May 18, 2024

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A city worthy of incarnation | Pres

A city worthy of incarnation |  Pres

Named Nusantara, the new Indonesian capital promises to be a modern, eco-friendly, intelligent “forest city”. The imagination of many urban planners…


You cannot easily go from hell to heaven. But with lots of money and serious political will, anything is possible. Talk to Indonesian President Joko Widodo as he prepares to open his new capital, Nusantara, built in the middle of the jungle, 2000 kilometers from the current capital.

An ambitious plan, of course, but clearly justified.

With 10 million people, Jakarta is overpopulated and heavily polluted. Its geographical position makes the city particularly vulnerable to earthquakes. Not to mention that it continues to sink due to rising water levels and uncontrolled pumping of groundwater. It is estimated that by 2025, one-third of the city will be submerged.

Photo by Thitta Amankara, Associated Press Archives

A boy walks along a dirty canal in a poor neighborhood in Jakarta.

In addition to these structural and environmental problems, there are economic problems. By shifting the administrative center to the geographically central island of Borneo, the government wants to promote a better redistribution of wealth that is currently concentrated mainly on the island of Java, where Jakarta is located.

Photo by Sia Indo, Shutterstock Archives

In March 2022, Nusantara’s “Zero Point” (Titik Nol in Indonesian) began construction of the new capital.

The new capital, announced in 2019, is set to open on August 17, Indonesia’s national day. It may be the most important legacy of Joko Widodo, who after 10 years in power prepares to cede his seat to his successor, Prabowo Subianto.

The city, which is still under construction, plans to welcome its first 10,000 civil servants in September, followed by 1.9 million people in the long run.

A wonderful move for a wonderful project.

Photo by Edgar Su, Reuters Archives

Indonesian President Joko Widodo

Judging by the marketing campaigns accompanying the project, Nusantara will be more than just a capital. Joko Widodo is passionate about his “baby”, focusing on the future and the planet instead of the “new mindset” from Indonesia.

On paper, Nusantara actually has all the attributes of a futuristic paradise that architects, urban planners and even small-time ecologists are capable of imagining.

Located in the East Kalimantan region of Indonesia’s Borneo region, covering 2,500 kilometers and leaving ample space for nature, Nusantara presents itself as an “intelligent forest city” designed with a global ecological perspective.

With a pledge to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045, the new capital plans to rely 100% on renewable energies, run 80% on public transport (elevated sidewalks will facilitate circulation) and reserve at least 65% of its territory. Green spaces.

We are talking about 60% recycled waste and an underground network to dispose of the rest. Not to mention the administrative buildings that embrace Indonesian heritage and mythology while respecting the surrounding jungle.

“With Nusantara, we will set new standards for living,” said Bambang Susantono, chairman of the new National Capital Commission, echoing President Jojo Widodo’s speech.

The gradual birth of this project should be spread over five phases. The city is scheduled to be officially “completed” in 2045, Indonesia’s 100th birthday. But this ambitious project, estimated at USD 35 billion, sounds too good to be true.

Behind its inspiring green screen, the city is out of the picture Avatar is far from unanimous.

273.5 million

Population of Indonesia

17,000

Number of islands in the Indonesian archipelago

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