Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Megacity of Jakarta: Problems, Challenges and Planning Efforts

In September 2013, I received an invitation from the Moscow Urban Forum to submit an article on Jakarta. The Moscow Urban Forum was an international event for experts, investors, and potential partners interested in the development of Moscow and held on December 5-7, 2013. One of the outcomes of the Moscow Urban Forum is the multidisciplinary research of the periphery of megacities. More than 10 megacities were parts of the research including Jakarta. The Moscow Urban Forum has released the report of the research titled "Archaeology of the Periphery" as can be found at this link.  The report includes my article of Jakarta titled "Peripheral Pressures" on pp. 162-171. This post is the extension of that article and will be presented in the Spring 2014 Seminar Series in the Center for Southeast Asian Research (CSEAR) at the University of British Colombia in Vancouver, Canada on May 1, 2014.


Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia and the largest metropolitan area in Southeast Asia with tremendous population growth and a wide range of urban problems. The overall population of the megacity of Jakarta grew in the 20th Century, from about 150,000 in 1900 to about 28 million in 2010. The megacity of Jakarta is also called Jabodetabek, taken from the initial letters of the administrative units of Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi.  The center of Jabodetabek is Jakarta, also called the Special Capital Region of Jakarta (Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta) and covers a total area of 664 square kilometers. The inner peripheries of the megacity of Jakarta include four municipalities (City of Tangerang, City of South Tangerang, City of Depok, City of Bekasi), whereas the outer peripheries of Jabodetabek include the City of Bogor, Tangerang Regency and Bekasi Regency. The megacity covers a total area of 5,897 square kilometers (Hudalah and Firman 2007).

Skyline of Jakarta, January 2014
Jakarta, or the Special Capital Region of Jakarta, has  ‘provincial government level’ status. The peripheries of Jabodetabek are within the jurisdiction of two provinces.  The City of Bogor, City of Depok, City of Bekasi and Bekasi Regency are within the jurisdiction of West Java Province, whereas the City of Tangerang, City of South Tangerang and Tangerang Regency are within the jurisdiction of Banten Province. The four municipalities within the inner peripheries of Jabodetabek are new municipalities founded in the 1990s and 2000s. The City of Tangerang, City of Bekasi, City of Depok and City of South Tangerang were founded in 1993, 1996, 1999 and 2008 respectively. The City of Tangerang and City of South Tangerang seceded from Tangerang Regency. Meanwhile, the City of Depok was part of Bogor Regency and the City of Bekasi seceded from Bekasi Regency.  

Population Growth of the Megacity of Jakarta

Jakarta has been the capital of Indonesia since the Dutch colonial era. The population of Jakarta in 1900 was about 115,000. In the first nationwide census of the Dutch colonial administration (1930), Jakarta’s population increased to 409,475. In the next ten years, the population increased to 544,823 with an annual growth rate of 3.30%. After Independence, Jakarta increased by nearly three times to 1.43 million by 1950. It increased to 2.91 million in 1960 and 4.47 million in 1970. The annual growth rates of Jakarta’s population are 10.35% and 5.36% (1950-1960 and 1960-1970 respectively).       

Table 1 shows the population of the Megacity of Jakarta including Jakarta, the inner and outer peripheries of Jakarta, from 1980 to 2010. The Megacity of Jakarta increased from 11.91 million in 1980, 17.14 million in 1990, and 20.63 million in 2000 to 28.01 million in 2010. The megacity in 2010 was 11.79 percent of Indonesia’s total population but this population resides in less than 0.3 percent of Indonesia’s total area. The proportions of Jabodetabek’s population to the total population of Indonesia have steadily increased from 8.07%, 9.56%, to 10.0% (in 1980, 1990, and 2000 respectively).    

Table 1
Population of the Megacity of Jakarta in 1980-2010
(in millions)

Inner peripheries
   City of Tangerang
   City of South Tangerang
   City of Depok
   City of Bekasi
Outer peripheries
   City of Bogor
   Tangerang Regency
   Bekasi Regency
   Bogor Regency
Megacity of Jakarta
                                Sources: Central Bureau of Statistics, Firman (1997) and Cox (2011)

Transformation of Jakarta

The modern city of Jakarta was initiated by President Soekarno’s strong vision to build Jakarta into the greatest city possible (Cybriwsky and Ford, 2001). He gave Jakarta, Monas – his most symbolic new structure the 132 m high national monument, spacious new government buildings, department stores, shopping plazas, hotels, the sport facilities of Senayan that were used for the 1962 Asian Games, the biggest and most glorious mosque of Istiqlal, new parliament buildings and the waterfront recreation area at Ancol. Such constructions continued under the New Order regime that began in 1967. Under this regime, Indonesia enjoyed steady economic growth, along with a reduction in the percentage of the population living under the poverty line (Firman 1999). From 40% in 1976, the levels declined to the official level of 11.3% in 1996.  In 1996 6.9 million people in urban areas and 15.7 million people in rural areas lived under the poverty line.

Jakarta grew rapidly during this period of the New Order regime. The investment in the property sector, including offices, commercial buildings, new town development, and highrise apartments and hotels grew substantially. Firman (1998; 1999) argued that Jakarta, by the mid-1990s, was heading towards global city status. Jakarta was the largest concentration of foreign and domestic investment in Indonesia and received US$ 32.5 billion and Rp. 68,500 billion from foreign and domestic investment respectively during the period of January 1967-March 1998 (Firman 1999).

In the early administration of the New Order regime, some projects were completed, including the Ismail Marzuki Arts Center, industrial zones at Tanjung Priok and Pulo Gadung, that aimed to attract foreign investment, plus the unique theme park of Taman Mini Indonesia Indah. During the thirty-two years of the New Order regime, Jakarta changed considerably. A generally rapid economic growth during this period allowed Jakarta to expand its modern constructions and develop into a modern city. Firman (1998; 2000) noted that the physical development of Jakarta resulted from its functioning as a “global city” in Asia. The “global cities” in Asia include Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, Hongkong, Manila, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapura and Jakarta. Hundreds of new office towers, hotels and high-rise condominiums were built in many parts of the city.

M.H. Thamrin Blvd, Jakarta. January 2014
Murakami and her colleagues (2005) compared the urbanization stage and patterns of land use in Jakarta, Bangkok dan Manila. Using the Clark linear exponential model and the Newling quadratic exponential model, they compared the spatial distribution of population densities in those cities. They also analyzed land-use patterns by examining the mixture of urban and agricultural land use. They found that Jakarta had entered the suburbanization stage, while Manila was at early stage of suburbanization and Bangkok was at intermediate stage of suburbanization. The Golden Triangle – a new style commercial zone - was built in Thamrin-Sudirman corridor to push the urban skyline upward in response to high land costs in key areas and the convenience of the automobile (Cybriwsky and Ford, 2001). This zone aimed to accommodate internationally invested highrise mega-blocks; a result of the regional competition among “global cities” (Firman, 1998; Goldblum and Wong, 2000).

Jakarta is linked with other “global cities” in a functional system built around telecommunications, transportation, services and finance. A parade of tall buildings, one after the other fill the major streets on both sides. They house the offices of Indonesian and multi-national corporations. Firman (1999) reported that total area of commercial space in Jakarta in 1978 was only 0.1 million square meters and in 1997 it reached 2.7 million square meters with nearly 90% occupancy rates. In every part of the city, modern shopping malls along with family enterprises were also built.

The economy crisis which hit Indonesia in 1998 resulted in major disruptions of the urban development in Jakarta. Such monstrous crisis shifted Jakarta from “global city” to “city of crisis”. The crisis – commonly known in Indonesia as krismon - largely squeezed the economy of Jakarta. Domestic and foreign investment dramatically fell off. Many manufacturing and services corporations in the megacity of Jakarta closed and laid off their employees, resulting in the rapid increase of uncontrolled unemployment. In order to survive the krismon, a large number of workers shifted to become food traders or then engaged in other informal sector jobs. Street vendors –commonly known in Indonesia as pedagang kaki lim a- increased rapidly from about 95,000 in 1997 to 270,000 in 1999 (Firman, 1999). The increasing informal labor force is a distinctive characteristic of cities in developing countries since the formal sector fails to accommodate a large labor force. This shrinkage of economic activities resulted in the decrease of office space demand which dropped from 300,000 square meters in 1997 to 85,000 square meters in 1999. Similarly, the demand for high-class apartments dropped from 49,000 in December 1997, to 16,000 in February 1998. The housing market in the megacity nearly collapsed due to increasing costs of building materials and higher housing loan interest rates. Most construction projects in the periphery of Jakarta slowed down or even completely stopped (Firman, 2000).

In order to mitigate the impact of the krismon, in July 1998  the government along with the assistance of IMF launched a variety of social safety net programs. These programs included food security, employment creation, student scholarships and block grants to schools, targeted health care subsidies, and community block grant (Sumarto, et. al., 2004). Political and economic reforms were also implemented during the recovery process. Civil unrest and political uncertainty heightened during the krismon gradually lowered during the recovery process. As of early 2005, Indonesia’s economic performance was more positive. The rate of economic growth of Jakarta was 5.26% per year over the period of 2001-2004 (Firman 2008).

Suburbanization in the Megacity of Jakarta

To understand the suburbanization in the megacity of Jakarta, it is essential to recognize the socio-economic dualism pervading Indonesian urban society. The manifestations of this dualism are the presence of the modern city and the kampung city in urban areas. The kampung, ‘village’ in Indonesian, is associated with informality, poverty, and the retention of rural traditions within an urban setting. Firman (1999) argues the existence of kampungs and modern cities reflect spatial segregation and socio-economic disparities.

Kampung and the modern city of Jakarta, January 2014
The growing numbers of migrants to Jakarta and poor Jakarta natives have produced new squatter kampungs on the periphery of Jakarta (Cybriwsky and Ford, 2001). Many constructions in the central city also caused some residents of kampungs to be evicted and relocated to the periphery (Silver, 2008). The periphery also attracted migrants because of its improved infrastructures and facilities in (Goldblum and Wong, 2000). Since 1950, Jakarta has attracted people from all parts of Java and other Indonesian islands. The flood of migrants came to Jakarta for economic reasons as Jakarta offered the hope of employment. The 1961 census showed only 51% of the city’s population was actually born in Jakarta (Cybriwsky and Ford, 2001). And many times, Jakarta officials tried to control migration by declaring the city closed; new migrants were not allowed entry. However, these attempts proved useless; a large number of migrants ignored the law.

Leaf (1994) has identified the rapid growth of suburban enclave housing in Jakarta during early 1990s. The residential enclave for narrowly targeted moderate and high-income families characterized Jakarta’s suburban area (Firman, 1998; Leaf, 1994). Located on the periphery of the city, these settlements were built in automobile-accessible areas with various high-quality amenities such as modern golf courses. High-income families in the central city also moved from the city in search of better living quality (Goldblum and Wong, 2000). The high cost of houses and the need for automobiles restricted low-income families from the suburban housing market. One in five families in Jakarta’s suburbs owned an automobile (Leaf, 1994). Leaf (1994) has argued that suburbanization in Jakarta was a direct outcome of at least two policies: the subsidized housing finance program and the municipal permit system for land development. These policies have most benefited developers strongly linked with the New Order Regime. Half of the land development permits were given to 16 development firms. The other half was distributed amongst the other 167 development firms (Leaf, 1994).

In addition to residential zones, the periphery of Jakarta is also made up of specialized zones of commercial and industrial enterprises. These areas complement the other districts of Jakarta: the central business districts on Thamrin-Sudirman corridor, the government offices around Medan Merdeka, the international seaport of Tanjung Priok, and the growing network of freeways. Since the end of the 1980s, no new industrial parks have been developed in Jakarta (Hudalah et al 2013). Initiated by a collaborative project of Bumi Serpong Damai in the early 1980s, the periphery of Jakarta was also the location of several new towns. The first new town of Bumi Serpong Damai was planned for an eventual population of 600,000 in a total area of 6,000 hectares; a project developed by several private developers and led by the largest private developer – the Ciputra Group. Other new towns in the peripheries of Jakarta include Bukit Jonggol Asri, Pembangunan Jaya, Lippo City, Cikarang Baru, Tigaraksa, Kota Legenda, Kota Cileungsi, Royal Sentul, Bintaro Jaya, Lido Lakes Resort, Gading Serpong, Modernland, Kota Citra Raya and Alam Sutera dan Kedaton (Firman 1998; Silver 2008).

In a number of these new towns, the State Housing Provider Agency (Perumnas) joined with private developers to assure some housing was targeted for low and moderate-income families (Cybriwsky and Ford, 2001). Most of the new towns offered relatively few employment opportunities. Their initial concept was to create self-contained communities but this was barely implemented. Instead, the new towns became “bedroom suburbs for city-bound commuters” (Cybriwsky and Ford, 2001). The new towns were still heavily dependent on the central city (Firman, 1999; Silver 2008) and the development of large-scale housing projects intensified the daily interaction between the fringe areas and the central city of Jakarta. This worsened the traffic problems in metropolitan Jakarta. The development of industrial zones in the peripheries of Jakarta also indicated a spatial restructuring that shifted manufacturing from the central city to the periphery. Firman (1998) reported that the central city attracted disproportionate investment in service industries, trade and hotel, and restaurant construction. The peripheries attracted most of the industrial construction; these include textiles, apparel, footwear, plastics, chemicals, electronics, metal products and foods (Cybriwsky and Ford, 2001). In the peripheries of the megacity of Jakarta, agricultural areas and forests were massively converted into industrial estates, large-scale subdivisions and new towns (Firman 1999; Silver 2007). Within 10 years, 20 new towns emerged in the megacity of Jakarta and converted 16.6 thousand hectares of rural land (Winarso and Firman 2002, p. 488).

The massive development on the outskirts of the megacity of Jakarta resulted from a series of deregulation and de-bureaucratization measures enacted by the Suharto government in the 1980s (Winarso and Firman 2002, p. 488). The subsidized housing finance program and municipal permit system for land development also contributed to policies that have most benefited some developers strongly linked to the New Order regime (Leaf, 1994). Winarso and Firman (2002) revealed almost all large developers were well connected to the President Suharto’s family and inner circle including his daughters, sons, brother, in-laws and close friends. The connection to the Suharto family and inner circle became signifcant; closeness to the first family helped the large developers expand their business. Interlinking also occurred among the large developers through cross-shareholding, shared directorships and joint ventures; procees which turned potential competitors into collaborators and created oligopolistic types of land and housing markets.

Continuing with the suburbanization; this was also caused by the development of three highways stretching from Jakarta to the peripheries - the Jagorawi toll road, the Jakarta-Cikampek toll road, and the Jakarta-Merak toll road (Henderson and Kuncoro 1996). The development of private industrial parks in the peripheries naturally followed the development of these highways (Hudalah et al 2013).  Private industrial parks in the peripheries range from 50 to 1,800 hectares and on average the size is about 500 hectares (Hudalah et al 2013); major industrial centers are located in Cikupa-Balaraja of Tangerang Regency and Cikarang of Bekasi Regency. The industrial center of Cikarang with a total industrial land area of nearly 6,000 hectares is the largest planned industrial center in Southeast Asia (Hudalah and Firman 2012).

Problems and Challenges in Jakarta and Its Peripheries

Jakarta megacity has experienced a tremendous population growth and faced a wide range of urban problems in the last few decades. Two major problems are traffic congestions and floods. Despite several programs to alleviate traffic congestion and flooding, the severity of traffic and flooding in Jakarta and its peripheries has not decreased.

Floods in Jakarta
Floods have become a threat and bring increasing woes for Jakarta residents every year. In 2007, the worst floods in memory inundated about 70% of Jakarta, killed at least 57 people and sent about 450,000 fleeing their houses. In 2008, floods inundated most parts of Jakarta including the Sedyatmo toll road and nearly 1,000 flights in the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport were delayed or diverted with 259 were cancelled. In 2012, floods inundated hundreds of homes along major Jakarta waterways including the Ciliwung, Pesanggrahan, Angke and Krukut rivers and displaced 2,430 people (The Jakarta Globe, April 5, 2012). In January 2013, many parts of Jakarta were inundated following heavy rain and killed at least 20 people and sent at least 33,502 fleeing their houses as reported by the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) (The Jakarta Globe, January 22, 2013). In the aftermath of these annual floods, the government usually focuses on releasing floodwater as quickly as possible into the sea, particularly around the development of the East Flood Canal and dredging of rivers. Similarly, Governor Joko Widodo laid out his plan to improve the East Flood Canal, the drainage in Cengkareng and Pesanggrahan and develop a reservoir for reducing the flow of the Ciliwung River (The Jakarta Globe, November 19, 2012).  The East Flood Canal was launched in the aftermath of major floods in 2002 and reached the sea on December 31, 2009 after very slowly progress due to complicated land acquisitions. This canal was considered the most feasible means to prevent future flooding in Jakarta, but clearly cannot prevent flooding entirely. The canal, coupled with the dredging of rivers, is only able to mitigate impacts of flooding. 

However annual flooding is not the only threat to Jakarta’s sustainability; land subsidence has become a major threat and the exploitation of groundwater is one of the contributing factors that continued for many years. Land subsidence in Jakarta was first identified by researchers when the Sarinah bridge at Jalan M.H. Thamrin was found cracked in 1978 (Djaja, et. al., 2004). Since then, the measurement of land subsidence in Jakarta has been conducted and the rate of land subsidence has been increasing over years, particularly in the northern part of the city. In addition, the Jakarta Mining Agency reported variances over a 12-year period, from 1993 to 2005; the largest rate of land subsidence occurred in Central Jakarta. The above sea-level height of Central Jakarta was 3.42 meters in 1993. This dropped by 102 cm in 2005. The height of North Jakarta was only 1.46 meters above sea level in 2005, dropping from 2.03m in 1993. During the same period, West Jakarta, East Jakarta and South Jakarta have sunk by 2.11, 11.45 and 28.46 centimeters respectively (Jakarta Post, 28 April 2007).

The Jakarta Mining Agency data shows: 80% of the city’s land subsidence is caused by building particularly high-risk towers; 17% by groundwater exploitation and 3% by natural causes (Jakarta Post, 23 August 2007). Due to limited piped water supply, the majority of Jakarta’s population has to rely on groundwater for their water needs. The Agency estimated 66,000 gallons of water were extracted from the Jakarta's land every year. Clearly such intensive groundwater withdrawal accelerates land subsidence. A more recent study from Bandung Institute of Technology found that Jakarta is sinking at a rate of 10 cm per year (The Jakarta Globe, April 24, 2010). The study identified coastal areas in North Jakarta including Muara Kapuk and Ancol experiencing the highest rate of subsidence due to extensive development on the relatively young and porous soil beneath. It also indicated about 5,100 hectares of land in North Jakarta would be submerged in 2020 and another 6,000 hectares in 2050, if no action was taken to mitigate land subsidence (The Jakarta Post, February 7, 2011).

Floods in the Peripheries of Jakarta
Floods are still a constant annual threat for residents of Jakarta’s peripheries. The residents of Cireundeu, Ciputat and Rempoa of the City of South Tangerang experienced floods every year; areas inundated by flooding from the Pesanggrahan River (The Jakarta Post, October 8, 2013). The residents of Jatirasa, Pondok Gede, Kemang Ivy, Deltamas, and Pekayon of the City of Bekasi also suffered from floods due to the collapse of the Bekasi River’s embankment (The Jakarta Post, February 6, 2013). Residents of Beji and Kemirimuka of the City of Depok experienced annual floods due to the Kawin River (The Jakarta Post, January 15, 2013) after heavy rainfall,  also then flooding homes in the Bukit Sawangan Indah and Villa Pamulang of the City of Depok (The Jakarta Post, February 14, 2013). The Tangerang Regency’s Public Works Agency  recorded that 32 areas in Tangerang Regency surrounding the Cisadane River were vulnerable to flooding after continuous rainfall (The Jakarta Post, October 5, 2010).

The total flooded areas and the severity of flooding in the peripheries of Jakarta is still less than those in Jakarta. The severity of flooding in Jakarta is due to the location of Jakarta; located in a lowland area with 43 lakes and 13 rivers. Meanwhile, the peripheries of Jakarta are located in higher areas. The tributaries and basin areas of all rivers in Jakarta are in the peripheries of Jakarta. Thus Jakarta’s flooding is strongly related with the sustainability of the Jakarta’s peripheries. In the last few decades, industrial estates, large-scale subdivisions and new towns have proliferated in the peripheries of Jakarta, many of them converted water catchment areas, green areas and wetlands. Such land conversions have led to increased severity of flooding. Former Jakarta Governor, Sutiyoso, blamed deforestation and overbuilding in the peripheries of Jakarta which were supposed to be water catchment/flood plain areas as the reasons for the disasters (Jakarta Post, 3 February 2007). This conversion of water catchment areas into urban zones in peripheral areas is clearly one of the contributing factors to the land subsidence, exacerbated by decreasing water catchment areas both in Jakarta and the outskirts of Jakarta. This reduces the volume of water that cann be absorbed in the ground to recharge the groundwater. The mismatch between the intensive groundwater withdrawal and recharge of groundwater also adds significantly to land subsidence and needs to be prevented. Water catchment areas should be protected toallow more water to sink into the ground and replenish the groundwater. Reducing the use of groundwater and protecting water catchment areas will also decelerate land subsidence and increase the sustainability of Jakarta.

Traffic congestion
Jakarta is estimated to lose US$3 billion a year because of traffic congestion which can’t be separated from the high growth rate of vehicle ownership (9 to 11 percent per year), unsupported by road development (less than 1 percent a year). Motorcycles are ubiquitous and can be acquired with a down payment of as little as $30. People who live in the outskirts of Jakarta can save as much as 30% of their transportation costs using motorcycles to work rather than public transport. The daily jams in Jakarta are getting worse; the peripheries are a “bedroom suburb” for the daily commuters of Jakarta, the center of government and corporate offices, commercial and entertainment enterprises. The economy of Jakarta dominates its peripheral areas. In the daytime, the total population in Jakarta is much more than its population in the nighttime; the number of daily commuters in Jakarta is estimated 5.4 million (Suara Pembaruan, March 9, 2011).

Mampang Prapatan, South Jakarta. January 2014
Commuters from the peripheries primarily used three highways including the Jagorawi toll road connecting Jakarta and the southern peripheries, the Jakarta-Cikampek toll road connecting Jakarta and the eastern peripheries and the Jakarta-Merak toll road connecting Jakarta and the western peripheries. Most commuters go to Jakarta to work in government and corporate offices, study in universities, receive high quality medical attention in the hospitals, and/or go for entertainment and cultural activities.  The acute traffic congestion has also prompted President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to revisit the idea of the capital relocation out of Jakarta. Relocating the capital out of Jakarta could reduce urbanization and the rate of car ownership in Jakarta and its surrounding areas, but it will not completely address the traffic congestion in Jakarta. The current public transportation systems have not been able to alleviate the acute traffic congestion; it is likely that Jakarta needs a Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) or also popularly known as Metro, in order to address this  problem. Jakarta is the largest city in the world without a ‘metro’. 

Most metropolitan areas in the world with the population of over 10 million have operated metros for years. New York City opened the first underground line of its subway in 1904 and since then the subway has been the backbone of New York City transportation system. Two major cities in Japan, Tokyo and Osaka built their metros in 1927 and 1933 respectively. The Tokyo Metro is the world’s most extensive rapid transit system with more than eight million passengers daily. The second largest city in the world, Mexico City, has had a metro since 1969 and now the Mexico City Metro is the second largest metro system in North America after the New York City subway. Two major cities in China, Beijing and Shanghai opened their metro systems in 1971 and 1995 respectively. Major cities in Southeast Asia with smaller populations than Jakarta have also had their metro systems for years, including Manila (1984), Singapore (1987), Kuala Lumpur (1995) and Bangkok (2004).

However the new roads will only undermine the efforts to develop a mass transportation system in Jakarta. The development of new roads can never catch up to the growth rate of vehicle ownership. A new highway or a widened road only alleviates traffic congestion for a short period of time. After a few years, any new or widened highway fills with traffic that would not have existed if the highway had not been built, a phenomenon called induced demand. Because of induced demand, neither building new roads nor widening existing roads are viable long-term solutions to traffic congestion.

The main idea behind developing a mass transportation system, including the TransJakarta busway and the monorail and Mass Rapid Transit projects, is to reduce the number of motorists and motorcyclists on Jakarta’s streets. Drivers would be expected to use the mass transportation and reduce traffic, whereas new roads only attract more motorists. Not only would elevated roads stimulate induced demand and thus worsen traffic congestion, they could also jeopardize the livability of neighborhoods along them.

Planning Efforts to Address Urban Problems in the Megacity of Jakarta

Clearly managing the megacity of Jakarta with a total area of 5,897 square kilometers and more than 28 million people has been a very challenging task. The megacity covers three provincial governments including the Jakarta Special Capital Region, West Java and Banten. Urban development in the Megacity of Jakarta is under the control and direction of the central government (Firman, 2008).

The Cooperating Body of Jabodetabek Development
In 1975, the Provincial Government of West Java and the Jakarta Special Capital Region established the BKSP (Cooperating Body of Jabodetabek Development) to coordinate plan, implement and monitor development in the megacity of Jakarta. The establishment of BKSP was reinforced by Decree No. 125  - Minister of National Planning - in 1984 (Firman 2008); the BKSP has become theforum of coordination among three provincial governments. However, the BKSP does not have any authority over the developments in the megacity of Jakarta. The authority lies with each provincial and local government in the area. The BKSP is powerless and ineffective in coordinating development programs in the megacity of Jakarta. Programs of regional transportation and flooding mitigation will require a solid coordination among all provincial and local governments. It is clearly a major challenge to address the urban problems  if the role of the BKSP is weak in coordinating the programs. Firman (2008) argued that establishing a single authority for the megacity of Jakarta would not be possible due to the strong political tensions among provincial governments.

Transportation Projects
In order to address traffic congestion, two flagship projects are underway including the development of Cilamaya Seaport and the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project. The Cilamaya Seaport is located outside of the Jabodetabek, but is connected with the Jakarta-Cikampek toll road. This planned seaport is located in Karawang Regency.  All shipping activities of industrial parks in the megacity are currently using the Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta. The Cilamaya Seaport is designed to mitigate further traffic congestion caused by heavy traffic flowing from the eastern parts of the megacity to the Tanjung Priok port. This will be a new transportation hub for the megacity’s industrial parks. The MRT project would become the most expensive public projects in Jakarta’s history, but it is the answer to address acute traffic congestions in Jakarta.

For at least 20 years, the proposed MRT has been under discussion by the Jakarta administration and the government of Indonesia. Activists and non-governmental watchdogs have seen the MRT proposal as a possible bonanza for corrupt politicians and contractors (Economist, 4 February 2010). Eventually, the government secured a $1.6 billion loan agreement with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in 2009 for funding. Vice President Boediono also asked the JICA to expedite the design and construction of MRT project; the first tract of the MRT project was to be completed in 2016 (The Jakarta Post, 20 October 2010). The construction of the MRT project began on October 10, 2013. Governor Joko Widodo launched the flagship project in a groundbreaking ceremony at Dukuh Atas, Central Jakarta (The Jakarta Globe, October 11, 2013).

One MRT train will consist of six cars and be able to transport a maximum of 1,200 passengers per trip. The MRT Jakarta will operate 16 trains and transport 1.5 million passengers a day. The first MRT tract will connect Lebak Bulus, South Jakarta and the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle with six underground stations, seven elevated stations and a capacity of 173,000 passengers per day (The Jakarta Globe, October 11, 2013).

Lessons from the Megacity of Jakarta

Let us allow oursleves a summary. The megacity of Jakarta is home to 28 million people. Nearly two-thirds of the population live in the peripheral areas, still highly dependent on the center of the megacity. They commute to the center for most of their needs including jobs, schools, medical, entertainments, etc. The main infrastructures that connect the center and the peripheries are three highways including the Jagorawi, the Jakarta-Cikampek and the Jakarta-Merak toll roads. There are very limited public transportation infrastructures connecting the peripheral areas and the center of the megacity of Jakarta. For years, traffic congestion has become a chronic urban problem. Unless there are a reliable, accessible, and affordable public transportation modes that connect the center and peripheral areas of the megacity of Jakarta, the traffic congestions in the megacity of Jakarta will not be resolved.

Jakarta lies in a lowland area with 13 rivers. All tributaries and basin areas of these 13 rivers are located in the peripheries of the megacity, strongly associated with the floods in Jakarta. Industrial parks and new towns were built in the peripheries of Jakarta and many of them have converted water catchment areas, green areas and wetlands. Such land conversions have affected the severity of flooding in Jakarta. Annual flooding in Jakarta is strong evidence that rapid urbanization in Jakarta must be reduced. As long as Jakarta remains 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 rapid urbanization in Jakarta. In addition, rapid urbanization in Jakarta was generated by an influx of migrants from other parts of the nation, particularly from poor regions of Java Island. During 1995-2005 the average number of people who migrated to the peripheral areas of Jakarta was 1.6 million people per year. Poverty in rural areas of Java became a factor that pushed people from rural areas to urban ones. There is an inextricable link between the rapid urbanization in Jakarta and poverty in Java's rural areas. Alleviating rural poverty in Java will address not only the problems of the rural poor, but also reduce the pressures in and on Jakarta and its peripheries.

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Priyanka said...

In order to mitigate the impact of the krismon, in July 1968 the government along with the assistance of IMF launched a variety of social safety net programs

Should be 1998 not 1968

Deden Rukmana said...

Thank you for your comment and I have corrected the article accordingly.

Unknown said...

Very well written blog. I am an international postgraduate student at the University of Western Australia, majoring environmental science. I personally like your writings, it is a data-driven writings that encourage people to build their own social awareness. most people in big cities has completely lost their sense of belongings and sense of embarrassment which are utterly crucial to suppress the environmental issues, particularly in big cities. unfortunately nowadays it requires more than just narrative innovation to rebuild what has already lost in big city. However, it is essential to keep our hope high, and people like you who deeply understands the root problem within big cities are assets to the country. Well done!