Jakarta to Plan City Through 2025
In the face of persistent criticism of inadequate urban planning, the Jakarta city administration has announced that it is preparing a plan to take the city through to 2025.
The governor, however, is remaining tight-lipped on the specifics of the strategy until it is nearer to completion.
“At this point I can’t reveal the plan, but be assured that we will announce the results of city planning for Jakarta up until 2025,” Governor Fauzi Bowo said at City Hall on Thursday.
The long-term development plan, which all regional administrations are legally required to produce, is being developed by a joint provincial government team, Fauzi said.
One of its goals, the governor said, is to put Jakarta on an equal footing with other large cities in the region.
He said the development plan would account for different scenarios involving low, medium or high growth rates.
“I asked for those scenarios to be investigated because we can’t know how fast Jakarta will grow, and we don’t want to waste time doing the planning all over again. After all, 2025 isn’t really so far off,” the governor said.
Residents of Jakarta could be forgiven for greeting the announcement with skepticism. The capital is arguably the worst- planned mega-city in the region, particularly when it comes to public infrastructure.
Most other metropolitan areas in Southeast Asia developed mass rapid transport systems decades ago. These include Manila (1984), Singapore (1987), Kuala Lumpur (1995) and Bangkok (2004).
Instead, the Jakarta administration’s answer to rapid public transportation is the TransJakarta busway, which critics argue has worsened traffic by taking up valuable lanes in both directions while providing insufficient buses to meet commuter demand at peak times.
The scheme it was modeled on, Bogota’s TransMilenio busway, is so overcrowded that frustrated commuters turned to riotous protests last week, nearly paralyzing Colombia’s capital.
Sarwo Handayani, head of the Jakarta Development Planning Board (Bappeda), said his agency had organized a development planning forum within the ranks of the provincial government.
“Right now we are synchronizing perceptions about the sustainable development of Jakarta with the aim of increasing the welfare of its residents,” Sarwo said on Thursday.
Major areas of city planning likely to be addressed are a severe lack of green space, ancient buses plying the gridlocked streets and a rail system so overcrowded that its operators keep implementing new and often bizarre strategies to keep passengers from riding on the cars’ roofs.