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Megacities pp 163–191Cite as

Urban Dualism in the Jakarta Metropolitan Area

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Part of the Library for Sustainable Urban Regeneration book series (LSUR,volume 10)


The growth of the Jakarta Metropolitan Areas (JMA) has been very rapid and intense, particularly in the last three decades. Jakarta began as a tiny town named Sunda Kelapa in 1527 with a population of less than 100,000.


  • Residential Area
  • Informal Sector
  • Central Business District
  • Urban Space
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Fig. 8-1.
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Fig. 8-4.


  1. 1.

    Jabodetabek was formerly known as Jabotabek, based on a plan which was initially developed with the assistance of the Dutch Government in 1970. (The concept of Jabotabek was coined by a Dutch consultant in 1970.) The planning concept was inspired by the model of Randstad in the Netherlands (Giebels 1986). The concept includes self-contained growth centers. Two main models were introduced, one concentric and the other linear. Since then, the plan has been reviewed three times; however there has been no significant alteration to the basic concept, except for updated forecasts of population growth. The last review, conducted in 1992, reiterated the plan for development along east-west and north-south axes. The plan, however, is not legally binding.

  2. 2.

    Silver (2008) noted that the spatial change actually started after the 1900s with the colonization of Batavia.

  3. 3.

    In 2008 the companies registered as members of REI was 1,900 (interview with REI President, March 2008).

  4. 4.

    Kampung is an Indonesian word for an informal and incrementally developed settlement in an urban area.

  5. 5.

    The concept of sustainable urban form has been much debated recently; see for instance Williams et al. (2000). Borrowing from their work, urban form is taken to be sustainable if it “enables the city to function within its natural and man-made carrying capacity; is ‘user friendly’ for its occupants; and promotes social equity.”

  6. 6.

    Cultuurstelsel was a system enforced by the Dutch colonial government whereby peasants were required to grow export crops on a certain percentage of their land or, alternatively, to work for a number of days annually on state plantations or other state projects (Marcussen 1990).

  7. 7.

    Menteng is an expensive housing area in the centre of Jakarta now. This area was a European quarter just at the end of the old Batavia.

  8. 8.

    Kebayoran Baru is a new town in the south of Jakarta, planned by Thomas Karsten, a prominent architect involved in the creation of the first planning act in Indonesia in 1945, and planner for several other cities in Indonesia.

  9. 9.

    Perseroan Terbatas means Limited Company.

  10. 10.

    Ciputra became the most prominent person in land development in Indonesia. He was the president of the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI), and owns several of the largest real estate companies in Indonesia.

  11. 11.

    Pertamina is the only state oil company which had an important role during the first decade of the Suharto’s administration. Ibnu Sutowo, the president of the company, acted as the president’s political financier (Winters 1991). In an interview with Winters, Sutowo is reported to have said: “You can’t find a single road or school or hospital that wasn’t at least partly funded by the money I borrowed through Pertamina.” Winters’s dissertation on the political economy in Indonesia gives a good picture of the role of Pertamina at that time.

  12. 12.

    The Rupiah depreciated from approximately 2,500 Rupiah per US$1 in 1995 to approximately 10,000 Rupiah per US$1 in May 1998.

  13. 13.

    In 1976, the number of poor people was 54.2 million (or 40.08 % of total population). The number had decreased to about 22.5 million (11.34 %) in 1996, just before the crash.

  14. 14.

    The increasing number of people living in poverty was due to a rise in the level of the poverty line, from Rp. 42.220 (US$4.20) in 1996 to about Rp. 96.959 (US$9.60) in 1998 in urban areas and from Rp. 31.141 (US$3.15) to Rp. 72.780 (US$7.20) in rural areas. The shift in the poverty line was the result of substantial changes in relative prices.

  15. 15.

    This information is based on statistical data which defines urban as functionally urban. “Urban” in Indonesia has two definitions: one is by function, and the other is by administrative area. According to the functional definition, each of the smallest administrative units (desa or kelurahan) is accorded a functional urban or rural status based on its characteristics. BPS (Indonesia’s Statistical Bureau) defines urban by function and this definition can be changed over time as areas become more densely populated or less agricultural, or as they gain urban facilities and services (Gardiner and Gardiner 2006).

  16. 16.

    An exchange rate of Rp. 1 million = US$100 is used throughout this article.

  17. 17.

    Winarso (2002) notes that average household size in new towns in Kabupaten Tangerang is 4.3, lower than the figure for Jakarta (4.7) or for Indonesia (4.5).

  18. 18.

    Sinar Mas Group is owned by Muchtar Wijaya, an Indonesian real estate tycoon.

  19. 19.

    In Indonesia, where the total population reached 206.6 million in 2000 (BPS 2000) those living in urban areas in 2000 made up 42.0% of the total population (BPS 2000). Almost 71% of the urban population consisted of those from moderate- and low-income groups. The current median monthly household incomes (50th percentile) for urban areas within and outside DKI Jakarta are Rp. 950, 000 and Rp. 892, 000, respectively. The median household income in rural areas is Rp. 579,300 (Hoek-Smit 2001). Only about 15% of the urban population can afford to buy a better house. The large majority, 45%, can buy only simple houses and require loans or subsidies to do so.

  20. 20.

    These figures are from BPS (1994). The inflation rate is not calculated.

  21. 21.

    At least three conservation plans for Condet were prepared in the 1990s by Dinas Tata Bangunan & Pemugaran (Building and Conservation Office), Dinas Kebudayaan (Culture Office), and Dinas Tata Kota (Urban Planning Office) in DKI Jakarta.


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The author would like to thank Rina Priyani, Yudi Saptono, Maulen Khairina Sari, Ardy Maulidy Navastara, and Ivan Kurniadi, all research associate at the Urban Planning and Design Research Group, for their help in preparing data for this article.

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Winarso, H. (2011). Urban Dualism in the Jakarta Metropolitan Area. In: Sorensen, A., Okata, J. (eds) Megacities. Library for Sustainable Urban Regeneration, vol 10. Springer, Tokyo.

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