Jakarta (ANTARA) - "Rembuk Kota 2” had been held on Thursday (October 12) as Jakarta braces for.letting go of its status as Indonesia's capital city that it has held for a long time.

The event which carried the theme of "Is Jakarta Comfortable?" featured speakers from Jakarta's Regional Development Planning Agency (Bappeda), the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), and an urban development consulting agency.

On the verge of letting go of its capital city status, Jakarta is projected to function as the country’s center of economy. The Bappeda office has even planned to transform it into a global city.

A global city refers to a city that plays a crucial role in integrating transnational economy and wields the capacity to absorb capital, goods, human resources, ideas, and information on a global scale.

To attain the status of global city, the government of Jakarta needs to ensure that the city has a well-established and globally-connected economy, proper and sustainable research and innovation capacity, as well as livable and comfortable spaces.

Jakarta also needs to be a clean, comfortable, and sustainable city that is highly connected to other regions, so it can rope in tourists to come visit.

Regarding connectivity, the government has been making significant efforts to provide the people with a higher level of convenience to travel within, to, and from the city, including by developing the Light Rail Transit (LRT) trains.

To further bolster its appeal, Jakarta has also revitalized the Martha Christina Tiahahu Literacy Park that can be accessed through Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) trains and TransJakarta buses.

However, one question remains to be addressed: Is Jakarta ready to become a livable global city?

A livable city defined

According to the Global Livability Index 2023 Report issued by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Jakarta ranks 139 out of 173 big cities across the world in terms of livability, climbing up four places compared to the previous year’s report.

EIU assessed the 173 cities by taking into account several aspects, including stability, healthcare, education, culture and environment, and infrastructure.

In terms of infrastructure, the focal points are the quality of road networks, public transportation, international connectivity; the availability of quality housing; and access to energy, water, and communication services.

Meanwhile, the Association of Planning Experts of Indonesia (IAP) has described a livable city as an urban area that is comfortable for its people to live and conduct daily activities, as seen both from physical aspects, such as the availability quality of public infrastructure; and non-physical aspects, such as social relationship.

The availability of infrastructure is also regarded as a crucial point that can determine the level of comfort and liveability of a city.

Preparatory measures

Arranging the development of infrastructure to boost a city’s livability has never been an easy task. To transform into a livable global city, Jakarta still needs to overcome various obstacles.

According to the Bappeda office, a number of problems are still hindering Jakarta’s efforts to become a global city. The problems involve population density and mobility, lack of skilled human resources, slum areas, traffic jams, air pollution, climate change, urban heat island, floods, tidal waves, land subsidence, waste control, and access to clean water.

The people of Jakarta have been living under polluted air. Factories and Fossil fuel-based vehicles have been generating smoke, constantly polluting the city’s air. The central government, Jakarta government, and administrations of Jakarta’s surrounding regions have taken various measures for improving the air quality, including by implementing emission tests on motorized vehicles and shutting down polluting factories.

Moreover, the governments have been encouraging people to switch to using electric vehicles and mass transport. In August 2023, the LRT trains connecting Jakarta to the satellite cities of Bekasi, Bogor, and Depok had started operating.

However, some people still find it difficult to reach train stations or bus stops without using their private vehicles due to the relatively long distances stretching between their homes and the public infrastructures.

At the “Rembuk Kota 2” event, Oswar Mungkasa, a planning expert at Bappenas, noted that the government had been encouraging cities to build proper infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists.

The Jakarta government has provided pedestrians and cyclists with sidewalks and dedicated cycling lanes to facilitate them to reach nearby public transportation stops.

To prepare Jakarta for becoming a global city, the Jakarta government has prepared a number of strategies, including by adopting the transit-oriented development (TOD) approach to develop Jakarta, meaning that the development of the city will be centered in the radius of 800 meters from mass transport transits/stops.

Furthermore, the government is aiming to construct infrastructure required for providing all Jakartans with access to 5G internet networks, with the objective of supporting economic activities.

According to the plan, the government will also invest efforts to develop residential areas that are integrated with public facilities and improve the quality of the environment.

The government is also aware of the importance of developing infrastructure for managing water resources, boosting the quality and quantity of green open spaces, developing infrastructure for drinking water supply systems, and expediting the construction of urban basic infrastructure.

By hosting integrated and accessible mass transport systems and public facilities, Jakarta can draw foreign investors to run businesses and even reside in the city.

To realize its vision of becoming a livable global city, Jakarta needs to ensure the genuine implementation of all long-term economic development plans and programs while ensuring the smooth running of collaboration with the governments of its surrounding regions.

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Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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