Friday, July 14, 2006

Less Life Space, More Economic Space

Jakarta's new spatial planning blueprint will provide more "prospective economic areas" and less green and open space. The blueprint has attracted criticisms from independent urban planning experts.

Already losing its citizens to the suburbs, Jakarta still needs to learn that life in the city is not all about economic activities. Even if we put the economy high up on the priority scale, such activities depend on opportunities for recreation. Furthermore, much of Jakarta's economy depends on the informal sector: the low-income folks who privide lunch for the city's middle class everyday. These people and activities need space in order to play the important role of supporting the city's economy.

Bianpoen said, "The city plan lacks social justice as it continuously evicts the poor to make way for the rich elite." I'd say, the government lacks vision as evicting the poor will eventually mean suicide for the rich elite.

PS: The title is inspired from John Friedmann's book, Life Space and Economic Space. I'll write more about the urban planning guru later.

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