Wed, 31 Aug 1994

Are self-contained cities the answer?

JAKARTA (JP): Government officials and urban city analysts have said that developing new self-contained urban centers or growth centers, which integrate industrial, cultural and housing areas in one location, is a pragmatic solution to overcoming the urban problems in Indonesia.

Ferdinand Sonneville, the president of Federation Internationale des Administration de Bien at Conceils Immobiliers (FIABCI), said in a two-day seminar which ended yesterday, that such an approach will help reduce the population problem of a metropolis like Jakarta.

"It will help encourage people to leave the city and move to new towns," said Sonneville in an indirect reference to a more radical suggestion of decentralizing political power in Indonesia to solve the urban problem.

Jakarta Deputy Governor for Economic and Development Tubagus M. Rais reiterated that in the 1970s the city administration cooperated with its West Java counterpart to develop buffer areas which were later integrated into the greater Jakarta area. The buffer zones include Tangerang in the west, Bogor in the south and Bekasi in the east.

Rais said the integration of the buffer zones in Jabotabek resulted in a decrease in Jakarta's population growth from four percent in the 1970s to 2.4 percent in the 1980s.

"It's quite a success story isn't it?" Rais asked.

On the other hand, Rais stated, the population growth in the buffer zones has been higher than in Jakarta, with Bogor recording a yearly increase of 4.1 percent, Tangerang of 6.1 percent and Bekasi of 6.3 percent.

A property analyst who asked not to be named from Colliers Jardine, however, told The Jakarta Post during a break that such a method should not be based on the so-called dormitory-city principle where people could only sleep and stay during night time.

"As long as people still have to go to the capital city during the daytime for work, it does not answer the question," he said.

He added that short-sighted developers usually prefer to construct real estate rather than attempt to help companies relocate their headquarters in suburban areas.

Other speakers at yesterday's session included Sugianto Soegijoko, an assistant to the State Minister of National Development Planning, Soemaroeto, a director of state-owned Bank Tabungan Negara, Idris Ranadipura, the president of toll road company PT Marga Mandalasakti, and Mohammad Danisworo, a scholar at the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB).

The seminar, under the theme Cities Booming in Indonesia, was organized by the Indonesian Institute of Architects.

The analyst added that a pragmatic approach to relocating headquarters or high technology industries to suburban areas offers a more promising and sound lifestyle rather than the degrading life of the metropolis.


The analyst cited as an example a bold decision by the management of Lippobank, one of the biggest private-run banking institutions in Indonesia, to relocate its headquarters from Kuningan, Central Jakarta, to the newly-built Lippo Village in Tangerang, West Java.

"It will attract thousands of its employees, their families as well as other fortune seekers to move to the town," he said.

An executive of Lippo Development confirmed that the bank headquarters will be relocated to the 21-story Asia Tower in Lippo Village in October.

In a related development, Soegianto said that 25 years from now Indonesia will have 11 metropolises, each with a population of more than one million.

The would-be metropolis will include Jakarta (33 million), Surabaya (9.8 million), Bandung (9.7 million), Medan (5.1 million), Malang (2.9 million), Palembang (2.7 million), Ujungpandang (2.7 million), Tegal (2.6 million) Semarang (2.5 million), Surakarta (2.2 million), and Yogyakarta (1.6 million). (09)