The Pluit Reservoir Revitalization Project represents the effort made by the city of Jakarta to improve water storage capacity, reduce urban flooding and improve the quality of its prime water source.
Jakarta, lying in a delta of 13 rivers with 40 percent of land below sea level, faces a huge crisis of flooding, algae and water pollution. Hence, the City launched the Jakarta Water Management Plan for 2030 as a response to repeated urban flooding and vulnerability in the area of the coastal reservoir. The Pluit Reservoir Revitalization Project requires improving storage capacity, relocating 3,000 squatters around the reservoir’s banks, and transforming some places into parks and public open space. The city’s water management plan is seen as a way to address climate change in a socially conscious way and will roll out from now to 2030. It includes government partnerships with the corporate sector that is expected to benefit, along with the public sector, in new and less threatened property development opportunities.
This project was shortlisted for the 'Guangzhou Award' in 2014. Learn more about the award.
Background and objectives
Jakarta is home to 10 million people and vulnerable to climate risks, especially in regards to extreme changes in the pattern of rainfall and sea level rise, resulting in frequent urban floods. Considering its role both as Capital City and economic centre of the country, Jakarta had to be prepared with short and long term plans to improve its resilience towards climate change impacts.
According to the city’s current projections, 80% of North Jakarta will be 5m below the average sea level in 2030. In response, Jakarta has introduced the Jakarta Water Management Plan for 2030, which aims to restore and improve the coastal reservoir's performance as one of the vital drainage retention basins. Covering a catchment area of 2,083 hectares in North Jakarta, the reservoir is a vulnerable place with thousands of illegal houses (squatters) occupying the bank, and nearly 75% of the reservoir covered by algae, and poor water quality.
The main purpose of the project is to restore its capacity to mitigate the conditions of annual flooding. The project also seeks to improve the living conditions of almost 15.000 households living on the reservoir banks which are prone to repeated flooding. It provides proper subsidized apartments nearby to help households maintain their social and economic activities. It seeks to rejuvenate the area through integrated blue and green infrastructure for a more sustainable living environment.
The project involves many stakeholders:
- Private Sector especially those actors involved in property business;
- Local Government Owned Enterprises that have been asked to participate in several ways;
- Local community leaders that have been approached and invited to talk with the Governor. Citizen engagement is also key to this project since the main challenge was to relocate the squatters to legal subsidized housing.
In the frame of the public-private partnership (PPP) scheme, private companies that hold property development permits are obliged to participate in the project under the cross-subsidy scheme. For exemple, they have to donate furniture and equipment for the subsidized housing under the Corporate Social Responsibility scheme. Dredging the reservoir and developing parks in the surroundings can be factored in as part of their obligation to obtain a property development permit issued by the government. Several NGOs volunteered or were asked by the government to advocate for people so it could be ensured that the resettlement process doen't violate human rights and keeps being conducted smoothly.
The method applied includes following aspects:
- Using the concept of vulnerability which refers to the adaptability of a system;
- Operating more science works for developing scenarios/pathway – putting current actions into a long-term perspective;
- Defining key indicators for monitoring and measuring the effectiveness of the program implementation;
- Intense communication with the project affected people.
Financing and resources
The city has prepared several funding schemes to minimize government spending and optimize public investment. The contributions made by private companies are human, technical or managerial resources.
Results and impacts
The project has already relocated around 3,000 squatters from the reservoir and water capacity has been increased by 6,720,000m3. The Pluit Reservoir Revitalization Project also includes the development of a park (20 Ha) and a City Forest (10.000 trees), both seen as recreation areas that will contribute to absorbing the CO2 of the city. This pilot process will serve as a model for the management of the other reservoirs and rivers in Jakarta. This project helps to restore water ecosystems (such as lakes, rivers, canals, estuaries and mangrove forests) that have been damaged or lost. Jakarta hopes to reduce annual urban floodings and to limit their impacts on citizens. As such, the project will enhance the city’s resilience to the risks posed by climate change.
Through the development of this project, social and economic benefits have also already been reached. In the new subsidized apartments, inhabitants have better living environments as they are less vulnerable to flood risk and related health problems. The city is also looking at the employment needs of the relocated inhabitants. City officials opened-up communication with residents, considering their aspirations, and relocating them to new housing located nearby so that they can maintain their current jobs. Facilities (schools, markets, health care facilities) are also provided in the new living complex, thus contributing to an overall improved quality of life as well as new job creation.
The City of Jakarta is using different indicators to measure the change, such as the reduction of:
- duration, depth and spots of inundated area;
- number of affected people prone to flood risk: number of displaced people, number of casualties, number of people living in a flood-prone area, and number of lost lives and houses;
- social and economic losses from flood such as: damage to city infrastructure, inability to conduct daily activities, disease outbreaks, reduction in the number of tourists.
The measurements are done by Jakarta Environmental Management Board together with Jakarta Planning Board and Research Centers.
Barriers and challenges
First, people showed significant resistance to cooperating with the Government. Some requested a very high and irrational financial compensation while others wanted to stay where they had been living for 20 years.
The Governor communicated frequently with the population about the importance of maintaining the reservoir area. At the same time, he also gained participation from the private sector to donate attractive furniture for the new housing and public area. In the end, the significant resistance disappeared, people were willing to move to the new housings and this project became an inspiration to other projects in the city.
Lessons learned and transferability
The City's 2030 vision to have a safe, convenient and sustainable city is translated into its integrated water resource management strategies. The project rejuvenates the living environment in which:
- people are relocated to subsidized apartments,
- water quality is improved through the development of off-site wastewater treatment facilities,
- storage capacity is improved through dredging,
- reservoir bank is transformed into landscaped parks and open space promoting residents interactions.
Overall, the project shows how the city should handle other reservoir revitalization projects.
The model of the project is not only limited to urban flood control or water management program but can be applied in other sectors. It is also possible to expand the implementation of this concept not only within Jakarta area but also to the Greater Jakarta.
- Jakarta, Indonesia: The Pluit Reservoir Revitalization Project, Guangzhou Award for Urban Innovation, http://cms.guangzhouaward.org/template/view/id/2205/type/content/template_id/87.html (accessed 30 June 2016)