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Learning area: Geography
Year level: Year 7, Year 8
Country: Indonesia

This learning sequence looks at the urban process, its consequences and responses, with a focus on the mega-city, Jakarta. Students explore the pressures of ever-increasing population on housing and living conditions, and contemporary responses including urban planning.

Key inquiry questions

  • How and why do people move between places seeking a more sustainable lifestyle?
  • What are the consequences of urbanisation for the growth of cities?
  • How can people and institutions respond to urbanisation issues?


Map of Indonesia Archipelago, including surrounding countries.Map of Indonesia

Acknowledgements

Image: Map from Wikimedia Commons

Related resources

Activity 1: Indonesia and its megacity Jakarta

In this activity, you will learn about population density and growth of Indonesia's urban centres, particularly Jakarta.

Key inquiry question: How and why do people move between places seeking a more sustainable lifestyle?

  1. Write definitions for the following vocabulary:
    • Population density
    • Population distribution
    • Urban area
    • Rural area
    • Urban growth
    • Urbanisation
    • Mega-city

    Discuss these as a class. All terms will be used in this module. 

  2. Use the maps (on the right) and population data (below), as well as ‪‪‬‬Google Earth to produce a sketch map that identifies the following important features:
    • Java Sea and coastline
    • Jakarta city and surrounds
    • Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi
    • Tanjung Priok – port area
    • Jakarta Garden City – new cities
    • Ancol – recreation area.

    Remember that all maps should contain a border, orientation, legend or labels, title and scale (sometimes called BOLTS). 

  3. Use ‪‪‪‪‬‬‬‬Google Earth to compare the size of Jakarta and your nearest capital city. It provides a ruler for measuring distances as well as an option for looking at historical images. In the toolbar of Google Earth, find a 'Ruler' and under 'View' find 'historical imagery'.

    Calculate the following:

    • the greatest north-south and west-east distances
    • the area of Jakarta in square kilometres.

    Repeat these calculations for your nearest capital city and compare these measurements to Jakarta. Using the historical imagery, describe how Jakarta has grown.

    Use ‪‪‬‬NASA web images to assist with your answers. 

  4. The population of Jakarta has increased dramatically in recent years. According to the Central Body of Statistics the population of Jakarta Daerah Khusus Ibukota (Special Capital City District of Jakarta) in 2010 was approximately 9.6 million. It is important to note that the actual numbers may vary depending on the information source, especially as some people are temporary residents and also illegal migrants.
    • Use the maps and population data to create a line graph showing population growth in Jakarta. You may wish to use an online programme to create the graph.

      Jakarta's population from 1870–2010
      Year Population Year Population Year/Date Population
      1875 65,000 1920 253,800 31 October 1980 6,503,449
      1875 99,100 1925 290,400 31 October 1990 8,259,639
      1880 102,900 1928 311,000 30 June 2000 8,389 443
      1883 97,000 1930 435,184 1 January 2005 8,540,306
      1886 100,500 1940 533,000 1 January 2006 7,512,323
      1890 105,100 1945 600,000 June 2007 7,552,444
      1895 114,600 1950 1,733,600 2010 9,588,198
      1901 115,900 1959 2,814,000
      1905 138,600 1961 2,906,533
      1918 234,700 1971 4,546,492
    • Use the graph to write an analysis of the population growth over the years from 1875 to 2010. Provide suggestions why this trend has occurred.
  5. Jakarta offers a rich and varied landscape. The large population has occupied all available land, and also reclaimed land from the sea.
    • Break into pairs and look at the cityscapes on the right. Images can be enlarged.
    • Write collaborative descriptions of what you can see.
    • Rank the photographs in order of interest and write a paragraph explaining your choices.
    • Discuss your rankings with others in the class.
  6. Think about what you have learned during these activities.
    • As a class, create a concept map describing what you know about Indonesia and Jakarta.
    • You may wish to use an online programme such as Wallwisher or Wordle to display your collective ideas.
    • Complete the activity by grouping the words, using the vocabulary you learnt at the beginning of this activity.
    • Identify information you would still like to know about the mega-city of Jakarta. 
  7. The overwhelming increase in Jakarta’s population has been due to many people in rural areas wanting to migrate to the city. There may be many reasons for this. Many villages do have access to good infrastructure including electricity, brick buildings, bitumen roads, common goods and education, but employment opportunities may be limited. In other areas, life is not as easy in many ways.
    • Use YouTube clips and other online sources to research life in rural Indonesia.
    • Use a Plus, Minus and Interesting (PMI) chart to record your observations.
    • Discuss your ideas with a partner.

Acknowledgements

Images: Darryl Deacon, 2013

Activity 2: Urbanisation and the city of Jakarta

In this activity, you will analyse the impact of urbanisation on the mega-city of Jakarta by examining the push-pull forces driving increasing urbanisation, types of housing solutions and stories from people.

Key inquiry question: What are the consequences of urbanisation for the growth of cities?

  1. Jakarta has developed into a mega-city by attracting people (a pull force), and also because people in rural areas feel a need to leave, perhaps to achieve a better life (a push force). Jakarta offers the possibility of work and access to daily needs.

    Rural areas may not achieve this. These reasons are called push-pull forces and can drive high levels of urbanisation. For Jakarta, it is a serious problem. It is said that every year during the Muslim festival of Idul Fitri half of Jakarta leaves to go home to their farms, villages and towns.

    Use the ‪‪‬‬‬Rural Urban Migration internet resource and explain the following:

    • Describe who you think would be a typical migrant in Jakarta - age, sex, occupation, etc.
    • Identify the three most common reasons for leaving rural areas
    • List the three most common reasons attracting people to Jakarta
    • Do you consider this to be reliable data? Give your reasons.
  2. Housing solutions in Jakarta take many forms. In a mega-city, such as Jakarta, there is little space. People have to find new ways to live and utilise the little space they have for recreation.

    The poor often find homes in slums, or even on rubbish tips, whereas wealthier people might be able to afford a high-rise apartment, or even a single detached house, for example, in a suburb called Pulo Mas.

    Many communities and streets are locked down at night by a security gate and security staff. These are called 'gated communities'.

    • Look at the photos of different types of Jakarta residences.
    • Write a paragraph for each of the images explaining how people living in each home may meet their everyday needs including water, power, food, transport, health and education.
    • Select one of the descriptions and use a ‪‪‪‬‬Venn diagram to compare and contrast how they may meet their needs with how you would satisfy the same needs in your home.
  3. Exploring stories. The people of Jakarta tell remarkable stories about their daily life. Their stories are varied according to their occupations and income. Living in a massive city can present many challenges.

    Select three stories from those provided at ‪‪‬‬MyJakarta and create a concept map focusing on one of themes below. You may wish to use an online programme such as Bubbl.us.

    Themes:

    • reasons for coming to Jakarta
    • working conditions
    • daily life
    • homes
    • transport
    • water supply

    Discuss as a class some of the key issues and whether they are common to all stories. Suggest reasons for your findings and how these may influence future city planning

Acknowledgements

Images: Darryl Deacon, 2013

Activity 3: The faces of Jakarta

In this activity, you will learn that living standards in Jakarta are not the same for all by investigating the nature of rubbish and slum dwellers. You will design a sustainable family apartment.

Key inquiry question: How can people and institutions respond to urbanisation issues?

  1. Dialogue with a rubbish tip dweller

    Jakarta generates 6,000 tonnes of rubbish per day. The methods for its collection and disposal are rarely adequate and can include burning and disposal in waterways. Families live and work upon piles of rubbish. More than 2,000 families live at the Bantar Gebang disposal site. Have a look at the image (on the right) of workers' homes that consist of homes with plastic tarpaulin roofs.

    • Investigate the nature of rubbish and slum dwellers in Jakarta by consulting online sources.
    • Demonstrate your understanding and appreciation of the lives these people live by developing a dialogue of conversation as a role play.
    • You could plan it as an interview with a series of questions and points. It could include two or three characters and reveal information about lifestyle as well as ideas for improving the future.
    • This dialogue could be performed, developed into a PowerPoint or flash presentation.
    • You could use a programme such as Comic Life. Smilebox, an online programme, can also be used to make media presentations relevant to your viewpoint.

    The following websites will assist you with your presentation:

  2. Space is at a premium in Jakarta

    Many people in Jakarta live in high-rise apartments. On the internet you can find many sites for real estate where new apartments are being sold. They will have the price as well as the floor plans. Usually, people buy an apartment and then pay contractors, or the company, to fit it out. Some great examples, including interactive tours, can be found on the internet:

    This sort of lifestyle is very different from Australia and is due to the pressure on land. Some apartments are as small as 60 square kilometres.

    • Design a sustainable apartment for a family. There will be three adults and two children.
    • You are allocated 60 square kilometres and you may spend as much money as you wish, but be practical.
    • Name a location for your apartment and give a reason.

    Present your 'project' as an advertisement. In Jakarta you commonly see these as giant billboards or banners. Yours could be a website, PowerPoint slide, poster or vidcast.

  3. Jakarta has many questions to answer about its future

    New cities have been built on the rural urban fringe including Bekasi, Bumi Serpong Damai (BSD) City and Garden City. These developments address the principles of sustainability in different ways, for example in water management, open spaces, housing density, and environmental management. Jakarta Garden City is one sustainable development that students can consider.

    Watch the ‪‪‬‬Jakarta Garden City vidcast to gather ideas.

    Design a new city, from a blank canvas. You may wish to discuss this process as a class to develop solutions as teams. You will need to consider:

    • the people of Jakarta and their needs – culture, religion, family structure
    • building materials and resources available (are they appropriate and affordable?)
    • layout and design of a plan including land uses (what do people need?)
    • integration of sustainability principles including water, power, waste management and transport.

Acknowledgements

Image: Darryl Deacon, 2013

Activity 4: Reflection

Further research

Think about what you have learned through these activities.

  • As a class, create a concept map describing what you know about Indonesia and Jakarta.
  • You may wish to use an online programme such as Wallwisher or Wordle to display your collective ideas.
  • Complete the activity by grouping the words using the vocabulary you learnt at the beginning of this activity.
  • Identify information you would still like to know about the mega-city of Jakarta.  

The overwhelming increase in Jakarta's population has been due to many people in rural areas wanting to migrate to the city. There may be many reasons for this. Many villages do have access to good infrastructure including electricity, brick buildings, bitumen roads, common goods and education, but employment opportunities may be limited. In other areas, life is not as easy in many ways.

  • Use YouTube clips and other online sources to research life in rural Indonesia.
  • Use a Plus, Minus and Interesting (PMI) chart to record your observations.
  • Discuss your ideas with a partner.

Reflection

Use the following questions to reflect on your learning:

  1. Logical solutions: Think about the information you have sourced and list the most logical and positive ways that the problems of overpopulation in Jakarta are being addressed.
  2. Interesting images: Pair and share the images of Jakarta that you found most interesting and why you felt this way.
  3. Possible issues: Discuss the negative impact escalating overcrowding can have on Jakarta's society in the future.
  4. Positive futures: Imagine the city of Jakarta where all the problems associated with rapid urbanisation have been solved. Describe the design of the city.

Conclude the activity by discussing the lessons you learnt about the planning of future mega-cities.

This learning sequence provides students with the opportunity to examine the causes and consequences of urbanisation, using a case study from Indonesia.

Activity 1: Indonesia and its megacity Jakarta

A considerable amount of reference and professional material exists online including documentaries, social media sites such as YouTube and major newspapers such as The Jakarta Post.

About Jakarta

When talking about Jakarta it is important to understand that the area consists of a central Jakarta City called Jakarta Daerah Khusus Ibukota (Jakarta DKI), the Special Capital City District of Jakarta and the greater metropolitan area often called Jabodetabek (a name formed by combining the initial syllables of Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi).

Jakarta DKI contains close to 10 million people, but Jabodetabek can increase the total to over 28 million. Jakarta DKI is a fully urbanised area and more recent growth tends to be suburbanised in outer areas such as Bumi Serpong Damai City (BSD), Bekasi and Bogor.

Historically, Jakarta has always performed a central role in the region. The Dutch arrived in the 16th century, building the Port of Batavia, transport systems and infrastructure. Products and resources were the mainstay of the harbour area including the important spice trade. Even today this area is a focus of activity including for importing food. The port, Tanjung Priok, is a very developed area with many industries in the region using it as an import and export base. Many old buildings, canals, roads and historical areas remain that reflect this past. The growth of secondary activities and trade has placed further pressure on the city to expand.

However, not all Indonesians have benefited from this development. Housing is one of the most serious problems in Jakarta. Jakarta requires 200,000 housing units per year and the government has introduced strategies such as the Kampung Improvement Program to address this and other issues including water, hygiene and infrastructure. Private developers have built massive high-rise apartments, but the poor have had access to less fortunate options, including slums and street living.

Consequently, in 1970, the Governor of Jakarta declared the 'city closed'. All migrants into the city are required to produce identification, disclose their destination and guarantee their departure from the city. During the annual Muslim festival of Idul Fitri, government officials carry out routine identity checks and detain illegal non-residents who attempt to sneak into the city to take up residence.

Urbanisation is more than just population growth. It has implications for all aspects of Jakartans' lifestyles. The issues that arise from this process are investigated in this module with respect to housing and daily life.

Activity 2: Urbanisation and the city of Jakarta

Students can make use of Google Earth imagery, which provides a study of the Jakarta area, land use, land-use change and development. Google Earth enables students to examine pristine residential development in areas like Ancol, and slums near the old port of Sunda Kelapa, and compare transport patterns, housing characteristics and urban growth.

Activity 3: The faces of Jakarta

Student activities support the use of online tools such as wikis, blogs and social networking sites, and provide the potential to engage students in cooperative learning, problem solving, creativity, presenting findings, developing values and initiating discussions.

Activity 4: Reflection

It is important that students have the opportunity to reflect on what they have learned about Jakarta and discuss how to best plan for future mega-cities.

Glossary

  • Cost of living: a calculation based upon the average cost of necessary expenses for a person living in an area.
  • Jabodetabek: this area includes DKI Jakarta and surrounding areas. The name is based upon the first two or three letters of included city names: Jabodetabek from Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi.
  • Jakarta DKI: the Special Capital City District of Jakarta (Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta in Indonesian).
  • Kampung: a community in an area; traditionally a village.
  • Population density: a calculation for any one area that shows how many people live there, usually expressed as per square kilometre (Number of people divided by number of square kilometre).
  • Population distribution: the way people are located over an area.
  • Rural: an area of land where the uses are orientated to the provision of resources and/or food supplies.
  • Urban: an area containing more than 1000 people and whose functions serve the needs of the people in the settlement, as opposed to those living on surrounding land; an area of land where the uses are orientated to serving a non-agricultural population.
  • Urban growth: an increase in the number of people living in urban areas.
  • Urbanisation: the process whereby a greater proportion of people in an area reside in urban as opposed to rural areas.

Useful websites

  • ‪‪‬‬Living in Indonesia: housing forum– This site contains a wealth of information about Jakarta including stories from expatriates covering their daily life.
  • ‪‪‬‬Jakarta Garden City – a new city being built along sustainable practice principles in Jakarta. The website contains information and presentations relevant to understanding the goals and progress. Students can access a multimedia presentation, photographs and text.
  • ‪‪‬‬Cost of Living– This is an excellent online resource which enables students to compare different areas of the world through a wide variety of cost of living data. It is best used as a teacher data set, inputting your state capital in Australia and Jakarta to obtain the data.

It is recommended that teachers preview websites to ensure they are suitable for their students prior to use in class. Content accessed via these links is not owned or controlled by the Asia Education Foundation and is subject to the terms of use of the associated website.

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