Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Growth of Jakarta and Suburbanization in Jakarta's Peripheral Areas

In the aftermath of the recent floods in Jakarta, the high level of urbanization was blamed as one of the culprits in the disaster that caused environmental destruction in Jakarta’s peripheral areas which were supposed to be water catchment areas. How high was the level of urbanization in Jakarta? How did urbanization cause the reduced water catchment areas in Jakarta’s peripheral areas? Before answering those questions, it is important to know what urbanization is.

The term of urbanization refers to the proportion of total population that lives in urban area. There is common mistake of thinking of urbanization as simply the growth of cities. We need to distinguish between urbanization and the growth of cities. Urbanization is a change that has a beginning and an end, but the growth of cities has no inherent limit.

Jakarta is a fully urbanized area. Since the 1990 Census, the Statistics Indonesia (BPS) determines all parts of the Jakarta’s jurisdiction are urban area. In the context of urbanization, Jakarta has come to the end. On the other hand, the growth of city which is commonly misunderstood as urbanization is still occurring in Jakarta. The growth of Jakarta has generated suburbanization in Jakarta’s peripheral areas.

Not only is Jakarta the capital of Indonesia, it is the economic, commercial and transportation hub of the nation. The Indonesia’s economy has been growing at a robust pace of 6 percent a year and Jakarta has been Indonesia’s primary growth machine. The growth of Jakarta has generated the land conversion to urban area in the Jakarta’s neighboring areas. The growth occurring in Jakarta creates the demand for housing and other urban services in Jakarta’s neighboring areas. The growth of Jakarta causes suburbanization in Jakarta’s neighboring areas. The periphery of Jakarta which was previously non-urban areas converts to urban areas in order to accommodate the growth of Jakarta. Lots of converted areas were areas which were supposed to be water catchment areas.

In the last two decades, the growth of Jakarta’s population is slower than that of Indonesia’s population. The total population of Jakarta even dropped from 9,112,652 in 1995 as recorded by the 1995 National Intercensal Population Survey to 8,361,079 in 2000 according to the 2000 Census. The decrease of Jakarta’s population in 1995-2000 was caused by the suburbanization and the slow economic growth due to the 1997 economic crisis. On the other hand, the periphery of Jakarta has experienced a drastic increase in population. The population in the periphery Jakarta has tripled from 4.4 million in 1980 to 12.6 million in 2000, while Jakarta’s population increased by only 30 percent. The Jakarta’s population back up to 8,860,381 in 2005 after a number of apartment complexes were built in Jakarta that bring back the residents live in the central city.

The growth of Jakarta is the cause of suburbanization in Jakarta’s peripheral areas. The higher economic growth of Jakarta the higher pressure in Jakarta’s peripheral areas to suburbanize. As long as Jakarta still becomes the primary growth machine of the nation the economic growth of Jakarta will be strongly associated with the pace of Indonesia’s economic growth and will correspond to the suburbanization in Jakarta’s neighboring areas. One way of reducing the pressure of suburbanization in Jakarta’s peripheral areas is to relocate the source of Jakarta’s growth. The idea of relocating the nation’s capital out of Jakarta as supported by some candidates of Jakarta’s governor is one way to reduce the suburbanization in Jakarta’s peripheral areas.

In addition, the suburbanization of Jakarta’s peripheral areas was generated by the influx of migrants from other parts of the nation particularly from poor regions of Java Island. During 1995-2005 the average number of migrants who migrated to neighboring areas of Jakarta was 1.6 million people a year. Poverty in rural areas in Java Island became a factor that pushed people from rural areas to move to urban areas. The rural poor migrate to urban area as a way of escaping from the poverty. There is inextricable link between rapid suburbanization in Jakarta’s peripheral areas and poverty in Java’s rural areas.

Wilmar Salim provided a very interesting analogy between rural poverty and urban agglomerations in Java. He identified urban agglomerations as lotuses and rural poor as those who need a base for escaping from poverty. He raised critical question of how long will the lotuses be able to stay afloat and suggested several policy for alleviating rural poverty.

Below is some excerpts of his article that appeared in the Jakarta Posts on December 22, 2006:

... Moreover, 12.5 million (57.9 percent) of the poor in Java live in rural areas. In other words, the poor are concentrated in rural areas, and 32 out of 100 poor Indonesians lived in rural Java in 2000. Though the current figures are unknown, we can guess that they are similar.

What was not really discussed in either report was the spatial distribution of the poor in Java. Poverty mapping conducted by SMERU Research Institute (2004) showed that poverty enclaves were created in areas far from urban agglomerations, such as Jabodetabek, Bandung Raya or Gerbangkertosusila (Surabaya Metropolitan Area). The southern part of Banten and West Java, the central part of Central Java, the south-west and south-east parts of East Java, and the island of Madura were areas with high concentrations of poor in 2000.

At the same time, the growth of Javanese cities shows conflicting patterns between the census in 1990 and 2000. Some of these cities, especially those in the above agglomerations, experienced positive or even rapid population growth. But some, i.e. Surakarta, Yogyakarta, Magelang, Kediri and Madiun, experienced a negative growth, or in other words, lost some of their populations. A closer look at the distribution of the poor reveals that cities that have positive or rapid growth tend to be surrounded by subdistricts with less poor populations.

Thus, the poverty situation in rural areas surrounding cities in Java is better than in more remote areas far from cities. This explains why the growth rate in big cities in Java is so great, since these cities are like lotuses that provide a base for the poor to get out of poverty. The catch is if we are not looking into rural conditions, how long will these lotuses be able to stay afloat?

The above phenomenon reflects a condition that Niles Hansen in the 1970s described as urban crisis caused by extreme poverty in rural areas due to unbalanced development. Thus, regional development policies must be enacted to balance development and ease the crisis. The bottom line is that state intervention is needed to invest in measures to support productive sectors in remote rural areas, and also increasing attention must be paid to small and medium cities.

Policies to balance development in Java can be threefold: First, control development expansion in major urban agglomerations so they will not overheat. The government will not be able to really slow down development in these cities, but it can reallocate its public investments to other areas.

Second, optimize investments that support economic activities in small and medium cities, and promote a friendly climate for private investment. Infrastructure development that supports production, such as electricity and telecommunications, needs to be intensified. Furthermore, commercial centers in the small and medium cities must be revitalized.

Third, maximize public investments in social overhead capital in areas remote from cities, and try to encourage economic activities in these areas by improving access to economic resources for villagers...

(This article also appeared at The Jakarta Post on March 27, 2007 and then it was linked at The Center of Southeast Asian Studies of Xiamen University, China and at The Development from Disasters Network)


Deden Rukmana said...

This is to thank my friend, Rina Kartikasari, for sharing her picture of Jakarta's beautiful night.

agung said...

quoted :
The idea of relocating the nation’s capital out of Jakarta as supported by some candidates of Jakarta’s governor is one way to reduce the suburbanization in Jakarta’s peripheral areas.

Several issues should be taken as consideration :
1. The very high cost in relocating the nation's capital. Is it worthed enough to compare with the loss caused by suburbanization?

2. Every nation's capital has their own history; and also as symbols for the countries. Could we just walk away from the history of Jakarta and simply move it somewhere else?

Anyway, nice blog you have here Professor.. I'll be often to look around =D

Best regards

Anonymous said...

People will continue to leave poor rural areas to find better living elsewhere, as long as living in this "elsewhere" is truly better than in the original place. That is I think a very natural thing to do.

If the condition in Jakarta and its surrounding is getting worse for any newcomers, wouldn't it be natural that the population growth is decreasing?

Anonymous said...

This is what I think we should expect from the incoming Governor of DKI Jakarta.

Expectations of the new Governor of DKI Jakarta.

Election on Governor of DKI Jakarta will come soon. Learning from previous experience, in this election, Characters and Programs should be the main requirements for the new governor. He should have the characters which encourage Jakarta people to grow up and also entail strong and courageous: have a determination in applying the correct decisions and laws although they do not appease people; smart: know what to do, e.g. set up right priorities, competent: if he does not know technical things, advices should be taken from experts. Lastly is adherent to laws: obey the laws and enforce them – punishment to whoever violates the laws.
The new Governor should present the Programs which are comprehensive and serve simultaneous actions, to overcome complex issues considering Jakarta, now is the eleventh biggest populated city in the world with 16.5 Mlns people (including Bogor, Tangerang, Bekasi and Depok). DKI Jakarta itself has 9.5 Mlns with growth rate 1.7% per year (BPS DKI).
The proposed programs should be able to tackle the main and important issues faced by the city. These do not have to go into small programs such as how to hide the beggars, to better ID Cards service, funeral service, etc although these still need attention. Instead, the priorities of the programs and resources should be directed to main areas such as healthy food, clean air and water supply, health, affordable houses, transportation, and education.
First, the programs should cover the city plan: Which areas are for living, for office building, for public, for Factories, for Green Areas, etc. This plan should be detailed, e.g. in the living areas, it should have proper comparison of big, medium, small houses. If the comparison is not proper then that area should provide lands for building up small houses (in this case could be apartments). This would lessen the gap between the rich and poor people which can avoid social crime. It has been applied in countries like Canada and other countries. It is better to start the plan rather than not.
The plan should provide the areas for factory expansion, public areas, etc. The city should have minimum % of total areas for green areas for oxygen and to neutralize the pollution. The plan also covers how it will develop in the next five years, ten years and fifteen years considering the population and economy growth. This master plan, at least, should be completed in the first two years of the new period after getting inputs from Experts, Public and Parliament.
Second, this is very important. This plan should also be communicated to Public, which later should be implemented consistently by the new governor and controlled by Parliament and Public. There should not be any main deviation from the City Master Plan during the implementation. This is where the strong character needed to have actions in order.
Third, to reduce the city’s overburden is to remove all the Central Government (Ministry) Offices to other cities except Presidential Office. In accordance with the “Autonomy” spirit, it is about the time to distribute the “centralization power” to other cities in Indonesia. For example, the Internal Affairs Ministry Offices moves to Semarang, the Transportation Ministry to Cirebon, etc.
This move will prevent “urbanization”, boost the growth for other cities and it could be applied for the cities in other islands than Java. This model worked very well in USA, Canada, and Australia. Therefore, Jakarta could concentrate and develop as business and tourist city.
Fourth, Flood is always the problem whenever the rainy season comes. The programs of channeling the water flow need to be implemented, in this case, East Flood Channel (Banjir Kanal Timur) should be built up very soon. On the other hand, the West Flood Channel needs to be improved and expanded so that both Channels could flow the water from 13 rivers that go into Jakarta properly to prevent the flood and eventually, the water goes to Java Sea.
The other program that should be built simultaneously is the land improvement on the sources area of the rivers or the prevention of land usage (green conservation) or water dam. This needs cooperation with other cities such as Tangerang, Bogor and Depok. This work demands support from Central Government and other Provinces.
The next program is to build up sewage under the surface. Currently, we do not have sewage systems, if any, they are only a small amount. This sewage is to channel all the waste which in the end goes to the river (or waste management area). It is important not to have clogs of waste which can cause flood.
Still related to waste, the program should have a Centralized Septic Tank for each area of living. A study from World Bank showed that 68% water sources in Jakarta are contaminated by E Coli Bacteria. There are no septic tanks for some houses, so that they just throw up their waste to the ditches.
On the other hand, other houses built up their own septic tank and some of them close to the water sources. During the rainy season, especially when flood happens, the ditches and water overflow will contaminate the water sources. The Centralized Septic Tank programs should be implemented immediately due to health concerns.
Fifth, Transportation is a crucial program. Inevitably, Mass Rapid Transportation is a must for a big city like Jakarta. Plan and implementation for Subway and Monorails need to be integrated in terms of routes or areas. Monorails should be complemented to Subway Network since Subway could carry much more passengers and move faster than Monorails.
For other modes such as cars, motorcycles, they should be oriented to have a certain % level of emissions in order to achieve clean air. These transportation programs should be planned and done altogether with Under Surface work. We do not want to see Subway which was drown by the flood.
During the implementation of the above modes, the Control of cars and motorcycles usage on the certain roads could be done through toll fee or based on plate number rotation. Busway operations would be the third modal transportation after Subway and Monorails since Busway carries fewer passengers and much more pollutions.
Sixth, related with the first program, to prevent the overcrowded in Kampung2 (slumps), government needs to build more affordable houses (Rumah Susun), which charge low interest mortgages to low income people.
Last but not least, education for the people. This should have strong willingness from the top which provide real “free of charge” for elementary schools and improvement on school building and teachers’ welfare.
Almost all the above programs would improve infrastructures which would attract investors to invest their capitals in Jakarta and propel the economy. The Programs funding could be arranged by setting up priorities properly. If still, there are funding needs, then it should be discussed and shared with Central Government.
From the above points, the question comes up: can we have new Governor that can fulfill the above expectations? A lot of hopes can be anticipated from him, but to be fair, we can not lay the entire burden to him, instead, we, either the people or Government, need to help him.
We should ask from the Jakarta people: commitment to not to waste recklessly, help government not to bribe the bureaucracy, obey the laws and be supportive to the Bureaucracy. We also ask the Bureaucracy to execute the programs properly and not to corrupt. If the above programs and expectations fulfilled, then, we might have the sense of a good city which is a city that we can comfortably live in with minimum noises, smells and bad views.

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E-mail: andirivandi@yahoo.com
City Observer, living in Canada in the last 6 years, preparing to study Philosophy in Toronto


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