Jakarta Under Water: Keeping Riverside Communities and the Rest of the City Dry
Jakarta is the largest urban center in Indonesia and faces frequent floods with growing intensity. In addition to the geomorphic, climate and natural phenomenon that make the city prone to frequent flooding, rapid urbanization, lack of interagency coordination, and other human factors have aggravated the situation. Informal settlements around riverbanks have resulted in the drastic reduction of the river’s capacity due to encroachment and disposal of solid waste. Numerous structural and non-structural measures are being implemented, but it will take more than constructing new infrastructure and maintaining old flood protection systems to resolve the problem. Since taking office in 2012, the Governor of Jakarta, Joko Widodo, has increased efforts for interagency coordination and taken on a more participatory approach. This case study explores how an urban center addresses the multitude of factors and risks associated with chronic flooding – including resettlement of the most-affected, vulnerable communities – in a sustainable way. The case study will also encourage readers to think about how leaders influence the process and outcome of development decisions and the implications on the marginalized communities.
This case study is part of a series of cases designed for the course "Case Studies in Sustainable Development" at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).