Canberra. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo was in Canberra in the weekend for a state visit, but he also did some sightseeing in search for inspirations for Indonesia's new capital.
In his early days into the second term as president last October, Jokowi announced an ambitious project to relocate the capital from Jakarta to an empty area in North Penajam Paser District, East Kalimantan province.
Initial construction works of the $34 billion project will commence later this year, pending approval from the House of Representatives.
"I asked questions to Governor-General (David Hurley) this morning and then Prime Minister Scott Morrison and also Mrs. Sally Barnes, the CEO of the National Capital Authority. We want to have a thorough view about the city of Canberra," the president said at Mount Ainslie, Canberra.
Mount Ainslie is part of the Canberra Nature Park where visitors can admire the scenery of Canberra.
"I asked how (Canberra) is managed and how the construction started. The city was built in 1913 and today has a population of 400,000. I think the city management is very good," Jokowi said.
“We will take the good things as model to build our new capital, including the city landscape management. I just saw there is no building taller than seven stories. High-rise buildings are allowed in areas far from the administration region, and that's good," he said.
A day earlier, when attending the National Press Day commemoration in Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan, Jokowi released animation video of the would-be capital, which he said would carry the most high tech features to manage assets and services, yet very nature-friendly.
“The government is very serious in accelerating the move to the new capital. The new capital will bring the best technology, innovation and work system,” Jokowi said.
“The capital relocation will demonstrate our greatness as a nation. It is more than just relocating buildings or offices or people. We will build a new system that will bring changes,” he said.
Electric Vehicles Only
The government has picked a winner from 257 new capital designs from a competition that started in October. The video shown by Jokowi combined elements from several top designs in the competition.
“We will introduce the 21st urban lifestyle in a low-carbon, environmentally-friendly city,” he said.
“Inside the new capital, we want all vehicles to be fully electric and autonomous. We also intend to use the relocation momentum to transform into new economy based on research and innovation,” he said.
“We will build world-class research and innovation clusters to become the hub of global talents who will collaborate for the advancement of our nation.”
The first works for the new capital will be to prepare the green zones in which the government has prepared 100 hectares of lands and 17 million seeds, he said.