Can Jakarta Become a ‘Biophilic’ City? 

I was recently watching a very good documentary on Singapore’s impressive progress on sustainability, which now falls under a new but very relevant term: Biophilia. This is a term given for the love of biodiversity, and whilst it may seem futile to compare what Jakarta has done or can do in comparison, we honestly have

Alistair Speirs

The Era of Suspicious Sustainability

Yes, finally it’s the time for everyone to claim “sustainability” as their new mantra, new passion, or in many cases, just their latest marketing campaign. “Surely not“, I hear you say, “doesn’t sustainability have to be real, certified, audited or something to prove the claimant isn’t just giving us a load of hot air?” (or

Love in Indonesia: Redefining Valentine’s Day

In Indonesia, Valentine’s Day has been somewhat of a ‘taboo’ celebration. As someone raised in a Muslim family, I was never prohibited from celebrating Valentine’s Day, but it was something that was frowned upon by my parents, or those more religious than myself — many of us were told that the origin of this observation

Can’t be Bothered to go to Work? Here’s why.

I don’t know about you but I honestly believe that governments are elected – and paid – to look after their citizens, exercising their judgment as to the right path of course, but basically looking at the essential elements in the lives of their people and saying: “right we’ve got to fix this or make

Celebrating Imlek, Embracing Identity

It’s not that many years ago that anything even vaguely Chinese was absolutely forbidden in Indonesia, even though for literally hundreds of years there has been a strong presence of ethnic Chinese people here. There was no visible Chinese language anywhere public or published, and certainly celebrations were not allowed in public places. Even the

Rebound and Revival, but no Rethink or Redesign. 

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but life in Jakarta has rebounded to pre-covid levels, and perhaps more. Cafes and restaurants are busy, with the tables quite often full of laptops and notepads, as people take their negotiations to their favourite coffee shops. And there are more and more of them: PIM III is bursting

Unpacking the Controversial New Criminal Code

This is a rather more serious article than we normally publish but since it is focused on correcting (we trust) the waves of misinformation spreading around the implementation of the new Criminal Code, we thought it would be useful to read some background information that purports to clarify. We hope it does, and it is

Gift, Hampers and a Taste of Swiss Diversity

We at NOW! Jakarta have been the very lucky recipient of a lot of gifts and hampers from our partner hotels and restaurants over the last few weeks, for which we are very grateful. And we have to say the standard of preparation and presentation seems to be higher than ever before. Notable for their

Is Travel ‘Necessary’ Amidst Increasing Climate Change?

One hundred and fifty years ago, in the late 1870’s there were no cars, few trains and definitely no airplanes. People travelled locally by coach and horse, or on horseback, or by that much forgotten method: walking. Can you imagine a world that essentially lived within its village, town or city limits, only venturing forth

Getting to Know Your Neighbours

There used to be a really popular Australian TV program called “Neighbours” which followed the lives of a particular set of (beautiful, dramatic, emotional, successful and the opposite) people who knew each other very well and lived in each others’ pockets, well, beds too as I recall!  But perhaps you don’t know that here in Indonesia there

Getting to Know Your Neighbours

There used to be a really popular Australian TV program called “Neighbours” which followed the lives of a particular set of (beautiful, dramatic, emotional, successful and the opposite) people who knew each other very well and lived in each others’ pockets, well, beds too as I recall!  But perhaps you don’t know that here in Indonesia there

Is Jakarta a ‘Smart City’?

The European Smart City working group, comprised of researchers from Vienna and Delft, has systematically operationalized the smart city concept along six themes: smart governance, smart people, smart economy, smart mobility, smart environment, and smart living. It may be hard to see when looking at it from above through the smog, on the streets with

More Good Ideas We Need To Adopt And Adapt!

Last month I wrote an extensive piece on the great ideas coming out of tiny Palau: The Palau Pledge and the “Ol’au Palau”program  which is described as: “The first tourism initiative that unlocks new experiences and places through sustainable action.” In this article I urged the Indonesia tourism authorities, either national in the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy

Now Bali
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