In losing its title as Indonesia’s capital city, Jakarta must spread its many feathers to show the world what it has to offer. So, NOW! Jakarta asks prominent figures what their hopes are for a Jakarta without its title, asking them to answer about their field, industry or community.

Here’s what they had to say:

Andrie Yuswanto

Acting Head of the Jakarta Smart City Management Unit

“Jakarta will always have a strategic position in Indonesia even though its status will change. Instead, I see this as a new beginning full of opportunities. We can see Jakarta not only as an economic centre, but also as an innovative and sustainable global city, offering a high quality of life, independent and connected to international standards in every aspect of life. This transition will strengthen Jakarta’s identity as an inclusive, smart and resilient city.

Jakarta Smart City has established strategic principles for the future of Jakarta, such as technological innovation that focuses on building digital infrastructure to ensure that every citizen has access to digital information networks, transit-oriented development and improved public transport services to increase citizen mobility, more efficient waste and garbage management, development of green open spaces, and programmes to improve air quality and disaster resilience, as well as strengthening Jakarta’s economy through innovation and collaboration by supporting startups and MSMEs to compete globally.”

Sandiaga Uno

Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy

“It will be interesting for Jakarta when it is no longer the capital. So Jakarta is preparing itself with better infrastructure and addressing issues such as flooding, congestion, and waste in order to become the centre of global economic growth. Because we are heading towards a Golden Indonesia in 2045 where Jakarta will be the locomotive of the global economy. With several national strategic projects, such as BSD and PIK, this agglomeration will sustain economic growth for Jakarta. Jakarta will remain the top choice for business activities. There is already a more specific law that will be revealed soon, which is about spatial planning and refers to the quality and sustainability of Jakarta.”

Dewi Gontha

President Director of PT Java Festival Production

That Jakarta is no longer the capital is not a problem, that’s just the way it is. In fact, my hope is that Jakarta will have more connectivity. Jakarta can be more like Singapore by becoming an event hub supported by a lot of flight connectivity, which results in bringing more people from outside. For me, the important thing is that we can manage and develop events because most events and festivals are in Jakarta. Maybe by no longer being the capital it will be easier to organise a wider variety of events. For example, I can get anxious if I want to organise an event and there happens to be a demonstration. Maybe by no longer being the capital we will no longer be concerned about these kinds of situations and Jakarta can be used as an event hub.”

Anya Robertson

Indonesian Heritage Society President

“Jakarta will remain a city of national and historical importance to Indonesia and its diverse population. The moment of Indonesia’s historical independence took place in the heart of Menteng. The city’s heritage exists in Kota Tua, Rumah si Pitung, historical buildings and the historical street neighbourhoods that surround this. As the urban melting-pot for modern culture, Jakarta also holds 85 museums and new contemporary art galleries with vibrant cosmopolitan and local communities. The Museum Nasional alone has the largest collections in Southeast Asia. These national assets need to be protected and preserved as repositories for learning and posterity. Without the pressure of it being the capital city, Jakarta has the opportunity to flourish into a cultural city, with art, cuisine, heritage at its fingertips. On a more environmental side – we hope that more green spaces and less pollution will make it more liveable for its current residents.”

Herlina Hartanto

Executive Director of Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara

“The momentum of moving the Indonesian capital to the Ibu Kota Nusantara provides an opportunity for Jakarta to improve itself. Because currently, the burden of Jakarta is too heavy which triggers various social and environmental problems. The Liveability Index issued by The Economist Intelligence Unit in 2023 ranked Jakarta 139 out of 173 cities surveyed from around the world. My hope is that Jakarta can become a sustainable city with better water and air quality. Thus, Jakarta will not only be a comfortable place to live for its citizens but also for the wildlife in the urban forests, wildlife sanctuary, waters of Kepulauan Seribu, etc. Our love for Jakarta has not gone away. We need to ensure that Jakarta, which is almost 500 years old, continues to exist and becomes more sustainable.”

Kevindra Soemantri

Food Writer and Restaurateur

“First of all, it will be confusing to find another word for Jakarta, since we are all so familiar with calling it “Ibukota”! But honestly, I’m generally positive about this massive shift, since at least for my industry which is hospitality and tourism, we need Jakarta to refocus as a business and entertainment city, like New York, Melbourne, or Shanghai. I hope the new focus will rapidly progress many strategic plannings that were once delayed because of Jakarta’s status as capital.

I’m also hoping it’s not only the status that changes, but also our people’s mindset for the city. Let us build the city together as a global destination.”

Erastus Radjimin

Founder & CEO Artotel Group

“We believe that Jakarta will remain a financial, entertainment and lifestyle hub just like cities in the United States, such as New York or Los Angeles with its capital city Washington DC. The ground zero of Jakarta’s lifestyle hub is Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) Senayan. We, as one of the participants who enliven Jakarta by opening Artotel Gelora Senayan, our job is to convince the public that we provide a platform and facilities that are in accordance with the vision of GBK Senayan so that they can organise world class events and we become the hotel of choice that provides a very adequate standard.”

Rakhmadi Afif Kusumo

Director of Gelora Bung Karno Complex Management Center (PPK-GBK)

“With a total area of 279,1 hectares for GBK, we have made our own spatial layout in it. After moving the capital to IKN, we are also redeveloping the layout that we are preparing in the next 5 to 10 years. GBK in the future, will be a stage for a world-class integrated sports complex in the same level as New York or Tokyo. And this can be done if all stakeholders can work together with good governance. We believe that with the relocation of the new government city, Jakarta will still be needed as a service, entertainment and sports city for the progress of the nation.”

NOW! Jakarta

NOW! Jakarta

The article is produced by editorial team of NOW!Jakarta