NASA satellites show the process of building a new capital of Indonesia

NASA has published satellite images of east Borneo, taken two years apart. They demonstrate the process of building a new capital of Indonesia. 

The construction site of Indonesia’s new capital in April 2024, a view from space. Source: NASA

Plans to move Indonesia’s capital to a new location were first announced in 2019. It is motivated by the many environmental problems faced by Jakarta, which now has this status. The metropolis is home to 30 million people, and it has expanded significantly in recent decades. Frequent floods, heavy traffic, air pollution and lack of drinking water have become commonplace in it.

Another problem is that Jakarta is literally sinking. Due to excessive groundwater withdrawals, it sinks down by 15 centimeters annually. Already, 40% of the city’s territory is now below sea level. According to experts, by 2050, almost the entire northern part of the city will be underwater. 

In this regard, the authorities decided to move the capital to the relatively sparsely populated island of Borneo. A new city, named Nusantara, will be built in its jungle.

The building of Nusantara began in 2022. The images taken by Landsat 9 in April 2022 and Landsat 8 in February 2024 clearly demonstrate the current progress. In place of forests and oil palm plantations, a network of roads and buildings under construction has appeared, which will accommodate government offices. First, they will have to accept 500 thousand people.

According to the authors of the project, Nusantra will be a green metropolis using renewable energy sources, 75% of which will remain covered with vegetation. But only time will tell what happens in reality.

According to

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