Cities for People, not for Automobiles


Jakarta has been my city for almost 26th years. I could say Jakarta is the breath that lengthens my days. Days go by. Jakarta has now become a monster who ate itself. It’s now almost a rather frustrating and depressing to live in Jakarta, cause only by the traffic jam. I use car for myself in such an egocentric way. The question would be, do I have an option? Nope.

Most people think the way I do (as stated above). They did. If not, why they keep on buying automobiles through consumer credit line? Don’t they know that the option they pick going to stress them with high interest rates? Yes, they do know that, and they take the risk. Because they know the government is working in a slow pace in making progress, while business ran way too fast as usual.

I don’t know for other people, but for me, Jakarta got a major problem made by the system (economy and politic), its own citizen and goes on without something that I called as a “leadership with a-political-will”. These problems have made me think that if changes for Jakarta are too hard to make, in the future no-matter-what I don’t want to raise my children and grandson here. There are too many automobiles and motorcycle, and too few public spaces used as green belt in Jakarta. The city is (maybe) built for cars, not for the industry. Thus, the question people keep asking is more and more infrastructures for cars. Built more streets they said, as if the city still has unoccupied land.

I know, I know you guys work for the automobiles and consumer credit banking industry. You simply have to keep selling those cars and motorcycles. Yeah, one gotta do what one gotta do to earn a living. What kind of live do you have in Jakarta? The one with a rather super-exhausting added with extra pollutant in it? Am sincerely happy that you all live your life to the fullest. Hahaha.. Hope your daughter and son survive the extra pollutant; I heard that those extras are a major silent-killer in the city.

Do you know what I dream about Jakarta? A city with lots of these things:

  • New governor whose also an inspiring leader with political will to act;
  • New city grand design regulation created with active public participation;
  • Pedestrian areas and bicycle paths all over the city;
  • Integrated Bus Rapid Transit, Mono-Rail Train and feeder Buses to maintain mobility without hurting sustainability;
  • Condos, lofts, and subsidized apartments with “sky gardens” around each business district with reasonable price;
  • Schools that ensure students creativity, teach about entrepreneurship and inspire the students about leadership and ethics;
  • Equal work opportunity for all citizens;
  • Healthy good-food culture with fresh food stalls on every streets;
  • Community Spaces or Building to maintain neighborhood bonds and enrich our socio-cultural value;
  • Parks (green belt) and public spaces with Wi-Fi connections to waste some times after office hours;
  • Waste management that ensure waste recycled into energy resources.

As for today, what we need is citizen’s active participation in building this dream to come to live. While in a more global views, political leadership with grand strategic design, technical issues, on-field-implementation and citizenship should be highlighted as the future fixer of Jakarta.

I know, I know, I sounded like a day-dreamer, but do take a look at this websites: http://www.citiesforpeople.net; and listen to Jaime Lerner (ex-mayor of Curitiba, Brazil) here, am not dreaming. My dream city does exist, only not in Jakarta.

Author: Aditya Sani

I would love to encourage people to read, to think and to typewrite. Founder of Midjournal.com.

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