On August 26, 2019, Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced that the country’s capital will be moved from Jakarta in Java to a then undisclosed site within the regencies of North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kartanegara in East Kalimantan. The decision was decades in the making but recent narratives involve environmental and social challenges of maintaining Jakarta as the capital – 40% of the land is below sea level, and parts of north Jakarta are sinking at an average rate of 15 cm/year, with serious social and economic consequences. Undeterred by the recent COVID-19 pandemic, planning for the capital has continued and construction on the new capital is expected to begin in 2021 and completed by 2024. Indonesian government projections expect the move to be completed by 2030 with expansions extending as far into the future as 2045. Official estimates of the initial footprint of the capital are estimated to be 2,000 hectares, with an eventual expansion to 200,000 ha of land, 180,000 ha of which is government land. The scale and effort put into the move reflects Indonesia’s goals of finding a sustainable alternative to Jakarta while supporting the developmental and sustainability ambitions of Kalimantan.
This study seeks to conduct an analysis of the landscapes within the planned 2,000 ha zone of initial development and the impact of land use and environmental policy on those landscapes. It will focus on examining and mapping the land use and biophysical features of the landscape based on historical and contemporary maps. The study will also focus on contextualizing these maps and land use changes within the broader policy context in Indonesia and East Kalimantan.