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Site of Indonesia's new capital Nusantara

Indonesia set to begin construction on new capital this year

Indonesia has announced plans to begin the construction of 184 apartment blocks that will mark the first stage of development of its new capital Nusantara.

The housing will be the first element to be built in the new city, which is being created on the east coast of the island of Borneo to replace the current Indonesian capital Jakarta.

City designed for initial population of 500,000

Designed by Indonesian studio URBAN+, the city will contain the state palace, the house of representatives, government offices and housing for civil servants. It is being designed with the aim of having an initial population of 500,000 people.

Nusantara will be located between North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kartanegara on the Indonesian part of Borneo, 870 miles away from the current capital.

Indonesia to replace sinking Jakarta with new capital city
Top: president Joko Widodo visits the site of Indonesia's new city. Photo by BPMI President's Secretariat/Muchlis. Above: it will replace Jakarta as Indonesia's capital. Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Nusantara National Capital Authority (NNCA) head Bambang Susantono recently announced that the first phase of the capital's construction will begin in the second quarter of this year, reported Reuters.

In a presentation at the World Economic Forum, he explained that the apartment blocks would be built to house 14,500 civil servants, military and police.

Susantono announced that NNCA was in negotiations with three private developers from China, South Korea and Indonesia to undertake the work.

According to the NNCA, construction on the state palace will also begin this year and will be completed in 2024.

Nusantara will replace current capital Jakarta

First announced in 2019, Nusantara is a flagship project of Indonesian president Joko Widodo, who wants to move the capital away from Jakarta on the island of Java.

Home to around 10 million people, Jakarta has reported extreme land subsidence for decades and is at risk from rising sea levels as two-fifths of the city is below sea level.

Widodo believes that the relocation could ease pressure on Jakarta, which also suffers from intense congestion and extremely high pollution levels.

Indonesia is not the only country relocating its capital. Egypt is currently building its new capital on the outskirts of Cairo.

Other countries to relocate capitals include Brazil, which created the Oscar Niemeyer-designed Brasilia in 1961, while Myanmar moved its capital from Yangon to Naypyidaw in 2005.