A gardened public space has been added to Jakarta. A hub integrated into the city’s public network that aims to encourage a reading culture, and to act as a meeting place for like-minded writers, publishers and general literacy enthusiasts. Taman Literasi Martha Christina Tiahahu – otherwise known as Taman Literasi Blok M – is one of the newest additions to the city’s innovative public spaces.


This community ‘edutainment’ facility merges the core concepts of  ‘library’ and ‘park’ into something entirely new, drawing interest into literature by means of urban design and accessibility.

The ‘literacy park’ is located under the ‘Blok M – Sisingamangaraja’ MRT station and is part of the city’s transit-integration developments. Once an abandoned lot, the 9,710 m2 area has been revitalised by the city government (DKI Jakarta) as their ‘Green Creative Hub’. These transit hubs are a way of integrating public transportation into the surrounding environment, adding pedestrian paths and open areas to create a more dynamic experience of Jakarta.

Taman Literasi Martha Christina Tiahahu appears to be a success, seamlessly inviting pedestrians to walk through its contemporary green, urban design.


Brings the context of literature, here, people of Jakarta can comfort themselves by reading good books from its library surrounded by the city’s dynamic scene and green shades. As the name implies, proper facilities are provided to support literary activities: a glass-enclosed library spreads the length of one side, hosting a collection of books ranging from novels for teenagers to adults, children’s books, academic texts and more. Expanding their available catalogue, a QR code links visitors directly the Jakarta Library’s own e-book collection online.

“It’s not an over the top park,” says Yulham Ferdiansyah Roestam, President Director of PT Integrasi Transit Jakarta, explaining that the park’s design captures the essence of what it means to love literature, that is, a homey atmosphere in which to read. “They can read books for free, then when they are tired they can relax in the park or drink coffee and tea at the cafés provided. This park is a pioneer in the development of the Transit Oriented Development area managed by PT Integrasi Transit Jakarta (ITJ) and, as part of the UNESCO Creative City of Literature, it’s objectives are to ensure the public can easily access a variety of literacy-focused activities.”

The park’s name is taken from a Moluccan freedom fighter, Martha Christina Tiahahu, who joined several battles against the Dutch colonial government when she was 17. The philosophy of the park’s design elevates her character and story, with lines orienting towards the birthplace of Indonesia’s national hero in Nusalaut, Central Maluku. The circular park, with its simple cement façade, is embellished with trees and greenery, creating a comfortable place for groups to gather in the evening to read, chit-chat or work together.

This two-story park also has a  children’s playground, literacy pavilion, viewing platform, amphitheater, healing garden, lotus pond, co-working space, and community room. The food court area is filled with various food & beverage outlets that visitors can enjoy, such as BTM by Bang Udin, Cortes Monet Cafe, D’Lanier, ISMAYA, Moss Life Coffee Shop, and Paparyo –Pasta by the Park. 

Various collaborators from the community, business world, non-governmental organizations, to the government have participated in activating this park, namely Bookhive Jakarta, New Orange Bookshop, Bartega Studio, Angklung Pelangi Community, Jakarta Content Creator Community, Gramedia, DKI Jakarta Tourism and Creative Economy Agency, and more. Together encourage more community gatherings for literacy, music, film, art, and other creative interests.

The park is open daily, from 7am to 10pm. According to ITJ, since it was inaugurated on 18 September 2022, it has been visited by an average of 500 visitors on weekdays and 1,700 visitors on weekends with various activities and events. Although it is only the start of these Transit Oriented Development areas, Taman Literasi Martha Christina Tiahahu indicates a promising future for the city’s public space, where independent learning, creativity and expression can be exercised and realised.

Sari Widiati

Sari Widiati

Sari has been an arts and culture enthusiast for many years. She has written extensively on the arts, travel, and social issues as Features Writer at NOW! Jakarta.