There is not much left anymore for the naysayers to say anything pessimistic about parks in Jakarta. Despite the common negation that parks will never take more than 10% of the city’s 740 square kilometers size, and that the goal to eventually make it 30% a pipe dream, expansion of green areas in Jakarta runs at an impressive rate.
The consistency of Jakarta’s new administration has paved the way for the creation of new parks in Pluit and Pulogadung, which used to be dingy backyards on two of the city’s neglected reservoirs. Currently the energy is centered on revitalisation of green spaces.
Regardless the recent revival campaign involving several blocks and other overlooked backyards, there was a success story that came from the initiative of the previous administration.
Menteng Park was built to replace the emptied football stadium and completed five years ago at one of the prime districts in Central Jakarta. When it was opened, very few people frequented the park. But five years later, the park got regular visitors each day and peaked in the afternoon.
Lots of small communities of young people based their activities here, from jumping stilts to Star Wars movie fans wielding their lightsabers at night. The park is alive with sports and drama rehearsals.
Not so long ago, every discussion to maintain green areas will end with sighs, let alone the dream of creating new ones. Now once again people dare to exchange thoughts.
Misused open spaces for mobile stalls, parking lots, or even illegal housings, like in river banks, has become extreme situations that require extreme solution.
The introduction of strict measures to put the city of over 10 million population in order indicate that the current top ranks in the municipality dares to walk the talk.
See more pictures of Menteng in think!archipelago Flickr account.