As World Population Day was observed on Wednesday (11/07), the Jakarta Globe has visited Penjaringan, a northern neighborhood of the capital city, where its metropolitan lights and urban commotion almost never reach.
Dim lamps hardly illuminate the neighborhood's wet and narrow alleys that smell of decay. Children run through mud in between shanties, where even sunlight does not arrive.
Jakarta is running out of space. While luxury high-rises are plentiful, affordable housing is scarce, forcing many to live in slum areas with strained access to public resources like clean water, electricity and sewers.
With the population of Greater Jakarta expected to grow from 25 million to 35 million in 2020, immediate solutions are desperately needed to resolve the housing crisis.