In September 2016, I received an invitation from an editor of Velvet Cell Journal to submit an article about Jakarta. This journal is a blog of the Velvet Cell publisher. The Velvet Cell published photo books that explore urban fabrics including architecture, space and societal structure. Previously, I received a book from the Velvet Cell titled "Jakarta: Modern Interventions and Minor Improvisations" by photographer Isidro Ramirez. I found the book very interesting. I enjoyed every single photo of Jakarta in the book. Those photos capture the challenges of living in Jakarta very well.
The editor of Velvet Cell Journal asked me to write an article about Jakarta that could accompany the focus of Isidro's book which is the difficulties associated with the living in Jakarta, an overpopulated city that is expanding very fast.
Below is the article that I prepared for them. The article was posted on October 27, 2106 and can be found here.
Not only is Jakarta the largest metropolitan area in Southeast Asia, it is also the most dynamic, though beset with most of the urban problems experienced in twentieth first century Southeast Asia. Jakarta has been the capital of Indonesia since the Dutch colonial era and the economic, commercial and transportation hub of the nation. The population of Jakarta in 1900 was about 115,000. After Independence, Jakarta increased by nearly three times to 1.43 million by 1950. It increased to 2.91 million in 1960 and 4.47 million in 1970. Table below shows the population of Jakarta and the inner and outer peripheries of Jakarta, from 1980 to 2010. The Megacity of Jakarta or popularly known as Jabodetabek increased from 11.91 million in 1980, 17.14 million in 1990, and 20.63 million in 2000 to 28.01 million in 2010. The megacity in 2010 was 11.79 percent of Indonesia’s total population but this population resides in less than 0.3 percent of Indonesia’s total area.
Population of the Megacity of Jakarta in 1980-2010
City of Tangerang
City of South Tangerang
City of Depok
City of Bekasi
City of Bogor
Megacity of Jakarta
Sources: Central Bureau of Statistics, Firman (1997) and Cox (2011)