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Indonesia

Indonesia ‘discards’ its capital Jakarta for a new one, but we can’t just dispose of cities

Jakarta1

Indonesia’s government is advancing plans to relocate the country’s capital more than 1,000 kilometres away, from Jakarta on densely populated Java island to Borneo. At a time when modern consumer societies are awash in disposable products, the relocation plan seems to exemplify global society’s tendency to throw things away once they can no longer be used. In other words, Jakarta is a ‘disposable city.’ The situation with Jakarta is only the latest case of a country shifting its capital from an unmanageable urban context.”   Source:  The Conversation

This article, while on the surface is about forward capitals, and Jakarta’s plan to change it’s capital city,  is truly about unsustainable urban land use practices.  Relocating a capital is a part a a fix to alleviate the pressures on the government, but it does not solve the ecological problems of the city itself.  This article is a plea to push for more sustainable urban initiatives.

GeoEd Tags: Indonesia, megacities, urban ecology, SouthEast Asia.

 

Indonesia chooses a new capital

Capital Indonesia

“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.”
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.

Jakarta
Jakarta is overcrowded, polluted, and sinking.

 

Why no-one speaks Indonesia’s language

Bahasa Indonesia was adopted to make communication easier across the vast Indonesian archipelago, but its simplicity has only created new barriers.

Source: www.bbc.com

Linguistic diffusion faces many barriers, and an island state like Indonesia faces cultural centrifugal forces.  Adopting a national language might be good political policy, but culturally, that doesn’t ensure it’s viability.  This is a great case study for human geography classes that touches on many curricular topics.

Scoop.it Tags: languageculture, diffusion, Indonesia.

WordPress TAGS: language, culture, diffusion, Indonesia, SouthEast Asia.

‘It’s Our Right’: Christian Congregation In Indonesia Fights To Worship In Its Church

A Christian congregation outside Jakarta built a new church legally, but Muslims in the area object to it. In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled to allow worship at the church, but it remains sealed.

 

Vocal Muslim citizens opposed construction of the church and pressured the local government to cancel the permits. The local government acquiesced to the demands. But the church group went to court, and won. On an appeal, they won again. Finally, the case went all the way to Indonesia’s Supreme Court — where the church group won a third time, in 2010. But to this day, the congregation can’t worship there.

Indonesia, with its mix of Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and Christian citizens, has long had a reputation as a country that embraces religious diversity. Andreas Harsono, the Indonesia researcher for Human Rights Watch, sees things differently.

 

Tags: Indonesiaculture, religion.

Source: www.npr.org

The Arctic Suicides: It’s Not The Dark That Kills You

Greenland has the world’s highest suicide rate. And teen boys are at the highest risk.

 

Like native people all around the Arctic — and all over the world — Greenlanders were seeing the deadly effects of rapid modernization and unprecedented cultural interference. American Indians and Alaska Natives (many of whom share Inuit roots with Greenlanders) had already seen many of their communities buckle under the same pressures.

Source: www.npr.org

This is an incredibly tragic story; if I could add one word to the sub-title, it would read, “It’s not JUST the dark the kills you.”  I’m not an environmental determinist, but we can’t pretend that the climate/darkness don’t play some role in Greenland having 6x the suicide rates of the United States.  See also this article/photo gallery about a similar suicide problem in the indigenous far north of Canada.    

 

Tags: Greenland, Arctic, genderpodcast, indigenous.

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