Bye Jakarta? Indonesia Plans To Relocate Its Capital Because The City Is Sinking
By Parker Diakite
Indonesia officials have announced plans to build a new capital as the current capital, Jakarta, faces massive challenges, including the fact that it’s sinking.
After a Cabinet meeting earlier this week, planning minister Bambang Brodjonegoro confirmed President Joko Widodo’s decision to move the capital out of Indonesia’s main island of Java, as reported in NPR.
It’s not clear when or where the change will happen but relocating Indonesia’s capital city has been in discussion for the last few decades.
A recent report in BBC revealed that Jakarta is the fastest-sinking city in the world, with almost half of its area below sea level.
“If we look at our models, by 2050 about 95% of North Jakarta will be submerged,” Heri Andreas, an expert in Jakarta’s land subsidence at the Bandung Institute of Technology, told the outlet.
Before the president’s decision, Bambang presented three alternatives, as reported in the Jakarta Post.
The first was to keep Jakarta as the capital but establish a government district centered around the Presidential Palace and the National Monument with hopes of improving efficiency. The second option involved establishing a new capital at least 40 miles outside Jakarta.
The first two options, however, would not address the overpopulation in Java, a home to 57 percent of the roughly 260 million people of Indonesia, according to Bambang.
President Jokowi went with the third option of relocating the capital to a city outside Java, preferably located in the center of Indonesia, to represent fairness and to speed up development throughout eastern Indonesia.
“We want to have a capital that represents the nation’s identity and improves the efficiency of the central government and establish a smart, green and beautiful city,” Bambang said. “The capital relocation must serve the strategic vision of our long-term development agenda.”