One of the world's largest cities is sinking. Officials spend $35 billion. For the construction of a new capital

Located at the mouth of the Ciliwung River on the northwest coast of Java, Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia.

About 10 million 600 thousand people live there. people, and about 30 million people live in metropolitan areas. However, the city will disappear under water – about 40 percent. Its surface is already below sea level. Environmental experts warn that a third of Jakarta could be underwater by 2050 if current rates continue.

The Indonesian government plans to move the capital to Nusantara. A new town is being built on the east coast of Borneo, about 1.4 thousand km North of Jakarta. The cost of this investment is estimated at USD 35 billion. And it will be completed only in 2045. However, it is expected that approximately 6,000 government employees will travel there ahead of the presidential inauguration in October.

The first result was forced by climate

However, the decision to build a new capital is not unprecedented. In 1960, Brazil moved its capital from Rio de Janeiro to Brasilia, and in 1991, Abuja replaced Lagos as Nigeria's capital.

However, this is the first time that the climate crisis has played a role in this process. In recent years, rising sea levels have made Jakarta the world's fastest-sinking megacity, prompting the Indonesian government to decide to relocate the capital.

A fresh start

Let's take a look at Nusantara. In August 2019, Indonesian President Joko Widodo approved a plan to move the capital from Jakarta to Nusantara.


Construction work on the new capital site


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Firdous Vajdi/Anatolu/Getty Images

The location in East Kalimantan was chosen because of its proximity to the sea and low risk of earthquakes, tsunamis or volcanic eruptions.

Nusantara means “outer islands”. The city's name was chosen to reflect President Widodo's geopolitical vision and to emphasize Indonesia's insular nature. A country of 276 million people has a population of over 17,000. Islands.

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