Outcomes of previous spatial plan disappointing: Experts

Jakarta’s current chaotic traffic, limited green space and frequent floods are in part results of the administration’s (mis)management and spatial plan — for the past 20 years.

Darrundono Koesomodilogo, a former official at the then Spatial Planning Agency, said the administration had in many cases failed to execute policies stated in the 2010 Spatial Plan.

For example, the administration had often failed to include environmental factors when approving developments, which had made the city more vulnerable to flooding.

“Two years ago, there was flood in Kelapa Gading [North Jakarta]. The city said the development of Kelapa Gading was suitable according to the spatial plan, but they failed to preserve the area’s water absorption function,” he said.

Data from the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) shows that 56 man-made lakes in Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi have disappeared over the past five years. The total number of man-made lakes decreased from 240 in 2003 to 184 in 2009. And among the remaining 184, only 19 are in a good condition.

The massive number of new malls and other buildings had been developed much faster than roads to serve them, Darrundono said.

Such “super development” of land use has attracted heavy traffic and created congestion because the roads’ capacity has barely been improved, he said.

At present, roads cover around 6 percent of the total city area, far from the ideal 20 percent.

“In the last five years under the Sutiyoso's administration, the city saw the development of an additional 3.5 million square meters of malls. Compare that to the 1.5 million square meters of malls between 1963, when Sarinah mall was built, up until the economic crisis [1998],” Darrundono said.

Transportation observer Trisbiantara voiced similar concerns.

The administration had failed to facilitate interaction between the land use plan and the transportation network plan when developing the Jakarta spatial plan 20 years ago.

Traffic impact analysis in proposals for the construction of public buildings such as malls, only became a formal government requirement recently, he said.