In this webinar, Ms Tri Dewi Virgiyanti and Dr Hendricus Andy Simarmata shed light on the planning process of moving Indonesia’s capital from Jakarta to Kalimantan Timur (East Kalimantan). They discussed how the Indonesian government envisioned making a sustainable and more adaptable new capital.
INDONESIA STUDIES PROGRAMME & CLIMATE CHANGE IN SOUTHEAST ASIA PROGRAME WEBINAR
Friday, 9 October 2020 – ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute invited Ms Tri Dewi Virgiyanti, Director of Housing and Settlements at the Ministry of National Development Planning (BAPPENAS), and Dr Hendricus Andy Simarmata, the President of Indonesian Association of Urban and Regional Planners, to speak in a webinar on “Indonesia’s New Capital: Towards a Climate-Resilient City”. The session was moderated by Dr Siwage Dharma Negara, ISEAS Senior Fellow and Co-coordinator of Indonesia Studies Programme.
Ms Virgiyanti shared that the Ministry has conducted several in-depth studies to select the location of the new capital. East Kalimantan is chosen because of the availability of land and water resources. The region is also populated by multicultural societies and has a lower level of social conflicts.
Environmental conservation is an important aspect of the project. Ms Virgiyanti mentioned that the new capital is designed to be a sustainable city to support Indonesia’s future economy. Its development will also consider climate change mitigation strategy. This includes conserving 75 percent of the land forest and ensuring that 60 percent of the areas in the district remain green spaces.
Dr Andy Simarmata argued that the new capital must be resilient in multi-aspects, such as financial, environmental, and political. He explained that by 2024, due to climate change, it is projected that East Kalimantan will incur a GDP loss in four of its key economic sectors – agricultural, water, marine, and coastal. Dr Simarmata asserted that such impacts must be anticipated in the development plans. One way to mitigate climate change impacts is by charting out low carbon development pathways for the city.
The Covid-19 outbreak in Indonesia has slowed down the progress of the new capital project. Ms Virgiyanti explained that the Ministry is targeting to complete the masterplan for the project this year. So far, the government plans to proceed with the existing plan but anticipate that some adjustments need to be made in the process. Dr Simarmata argued that the Covid-19 outbreak shows the importance of creating urban spaces that will not only ensure the population’s health but also become health-resilient from external health threats. He also suggested to use the adaptive planning system rather than rigid master planning to address the uncertainty, the disruptive innovation, and the unknown perception of millennial generation on future cities.
The webinar drew an audience 76 participants from both Singapore and abroad. During the question and answer session, the panel discussed lessons learned from other countries’ experiences in moving their capital and the importance of making plans which are flexible and adaptable to various situations due to the many uncertainties facing the world today. The panel also agreed that engagement between the government and the urban planning community remains important in planning for the new capital.