The Role of Quadruple Helix in Creative Tourism Around Cihampelas Shopping Street Bandung City, Indonesia: Work in progress or status quo?



The Quadruple Helix (QHelix) model encourages the researchers to reflect on more than three possible dynamics, consist of university-industry-government relations for explaining structural developments knowledge-based socio-economic developments. Following the suggestions coming from the QHelix model that continues to twist and turn, the authors prefer to use the concepts that coordinate university-industry-government and those actors that belong to the community as the fourth helix. Using this QHelix model, the authors’ aim is to explore the movement of Gemricik (Gerakan Masyarakat Cinta Cikapundung). The findings reveal that actors from different “helices” in QHelix model participate with different intentions and objectives.

Keywords: triple helix; quadruple helix; creative tourism; shopping street; case


The conceptual point of departure here is the article released in Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences – that was published back in 2015: Public Engagement through Ecopreneurship: Moving from ‘Recyclable to Marketable’ (Nugroho, 2015). As part of a larger continuing research project that aims to inform future planning policies for the city residents around Cikapundung river in Bandung city and contribute to the discourse on creative tourism, in the present research the authors discursively expanding the previous study about Gemricik. As Nugroho (2015, p. 223) has observed:
Gemricik is a society movement in Bandung city – West Java Province in Indonesia – which are committed to development that protects the environment, and achieving the healthy environment, as well as improving people’s lives, especially the inhabitants of the banks of Cikapundung river.
At the point the authors intended to illustrate the work-in-progress of Gemricik and prefer to use the Quadruple Helix (QHelix) model, the authors combined the thought from the founder of Gemricik (Suhardja 2013; Suhardja 2015). Consequently, this study may serve as a discussion platform to raise awareness for the future studies in the context of promoting creative tourism around Cihampelas shopping street. This study is about Lebak Kehkel block number-05 or Rukun Warga-05 (RW-05), which located on the banks of Cikapundung river around Cihampelas shopping street. This RW-05 Cihampelas case study is chosen as it shows some of the potentials to generate significant benefits to every “helices” in promoting creative tourism. Meanwhile, it is important to note here that at the time of writing, the actual case of RW-05 Cihampelas is still in progress, yet the reader should get an idea of the main body of learning: what was learned from the Gemricik’s experience during the period of 2011 to 2015? How can the QHelix approach contribute to the understanding of what exists in terms of mechanisms in order to provide the possibility to move forward? What more to be done?

With that in mind, the authors adopted participant observation method – as the qualitative method in identifying social problem – which combines key informant approach, existing data approach and Gemricik’s forum. The authors also used data collection method including literature studies, in-depth interview and demography data in order to identify the role of QHelix, focusing exclusively on the RW-05 Cihampelas. From the findings, the authors developed recommendations by creating a new model, the so-called “the next collaboration model” as a response to the three big strategic questions for Gemricik’s movement for the next 10 years from now: “Where are we? Where do we go from here? How do we get there?”. Hopefully, this article can give the solid basis for those who are aware of problematic situation faced by the city residents around Cikapundung river in Bandung city. Indeed, further research is needed to translate the new model into policy discourses that support the growth of creative tourism around Cihampelas shopping street Bandung city.


In the following section, the authors examine the emergence of the scholarly discourse of the QHelix and the creative tourism. Since the creative tourism are often associated with cities, this section also examines the scholarly articles about Bandung city, as it is nowadays experiencing the process of transformation and physical changes towards “A livable and loveable Bandung” under the new Mayor of Bandung for 2013-2018. The authors witnessed of how the new Mayor has a great vision to build Bandung as the best city in Indonesia with his concept “The Bandung Tree” by integrating innovation, collaboration, decentralization as a core spirit (Kamil, 2016). This section aims to better understand the emerging relationship between those “helices” in QHelix model and creative tourism to support the development of effective policies in this area.

From Triple Helix to Quadruple Helix

It is broadly known that the metaphor of QHelix was derived from genetics; a DNA chain, where the different “helices” vine around each other and work together to the same purpose yet still maintaining identity. As regard to this and in an effort to learn why the metaphor of QHelix is essential to promote creative tourism within the context of this research, it is important to note the evolution of the Triple Helix (THelix) theoretical and empirical research which has grown over the last two decades. Back in the 1900s, the THelix model has been seen to explain the shift from a dominating industry-government dyad in the Industrial Society to a growing triadic relationship between university-industry-government in the Knowledge Society (Etzkowitz & Leydesdorff, 1995; Etzkowitz & Leydesdorff, 1997; Etzkowitz & Leydesdorff, 1998; Etzkowitz & Leydesdorff, 2000; Leydesdorff, 2012; Etzkowitz & Ranga, 2013). These studies see the University, Industry and Government as co-evolving sub-sets of social systems that interact with two processes of communication and differentiation – between science and markets, between private and public at level universities – which allow various degrees of selective mutual adjustment. Thus, it may generate new innovation environments and ensure the regeneration of the system.

However, in scholarly discourse and for methodological reasons, a number of empirical studies suggest that more than three “helices” are needed for exploring complex innovation dynamics and for the explanation of complex developments of societies and economies (e.g., Carayannis & Campbell, 2009; Arnkil et al., 2010; Leydesdorff, 2011; Carayannis et al., 2012; Ahonen & Hämäläinen, 2012). Each of those scholarly discourse has its own specific form of integration and differentiation, which can be expected to result in different synergies. For the empirical researcher, much depends also on the availability of relevant data. Meanwhile, Carayannis and Campbell (2012) argued that perspectives from and about different parts of the world and diverse human, socio-economic, technological, and cultural contexts are interwoven to produce an emerging new worldview on how specialized knowledge, that is embedded in a particular socio-economic context, can serve as the unit of reference for stocks and flows of hybrid, public/private, tacit/codified, tangible/virtual good that represents the building block of the knowledge economy, society and polity.

The emerging discussion of the QHelix model and the different views as to whom or what the fourth helix consists, is not yet a very well-established and widely used concept in academic research attention. What is common to all models of QHelix is that in all of them the fourth group of actors has been added into the THelix model. Following the suggestions coming from the QHelix model that continues to twist and turn, the authors prefer to use the concepts that coordinate university-industry-government and those actors that belong to the community as the fourth helix. An analysis of an actual case of Lebak Kehkel RW-05 Cihampelas informs a suggested QHelix approach in the context of promoting creative tourism. However, when it comes to the effort for promoting creative tourism that can create wealth to the inhabitants of the banks of the Cikapundung river around Cihampelas shopping street, the capacity of those “helices” in the QHelix model is still questionable.

From Cultural Tourism to Creative Tourism

Creative tourism was mentioned for the first time as a potential form of tourism (Pearce & Butler, 1993). Richards and Raymond (2000, p.18) defined ‘creative tourism’, as ‘Tourism which offers visitors the opportunity to develop their creative potential through active participation in courses and learning experiences which are characteristic of the holiday destination where they are undertaken’. According to Richards and Wilson (2006), creative tourism is a newly emerging form of cultural tourism that satisfies the higher level need of self-actualization with a primary focus of active skill development, as shown in Table 1.

Table 1. The relationship between cultural and creative forms of tourism
Source: Richards and Wilson (2006, p.1217)
Primary time focus Primary cultural focus Primary consumption
focus Primary learning focus
Cultural tourism Past and present High culture,
popular culture Product, process Passive
Creative spectacles Present Arts, performance Performance Passive
Creative spaces Present and future Arts, architecture, design Atmosphere Interactive
Creative tourism Past, present, future Creative process Experience,
co-makership Active skill development

Table 1 indicates the basic elements of each of these creative forms of tourism, and underlines the differences between traditional cultural tourism and creative tourism. However, Richards and Wilson (2006, p.1217) argued that the boundary between cultural tourism, creative spectacles, creative spaces and creative tourism can be blurred and, therefore, they should not be viewed mutually exclusive and demarcated forms of creative activity in tourism. Meanwhile, UNESCO (2006) explained that creative tourism has more to do with an authentic engagement in the real cultural life of the city than toward museums and cultural tours, which is required for the tourists to do something experientially. Following this line of thought, Richards and Wilson (2007, p.20) explained another concept which stated as ‘an evolution on the basis of tourist experiences’, as illustrated in Figure 1. Richards and Wilson (2007) also provide a wide range of examples from different parts of the world including: Europe, North America, Asia, Australia and Africa explore the interface between tourism and creativity. The relationship between individual and collective forms of creativity and the widely differing forms of modern tourism are also discussed. Nonetheless, it is important to note that a holistic approach is essential for effective creative tourism development and that creativity also needs to be placed and context specific.

In relation to the place and context specific issues, OECD (2014, p.53) illustrates the change from cultural tourism to creative tourism, as also shown in Figure 1. OECD reported that the need to work together with consumers, residents and others to develop value in the creative tourism system leads to a shift towards wider value networks rather than restrictive value chains. The production of value also moves towards the downstream distribution and application of content rather than upstream content generation.

Figure 1. Changes in the drivers of tourism over time
Source: Richards and Wilson (2007, p.20); OECD (2014, p.53)

When talking about the creative tourist, it must be emphasized that the main motive is the personal creative experience which varies with each individual and is determined by various factors such as education, hobby, leisure, etc. The authors found that a variety of concepts have emerged as the creative tourism has evolved. Acknowledging the different definitions and concepts which exist, for the purposes of the current study, the authors define the ‘creative tourism’ as they relate to QHelix as ‘knowledge-based engagement between university-industry-government-community by utilizing technology, talent or skill to generate meaningful personal experiences and societal development’.

From Bandung Parijs van Java to Bandung Kampung Kreatif

Historically, the Dutch colonials developed Bandung into a resort city for plantation owners, hence the city was nicknamed Parijs van Java or “The Paris of Java”. As a resort city, Bandung was famous to the Dutch colonials for its luxurious hotels, cafes and European boutiques as well as its natural resources.

In the context of this study, it is important to cite some of the previous studies about Bandung city. The authors acknowledged that idea of discussing Bandung as one of the emerging creative cities in Indonesia is not new. Some authors discussed on how Bandung has a long history of local culture where society involved in creative-based activities and the changing role of its urban elements, particularly the street, such as Dago, Riau and Cihampelas (e.g., Soemardi & Radjawali, 2004; Soemardi, 2006; Martokusumo, 2006; Prasetyo & Martin-Iverson, 2015). Other studies discussed about the new phenomenon relating to the development of Dago and Tamansari area, as the initiatives example of the social movement which aims to turn urban slums areas into tourist attractions (e.g., Prasetyo & Martin-Iverson, 2013; Rahmany & Djajadiningrat, 2014). A variety of terms relating to the development of creative tourism based on the specific cultural-geographic traits has been used, including “kampung kreatif”, and “kampung kota”. The cultural-geographic traits such as wall paintings, traditional music festival or cultural performance were set up as the tourist attractions, which exemplifies how locals are gaining some economic benefits from the physical transformation.

Up to this point, it is important to note that social movement may lead to creating creative tourism in Bandung city. Thus, the Gemricik’s experience during the period of 2011 to 2015 about Lebak Kehkel RW-05 Cihampelas may serve as the nexus between the role of QHelix and creative tourism around Cihampelas shopping street, which may lead to enriching the empirical knowledge about creative tourism in Bandung city.


Established in February 2011, Gemricik has a membership base that includes 30 volunteers from several Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Bandung city. As stated earlier, RW-05 Cihampelas is one of the Gemricik’s initiatives example. Table 2 shows the ambitious work plan implemented for 5 years from 2011 to 2015. Yet, although programs and activities have been well implemented, the capacity of Gemricik for the year of 2016 onwards is still questionable as illustrated by the programs during the year of 2015.

Table 2. Gemricik’s programs and activities for RW-05 Cihampelas from 2011 to 2015
Source: Internal Gemricik
Year Programs and activities Description
2011 • Clean Cikapundung and “Kukuyaan” Game
• A healty home or rumah sehat
• Waste recycling
• Vertical garden
• Entrepreneurship training and workshop with self-help method All Gemricik’s members in collaboration with Bandung City Government introduced the concept of “The Cikapundung River Revitalization Master Plan”
2012 Senandung Cikapundung To raise awareness, educate and involve the residents in order to enable them to be better preserve cultural and natural heritage of Cikapundung river
2013 • Language class, cooking class, and early childhood education
• Cikapundung poster contest
• Waste management and environmental campaign Maranatha Christian University in collaboration with Bank Mandiri
2014 Waste management and environmental campaign All Gemricik’s members in collaboration with Bandung City Government and industry
2015 Follow up the concept of “The Cikapundung River Revitalization Master Plan” All Gemricik’s members in collaboration with Bandung City Government

Figure 2 shows the existing condition of RW-05 Cihampelas which consists of 8 neighborhood groups or Rukun Tetangga (RT). Most of the RTs are located along Cihampelas shopping street and 2 RTs are located at the Cikapundung riverbank. Around 600 families or Kepala Keluarga (KK) are registered as the permanent residents.

Figure 2. Map and the neighborhood of RW-05 Cihampelas
Source: Internal Gemricik

The Cihampelas shopping street is a one-way street, measuring only about two kilometers long and six meters wide. It is crowded with vehicles and has an irregular footpath, nonetheless, thousands of tourists are sure to stop at Cihampelas on weekends and public holidays. This street represents one of the largest shopping streets in Bandung city that covered with grocery and apparel vendors in categorical retail shops along with food and drink street vendors.

Having observed the situation, the authors take the opportunity to reflect upon the concerns surrounding the creative tourism around Cihampelas shopping street. It is evident that the numbers of hotels in the area have been on the rise for the past several years, as well as the shifting of land use from residential homes to shops and the sales point for the fashion and culinary products. Using the analysis of location, activity and function, it was found that the link between culture and tourism has not yet been established in Cihampelas shopping street, thus, cultural tourism is also not yet present in an organized form around RW-05 Cihampelas. Nonetheless, the idea of promoting RW-05 Cihampelas as one of the creative tourism spots means experiencing directly different ways of life which can have a valuable “active skill development” dimension that stretches beyond tourism. In other words, being amongst the residents of RW-05 Cihampelas who use an ethnic language, eat different foods, and behave in different ways is at the very heart of “active skill development” in the context of creative tourism around Cihampelas shopping street. Not to mention the location of RW-05 which may serve as the connecting corridor between Cihampelas shopping street and Cikapundung river. In other words, RW-05 Cihampelas is a strategic and highly accessible place in the context of creative tourism.


Back in 2011, when Gemricik approached the people of RW-05 Cihampelas, their objective was to get them to have the collective responsibility to improve their future life. According to Gemricik, the people of RW-05 Cihampelas have a better understanding of their social, economic and political situation, who are in better control of their environment, can be better supported to deal with their own social-economic issues, as opposed to saying Gemricik are an organization that deals with social-economic issues. However, having done all the programs and activities between 2011 and 2015, the authors witnessed that all the members of Gemricik were arguing that programs and activities are not enough because that is not the development. Thus, serious questions are being voiced, such as “Did we build local capacities?”; “Did we change attitudes?”; “Did we help the people of RW-05 Cihampelas to think differently?”.

Meanwhile, over the years, Gemricik has built up an impressive relationship with the local government. This relationship created an open and consultative processes for decision-making, in-depth data collection and the completion of a comprehensive preliminary design, so-called “The Cikapundung River Revitalization Master Plan”. This master plan is planned to be completed in 2025. Gemricik proposed “Cikapundung-Cihampelas” as a pilot project to the local government with the concepts of “riverside walk” (see Figure 3). Indeed, RW-05 Cihampelas is part of the idea of “Cikapundung-Cihampelas riverside walk”.

Figure 3. The concept of “Cikapundung-Cihampelas riverside walk”
Source: Internal Gemricik

The reasons behind the idea of “Cikapundung-Cihampelas riverside walk” are as follows:
1) To create the “epicentrum” as the main driver of the growth of creative industry in Bandung city.
2) To assist the multiple stakeholders in providing their visions and opinions as the initial inputs for the preparation of concept plans in the envisioning stage of the Cikapundung-Cihampelas to be a cultural tourist area.
3) To promote the tourism industry as one of the key drivers of the economic growth and job creation for city residents around Cikapundung-Cihampelas.

As a long-serving members of Gemricik since 2011, the authors found the combination of four dynamics that consist of university-industry-government-community relations. Those combinations gathered from the authors’ participant observation method which combines key informant approach and existing data approach to learning about Gemricik’s programs and experiences. Table 3 shows the findings based on the QHelix model. Presenting the findings based on the QHelix model allows for the comparison of all those “helices”.
Table 3. The role of QHelix in creative tourism from Gemricik’s perspective
Source: Internal Gemricik
Programs &

QHelix Forums and events Training / mentoring with self-help method Waste recycling Environmental campaign Cikapundung poster contest Financial support
University      
Industry      
Government      
Community      
Note:  indicates the involvement
 indicates no involvement

The QHelix that has led Gemricik to where it is today cannot be taken for granted. All these “helices” have been reinforced by a humble acknowledgment of Gemricik’s capabilities and limitations, who shared a commitment to providing support that enabled rather than dictated. These are all complex and inter-related issues, each of which could easily have led to conflict, tension and a divergence of priorities and development paths. Yet, Gemricik has successfully managed and held together those “helices” in a cohesive system that places the support of the community as a whole above that of individual “helices” interests. With the changing political context under the new Mayor of Bandung for 2013-2018, there may be an opportunity for Gemricik, to begin to ask some questions about the fifth helix. For instance, what does the fifth helix mean to the road ahead? Could it be the answer to the three big strategic questions: “Where are we? Where do we go from here? How do we get there?”. Many further questions may be raised, but the fundamental question is this: “What do we really have here?”.

In this connection, the authors develop a new model, so-called “the next collaboration model” as the Quintuple Helix (see Figure 4). The authors observed that international development aid or IDA have not played its role in the development of Gemricik’s movement, which means that the non-existence of IDA merits additional scrutiny, in the context of promoting RW-05 Cihampelas as one of the creative tourism spots around Cihampelas shopping street.

Figure 4. The concept of Quintuple Helix for Gemricik on creative tourism
Source: Authors’ own conceptualization based on Etzkowitz & Leydesdorff (1998); Leydesdorff (2011); Carayannis, Barth & Campbell (2012); Suhardja (2015)

The Quintuple Helix model illustrates the combination of intersecting elements which lead to offer significant lessons for exploration, for Gemricik in general but also for the RW-05 Cihampelas creative tourism in particular. The authors believe that creative tourism around Cihampelas shopping street are at the point in time when the gap between what can be imagined and what can be accomplished has never been smaller.


Gemricik is firmly rooted in its academic community. The common factor uniting its member, apart from the fact they were neither government agencies nor business in the traditional sense, is that they would have an avowed mission to work for a social good – whether it was torchbearers for human rights, the environment or just a new-fangled idea to the inhabitants of the banks of Cikapundung river. The defining characteristic of the Gemricik, however, is that, as a core principle, it places significant emphasis, effort and resources on capacity building and technical support to communities in a way that enables and empowers them to interrogate, define and plan their own development paths. In short, Gemricik is a voluntary-based organization (VBO) which was initiated, owned, directed and driven entirely by its members. Despite being a small and relatively new VBO, Gemricik has developed successful relationships with a diverse range of “helices” upon which it can call directly for assistance and idea generation, ranging from “clean Cikapundung” to health-related and environmental issues. Nonetheless, the authors found that Gemricik faces a variety of challenges as they seek to fulfill their missions and achieve their objectives in the context of “Cikapundung-Cihampelas riverside walk”.

Therefore, the authors developed recommendations by creating a new model and stress the necessary IDA to support Gemricik’s movement for the next 10 years from now. The new model, so-called the Quintuple Helix may lead to the future research in order to support the development of creative tourism of both Cihampelas shopping street and RW-05 Cihampelas. Finally, to define the “work in progress or status quo?” one need to note that the social movement like Gemricik is indeed the on-going process which has to build stone by stone and hopefully end up with an outcome they do want. But one thing is for sure, Gemricik must continue to move boldly ahead with new ideas. A lot of dots to connect…


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