Surabaya is Indonesia’s second largest city and the capital of East Java province. The City derived its name from a famous legendary battle between a shark (sura) and crocodile (baya) for power and title. The symbols of these two animals are now used as the City’s logo circling around the Surabaya City’s “Heroic Monument”. It is aptly referred to as the “City of Heroes” due to its role in the nations struggle for independence.

Over the years, Surabaya has transformed into an elegant, culturally endowed city and a center for commerce, industry, maritime, education and tourism.

Fast Facts:

Climate Daily average temperatures are between 22.4 C and 34.4 C.
Area 459.50 square kilometers
Population 4 million
Population Density 274 persons/km2
Growth Rate 1.2%/year
Economic Activities Agriculture, commerce, trade and industry

Surabaya’s economy is mainly fuelled by trading activities particularly commercial and manufacturing. The city’s geographical advantages and urban facilities makes it an ideal host to business centres, financial institutions, academic institutions and offices. Agriculture also plays a vital role in the city’s economy as it exports sugar, tobacco and coffee. Considered to have one of the busiest ports in Indonesia, it is equipped with a large shipyard and numerous naval schools . Surabaya is a home to outstanding universities, famous zoo and many recreational attractions in East Java’s mountains and along its coasts .


Surabaya is fairly equipped with transport facilities that connects the city to Jakarta and Bali and the rest of East Java areas. The Juanda International Airport, built in 2006, is considered the second largest airport in Indonesia while Tanjung Perak is the main port of the city and is one of the busiest ports in the country. Trains and bus routes are also available for domestic travel.

The city government
The city of Surabaya was officially established in 1293 and is divided into 28 districts and 163 sub-districts . It is composed of five administrative areas namely (1) the Chief Executive (Mayor), (2) the House of Representatives, (3) the Secretariat, (4) the Operational Units and (5) the Planning Agency. The Chief Executive or autonomous authorities for both the regional and local level are elected by the House of Representatives of each respective authorities .Mayors and member of representatives are elected for fiver years term while district and sub-district chiefs are appointed to the office by the City Mayor.


Surabaya is considered one of the progressive capitals in Indonesia endowed with modern urban amenities and geographical advantages that fuels the city’s economic growth. However, these advantages also hold as threat to the quality of the city’s environment as a result of the increase in population, both natural and migratory, along with the expansion of its industrial activities.  The fast rate of urbanization has led the city to experience different forms and levels of pollution which threatens human health and destroy natural resources. Increase in solid waste generation, degradation of urban air quality toppled with insufficient environmental facilities are but a few of the urban environmental challenges faced by the city.

Environmental Initiatives:

Household Waste Composting


United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

Environment Section
Environment and Sustainable Development Division
United Nations Building, Rajdamnern Avenue
Bangkok 10200 Thailand

Institute for Global Environmental Strategies

Kitakyushu Initiative Network Secretariat
3-9-30 Asano, Kokurakita-ku
Kitakyushu City 802-0001 Japan