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Between 1960 and 1990, Indonesia has experienced a period of rapid population growth in urban areas. In 1961, the total population was 97.1 million, the urban population was 16.5 million (17 per cent of the total); in 1971, the total population was 119.2 million with 2.1 per cent annual growth, the urban population was 20.7 million (17.4 per cent) with 2.3 per cent annual growth; in 1980, the total population was 146.7 million with 2.32 per cent annual growth, the urban population was 32.8 million (22.3 per cent) with 5.24 per cent annual growth; and in 1990, the total population was 179.2 million with 1.97 per cent annual growth, the urban population was 55.4 million (30.9 per cent) with 5.38 per cent annual growth. At present, about 32 per cent of the population is living in urban areas.

In terms of population size, Indonesia currently has two "mega cities," Metropolitan Jakarta (about 17 million persons) and Greater Surabaya (around 4 million persons); and two candidates Greater Bandung (around 3 million persons) and Greater Medan (around 2 million persons); where the first three cities are located in Java and the last city is located in Sumatra.

The Metropolitan Jakarta and its surrounding areas are often called the JABOTABEK development region; it covers the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta, the district and administrative city of Bogor and the districts of Tangerang and Bekasi. The development in these areas is growing very rapidly and this has caused the large increased of population. Based on the regional settlement hierarchy, JABOTABEK comprises the major urban concentration of DKI Jakarta, major commercial and industrial centre in the nation, down to the rural villages at desa level in BOTABEK. I shall limit this paper to a discussion of Metropolitan Jakarta as the mega city.


Metropolitan Jakarta is currently experiencing an excessive concentration of both population and economic activities. In this city, population increase is mainly being absorbed in areas extending beyond 10 km from the city centres. The inner areas, where population levels remain stable, have unique patterns of land use and share common features wiyh the suburban areas in the BOTABEK region: a typical urban sprawl pattern where various types of housing developments of differing sizes area completely dependent on a few trunk roads in a leapfrog fashion.

Between 1980 and 1990, the total population of Metropolitan Jakarta or JABOTABEK increased by 44 per cent from 11.9 million in 1980 to 17.1 million in 1990 (Table 1).

Table 1. POPULATION CHANGES BETWEEN 1971 AND 1990 IN JABOTABEK                                           Land Area Total Population (millions)

                                        (Km2)         1971         1980         1990

DKI Jakarta

Jakarta Selatan             146.2         1101         1580         1905

Jakarta Timur                 184.0         898           1457         2064

Jakarta Pusat                 54.5            1278         1237         1076

Jakarta Barat                 131.5           837          1231         1815

Jakarta Utara                 139.6           629          976            1363

Total DKI Jakarta         655.8         4743         6481            8223

                                    Land Area     Total Population (millions)

                                        (Km2)         1971         1980         1990


Kab. Bogor                     2864.1         1668         2494         3736

Kodya Bogor                     21.6             196            247         272

Kab. Bekasi                     1600.0          739         1143         2104

Kab. Tangerang             1282.8         1002         1529         2765

Total BOTABEK                 5768.5         3605         5413         8877

JABOTABEK                     6383.6         8341         11894         17100

Source: Indonesia, Central Bureau of Statistics, 1990 Population Cencus

It is estimated that the 1990 population of DKI Jakarta had grown to 8.2 million, or approximately 48 per cent of JABOTABEK's population. By the year 2005, JABOTABEK's current population of about 17.1 million is expected to grow to over 26 million.

However, urbanization had outgrown the administrative boundaries of DKI Jakarta well before 1990 and, with the spread of industrial and formal and informal sector residential development (much of which lacks adequate infrastructure and utility services), the surrounding "fringe" kabupatens of Bogor, Tangerang and Bekasi had come by 1990 to contain a further 8.9 million people. These so-called BOTABEK fringe areas had thus become home for over half (52 per cent) of JABOTABEK's residents. The metropolitan area of JABOTABEK now ranks among the ten largest conurbations in the world (Figure 1).

Nevertheless, JABOTABEK's size and rapid growth have helped to provide employment opportunities for surplus rural labour and has expanded the production base for Indonesia's industrial sector. Approximately 17 per cent of the country's GDP is now generated there.

The annual increase in population of the JABOTABEK's "urban" classified, which constituting new demand for urban services, is growing on an unprecedented scale. The effect is most marked in the fringe kabupatens of BOTABEK.

Thus, while the total population of BOTABEK kabupatens grew by 66 per cent between 1980 and 1990, or about 6 per cent per annum, the urban population in these districts was growing at 18 per cent per annum, which caused the number of population to double just in four years. Meanwhile, the latest information shows that the rural population in JABOTABEK declined between 1980 and 1990. Hence, virtually all of the population growth in the region over the past ten years can be treated as urban growth. This is the stark and formidable reality facing urban managers in JABOTABEK.

From 1973 onwards planning activities for JABOTABEK have taken place in order to regulate and control the regional development processes as the JABOTABEK conurbation (Figure 2). The rapid growth of population and the expansion of settlements in and arround Jakarta metropolis gave the impulse of formulate a metropolitan concept for the capital and its surroundings, in order to divert and guide the expected growth. The prospects for regional development in JABOTABEK were formulated along the following keyelements: (i) population projection and distribution; (ii) employment opportunities and its sectoral distribution; (iii) key economic sectors (formal and informal); (iv) hierarchy of regional settlements; and (v) regional development strategy and actions to promote development objectives.

By addressing physical planning consideration, land use patterns of JABOTABEK area have been identified into five zones (Figure 3).


Urbanization in JABOTABEK region is progressing rapidly, which resulting in, among others, the rise in value of land within the city. This tendency is especially prominent in city centre, which has made it difficult for small businesses and residents to remain, forcing them to move in suburban areas, and causing the destruction of farmland and greenery. This accelerating growth of the urban population points to a major transformation both people and environment. It represents a whole new set of demands and requirements for urban services, for clean water supply, sanitation, transport and communications, and business services, and for housing and various social services as well.

Evidence suggests that the population has increased much faster than projected. And, while some designated growth areas shows few signs of significant growth, major developments have occurred (e.g., new towns at Bekasi and Serpong) and much development is occurring outside the designated areas, including in environmentally sensitive areas of the aquifer recharge areas south of Jakarta.

For the physical environment, it represents a transformation in patterns of land use and the type of strain placed on basic natural resources, including air and water. Siltation, human and industrial pollution of rivers, which are major sources of drinking and bathing water, as well as air pollution from burgeoning industries and from motor vehicles, with its obvious negative effects on human health, are already in evidence in JABOTABEK.

Discussing the impacts of this rapid advance of JABOTABEK, both on the rural/fringe and on the remaining rural hinterland, there are a number of macro problems which affect not only those areas undergoing transformation, but the entire metropolitan area, which include:

In line with the above-mentioned problems, there are some other special problems affecting those rural villages enveloped by the expanding urban tide. In these areas, there is particularly rapid population growth and a transformation of society from a village base (agricultural and small-scale industries and services) to a more socially differentiated urban economic and residential orientation. Some particular impacts in these areas are: MANAGING URBAN GROWTH OF METROPOLITAN JAKARTA

The basic urban planning unit in Jakarta is governed by a local government. Land-use control systems to be applied to this basic urban planning unit are defined as: (a) urban master plans which indicate the general direction of future urban development; (b) regulatory plans which provide the basis for government control of land use in each parcel of land, i.e., zoning plans; and (c) development control measures which provide the basis for government regulation of each development activity, such as planning permission or land subdivision control.

In Jakarta, a statutory long-term master plan (Jakarta 2005) for DKI Jakarta and a long-term regional master plan which covers DKI Jakarta and its vicinity are available. The master planning system appears has been institutionalized in Jakarta. As for regulatory plans, the rigid regulatory system is being applied in Jakarta where district plans (1:5,000 scale) regulate overall land use and detailed district plans (1:1,000 scale) regulate building use, density, height, and shape in each block, while as for development control measures the system is less institutionalized, due to very complicated administrative procedure, and is not uniformly applied. Moreover, in Jakarta, many informal developments exist. In this context, it can be said that the regulatory framework of land use control is not functioning properly in Jakarta.

As for land-use master plans, attempts have been made to formulate guided land-use metropolitan-scale plans in Jakarta. Under this planning concept, urban development should ideally be undertaken in desirable corridors or zones through strategic infrastructure investments and simple land-use zoning aimed at promoting development by the private sector in such locations and restraining development in environmentally undesirable corridors or areas. The guided land-use planning concept seems to be an effective tool in the rapidly urbanizing metropolitan regions of developing countries, ensuring land-use control and adequate land supply for development.

The metropolitan-scale plans formulated in Jakarta in the 1985 under the guided land-use planning concept have encountered implementation difficulties. In Jakarta, five-layered plans (Figure 3) from metropolitan regional plan (1:50,000 scale) to the detailed district plan (1:1,000 scale) are expected to be formulated. The district plan sets out very detailed land and building regulations such as height, floor area ratio (FAR), setback, and number of stories to strictly control developments in the area covered. It is, however, doubtful whether this rigid land-use control system could work properly in country where local governments suffer from limited financial and human resources, such as Indonesia. If urban development is to be promoted in certain corridors or zones, such unrealistic land use regulations should be relaxed and simplified in these areas. A realistic regulatory framework will be needed to operationalize the guided planning concept on a metropolitan scale.

By regulating development activities or increasing/decreasing the capital value of properties, regulatory plans and development control measures can directly affect individuals. Thus, such measures are thought to directly reflect the social or power structure of society. An analysis of the possible beneficiaries of such systems will therefore lead to a clearer understanding of the social implications of the systems in Jakarta. In Jakarta, neither district plans nor detailed plans are available for public inspection. Thus, it was not possible to analyse their characteristics as a whole.

Still related to the above-mentioned aspects, in order to managing rapid urban growth of JABOTABEK, various integrated approaches have been tried out to planning and managing the changes in land use and water resource use, environmental management, infrastructure programming, institutional improvements, financial management, population movement and social change in JABOTABEK. The approach itself in line with the Presidential Instruction (INPRES) 13/1976 and with World Bank assistance (Second Urban Development Project), that the development priorities and options for JABOTABEK were studied during 1979-1982, and recommendations were later adopted into the JABOTABEK Metropolitan Development Plan (JMDP), 1985-2005. The main features of the MDP included:

All of the implemented and ongoing studies/development programmes are steps along the way to formulating and implementing broader integration and more proactive and dynamic approaches to managing urban growth in JABOTABEK. A crucial issue is how to ensure that the strategies and policies in each of the key studies are mutually consistent and well coordinated. To date, coordination between the various strategic studies and implementation initiatives is not as good as it might be.


The rapid changes that are taking place in the international environment are affecting the problems of large cities like Jakarta, such as the flow of capital due to overseas direct investment and the flow of labour due to income disparities. The environmental problems of developing nations which are caused by economic development and industrialization require immediate attention. Policies must be able to meet the challenge of dynamic change in both domestic and international arenas, foster autonomy at the local level, and improve the standard of living.

Controlling the expansion of large cities and stimulating regional and local cities should be approached from a national perspective. Until now, the major goals of regional development of industrializing and urbanizing countries, such as Indonesia, have focused upon the restriction of unplanned expansions of cities and the transformation of past national development plans that have concentrated upon primate cities. Since it would be inefficient for existing large cities to absorb this new expanded population, it has been pointed out that regional stimulation and the development of core cities in regions are necessary.

In the case of JABOTABEK, in general, a more balanced growth is aimed at in the region with emphasis on the economic, social, physical and administrative development of the BOTABEK localities and a deconcentration of development of DKI Jakarta. The following actions area among others considered to be necessary: (i) to increase agricultural activities; (ii) to promote large and medium scale industry in BOTABEK to support the projected growth target; (iii) to introduce programmes to assist small-scale industry and smaal traders; (iv) to ensure small town development; dan (v) to improve accessibility within the region, particularly to the rural markets.

Finally, it is considered to raise a few development issues which acquire new action plans in a rapidly growing mega city such as JABOTABEK. These are some of the issues which can be explored in the future by policymakers in Jakarta.

In addition to the above specific issues, the following macro action agendas may be considered that include: (i) constructing a new capital; (ii) constructing cities around the capital to create multiple centres in the urban region overall; and (iii) expanding the functions of the capital within a development zone that contains main transportation lines of the region.