Planning the Megacity
Jakarta in the Twentieth Century
Routledge – 2011 – 254 pages
Planning the Megacity examines the dramatic transformation of Jakarta over the past century. In 1900, the colonial capital of the Netherland Indies, then known as Batavia, was a compact city of approximately 150,000 inhabitants. During the next hundred years, but especially after 1950, it was transformed into the sprawling ‘megacity’ of more than 9 million in an urbanized region that boasted nearly 18 million by 2000.
How this metamorphosis took place and what it meant for the life of Jakartans are questions central to the story of the city, as is the role of both local and national leaders in the control and manipulation of processes of growth. As Christopher Silver reveals, Jakarta’s place as Indonesia’s most prestigious city, and its capital city, subjected it to conflicting approaches to planning, and placed its development within the vortex of national development. He reveals how colonialism, the struggle for independence and for improving the national condition, together with aspirations for economic modernization, contributed to the distinctive character of Southeast Asia’s largest metropolitan area.
'I have no doubt that this carefully researched study contributes to the literature of international planning and planning history. Anyone with a scholarly interest in the history of planning in Jakarta should read this book; it can also serve as an excellent source of information in graduate and undergraduate courses that focus on international planning, particularly in the Southeast Asia region. It can also be a very useful reference for planners conducting projects in Jakarta. In sum, I fully agree with Silver that ‘[planning in Jakarta] is a history worth understanding and worth telling’. - Deden Rukmana, Journal of the American Planning Association
'A helpful book. It offers a comprehensive account that invites reflection on how planning has worked for power and how it could become a device for challenging this power in one of the world's largest cities.' - Abidin Kusno, CAA Reviews
Introduction 1. Understanding Urbanization and the Megacity in Southeast Asia 2. Fashioning the Colonial Capital City, 1900–1940 3. Plans for the Modern Metropolis, 1950–1970s 4. Planning For Housing, Neighbourhoods and Urban Revitalization 5. Expansion, Revitalization and the Restructuring of Metropolitan Jakarta, the 1970s to the early 1990s 6. Urban Village to World City: Re-Planning Jakarta in the 1990s 7. Planning in the New Democratic Megacity
Christopher Silver is Dean of the College of Design, Construction and Planning and Professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Florida, Gainesville.