The Indonesian parliament has given the green light to move the capital from Jakarta to a remote place on the island of Borneo, 2,000 kilometers away, which will be called Nusantara.
It was Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo who, two years ago, proposed the idea of relocating the capital from the metropolis of 30 million people to deal with sea level rise and severe housing pressure on the densely populated island. Jakarta, home to more than 30 million people in its large metropolitan area, has long been plagued by severe infrastructure problems and flooding exacerbated by climate change, with experts predicting that up to a third of the city could be under water by 2050.
The new capital will cover approximately 56,180 hectares in the province of East Kalimantan, in the Indonesian part of Borneo, which the country shares with Malaysia and Brunei. In all, 256,142 hectares have been allocated to the project, with the additional land earmarked for possible future expansion.
Close-ups of the new capital describe an exemplary project aimed at creating an eco-friendly “smart” city, but not everyone is involved with the project, which began in 2020 but was hampered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Indonesia is not the first country in the region to relocate its capital due to overpopulation. Malaysia moved the center of power to Putrajaya from Kuala Lumpur in 2003, while Burma moved its capital to Naypyidaw from Rangoon in 2006.
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