Urbanization in Indonesia proceeds rapidly. During the past decades and, in line with Asian urbanization trends, Indonesia has witnessed a significant economic growth accompanied by a rapid population shift from rural to urban areas. By 2035, it is predicted that the urban population will be twice as much as the population living in rural areas. The massive urban population growth is concentrated in a rather small number of mega-urban areas. Jakarta Metropolitan Area, commonly known as “Jabodetabek”, an acronym made up of the initial letters of the administrative units which form the region, is the most important of them.

The fast urbanization increased and still increases the need for providing more housing, infrastructure and services. Since the 1970s, and in some cases, even before, the public and private sectors are associated in the development and construction of a large number of new towns as a way to meet the related challenges. Local governments play a significant role in this process as they grant building permits. In search of economic development they often modify planning instruments to allow new real estate developments.

On this background, and under the influence of the Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda, sustainable development is receiving increasing attention among policy makers, urban managers, developers and civil society organizations. Over the past decades a private sector led urban governance model has evolved in satellite cities, and it has consolidated slowly in Indonesia. Within this framework private developers assume broad responsibilities for constructing and managing suburban areas (Firman and Fahmi, 2017, Kenichiro, 2015). The model has been widely accepted and supported by most parties in the country, including the government, and it has been exported to neighboring countries like Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines (Dieleman, 2011). This project "Cooperation for Sustainable Urbanization", abbreviated as CfSU, aims to take the great challenge of the time to find ways how to make the model more sustainable, i.e. inclusive and socially integrative, environmentally friendly and still economically viable under changed framework conditions.