing concentration of population accompanied by industrialization. However, it is not accompanied by an increase in available land, as the land remains essentially the same or even diminishes with the migration of people from rural to urban areas. So, does Indonesia have conurbation areas?

One conurbation area in Indonesia is Jabodetabek, consisting of the largest urban area in Indonesia and the second-largest in the world, with approximately 30 million residents. Furthermore, the capital city, Jakarta, with a population of 10.3 million, is included within its borders along with Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi.

A crucial side effect of conurbation is economic imbalance, as experienced by Kedungsepur, a region in the former Semarang residency consisting of Kendal, Demak, Semarang (Ungaran), Semarang City, Salatiga, and Grobogan (Purwodadi), where the economy is still centered in Semarang as its main city. Kedungsepur has the highest average economic growth during the period from 2017 to 2022, at 4.25%. The economic growth of the Kedungsepur Region is also higher than the economic growth of Central Java Province (3.32%), indicating rapid growth.

However, throughout 2017-2022, Semarang City always maintained the highest economic growth compared to other areas in Kedungsepur. Only Semarang City consistently showed a higher average trend than the Kedungsepur average, although in 2022, other regions such as Grobogan and Kendal began to surpass the Kedungsepur average.

The conurbation condition in areas like Jabodetabek and Kedungsepur can potentially become new opportunities for supporting regions of large cities. However, attention is still needed to address the possibility of economic imbalances among regions. The involvement of local governments is crucial in shaping various programs and cooperation schemes so that conurbation areas can mutually support each other.

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