Can Surabaya Become a Sustainable City?

Surabaya is probably not the first place you would have chosen as the preferred model for sustainability – its hot, busy, industrial and very developed… but as you will see when we examine all the reasons and criteria, it has an excellent chance of indeed becoming the first Indonesian city to be at least on

Lombok: You Are Missing Something Special!

“We seem to be missing something in the great debate over holiday destinations and I think it’s a shame”, says Alistair Speirs, Founder of Phoenix Communications and quite a well-travelled person! It takes basically the same time to get to Lombok as to Bali so traveling isn’t the problem, it seems to be perception: Bali

The Evolution of Jakarta’s Transport

Oh! We are all such suckers for nostalgia, but as they say ‘Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be!” Sometimes looking back, we tend to romanticise our memories. I will try not to do that, especially about transport, but you never know! Let’s start with the demise of the simplest, non-polluting, form of transport you

Jakarta Then & Now: A Personal Recollection of 44 Years in the Capital

Arriving in Jakarta in December 1978 to start work in the rather undeveloped Indonesia insurance industry was an absolute culture shock, especially after the refined and gentrified world of Lloyds of London and a flat in New Kings Road. The plane arrived in Kemayoran Airport, which is now a centre for business and conventions (but

Reflecting on 15 Years of NOW! Jakarta

I perhaps should not tell you this, but I didn’t really want to start NOW! Jakarta! I was perfectly happy publishing a marvellous magazine called Jakarta Java Kini, or JJK, but my partner at the time had other ideas and took over the company, leaving me with a bit of a dilemma since I had enjoyed

A Splendid Spanish Dinner With La Chaine des Rotisseurs Jakarta Bailliage

La Chaine des Rotisseurs Jakarta Bailliage scored another triumphant success with a marvellous dinner hosted by H. E. The Spanish Ambassador to Indonesia Francisco  Aguilera and Mme. Gemma Caminada at their beautiful residence. The evening started in true chaine style, with a selection of delicious canapes accompanied by a fresh chilled sparkling Cava, as the

Learning from Japan

Four things struck me as I returned from a trip to Japan. The first was a car, well nearly. I was crossing the street between Plaza Indonesia and Kempinski on a zebra crossing and it never entered my mind that a car, in clear sight of me, would not stop, having spent a week under

Yogyakarta – a Special Report on a Special Place

Yogyakarta is a Daerah Istimewa, special district, in south-central Java, and is often affectionately known as Jogja.  It is bounded to the west, north, and east by Central Java Province (Propinsi Jawa Tengah) and fronts the Indian Ocean to the south. The district includes the city of Yogyakarta, and most people think that only the city

Sheraton Belitung Resort: Fresh Air, Forests, Fishing, and Fine Food!

In a previous issue of NOW! Jakarta, we described the Sheraton Belitung Resort as ‘The Future Definition of Exclusive Luxury’ because it is on a quiet, verdant island with little traffic, is surrounded by crystal clear seas, fresh air and has virtually no pollution, even from noise! And honestly, there are very few places we can find

A Birthday Wish for DKI Jakarta

How should cities “develop”? And what can we do to ensure it is done correctly? Those are probably the questions that many people inside – and outside – the city government are asking. What do we have to do to ensure a good future for the citizens of the city of Jakarta, especially when it


As you drive about most cities, or better still walk, you can get the feeling of how it was planned. There are really different feelings evoked by different districts, through their design & layout, through the type of shops and restaurants that are housed there, the offices, the apartments, the houses, the schools and of

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