Indonesia, the largest archipelagic nation on the planet, confronts formidable geographic and economic challenges. In 2019, the Indonesian government set forth an audacious plan to relocate the national capital from Jakarta to a fresh location in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo. In a compelling public lecture delivered at the Department of Geography, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Universitas Indonesia on October 25th, two eminent experts, Raditya Pranadi and Dr. Supriatna, shed light on the pivotal roles of geography and geospatial technology in shaping the development of this new capital city.
Raditya Pranadi emphasized that despite economic growth in certain regions, economic concentration remains strikingly pronounced in Java and Sumatra. The contribution to the Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) in Java and Sumatra has shown little change over the last three and a half decades. As a strategic measure to bridge economic disparities and foster equitable growth, the Indonesian government resolved to relocate the capital.
Kalimantan, the chosen site for Indonesia's new capital, named Ibu Kota Negara (IKN) Nusantara, offers a unique set of geographic advantages. Positioned in the heart of Indonesia, it lies far from the tsunami-prone areas that concern Java. The site selection also considered the abundance of expansive land, favorable land gradients for development, and socio-cultural factors.
In recent years, the Indonesian government has undertaken a comprehensive preliminary study to plan the capital relocation. This endeavor engaged multiple ministries and agencies, including Bappenas, the Ministry of Agrarian and Spatial Planning/National Land Agency (Kementerian Agraria dan Tata Ruang/Badan Pertanahan Nasional or ATR/BPN), the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing (Kementerian PUPR), the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK), as well as relevant institutions. This initial step adopts a "bottom-up" approach, actively involving diverse stakeholders from different sectors. The master plan for IKN adheres to the principle of constructing a compact city, in stark contrast to the "urban sprawl" frequently observed in the development of other Indonesian cities.
A paramount concern in planning IKN revolves around population density. A hexagonal framework, complemented by circles with an 800-meter radius, is utilized to establish an ideal density that ensures people can walk for ten minutes. Consequently, IKN is subdivided into diverse zones featuring mixed land use and environments that encourage social connections and advance sustainable transportation.
Dr. Supriatna stressed the pivotal role of geography in crafting IKN as a smart city, primarily through the utilization of Geographic Information System (GIS)-based technology.
Technology is integral in planning and managing IKN as a smart city. The concept of "smart governance" incorporates GIS-based control and an integrated city operations center. In the transportation sector, the consideration of Urban Air Mobility (urban air transportation) necessitates efficient route planning and coordinate determination.
Moreover, the integration of smart technology extends to diverse areas, including disaster management, natural resource utilization, and energy optimization. This encompasses the notion of smart forests and forest fire management, precision agriculture, the development of intelligent industries, and fostering a knowledgeable human resource base. The development of 5G infrastructure, social amenities, and GIS-based monitoring assumes a central role in the growth of IKN.
Geospatial information plays a pivotal role in the planning and management of IKN. This encompasses the mapping of flood-prone areas, modeling regions affected by floods, mapping land and infrastructure development, monitoring IKN's progress through high-resolution satellite imagery, and evaluating land suitability in accordance with spatial regulations.
Beyond its mapping functions, geography also undertakes a significant role in empowering communities. This encompasses initiatives aimed at fostering smart and digital villages while ensuring the vitality of the digital ecosystem.