Ralph Jennings – Poor May Resist As Jakarta Plans End To Slums
forbes.com. October 10, 2013. Indonesia’s capital of 9 million people is growing new malls and office towers like rice paddies. Jakarta’s stock exchange district looks almost like ultra-modern Singapore’s. Yet slums packed with trash and less-than-dollar-a-day poverty occupy the other half of the Jakarta checkerboard.
Now the city aims to wipe out its slummy side by moving a million people into low-cost modern housing on up to 400 hectares, says the CEO of a major Indonesian NGO that serves the nation’s poor.
That plan under Jakarta Gov. Joko Widodo would remove awkward contrasts such as the tract of wooden lean-tos on mud trails festering across a polluted river from the Shangri-la Hotel tower. It would vacate land for the next financial tower or mall selling name-brand smartphones and clothes, symbols of a voracious consumer culture that has grown with new investment and an attendant middle-class workforce.