Incremental Kampungs: Urban Corridors for Jakarta

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Designing Four Archetypal Urban Corridors

Designing Four Archetypal Urban Corridors

Studio Instructor

Calvin Chua

Studio Description

Jakarta is a city that is presently in the midst of transformation and anticipating further developmental shifts. Indonesia plans to relocate its administrative capital from Jakarta to Ibu Kota Nusantara on the island of Kalimantan. With this political shift, Jakarta has ambitions to accordingly change its function to a ‘global city’. However, the functional definition of such a ‘global city’ and its accompanying urban form and typologies are not clearly prescribed.

There are two dominant urban typologies in Jakarta that have been proliferated to cope with rapid urbanisation. Firstly, the landed suburban townships, which emerged in the 1980s. These gated developments often lead from suburban highways directly into internal development roads in a spine-and-spur urban layout. These townships are still present today and contribute to the urban sprawl of Jakarta. The second key typology is the superblock, which emerged in the late 1990s. The superblocks comprise mixed-use podium type developments, which are largely fully interiorised shells and therefore tend to neglect, or even siphon away, street life. The superblock also amplifies the destination-centric urban model of the city, which compounds the pertinent problem of traffic congestion. The result is the neglect of the existing kampungs, haphazardly absorbed within the growth of the city as leftover functional spaces along infrastructure corridors.

It is apparent that the two existing dominant urban typologies – landed townships and superblocks – in Jakarta are now posing challenges to the future development of the city in terms of community access and street life. Given the impending changes to the city’s identity and function, is there room for an alternative development model that accommodates incremental urban transformation, without eradicating the existing urban fabric?

Specifically, is there a possibility to shift from an urban typology of sprawling townships and insular superblocks towards an intensified street through the incremental development of kampungs? Can the street reclaim itself as the dominant typology of a ‘post-capital’ city? Can a stretch of existing urban kampungs be incrementally developed for a new ‘global city’?

This studio explores four archetypal urban corridor conditions in Jakarta. Taking a 2km section of each of the corridor, proposals for an incremental development will be explored.

  1. Kampung Corridor: Jalan Swadarma Raya
  2. BRT Corridor: Jalan Ciledung Raya
  3. Railway Corridor: Rangkasbitung Line
  4. MRT Corridor: ASEAN to Bloc A Station

The studio will begin the semester by uncovering the context of Jakarta, in terms of its socioeconomic and political history and in terms of its urban form. The aim of this exercise is to provide a quick overview of the city’s history, present day challenges and possible futures. This will be supported by analysing two dominant urban typologies in the city: sprawling residential townships and urban superblocks. By analysing their density, scale, typology and access, information on the required comparable density that is required for an alternative incremental development. A site analysis of the four selected urban corridors will be carried out after.

This will be followed by defining a collective urban framework, programmatic urban corridors, urban character and suitable intensified density for the area. Particular attention should be given to defining the social and economic profile of the intervention that will give rise to a specific urban kampong form, typology and functional mix of business, production, commercial and residential.

A study trip to Jakarta will be organised during recess week, where we will interact with local architects and stakeholders and surveying the actual site context for further development of the project at the architectural scale. Working across scales, the proposals reflect a clear development strategy for each of the urban corridor that is defined through specific incremental architectural typologies and urban forms.