Greater Jakarta – one of the largest urban regions in the world – is notorious for its perennial flooding. A city with extreme inequality, Jakarta is a melting pot of the fourth largest country by population in the world and embodies the political economy of development and change for Indonesia. Drawing from geospatial analysis, policy engagement, and sustained ethnographic work since 2007, inundated extends our understanding of Greater Jakarta beyond flooding to re-situate development dilemmas across the region.
This presentation begins with an analysis of the biophysical dimensions of flooding, connecting them with spatial plans, while also centering perspectives from the city’s riverbanks of eviction and relocation. More broadly, intensifying floods from climate change, severe land subsidence, water insecurity, and other development challenges have accelerated plans to move the political capital of Indonesia to East Kalimantan, a resource frontier most known for its forests and coal mines. Already set in motion, such plans present new trajectories for Indonesia’s future, with persistent vulnerabilities in Greater Jakarta that also raise new forms of precarity and opportunity elsewhere.
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