A jungle-occupied area on the east of Borneo island is set to be reconstructed into Indonesia’s new capital city.
Concerns over the sustainability of the overcrowded and fast decreasing political center of Jakarta prompted the necessity for new capital. The relocation was declared on Monday by President Joko Widodo.
The intended location, near the relatively underdeveloped cities of Balikpapan and Samarinda, is a far cry from the crowded powerhouse which has served as Indonesia’s financial center since 1949, and Widodo acknowledged that moving the nation’s capital to the island will be an expensive undertaking.
But Jakarta’s speedy expansion lately has offered myriad environmental, financial, and safety issues, prompting the government to look elsewhere and ease the strain on the massive metropolis. Jakarta is residence to more than 10 million people, reports from the United Nations, with an estimated 30 million in the greater metropolitan area, making it one of the world’s most over-populated urban regions.
It’s also one of the quickest sinking cities on Earth, according to the World Economic Forum, dropping into the Java Sea at an alarming rate attributable to over-consumption of groundwater.
The city sits on swampy ground and holds the sea to the north, making it particularly prone to flooding.
A worsening air pollution disaster, increased by near-constant traffic on its roads, has grown so terrible that some residents sued the Indonesian government in July.
No title has been given for the new site, but the government initially announced plans to relocate the capital in April. The progress requires parliamentary approval to be given the go-ahead.
Indonesia owns the majority of Borneo, the world’s third-largest island, with Malaysia and Brunei each holding components of its northern region. The island is embraced in abundant rainforests, but it has been operated by rampant deforestation in recent years.