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Indonesia’s New Megacity to Replace Jakarta Revealed

Bambang Susantono, head of the Nusantara administration responsible for realizing the president’s vision, said, “I hope the city itself will become a self-driving city. It’s not just a government city, it’s a vibrant city.” I hope it will be a full city,” he said.

“Because it will be the city of 2045, we have to think beyond what is happening now and tackle everything that is still futuristic in the moment.”

Bambang Susantono, head of the Nusantara authorities, told reporters.credit:bloomberg

Set across more than 250,000 hectares, the city is rich in biodiversity, but 15 to 20 million trees are being planted each year to replenish the area that has been destroyed in recent decades. A nursery will be set up where you can grow palm oil, timber and mining.

Susantono said the goal is for Nusantara to become a carbon-neutral city by 2030.

“As you can see around here, most of the areas are production forests, and these production forests will turn into tropical forests in the future,” he said.

“They will act as carbon sinks not only for Nusantara, but for Indonesia as well as for Borneo as a whole.”

The city is being built in stages and will not be completed until 2045.

The city is being built in stages and will not be completed until 2045.credit:bloomberg

Widodo’s grand plan is for the new city to mark the country’s transition to a developed nation, but it’s not envisioned without controversy, criticism and speculation about whether it will actually materialize.

In the heart of the Penajam Paser Utara regional site, there is resistance from members of the. Indigenous Balik triberejected an attempt to relocate from their home in Sepak village.

“This is the land of our ancestors. We must preserve it from generation to generation,” said tribal chief Sib Kudin, who, like many people in Indonesia, goes by one name. said. He grows lanzones, coffee, mangoes and other plants on his land.

“When we migrate, we lose our indigenous identity as our ancestral lands are taken over by the government and moved elsewhere.

“At first, when we learned that the capital would move to Sepak, we were happy because it would make the area busier. We welcome them, but we would like to continue living in the area.”

The construction of the reservoir is already impacting villagers’ ability to access clean water by blocking the Sepak River to facilitate the construction of dams.

About 70 households living in the innermost part of the city are talking about compensation, but it is unknown where they will relocate.

“The customary community [the amount of compensation]said Saiduani, head of AMAN, an alliance of indigenous groups across the country.

“But looking at the ongoing projects, it seems that there are no other schemes, [eviction]Someday another road may open. But today people have no solution, no other choice. ”

Nusantara is under construction on the eastern side of Borneo.

Nusantara is under construction on the eastern side of Borneo.credit:bloomberg

Beyond the impact on the area’s existing population, there are concerns from environmentalists about the consequences of such development in a state where vast swaths of rainforest have already been destroyed.

The presence of dozens of coal mines and forestry concessions within the city’s outer boundaries has also led to questions about how environmentally friendly it is.

“[We are] Given the current situation in East Kalimantan itself, some are of the opinion that relocating the capital is not the right decision. [from] It’s an ecological crisis,” said Puspa Dewy, campaign manager for the prominent environmental activist group Wahli.

“There are a lot of extractive industries out there, from mining to large plantations and forestry related projects.”

The new capital also faces significant economic and political obstacles.

Widodo, who has staked much of his legacy on his flagship project and even camped on site, wants 80% of the costs to be covered by private investment, with the state covering the remaining 20%.

However, there was hesitation from foreign investors, and Japanese technology giant SoftBank Group pulled out last year.

Nusantara’s establishment was effectively enacted by a bill passed by the House of Representatives in February 2022, but the question of how committed Widodo’s successor will be to the transfer from Jakarta has created uncertainty. Indonesia will elect a new president next February, and Widodo will pass the baton to the victor in eight months after his constitutional two five-year term expires.

“Political risk remains the main factor,” said Bima Yudhistira Adhinegara, director of the Center for Economic Law Studies in Jakarta. “The next president may issue another president Peppu We’re canceling it,” he said, referring to a rule that resembles an executive order.

Balik leader Sib Kudin stands outside his home in Penyam Paser Utara, near where construction of Indonesia's new capital has begun.

Balik leader Sib Kudin stands outside his home in Penyam Paser Utara, near where construction of Indonesia’s new capital has begun.credit:APs

As it stands, none of the three likely frontrunners have committed to doing so.Two of them, Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto and Governor of Central Java Ganjar Pranowoexpresses support for relocation, third former Jakarta governor Agnès BaswedanI vowed to stick with it if I won.

The extent to which the next leader shares Widodo’s enthusiasm for the concept may determine its future.

Nouri Oktariza, a political researcher at the Institute for Strategic and International Studies in Jakarta, said, “In my opinion, policies are in the form of laws, so that means projects should be implemented. ‘ said.

“So I think whoever becomes president has to do it. There are different levels of seriousness in doing it. will do his best, but if he doesn’t, progress will be slow.”

Afternoon traffic jams in Jakarta, which remains a major commercial center in Indonesia.

Afternoon traffic jams in Jakarta, which remains a major commercial center in Indonesia.credit:International Herald Tribune

On the investor side, there is good news for Widodo as Malaysia’s new Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim brought letters of intent from 10 Malaysian companies when he visited him in January.

Indonesia stepped up efforts to attract more backers this week, announcing generous tax incentives for companies pushing for capital.

It is unclear if Australian companies will invest, but they are already partly involved.


The Australian branch of British company Arup is working on the design of the city, and Nusantara authorities are in talks with CSIRO to explore setting up a life sciences centre. We hope to further expand our ties with Australia.

“Canberra and Nusantara are in talks with the Australian government about becoming sister cities,” Susantono said.

“It opens up more possibilities for cooperation, not only on the government side, but also on the investment side and the knowledge side.

“I think many foreign investors will come. We have received more than 100 letters of interest. However, it is no exaggeration to say that I have an appetite. ”


As for the Baliks, Susantono said authorities were cooperating with their leaders.

“There are several options,” he said. “One is compensation, one is relocation, the other is about shared ownership, if you have a department store or a plan to have a department store. [business where their village is]They may be part of your ownership. We do our best to involve them in the development process.

“How we try to harmonize the people, nature and culture of the region is of great concern. It is the soul of the city.”

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https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/capital-gains-bold-bid-to-build-new-city-in-the-jungle-faces-hurdles-20230308-p5cqfb.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_world Indonesia’s New Megacity to Replace Jakarta Revealed

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