Wed, 25 Mar 2009
Kemang in South Jakarta will be transformed into a modern kampung without high-rise buildings, the head of the city's spatial planning agency announced Tuesday.

Wiriyatmoko said Kemang would be developed like Kuta in Bali, where sidewalk cafes, boutiques and homey restaurants lay side by side on a long street.

During the 1980s, Kemang was a quiet residential area, but metamorphosed into commercial hub, with dozens of restaurants and bars squeezed into the area, hounded by hordes of customers and their vehicles crowding the streets.

The area now has some 60 cafes and restaurants, and several hotels.

Kemang was originally meant as a residential zone, but with the frenzied development of the past few years, the administration now plans to make it a legal commercial area.

Businesses in Kemang still have to pay regular fines for converting homes into businesses.
Wiriyatmoko said the administration was studying several options, but gave no details.

“The houses will still be there, with the cafes and restaurants trimmed along the main street. But the administration will not let high-rise buildings be built," he said. “Some buildings will be removed - if I’m not mistaken there are two buildings in breach of regulations.

They've requested permits, but we might have to reject them since they were built before seeking a license.”

High-rise buildings, defined as more than eight storeys tall, are still allowed for residential purposes.

A 1999 gubernatorial decree declared the area a modern kampung.

A.Z. Harahap, head of the South Jakarta Tourism Subagency, said recently his office would develop areas of Kemang and Melawai as culinary tourism sites, as quoted by beritajakarta.com. (iwp)



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