Jakarta, A Fast-Sinking City

Jakarta, officially the Special Capital Region of Jakarta, is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. Located on the northwest coast of the world’s most populous island Java, it is the centre of economics, culture and politics of Indonesia, with a population of 10,075,310 as of 2014. The Greater Jakarta metropolitan area has an area of 6,392 square kilometres, which is known as Jabodetabek, is the second largest urban agglomeration after Tokyo with a population of 30,214,303 as of 2010 census. Established in the 4th century as Sunda Kelapa, the city became an important trading port for the Sunda Kingdom. It was the de facto capital of the Dutch East Indies and was known as Batavia at that time. Jakarta has grown more rapidly than Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Beijing. Its major challenges include rapid urban growth leading to overpopulation and ecological breakdown, gridlock traffic and congestion, poverty and inequality, and flooding. Jakarta is sinking up to 17 cm (6.7 inches) per year, which, coupled with the rising of sea level, has made the city more prone to flooding.

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