Alykhan Mohamed (MUP 2013) travelled to Indonesia for a summer internship with Solo Kota Kita, a non-profit collective of designers, planners and activists. The organization was founded in part by two Urban Planning alumni and focuses on using design to help Indonesians better understand how they participate in the development of their cities, and on increasing transparency and communication in urban governance.
During his time in Indonesia, Alykhan participated in the community engagement phase of Firm Foundation, Solo Kota Kita’s winning entry for AECOM’s UrbanSOS competition by helping to organize a series of community design workshops in the city of Banjarmasin. He was also instrumental in piloting and evaluating SKKSMS, a tool that will enable Solo Kota Kita and its partners to create customized surveys and collect information to inform neighborhood stakeholders and citywide planning initiatives.
On a personal level, this experience provided a valuable behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to get a small non-profit up and running, and how urban planners and designers can play an innovative role in the development of Asian Cities.