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Renovation, Not Relocation: The work of the Paguyuban Warga Strenkali (PWS) in Indonesia

The city of Surabaya in Indonesia is promoting itself as an important international trade centre. This has prompted beautification programmes that are threatening the homes and livelihoods of the poor communities and street vendors who live and work alongside the river. This profile describes how low-income residents have managed to change official policy on riverside development and evictions through a carefully considered and researched approach to negotiation led by their organisation, the PWS (Paguyuban Warga Strenkali Surabaya). They shifted the official policy from relocation to redevelopment by proposing a viable solution to the pollution and flooding that was occurring. The riverside communities now have five years to upgrade their homes and work with the government in cleaning the river and clearing space for riverside roads.

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