Indonesia is currently in the midst of building a new city, expected to become the official capital at some point this summer. The new capital, Nusantara is a replacement for the current capital city Jakarta. The primary reason for the new capital is to reduce the population density in cities, as over 10 million people currently live in Jakarta. Jakarta is smaller in size than New York City, but it houses over 3 million more people. The high population density causes intense traffic congestion, and highly centralized wealth. Another benefit of the new capital city is that it will allow for the economy to be better distributed throughout the entirety of Indonesia, as opposed to being highly concentrated in a singular city as it is now. This transition marks the effort to avoid the environmental issues plaguing the current capital as well.

Nusantara is being built in the midst of the eastern Borneo jungle, a place that scientists predict won’t be hit by floods, and the sinking that currently threatens Jakarta. Additionally, the movement of the capital should be beneficial for the people that move with it, as Jakarta has had an issue with air pollution for quite some time, and Nusantara is currently in a much better state. 

However, despite the numerous benefits of changing the capital and building Nusantara, they are facing many problems. Over 6 billion dollars have been invested in the project, but 35 billion is the necessary funding. Many worry that the project may be delayed or even halted due to insufficient funding. Indonesia has been looking to foreign investors to fund the remaining 80 percent of the project, however, this is unlikely, as few are willing to invest in the city, especially in such an early state. Additionally, some people are already planning to move from Jakarta to Nusantara soon, which is still unadvisable considering the early stage of construction. 

Despite the concerns over the project, the benefits would be undeniable if the construction and movement are successful. Not only would this project lead to an improved capital, but it could also improve Indonesia’s economy, hopefully with a future spike in tourism in the new capital, and economic distribution throughout the country.

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