Yogyakarta, Indonesia

The land is situated between Gajah Wong river and Timoho Street, approaching the eastern border of the city of Yogyakarta. The area filling the western promontory of the river is occupied by some 30 semi-permanent houses, with 50 families of scavengers, street musicians,  as well as other people of the streets living there since 2000. In addition, there is also a smaller group of farmers at the southern corner of the site who have settled there for longer time. The western perimeter is  the back wall of  housing project belonging to the Academy of Rural Society Development (APMD), with a one-meter wide cemented alley as the single gateway into the site tucked in between the row of houses. While on the eastern side lies the river of Gajah Wong and the abandoned Gajah Wong II bridge, built in 1996-1997. The bridge which was supposed to connect over the natural border separating the city district and Bantul regent ( i.e. the river) has remained unusable since the city plan to  install the connecting road  has been frozen for nearly 15 years. Two other permanent real-estate complexes  border both  the northern part of the site as well as around 30 meters into the eastern side of the river. A city forest, - as part of a Sultan Ground, is located at the adjacent south.

Land nick names, Neologisms and slang terms

Ledok Timoho, Lamongan Timoho (in administrative context). In English, the word 'Ledok/ Lamongan' can be freely translated into niche, or nook.



Ledok Timoho, Balerejo, Muja-muju, Umbul Harjo, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Land Topography

Size of the Land in sqm (approx.)



  • Trees
  • Grass
  • Gravel
  • Rubbles
  • Sands
  • Stones
  • Cement
  • Wastes


  • Piles of Processed Wastes
  • Mosque
  • Warung (a small Kiosk)
  • Community Hut
  • Henhouses
  • Abandoned Bridge
  • Semi Permanent Houses
  • Sand piles
  • Parked Peddler Carts
  • Bulks of Bamboos
  • Parked Motorbikes
  • Tarpaulin/ Bamboo shelters

Land status and definition


  • Vacant

Legal Status

  • Other

Current Land Owner

The City Government/State
<p>The city development plan shows that the site is without owners. While the map of the National Land Agency enlisted 28 names who had land usage rights over the location (divided into 28 lots) but they are all expired in 2005 (max. term 25 years).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>[gallery link="file" orderby="rand" include="756, 755, 754"]</p>

Known intended future use by the land owner(s)

Self-claimed investors have been 'surveying' the site. The city  government wanted to build the currently hip subsidized apartment for tenants with middle-low economic background over the riverbank but got turn down by the local community and sub-district authority due to environmental and aesthetic reasons.  The city government  had also for several  times brought up  plan to continue  building the connecting road but got quietly dampen by local land advocates who asked them to seek clearance first from some of the residents of the  surrounding real-estate housing whose properties would be demolished if  the route was opened. Descendants of the previous  'owners' make irregular visits asking about the land status, claiming that they are still paying for the land's taxes.

Historical (basic)

People of the street started to occupy the site in early 2000. Before only a few families of farmer live at the riverbank end of Ledok Timoho while the majority of land were used to plant banana trees. When the abandoned bridge was built  in mid-1990s, the real-estate housing projects  have already been mushrooming around the area. In 2009, the inhabitants of Ledok Timoho conducted a self-funded refurbishment program over the area by rearranging the living quarters and developing basic public facilities such as mosque and common toilet. Up until now, local neighborhood authorities refuse to give formal recognition to the inhabitants' status although they claim of moral support. This is due to the Ledok Timoho's land status which is still in dispute. For all they know, the land remains empty of people.  As a result, people living at Ledok Timoho are denied of administrative access including health and social welfare assistance from the government.


Land Access


  • Accessible with effort

There are two access points into the site. The first one is an alley located inside the city area,  at the western perimeter. The one-meter wide alley is tucked  in between the row of  houses along the street that connects Timoho Street and Balirejo Street. The second access is across the abandoned bridge heading towards the east, entering Bantul Regency and connect to a burgeoning suburban area, Nologaten.  The eastern path is made of  soil, passing through mounds of garbage and another scavenger's compound.  Since the distance between the main street that link  Timoho and Nologaten areas is quite far, the route passing through this particular land have often been used by  commuters as a shortcut. Recently the Ledok Timoho community erected a sign in front of the west alley saying: Slow Down, Not A Public/Alternative Road


The western perimeter is  the back wall of real-estate housing and  on the eastern side lies the river of Gajah Wong and the abandoned Gajah Wong II bridge.  Two other permanent housing complexes  border both  the northern part of the site as well as around 30 meters into the eastern side of the river. A city forest, - as part of a Sultan Ground, is located at the adjacent south.

Land Users

Land is occupied by

  • Street Musicians
  • Children
  • Dog
  • Cat
  • Chicken
  • University Students
  • Bypassers
  • Scavengers
  • Street Peddlers
  • People of the Streets


Parts of the unoccupied areas within the site are planted with vegetables and bananas. Older men are seen taking care of the plants.   During the day most of the men are out, either collecting waste,peddling or working in other informal fields, such as parking-man, security etc.  If at home they,  the scavengers in particular, are filtering and arranging  wastes  that are saleable at recycling industry or flea market. The common view during the day  includes  (older) women and children below schooling-age lingering outside of their thatched houses. Some mobile-peddlers (who don't live there) pass by from time to time selling their stuff. In the afternoon sometimes university students come by, either to do research or do voluntary works such as tutoring or teaching local children to recite the Koran. The people also built a small mosque, public toilet, and a community hut. They collectively gather at the hut on every 18th of the month to discuss communal issues. Most of the semi-permanent houses and public 'facilities' are built with collective savings, called jimpitan. The jimpitan are collected by the neighborhood-watch which employs the entire adult male members of the community into rotating groups.  Two electricity boxes  power the entire premises, which include 30 houses and several community buildings.

Compare to Wasteland



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