Jakarta Governor Plans 3 ‘Creative Zones’
Lenny Tristia Tambun& Ronna Nirmala
The Jakarta Administration is converting three areas across the city into so-called “public creative zones” where vendors can operate and pedestrians can enjoy street performances and art.
“Just like Orchard Road in Singapore, these areas will have large sidewalks so there will be room for street vendors to sell local products,” Governor Joko Widodo said on Monday.
“There will also be street performers, and residents will be able to sit and interact with each other. Jakarta must have those kinds of spaces.”
Joko said one of the zones would encompass Blok M and Pasar Mayestik in South Jakarta, while another would run from the Thamrin City to the eX shopping malls in Central Jakarta. The third zone will be in Kota Tua, the old colonial district in West and North Jakarta.
“I have met with Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Mari Elka Pangestu twice to discuss the concept and its implementation in Jakarta,” the governor said.
Joko added his administration was also looking to provide more free public space, adding that it could ease tensions between communities and prevent Jakarta’s notorious student brawls, which have turned deadly in recent months.
He said the city was also looking for ways to fill the spaces with activities so that the areas could become melting pots for diverse groups to mingle.
“Taman Suropati, which is now only used for sporting activities, is one example,” Joko said, referring to the popular park in Menteng, Central Jakarta.
“That park hosts mini orchestras and is a place where youths can learn traditional music and dance.”
Parks should not be only used as a public space but also a place to harness cultural talents, he said.
“Our youths are smart so we must provide spaces for their creativity,” he said.
Deputy Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama said he had spoken with the city’s youth agency about improving public access to the city’s often under-utilized sports and recreation centers, known as GOR.
“GOR must be more open to the public. Have pity on the poor kids who can’t pay the entry fees. Youths should have a space to harness their creativity and interact comfortably,” he said.
He added the administration also planned to provide free Internet access in 10 public parks. Basuki met with officials from state-owned telecommunications firm Telkom to discuss the plan.