Indonesia is in the process of constructing a new capital city, Nusantara, on the east coast of the island of Borneo. The inauguration is set to take place on Indonesia’s Independence Day in 2024. The new capital is expected to cover an area of 2,560 km2 and will replace Jakarta as the national capital. The construction of the Government Central Area zone, which includes government offices, schools, and hospitals, began in August 2022 following land clearance and access road construction in July 2022.
As of March 24, 2023, the population of Indonesia was estimated to be 281,382,315, an increase of nearly 8,000 people from the country’s 2020 population estimate of 273,523,615 people at mid-year according to UN data. This makes up approximately 3.51% of the total world population.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo first announced the plan to move Indonesia’s capital in 2019 to relieve the environmental challenges facing Jakarta and redistribute wealth. Jakarta has been the capital since 1949 when Indonesia gained its independence. The current population of Jakarta is estimated to be 13,688,321, making it the largest city in the country and one of the most populous urban agglomerations in the world.
Bambang Susantono, Chairman of Nusantara National Capital Authority, recently spoke at the United States-Indonesia Society (USINDO) International Zoom and Open Forum on the new capital city, focusing on building United States Public Understanding. He expressed confidence in the development progress of Nusantara and shared updates on investment and partnership to ensure its sustainability and success.
In a previous interview with Aljazeera, Mr. Susantono stated that the new capital will be like Wakanda and Avatar as seen in the movies when fully completed. The whole area of Nusantara is about three and a half times larger than Singapore; he emphasized that only 25% of the area will be built as an urban environment, while the remaining 75% will be green, with 65% being tropical forest.
Indonesia is not the first country to move its capital. Nigeria relocated its capital from Lagos to Abuja in 1991, Malaysia moved its capital from Kuala Lumpur to Putrajaya in 2006, and Brazil moved its capital from Rio De Janeiro to Brasilia in 1960.