New Gallery Shows Off Jakarta’s Past and Future
Do you want to see what the capital will look like in 20 years? Or how much it has changed over the past four decades?
If so, head over to Jakarta’s first-ever city spatial gallery, which was officially opened on Friday by Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo at the Technical Agency building in Abdul Muis, Central Jakarta.
“This is a response to the public’s demand for transparency and good governance. We would like to include residents in the city’s spatial planning with this gallery, so that they can get a comprehensive understanding of the city’s planning, function and monitoring,” Fauzi said in his speech.
The gallery cost Rp 3 billion ($321,000), with the money coming from the regional budget, and took two years to plan and construct. It boasts a meeting room for 40 people and a library with hundreds of titles on city planning and architecture.
It also contains a six-by three-meter model of strategic parts of Jakarta, including Sudirman-Thamrin, Gatot Subroto, MT Haryono, the National Monument, Senayan, the West Flood Canal, phase one of the future Mass Rapid Transit system and elevated roads in Tanah Abang.
There are also smaller models of strategic areas of East and West Jakarta, as well as a one-by-one-meter model of the Senen area in Central Jakarta and a subsidized apartment complex in East Jakarta.
It also features photographs of the city spanning from 1965 to 2010, and images of what the city may look like through 2030.
Wiriyatmoko, the head of the Jakarta Spatial Planning Office, said the gallery should be used as a “learning facility so that the people of Jakarta will understand and love the city.”
“This is a surprise gift for the governor. He had the vision for this gallery but he didn’t know it was in the making,” Wiriyatmoko said.
He said that as many as 100 people come to his office every day to ask questions about Jakarta’s spatial planning, information they could not find at the gallery.
“Most of them are university students,” he said. “Now some information is also available online, and they also have a forum to hold discussions and look for data in the gallery’s library,”
Wiriyatmoko said the gallery was proof the regional government had not neglected the public with regard to city planning.
The governor said the gallery’s current location was temporary, and that he would look for a more suitable and accessible permanent home for it.
“This is just the beginning,” he said, explaining that there are also plans to develop models for the rest of Jakarta. “Moreover, we are going to provide information online, including the status and progress of land acquisitions and licensing.”
However, the opening has been met with a distinct sense of apathy from the public. By Sunday the gallery still had had no visitors, and no guards or officers were to be found there, Anshori, a guard at the Technical Agency building, told the Jakarta Globe.
Bayu Wardhana, spokesman for the Green Map Community of Jakarta, welcomed the government’s effort to provide such a facility for the public, but also expressed some doubt about the project. He also has no immediate plan to visit the gallery.
“It’s not really an act of public inclusion,” he said. “The spatial plan was already half completed when they finally opened a public forum about it.”
Elisa Sutanudjaja, a teacher with the Citizens Coalition for Jakarta 2030, said she would encourage her students to visit the gallery so they could learn more about city planning.
The gallery is open seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.