Indonesia Will be Moving Its Capital

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Driven by congestion and the gradual sinking of Jakarta, Indonesia announced that it will be moving its capital from the metropolis of 10 million people just in its center (and a greater metropolitan population of 30 million) to a jungle-filled location in the East Kalimantan province, on the island of Borneo.

Jakarta, located on the island of Java, was built on a marsh located below sea level with areas of the current capital sinking as much as ten inches a year.  The new location is about 800 miles away near the cities of Balikpapan and Samarinda on the island of Borneo, the world’s third largest island.  The site has been selected in part, because it is “relatively free from earthquakes and volcanoes.”


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Map show the approximate location of the new capital of Indonesia on the island of Borneo. Map: Caitlin Dempsey using Natural Earth Quick Start.
Map show the approximate location of the new capital of Indonesia on the island of Borneo in relation to the current capital of Jakarta. Map: Caitlin Dempsey using Natural Earth Quick Start.

The complete move is anticipated to take at least ten years with groundbreaking set to being next year.  The total cost of the move is projected to be about 466 trillion rupiah ($32.7 billion).  The government of Indonesia will found about 20% of that cost with the rest coming from private funds.  Jakarta will continue to serve as the country’s economic center.

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