Moving Past Jakarta

Officials in Indonesia are increasingly considering a plan to relocate the capital from Jakarta to another, less troubled location.
December 30, 2010, 7am PST | Nate Berg
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Many there see the city as being overcrowded and ill-equipped to continue to function.

"It is the world's largest city without an underground transport system. Some 9.6 million reside here but during the day the population rises by almost a third, with the influx of 3 million people from the suburbs. Road traffic moves at an average speed of 13km/h and, according to some statistics, you can easily spend three or four hours a day gridlocked. The congestion costs around $2.5bn a year in lost production.

Indonesia's president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, recently suggested the only solution was to move the capital, an idea first aired by President Sukarno, who led the country to independence in 1945. The most ambitious project would involve moving the presidency, civil service, government, parliament and all the national institutions from the island of Java, on which Jakarta stands, to the Indonesian part of Borneo, about 1,000km to the north-east. According to Velix Wanggai, the president's special adviser on regional development, this big idea, which would take about a generation to realise, is just one of the available options."

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Published on Tuesday, December 28, 2010 in Guardian
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