More infrastructure needed for rising urban population
Elly Burhaini Faizal. The Jakarta Post, Jakarta - 27/04/2011
Migration into Jakarta has continued to increase, making the price of land and buildings in the city soar to new heights.
As a result, many choose to live in the city’s surrounding areas, including Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi (Bodetabek), rather than live downtown.
Every day, thousands of commuters leave their homes to go to work in the city and do not arrive back home until well into the evening after enduring difficult commutes.
Max H. Pohan, the State Minister for National Development Planning’s deputy for regional development and regional autonomy, said the population in Jakarta actually decreased during 2006-2007. However, it was followed by a massive influx of people living in the Bodetabek area, although these people still worked in Jakarta, Max told The Jakarta Post.
“Commuters travelling from the Bodetabek areas to commercial districts in Jakarta continue to increase. It indicates that more and more people live in Jakarta’s surrounding areas,” Max said.
Jakarta is home to more than nearly 9 million people as of April 2010. Its population density has reached 12,992 people per square kilometer. Jakarta and three other provinces in Java — Banten, West Java and Yogyakarta — are projected to have urbanization levels of over 80 percent by 2025.
Overall, the urbanization level in Indonesia is projected to reach 68 percent by 2025. Several provinces, especially in Java and Bali, face higher urbanization levels than other provinces.
Citing National Development Agency (Bappenas) data, Max said the primacy of economic growth in Jakarta had been reflected through its huge contribution toward the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
In 2007, the city’s GDP accounted for 16 percent of the total national GDP, though Jakarta’s population was 3.91 percent of the total population.
“The problem is there is an imbalance between the high Jakarta population and the capacity of the local administrations to provide adequate services, including public transportation and housing,” Max said.
The increasingly congested traffic on the roads has forced many workers living in Jakartan suburbs to move to low-cost apartments, as most of them are located near office districts and commercial parks in Jakarta’s downtown areas.
Igel Zibriel, 26, an employee at a state-owned bank in Jakarta, used to get up early and leave his home in Bekasi at around 6:00 a.m. to arrive at his office on time. Coming home, he would spend two or three hours struggling through traffic.
“I had no choice, since it was almost impossible to get a house at an affordable price in downtown Jakarta,” Igel said. However, his body could not take the stress of the commute any more. Spending hours reaching the office on time had worn him out.
After living at his relative’s home in Bekasi for only three months, he chose to rent an apartment in Central Jakarta for Rp 1 million (US$116) a month. Igel spends less money on fuel, and his commute has improved dramatically, as he now leaves for his office at 8:00 a.m. and returns earlier as well.
“It is much easier for me to live in an apartment than spending hours reaching my office, back and forth every day,” said Igel, who currently lives in the Kebon Kacang apartments with his wife, their baby son and a relative.
According to the Public Housing Ministry, the housing demand will reach 5,392,994 units during 2010-2014.
Of the total need, the government may only be able to develop 2,070,000 units, leaving a sizeable disparity.