Westhill Consulting Reviews: Urbanization and Suburbanization in Jakarta

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Westhill Consulting Reviews: Urbanization and Suburbanization in Jakarta

Jakarta is the largest metropolitan in Southeast Asia with tremendous rate of population growth and wide range of urban problems. The overall population of Jakarta increased 100 times in the 20th century, from about 100,000 in 1900 to more than 9 million in 1995. Most of the population was added in the last twenty years of the 20th century (Han and Basuki, 2001). However, the total population of Jakarta has decreased in the last five years of the last decade. It dropped from 9,112,652 in 1995 as recorded by the 1995 National Intercensal Population Survey to 8,389,443 in 2000 according to the 2000 National Population Census.

The decrease of Jakarta’s population in 1995-2000 was caused by the suburbanization. The periphery of Jakarta –commonly known as Botadebek- has experienced a drastic increase in population. The population of Botadebek has tripled from 4.4 million in 1980 to 12.6 million in 2000, while Jakarta’s population increased by only 30 percent. Some studies (Firman, 1998; Leaf, 1994; Cybriwsky and Ford, 2001) revealed that many moderate and high-income families moved out from the central city to the peripheral areas. They were attracted by high quality amenities provided by suburban enclave housing. In addition, the poor native Jakarta was relocated to the fringe areas because of the expansion of formal sector in the central city.

Total population of the Jakarta Metropolitan Area consisting of Jakarta and the neighboring districts of Bogor, Tangerang, Depok and Bekasi –abbreviated as Botadebek- in 2000 reached more than 21 million. This population consisted of about 80 percent urban population and 20 percent rural population and inhabited an area of approximately 6400 square kilometers. This population was about 10 percent of total population of Indonesia and only about 0.3 percent of total area of Indonesia. McGee (1994) estimated that the total population of the Jakarta Metropolitan Area will reach 40 million by 2020.

The periphery of Jakarta is heavily dependent on the central city. Botadebek is a “bedroom suburb” for the daily commuters of Jakarta. Jakarta is the center of government and corporate offices, commercial, and entertainment enterprises. The economy of Jakarta dominates its peripheral areas. In the daytime, total population in Jakarta nearly doubled its population in the nighttime (Kompas, June 18, 2004). The number of daily movement in Jakarta is estimated at six to seven millions

To understand the urbanization in Jakarta, it is essential to recognize the socio-economic dualism which pervades Indonesian urban society. The manifestations of this dualism are the presence of the modern city and the kampung city in urban areas in Indonesia including Jakarta. The kampung, the word means village in Indonesian, is associated with informality, poverty, and the retention of rural traditions in an urban setting. Firman (2000) argues that the existence of kampung and modern city reflects the spatial segregation and socio-economic disparities.