About 9 months after breaking ground on a new capital city in Indonesia, government officials say the work is progressing and on target for a 2024 opening.
Officials are building what they call a sustainable forest city in the jungles east of Borneo.
The city, about twice the size of New York City, is being built to move government operations out of Jakarta. Officials are pulling out of the city because it is too congested, too polluted, and is feared to be slowly sinking into the Java Sea.
Officials are also looking forward to building a new capital city from scratch, making it green, surrounded by forests, using smart technology, and working with renewable energy sources.
“Nusantara is the city for tomorrow,” Bambang Susantono, chairman of Nusantara National Capital Authority, told the Associated Press. “It will become a vibrant city, not just a government city.”
A Long Process
Nusantara is being built in four stages, starting with the relocation of administrative offices, including the president, according to a report cited by Aljazeera. It is targeted for completion at some point in 2024.
Phase two, which will run until 2035, is the development of a foundational city area, while the ensuing 10 years will be the development of overall infrastructure.
The final phase is making Nusantara’s reputation grow on a global scale. That will include bringing nearly 5 million jobs to the new city.
“It’s a very ambitious plan,” said Tiza Mafira, head of Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) Indonesia.
While the creation of the new city may help the government run more efficiently, critics of the plan say it doesn’t do anything to solve the problems of Jakarta.
The city has close to 11 million residents living in often poor conditions because of pollution and frequent flooding.
Government officials, however, note that the new city will reduce the population in Jakarta and relieve some of the stresses caused by too many people in the area.
And Nusantara won’t have similar problems because of the planning going into it, they believe.
“We have to think beyond what is happening today and try to tackle (things) that are futuristic,” said Susantono.
He said a green approach will make all the difference in the new city.
“In Nusantara, we do climate change adaptation at scale,” Susantono wrote in a social media post, noting that 65 percent of the city will remain tropical forest. “Given these facts, I believe Nusantara will be a prime example of how cities and countries can respond to climate change.”
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