Jakarta is now home to rapidly increasing numbers of skyscrapers. Office building projects are now dominated by over thirty stories high. Having reached its peak momentum in 1997 and suddenly collapsed due to severe economic crisis, Jakarta is in the past two years on the faster track to expand its high-rise property market, and much taller.
With rising investment and the subsequent increase in white collar workforce, comes the urgent question of whether the city infrastructure can facilitate such massive mobilization. The limited means of transportation this day presents hate-to-love relationship with the commuters. Without much choice, people shoved against each other in crammed commuter trains and buses.
Jakarta roads only take up 6% of the total city size. This is incredibly small proportion compared to 15% to 20% by standard composition in any modern city worldwide. But while Jakarta lacks road, another question raises whether the increase in vehicle possession as one of the indications of advancing economic sector and wealthier society is a correct assumption. Another theory of a sustainable modern city underlines the importance of mass transportation as a vital means to support a lively and functioning city. Of course it is a wrong assumption to discourage personal vehicle possession, as people are entitled to own one provided they are financially capable.
Then there was the Zoning Detail and Plans, or Rencana Detail Tata Ruang (RDTR), published in 2012, from which we get to know the future assumption of urban transformation until 2030. One of the key points stated in the papers is that Jakarta population will swell to 12.5 million in 2030, compared to 9.5 million in current time. However, many observers consider it irrelevant when it comes to the planning based on the population figure in each district. In Menteng district in Central Jakarta, as an illustration, it is predicted that there will be 122,000 additional residents in the particular area only in 2030, making the density figure to 191,000 in total.
But perhaps this is an underestimated figure. At present time, there is a newly completed high-rise apartment available for use around the district. This demonstrates a highly contrast zoning system, which observers believe will adversely effect the habitation system that the district has established for many years. The district is by nature a low density residential area, plus it maintains its status as historically conserved area. A vertical (high density) residential type with one thousand populations per hectare does not bode well at all with the pre-existing condition.
Another thing, sprawling apartments cause traffic congestion and parking area shortage because there is no transportation networks found nearby. Residents are becoming more dependent on private vehicles.
Many also critized the disintegrated transportation system planning submitted in the papers. The less connectivity between existing modes of transportation such as train stations and bus stops gives the more reason to dissuade people to take public transportation. It spurs people to own private vehicles, which is a good recipe for deteriorating traffic.