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Jakarta's Suburb in the Sky

A rooftop housing development in the Indonesian capital takes the suburb to new heights.
August 13, 2019, 7am PDT | Camille Fink
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Kate Lamb reports on an unusual housing development in Jakarta, Indonesia, called Cosmo Park. "Quiet and orderly, it feels like any other suburban idyll – but there is one difference. Cosmo Park is a village in the sky, perched 10 storeys up on top of a shopping centre and car park, a world away from the heaving megalopolis below."

High above a crowded and bustling city, Cosmo Park includes 78 housing units and a host of suburban amenities. "Is Cosmo Park some kind of postmodern dystopia or, in a city beset by perennial woe, an ingenious use of urban space? While some outsiders are unconvinced, those who live at Cosmo Park offer glowing reviews," says Lamb. Residents say they appreciate the privacy, extra space, and neighborhood feel.

Lamb notes that the development was not widely known outside of Jakarta until a drone captured a photograph last month that ended up on social media. "Retweeted almost 27,000 times, the post spawned a long thread of incredulity and wisecracks (how do food delivery drivers find it?) but also serious questions about the wisdom of the city’s urban development, such as how might a complex like this fare in an earthquake?"

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Published on Monday, August 5, 2019 in The Guardian
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