Living with Water: Infrastructure and Urbanism in Jakarta




pluvial flooding, fluvial flooding, storm-water attenuation, wetlands, Jakarta, inclusive development, soft infrastructure


                                                                                                                      Cities around the world are at risk of pluvial and fluvial flooding, due to more frequent extreme weather events and uncontrolled urbanisation. Coastal cities are additionally at risk from tidal flooding and sea level rise. Hard surface infrastructure leads to rapid storm-water run off overwhelming conventional drainage systems at peak times. This article examines what constitutes infrastructure in the 21st century and what should its new priorities be? A case study is made of Jakarta, a low lying delta city, where the consequences of unregulated economic development are starting to be addressed. The lack of a city based water supply has led to excessive ground water extraction and the sinking of the city further exacerbating flood risk.  City wide flooding has occurred three times in the last 15 years. Water needs to be considered as a primary element in infrastructure strategy and space found for natural systems and active travel. In Jakarta the role of the kampungs (informal settlements) provides an opportunity to address social and environmental difficulties at the same time. This interdisciplinary overview analyses recent infrastructure initiatives and developments and asks what more can be done and what new planning policies and concepts may be required.


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How to Cite

Napier, J. (2021). Living with Water: Infrastructure and Urbanism in Jakarta. Ecocycles, 7(1), 52–72.