“Nusantara”: Indonesia’s brand-new capital

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Presidential Palace, nusantara
The pre-design of the new Presidential Palace in the new capital city, by I Nyoman Nuarta. Photo: INSTAGRAM @NYOMAN_NUARTA

IO – National Development Planning Minister/National Development Planning Agency Head Suharso Monoarfa has officially revealed the name of Indonesia’s new capital city: Nusantara. “The reason (the word was chosen) is because ‘Nusantara’ has been known for a long time, and is iconic in the international community. It’s uncomplicated and describes the archipelago of Indonesia. And I think we can all agree on the term,” explained Monoarfa, at the New Capital City Special Committee Meeting, Monday (1/17/2022).

However, details over the format of the new capital city have not been decided, whether Nusantara will be a city or a special district, and whether it will be led by a regent or a governor. Without a doubt, the leader will be equivalent to a minister who is directly nominated and dismissed by the President, and hold a five-year tenure.

The House of Representatives (DPR) has officially passed the Bill on Capital City (RUU IKN) into law. Therefore, the relocation of the capital from Jakarta to East Kalimantan can be realized. The House approved the Bill at DPR’s 13th Plenary Session of the third period of 2021-2022, Tuesday (1/18/2022).

According to a report of the Special Committee for RUU IKN, eight factions (PDIP, Golkar, Gerindra, Nasdem, Demokrat, PAN, PKB, PPP and PKB) approved passage of the RUU IKN into law. However, the PKS faction did not agree with RUU IKN’s discussion results.

Chairman of the Special Committee for RUU IKN Ahmad Doli Kurnia Tanjung said the new capital city in East Kalimantan, to be known as “Nusantara”, has been approved, and from now on, it will be referred to as the Capital City of Nusantara. As the new center of administration, Nusantara will become a special regional government unit at the provincial level.

The development of Nusantara as the capital will be carried out in stages, until 2045. Referring to a manual of capital city relocation, the stages actually started in 2020. The initial relocation is ongoing, from 2020-2024, including the construction of major infrastructure, such as the Presidential Palace, MPR/DPR buildings, and housing in the main area of the new capital. Then, the relocation of civil servants in an early stage, including Indonesia’s Armed Forces (TNI), the National Police (Polri) and the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR). The early stage aims to complete major basic infrastructure, such as water and energy for 500 thousand residents. The President will move to the capital city before Aug. 16, 2024, and celebrate Indonesia’s Independence Day in the new capital, on Aug. 17, 2024.

From 2025-2035, the development focus will shift to enhancing the new capital into a resilient core region, one that includes the next phase of urban development, such as innovation and economic centers. In the second phase, the targets are to complete the relocation of the new capital’s government centers, develop priority economic sectors, implement an incentive system for priority economic sectors and achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

From 2035-2045, the focus will be on building three-city infrastructure and ecosystems, to accelerate the development of East Kalimantan, by augmenting urban development and completing connectivity between and within cities. In this period, the new city is also targeted to become the number one foreign direct investment (FDI) destination for priority economic sectors in Indonesia, and the top five main destinations in Southeast Asia for global talent. The next target is to encourage sustainable utility networks, by implementing circular economy enablers and enhancing innovation and talent development centers.

From 2045 onwards, the focus will be on strengthening Nusantara’s reputation as a “World City for All.” The city will aim to be the world’s leading city in terms of competitiveness, among the top ten livable cities in the world, and one with zero-carbon emission and 100% renewable energy. (eka)