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If it's Tuesday, This Must be Kuta!

Making Bali Sustainable: Saving an Island That's Losing its Identity One Strip Mall at a Time.

(2/20/2006) A growing group of community and tourism leaders in Bali are calling for more attention to be paid to central planning and local building codes that will ensure that Balinese architectural values are preserved on the quickly developing island.

Two Bali community leaders, Kuta's I Made Wendra and Legian's I Nyoman Rutha Ady, recently joined voices calling on the Badung Regency Government to be more consistent in its approach to the issuance of building permits and licenses.

Insisting that rules stipulating Balinese architectural characteristics be included in every new building already exist, Wendra was quoted in the Indonesian language DenPost asking, "if there are owners who are building in violation of zoning and refusing to use required architectural styles, are we just going to allow such construction to continue?"

Ratha Ady, speaking separately, echoed Wendra's sentiments saying: "The impression of being in a foreign locale is real. Not only are buildings no longer reflecting a Balinese style, but also the names of businesses, streets and other factors suggest that Kuta is no longer a part of Bali or Indonesia." Ratha Ady saw two main causes for Kuta's cultural decline: inconsistency in the application of existing codes and regulations and the fact that many of Kuta's business owners have no Bali connection.

A Problem that Goes Beyond Kuta

A local politician and Bali Parliament member, Drs. Nyoman Sujastra, recently complained that the road connecting Kuta to Nusa Dua is almost completely devoid of buildings with any Balinese nuances.

Sujastra called on the Government to renew its building codes, re-emphasizing Balinese architectural values.