Announced in 2019 by President Joko Widodo, the plan to transfer the Indonesian capital was finally approved by the vote of a law in parliament on Tuesday, January 18. Jakarta, the current capital of the country located on the overpopulated island of Java, will thus have to give way to the new one which will be built in the jungle of Borneo, located some 2,000 km away.
The first models and images of the new political capital of Indonesia were unveiled on this occasion. They show a utopian project of a zero-emission smart city, built in the middle of tropical vegetation.
President Joko Widodo said Monday that in this capital created ex nihilo “people will be close to any destination and can get there by bike or on foot”.
Hosting future government offices, as well as the presidential palace, it will also be “a new smart metropolis that can attract international talent and will be a center of innovation”, he added.
a transfer estimated at 33 billion dollars
Named “Nusantara”, which means “Archipelago” in Indonesian, thehe future capital will extend over more than 56,000 hectares in the province of East Kalimantan, on the island of Borneo, shared between Indonesia, Malaysia and the sultanate of Brunei.
It will therefore be installed in the center of the country in a relatively undeveloped part of Borneo. In total, more than 256,000 hectares have been reserved for the expansion of the project.
But since the creation of the site, organizations for the defense of the environment alert on the dangers which weigh on the species in the process of disappearance in the area, in particular the orangutans which live in the tropical forest of Borneo.
The construction of the future capital should have started in 2020 but the Covid-19 pandemic went through it and slowed down the start of work.
Several stages in the construction phase of “Nusantara” are planned and planned until 2045. A budget of some 33 billion dollars (approximately 29 billion euros) had been initially planned for the realization of the project but a future presidential decree will give all the details.
the current overcrowded and threatened capital
The reasons for the transfer of capital from Jakarta to “Nusantara” are numerous because the current capital suffers from multiple handicaps. With a population of over 30 million, Jakarta lacks sufficient infrastructure to meet the needs of its population. Daily congested with giant traffic jams, it suffers from a high level of pollution.
In addition, it is regularly subject to flooding because its coastal area is sinking inexorably below sea level due to global warming. Nevertheless, Jakarta is expected to remain the economic center of the country.
The Indonesian decision to move its capital to create one from scratch is not a first in the world or in Asia. Malaysia has already done so in 2003, making the new town of Putrajaya its new administrative capital to the detriment of Kuala Lumpur. We can also cite Burma, which in the fall of 2006 transferred the center of its political power from Rangoon to Naypyidaw, a newly created capital.