Nusantara Authority Head Bambang Susantono. (Facebook)

A City for All: Bambang Susantono to Lead New Capital Nusantara

BY :JAYANTY NADA SHOFA, ADITYA LAKSMANA YUDHA

MARCH 10, 2022

[Updated at 11:06 p.m. on Thursday, March 10, 2022]

Jakarta. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo officially appoints Bambang Susantono — former deputy transport minister and Asia Development Bank sustainable development vice president — as the head of the newly-established National Capital Authority of Nusantara, Indonesia’s yet-to-be-built capital located in East Kalimantan.

Serving as the Nusantara authority deputy head is Dhony Rahajoe, a managing director of the president's office at property developer Sinar Mas Land. 

Both Bambang and Dhony took the oath in Jokowi’s presence at the State Palace in Jakarta on Thursday. At a press briefing shortly after the inauguration, Bambang said he aimed to make Nusantara “a city for all”.

“We are starting out a new task of building a city that is inclusive, green, smart, and sustainable. All of these [traits] are summed up in ‘a city for all’,” Bambang said.

“Building a great city takes time, about 10-15 years, so the city truly has soul. It is not just the physical [infrastructure] that we are building, but also the social cohesion, the interaction between its people, and how to make sure it is livable and humanistic,” he added.

As an initial step, Bambang plans to immediately discuss with the related ministries and governmental bodies, including the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas). 

According to Bambang, Jokowi wants Nusantara to be a city that reflects Indonesia’s future. Nusantara will nurture people's interactions, embrace digitalization, while remaining humanistic.

"So the programs are not limited to physical development. We want to also build social connections, as well as a dynamic and vibrant society. Once again, this will become a city for all," Bambang said.

To-Do List
Bambang and Dhony have quite a long to-do list to tackle. At the recent National Democratic Party (Nasdem) office inauguration, President Jokowi described what he envisioned for the new state capital.

Nusantara measures about 256,000 hectares, but only 50,000 hectares will go to infrastructures and facilities, whereas the rest will remain as green forests, according to Jokowi. 

Public transport will support 80 percent of people’s mobility. 

Jokowi aims to make Nusantara a "10-minute city", where people can travel from one point to another in a flash.

Eighty percent of the energy within the city is set to be green energy. To this end, the government plans to optimize hydropower at the Kayan River in North Kalimantan, Jokowi said.

Rusmin Lawin, the deputy chairman for foreign relations at Real Estate Indonesia (REI) and chair of the regional developments committee at Indonesia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), said businesses welcomed the appointment of the new head of the National Capital Authority of Nusantara and were eager to collaborate with him soon. 

"We congratulate Mr. Bambang, who has an extensive background in government and city planning. We hope we can collaborate to meet the need for investment from the domestic and foreign private sectors. We are ready to work to realize our country's big dream," Rusmin said. 

He added that REI had been promoting the new capital project to international investors since 2019. "Many have expressed their interest in collaborating with local private companies in the new capital project. We hope the new authority head can make use of our hard work and collaborate with us," he said. 

Track Record
The Nusantara authority head boasts expertise in transport and infrastructure development.

Bambang was the deputy transport minister to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in 2009-2014. For a short while, he served as the acting transport minister.

From 2007-2010, he was the deputy minister for infrastructure and regional development at the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs.

In July 2015, Bambang became the vice president for knowledge management and sustainable development at the Asian Development Bank.

 

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