Indonesia: A suburb in the sky
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An unusual housing development has captured public attention in Indonesia: an entire mini ‘suburb’ built on the roof of a ten-storey supermarket in the capital Jakarta. But is it an example of intelligent urban planning or a sign of rising inequality?
Complete with tennis court, swimming pool and 72 individual homes, the glitzy ‘Cosmo Park’ estate was constructed ten years ago and went relatively unnoticed until a photographer published aerial shots of the development online in late June.
While its elevated position provides Cosmo Park’s wealthy and mostly foreign residents with welcome respite from the overcrowded and noisy street below, some view the rooftop refuge as a sign of the city’s societal inequality.
Home to some 10 million people and rapidly expanding, Jakarta is sinking into the ground below under the weight of its own urban sprawl. As it does so it becomes increasingly at risk of severe flooding. And with the rising level of the Indian Ocean, entire neighbourhoods of the city could become completely submerged by the year 29050, according to some studies.
In April last year, Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced plans to move the country’s capital away from Jakarta, to a location less susceptible to environmental catastrophe.