The Roles of Traditional Markets as the Main Component of Javanese Culture Urban Space (Case Study: The City of Surakarta, Indonesia)


Authors: Istijabatul Aliyah, Bambang Setioko & Wisnu Pradoto, Diponegoro University, Indonesia
Published: April 2016

Citation: Aliyah, I., Setioko, B., Pradoto, W. (2016). The Roles of Traditional Markets as the Main Component of Javanese Culture Urban Space (Case Study: The City of Surakarta, Indonesia). IAFOR Journal of Sustainability, Energy & the Environment, 3(1).


Traditional markets function not only as a mere trading place but also as a place for life conception and socio-cultural interaction. In the scope of traditional Javanese city, traditional market is a part of typical basic urban structures and an ever-existing part of the spatial planning pattern of cities in Java, for instance, Surakarta. This study was conducted in Surakarta, which is aimed at investigating the roles of traditional market as a structure component of traditional Javanese urban space. This study is an inductive qualitative research employing several methods of analysis, i.e., Spatial Analysis to find out the interrelationship between traditional market with the structure of traditional Javanese urban space and Interactive-Analysis Model. The results of this study suggest that : 1) Traditional market is a part of typical basic component of a city and an ever-existing part in the spatial planning pattern in Javanese cities. 2) Surakarta as a royal city in Java has a belief related to cosmology world creation namely believing a harmony between microcosm and macrocosm. The basic philosophy employed by Surakarta as a traditional Javanese city is Aturan, Sujud Manembah and Ucap Syukur, and Gede Market is as the realization of philosophy or concept Ucap Syukur. This is very different from the modern urban space by Spreiregen, Krier, and Gallion & Eisner, that macro urban space more emphasis on the physical and economic which will ultimately form the diversity space. 3) traditional market becomes a part of urban space components referring to Javanese cosmology concept in the ”Negaragung” zone. and as one of urban space components called ”Catur Gatra Tunggal”. The concept is very different from the Central Place Theory that proposed by Christaller, that all spatial formations in a city are emphasized more on market driven. 4) In addition, in traditional market networking, Surakarta as one of traditional Javanese cities has special uniqueness by not implementing the Mancapat Macalima concept thoroughly since there is a belief that Wage and Pahing markets’ names are irrelevant to be used as traditional market’s name, and Gede Market as the main market functions as middle-higher class market.


traditional market, the traditional city of Java, the city of Surakarta Indonesia, component of Javanese culture urban space