Moving A Megacity

Inside the ambitious plans to create a new capital city for Indonesia

Moving A Megacity Home to 30 million people, choked with traffic air pollution and gradually sinking; Jakarta is one of the worst capital cities in the world. Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo, has announced a radical plan to tackle this crisis-ridden city: move it over a thousand kilometres away, to Borneo. This ABC report investigates these ambitious plans.
Currently under construction, Ibu Kota Nusantara, or IKN for short, sits deep in the Borneo jungle. Critics of the project argue that it is a waste of Indonesia’s limited resources, and poses a threat to its environment and indigenous groups. Yati Dahlia of the indigenous Balik community was forced to move from her home, as it was on land targeted for IKN. “I feel really heartbroken, looking at this house that I had to leave,” she says. But proponents of the project are confident it will be a step forward in sustainability for Indonesia. Bambang Susantono, Chairman of the Nusantara Capital Authority in charge of building the new city, says IKN will be “not only a capital city, but a sustainable forest city with all the principles of green, smart, inclusive, resilient and sustainable.” Not everyone is convinced. Economist Yusuf Wibisono predicts, “IKN will possibly become a stalled project. A project that stops halfway. We can even probably call it the ghost city.”

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