Author(s): Rolf Schuett
Abstract / Introduction (download full article at the bottom)
Jakarta is today the centre of one of the largest and most populated human agglomerations in the world and the economic and political centre of one of the largest economies. However, Jakarta is also considered a “megacity gone wrong”, because of its ongoing challenges. The city faces serious issues in pollution, social inequity, mobility and flooding, which in the next decades are doomed to cause critical consequences to the economic base of millions who depend on the city, not only in the Java region. The continuous growth of population and urban land in Jakarta is also condemned to hit the impacts of climate change first hand. Jakarta is a coastal megacity that already faces the effects of rising water levels because it is subsiding at a rate of 15cm (avg) per year.
This paper analyses the challenges and opportunities of each of these aspects in Jakarta, but it also discusses cultural aspects that may help to stimulate real participation of the population, provided that the legal and political framework applies a background of policies that comprehensive planning can deliver. One of these elements is the Malay concept of “gotong royong” or communal cooperation, which is very popular in rural Java (and has analogies worldwide). It has been practised in the kampungs or rural villages for generations, was eventually integrated, perhaps misused, in political agendas since the post-colonial years of young Indonesia in the mid 20th century, yet lacking the expected success it achieves at a lower scale. The paper also proposes an example of physical implementation in informal neighbourhoods in Pandemangan, North Jakarta, that the author developed some years ago.
Publication: ISOCARP Congress Proceedings, pp.1857-1870