Dreaming of the Past!




— artikel ini di edit ulang karena link video existing sudah tidak berfungsi sehubungan sumber video telah di hapus oleh pemilik/orang yang posting—- isi tetap sama sbb:


Thanks to my boss who sent a link of a very well edited video showing in full color of how Batavia looked like in 1941. The video goes of showing the existing condition of many parts of the city – now Jakarta- especially buildings, parks, shelters, and how the light traffic flows from and to the center of the city. All types of transportation modes in old days were in place ranging from bicycle, andong or horse-drawn carriage, cars, and not surprisingly trams. The editors also picked some scene of markets, government buildings, cafes, and one or two busy stations that I expect were Jatinegara and Gambir. In short, the video shows that Jakarta in the 40s was the same level of other parts of the world as a candidate of a megacity in the future.

Watching the video in such nice Sunday morning is very inspiring indeed. However, it is also frustrating to know Jakarta is now one of the busiest and “macet” metropolitan in the world. In additions to our regret, not like city of London, Amsterdam, Brussels or Zurich,  Jakarta did fail to maintain its historic venues and transportation systems. All of these transformation reveals the careless planning and lack of vision in political economy for creating and maintaining a city – failure of the planners and leaders. Nothing is too late in today’s world.

Jakarta has evolving to be a metropolitan and a house for modern and international community.  Therefore, Jakarta has also to be developed and managed at the same level of other metropolitan in the world.Jakarta has successfully adopted and  provided a modern economy and financial systems that make it possible to compete with the rest of the world. As a capital for 237 million Indonesian people with USD 3.000 per capita income, Jakarta has now become a megapolitan area for 15 million people everyday.

The city has now to serve a such high requirement with a limited endowments –  not to compare to the 1940s. Definitely,  existing infrastructure needs improvement  to support economic and social activities of its residents. Transportation system might be the crucial one to be solved at once. Electricity is the next.

Fortunately, thanks to the competition and robust regulation, the mobile telephone and broadband Internet are now available to balance the defects. No one could easily believes it before watching the video that our beloved Batavia once had a reliable trams as Bern, Amsterdam, and Brussel have successfully kept the facilities to date. The trams and its rails dissapeared, as if it were not there before.

In additions to the video, Jakarta also has ever had a modern city gas light system and drinkable water in 1960s to 1970s. All of these very basic infrastructures vanished as “modernization” took place. The interconnection of water systems to Pejompongan left thousands of household in Salemba, Menteng, and other central areas out of drinkable water. While the introduction of modern electricity washed out all of antique designed of gas street lights along Gajahmada streets. One who want to see how the street lights tower looks like could approach to the PT. PGN headquarter main building in Kota area. And not easily to forget is the trams. A very nice design trams that we often ride in Boston, Brussel, Amsterdam is now a BIG DREAM in Jakarta. The “dream” we have lost in to the past.


Knowing that we have ripped of  the dream of our children and grandchildren, we are then obliged to preserve the future. Not necessarily much. Just do proportionally when the  call comes to you. Whoever you are, today is the time to prepare Jakarta to be a better place to live, to bring it back to a livable city level. Forget the differences, make it happen. No doubt, we can make it happen if we want really it ! — *macet = crowded or heavy traffic jam.



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