Jakarta 2030? Draft plan not looking good

Does Jakarta know where it’s going, at least until 2030?

Evi Mariani
10 min readMar 9, 2017


The city administration has laid out its plan for the city’s future, but a coalition of citizens who scrutinized the draft plan says the future as the administration sees it is ambiguous, vague and likely to get millions of Jakartans nowhere, with the city worsening from almost every aspect.

Members of the Citizens Coalition for Jakarta 2030 have met several times and read the draft they received in late December from rtrwjakarta2030.com. The group found vague assumptions in the plan, such as to limit the city population to 10 million by 2030. Not only does this show Jakarta is a closed city, it is also unrealistic, Sri Palupi from the Institute for Ecosoc Rights said Wednesday.

Other problems in the draft include its lack of strategies.

From an environmental perspective, Nana Firman, a citizen with environmental concerns, said the draft looked fine at first glance. “It covers all aspects including air, energy, water and the preservation of urban forests,” she said. But delving deeper, she found the draft lacked real strategies.

“It talks about alternative energy, but how, what? It doesn’t say.” Nana said the environmental part of the draft looked like a shopping list, but lacked explanations on how to use the goods.

The coalition working on housing issues also found major problems in the spatial planning draft.

“It is too open to interpretation, which means anything could happen,” Suryono Herlambang from Tarumanagara University said.

The plan mentions a vertical trend of housing, but fails to establish rules to develop high-rise buildings without damaging the environment.

Herlambang said research conducted by his university showed that most existing high-rise buildings violated the rule of the ground-to-floor ratio, reducing the city’s capacity to absorb rainwater. Most high-rise buildings also build basements, which also reduces their water absorption capacity, he said.
Earlier, the Jakarta Mining Agency reported that the development of basements often extracted and wasted a lot of groundwater and later caused land subsidence.

Herlambang and other coalition members on housing said Jakarta should direct its vision toward vertical living that was more in line with environmental sustainability, by maintaining a good ratio of water catchment areas and open spaces. The group also recommended a plan that recognized the less orderly, more organic settlements such as kampungs, and integrated the improvement of kampungs into master plan.

Kampung residents should be allowed and facilitated to improve their neighborhoods on their own. Both developments should encourage mixed neighborhoods, Herlambang said.

“Whether vertical or landed, housing should embrace all social classes in one neighborhood and provide for mixed use. Housing developments should enhance the social, economic and environment qualities of the city,” he said.

New high-rise residential buildings tended to be monoclass, with luxury apartments for the upper class and low-cost apartments for the middle- to lower-income earners, Herlambang said.

If the current draft is passed and becomes a map for the city’s future, the housing plan may lead Jakarta to become a highly segregated city with a damaged environment, he said.

Palupi also found many articles that would lead to discrimination against the urban poor and newcomers. “It blatantly says the development of the reclaimed land in the northern coastal area is for the upper-middle class,” she said.

“It also doesn’t guarantee a city that is comfortable for youths, children and women.”

The draft says that for vertical housing in the new reclaimed area, Kelapa Gading and Penjaringan in North Jakarta is for those from the middle- to high-income bracket. It also says low-cost apartments will be built in slum areas around the Tanjung Priok seaport, Kamal, Kalibaru, Koja, Cilincing, Pademangan and in Penjaringan, North Jakarta.

In a document obtained by the coalition, containing the principles of the spatial planning draft, the city administration says it has shifted the concept of stakeholder to shareholder.

Marco Kusumawijaya from rujak.org said the shift raised concerns because it could lead to a
domination of private developers in the future of Jakarta’s spatial planning regulation.

Mentions of the phrase “estate management” doubled their suspicion, Herlambang said, because this probably means land management in Jakarta will be bestowed to private developers as indicated by the present mushrooming of superblocks such as Central Park, Kemang Village and the like.

Inne Rifayantina from Indonesian Volunteer Network said the domination of such large, private developers rendered public ownership unsafe because of looming eviction or land acquisition with unfair prices.

“Estate management is private management of certain neighborhoods. It could be good if the private sector was the community itself. But often the private sector is large developers who manage and set their own rules for a certain area,” Herlambang said.

“What is happening now is that developers set rules that violate the city administration’s rules, such as the ground and building ratio,” he said.

Palupi said according to the draft the solution to Jakarta’s many problems was the eviction of poor people. To increase the open green spaces, the city administration plans to use middle- to low-income housing areas, but not malls that sit on once-green areas.

For flood mitigation, it was also the poor who would be evicted, she said.

“This shows the cruelty of this plan.”

New York City 2030

The Big Green Apple: A birds’ eye view of New York City, which is set out to be a “Greener, Greater New York”, in its spatial planning until 2030. Courtesy of NYCPlan

Before putting together their 2030 spatial plan, New York City planners posed a question to residents: What kind of city should it become?

According to a New York City spatial plan report, answers from thousands of citizens, community leaders and advocates suggested that the strengths of New York City were in concentration, efficiency, density and its people, but above all in its unending sense of possibility.

The planners then prepared a city spatial plan so when they posed the question: Will you still love New York in 2030? to citizens; they would answer: yes.

With the slogan, “A Greener, Greater New York,” the metropolis aims to tackle challenges posed by climate change. By 2030, it aims to attract 900,000 more people to the city, currently populated by 8.2 million.

“By absorbing 900,000 new residents, instead of them elsewhere in the US, we can prevent an additional 15.6 million metric tons of greenhouse gas from being released into the atmosphere,” the report said.

From the initiatives laid out in the plan, the climate change strategy is the sum of the initiatives.

Strategies, from reducing the number of cars to building cleaner power plants and addressing building inefficiency, are aimed to help reduce emissions by more than 30 percent, the report continued.

The New York City administration identified three main challenges: growth, an aging infrastructure and a precarious environment. Estimates say that the city’s population will grow past 9 million. By 2030, virtually every road, subway and railway will be pushed beyond its capacity. This growth will place new pressure on an infrastructure that is aging beyond reliable limits. The city also realizes that as the population grows and infrastructure ages, the environment is at risk.

five strategies to address the challenges of New York


• Create homes for almost 1 million more New Yorkers, while making housing more affordable and sustainable.

• Ensure that New Yorkers live within a 10-minute walk of a park.

• Clean contaminated land in New York City.


• Open 90 percent of the waterways for recreation by reducing water pollution, preserving natural areas.

• Develop critical backup systems for aging water networks to ensure long-term reliability


• Improve travel time by advancing transit capacity for residents, visitors and workers.

• Reach a “state of good repair” on New York City roads, subways and railways for the first time.

• Reduce traffic gridlock through better road management and congestion pricing.


• Provide cleaner, more reliable power for New Yorkers by upgrading the energy infrastructure.

Climate change:

• Embark on a long-term effort to develop a comprehensive climate change adaptation strategy.

Melbourne 2030

As one of the most prominent cities in Australia, Melbourne has sophisticated infrastructure. With abundant sporting, cultural and recreational opportunities, The Economist placed it as the world’s most livable city in 2002 and 2004.

The capital of Victoria, however, faced serious transport issues. In 1996, the government’s Department of Infrastructure and Australian Bureau of Statistics recorded that 3 percent of workplaces in most regions are only accessible within 40 minutes by public transport.

Car usage dominated the road systems workplaces as it was deemed faster.

When the Victorian government drafted its long-term spatial plan, named Melbourne 2030, in 2002, it focused on making the city more compact by developing activity centers to be for more than for shopping.

“Activity centers will be the main focus of the major change over the next 30 years,” said the government in Melbourne 2030.

The government also envisioned that in the next 30 years, “Melbourne will grow up by up to 1 million people and will consolidate its reputation as one of the most livable, attractive and prosperous areas in the world for residents, business and visitors.”

The government had nine elaborate strategies in the draft but did not put forward its target indicators for each. It made specific targets on average annual dwelling per area to support its main goal to become a compact city.

To involve citizens in the planning process, the government released Melbourne 2030 and the draft implementation plans for a period of public review and comment.

Citizens could submit their feedback to the Department of Infrastructure via post and Internet. There were also information available at several public places.

The initial comment period, to Feb. 14 2003, was to provide interested parties the chance to comment on how Melbourne 2030 works overall, whether the implementation plans are workable and whether there were any unforeseen issues needing further consideration.

Public information sessions were available at various venues around the metropolitan area following the release.

London 2020

To develop London as an exemplary, sustainable city is based on three themes: strong, diverse long-term economic growth, social inclusivity so Londoners have the opportunity to share in its future success and fundamental improvement of London’s environment and resources.

The plan enables Londoners to participate in shaping the future of their city, the mayor, Ken Livingstone, says.

After completion, the plan will be monitored in an annual monitoring report that will analyze the state of strategic planning in London and set priorities for the coming year. The report will be made public and discussed with stakeholders. The results may lead to changes in the way the plan is implemented if necessary.

The beginning of the plan introduces London’s challenges such as the difficulty of traveling in the city, increasing business costs, social exclusion and discrimination, acute housing shortages and increasing pollution.

The plan realizes that growth can damage the city’s environment but London does not want to limit it; thus it sets out to make London more compact to accommodate growth without encroaching on open, green space.

The plan also wants to ensure equality in multicultural London. The plan’s policies are organized in two categories: thematic and crosscutting.

The thematic has four themes: Living in London includes housing, communities, diverse population and neighborhoods; working in London — economic context, office accommodation and improving the skills and employment opportunities for Londoners; connecting London — policies regarding transportation and traffic; and enjoying London — consumer culture, sport, tourism and improving London’s open environment. The crosscutting policies are divided into three topics: using and managing natural resources, designing a compact city and developing semi-natural and man-made water systems.

Sydney 2030

Australian city Sydney’s plan for 2030 is documented in the book Sustainable Sydney 2030: The Vision.

The book starts with an explanation that the Sustainable Sydney 2030 plan is a call to action in response to the community’s ideas for creating a better Sydney, followed by quotes by Sydneysiders about what kind of city they want Sydney to be.

According to the plan, Sydney people want a city: “where people walk”, “which lifts the spirits”, “where public spaces invite people to pause and contemplate — where public space invites humanity”.

In the book, Sydney’s mayor Clover Moore MP states a consensus on the way forward for making Sydney a greener, more global and connected city was reached after more than a year of discussions and listening to Sydney’s diverse communities.

The vision for Sydney is a green, global, connected city. The city aspires to be internationally recognized as an environmental leader.

It will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and plan new housing opportunities integrated with vital transport facilities, infrastructure and open space. It will remain Australia’s most significant global city with tourism attractions and investments in cultural infrastructure, icons and amenities. It will be easy to get around with a local network for walking and cycling, and transit routes connecting the villages, center and the rest of inner city.

Ten targets to accomplish the vision by 2030 are:

The city will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent compared to 1990 levels and by 70 percent compared to 1990 levels, by 2050.

The city will have capacity to meet up to 100 percent of electricity demand by local electricity generation and 10 percent of water supply by local water capture.

There will be at least 138,000 dwellings, 48,000 additional dwellings in the city for increased diversity of household types, including a greater share for families.

Around 7.5 percent of all city housing will be social housing, and 7.5 percent will be affordable housing, delivered by not-for-profit or other providers.

The city will provide at least 465,000 jobs including 97,000 additional jobs with an increased share in finance, advanced business services, education, creative industries and tourism sectors.

The use of public transport for travel to work by city center workers will increase to 80 percent and the use of non-private vehicles by city residents for work trips will increase to 80 percent.

At least 10 percent of city trips will be made by bicycle and 50 percent by pedestrian movement.

Every resident will be within a 10 minute (800 meter) walk to fresh food markets, childcare, health services and leisure, social, learning and cultural infrastructure.

Every Sydney resident will be within a three minute walk (250 meter) of continuous green links that connect to the Harbour Foreshore, Harbour Parklands, Moore or Centennial or Sydney Parks.

The level of community cohesion and social interaction will have increased based on at least 45 percent of people believing most people can be trusted.

Five big moves to manifest the vision of sustainable Sydney

• A revitalized city center at the heart of global Sydney

• An integrated inner Sydney transport network

• A livable green network

• Activity hub as a focus for the city’s Village Communities and Transport

  • Transformative development and sustainable renewal

Source: Jakarta 2030? Draft plan not looking good



Evi Mariani

Journalist and founder of public service journalism initiative, Project Multatuli, at projectmultatuli.org.