“Indonesia will build a new capital city on the island of Borneo, home to some of the world’s biggest coal reserves and orangutan habitats, as President Joko Widodo seeks to ease pressure on congested and sinking Jakarta. The relocation of the capital, some 1,400km away from Jakarta, will help spread economic activity outside the nation’s most populous island of Java.”
SOURCE: South China Morning Post
Jakarta is a megacity that will continue to grow, but it is a sinking city–in fact, the fastest sinking city in the world. The pressures of being the primate city are enormous–the rush hour traffic is considered one of the worst in the world and the continued centralization of government in Jakarta limits economic group in other regions of the country (here is the Guardian’s primer for understanding the situation). This plan to create a forward capital to encourage growth in Borneo and attempt to limit growth in Jakarta will be fascinating to monitor. The move to a new capital won’t begin until 2024, and is estimated to cost over $30 billion. For more on forward capitals, here is a BBC article with 5 other examples of countries that have changed their capital cities. For more on the idea that we just can’t dispose of cities like trash, see this article from The Conversation.
GeoEd Tags: Indonesia, megacities, urban ecology, governance, urban politics, SouthEast Asia.
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