The Pluit Reservoir Revitalization Project is an initiative of the city of Jakarta to reduce urban flooding, improve water storage capacity and 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. The city government has launched the Jakarta Water Management Plan for 2030 as a response to repeated urban flooding and vulnerability in the coastal reservoir area. The Pluit Reservoir Revitalization Project will improve storage capacity, relocate 3,000 squatters along the reservoir’s banks, and transform some areas into parks and public open space. The city’s water management plan addresses climate change in a socially conscious way and includes government partnerships with both the corporate and public sector to ensure new sustainable 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 is vulnerable to climate risks, especially extreme changes in rainfall patterns and sea level rise, resulting in frequent urban floods. According to current projections, 80% of North Jakarta will be 5m below the average sea level by 2030. Considering its role as the capital city and economic centre of the country, the city government needs to be prepared with both short and long term plans to improve resilience from the impact of climate change.
The city government has developedthe Jakarta Water Management Plan for 2030, which aims to restore and improve the coastal reservoir's performance as a vital drainage retention basin. Covering a catchment area of 2,083 hectares in North Jakarta, the reservoir is vulnerable with thousands of illegal houses (squatters) occupying the bank, and nearly 75% of the reservoir covered by algae, and poor water quality. The plan seeks to rejuvenate the area through integrated blue and green infrastructure for a more sustainable living environment.
The main project objective of the plan 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. The project provides proper subsidized apartments nearby to help households maintain their social and economic activities.
The project involves many stakeholders:
- Private Sector especially actors involved in property development;
- Local Government Owned Enterprises have been asked to participate in several ways;
- Local community leaders have been approached and invited to talk with the Governor. Citizen engagement is key to the project since the main challenge is to relocate 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 area 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 to ensure that the resettlement process did notviolate human rights.
The method applied includes the following aspects:
- Using the concept of vulnerability which refers to the adaptability of a system;
- Operating more science works for developing scenarios/pathways – putting current actions into a long-term perspective;
- Defining key indicators for monitoring and measuring the effectiveness of the program implementation;
- Ongoing communication with the citzens affected by the project.
Financing and resources
The city has initiated several funding schemes to minimize government spending and optimize public investment. The contributions made by private companies are human, technical and managerial resources.
Results and impacts
The project has relocated approximately 3,000 squatters from the reservoir banks 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 project will serve as a model for the management of other reservoirs and rivers in Jakarta. This project helps to restore water ecosystems (including lakes, rivers, canals, estuaries and mangrove forests) that have been damaged or lost. The city government hopes to reduce annual urban flood events and to limit their impacts on citizens. Overall, 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 acheived. In the new subsidized apartments, citizens have better living environments as they are less vulnerable to flood risk and related health problems. The city government is also looking at the employment needs of the relocated citizens and where possible relocating them to new nearyby housing so that they can maintain their current jobs. Facilities (schools, markets, health care facilities) are also provided in the new living complexes, thus contributing to an overall improved quality of life as well as 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 taken by the Jakarta Environmental Management Board together with Jakarta Planning Board and Research Centers.
Barriers and challenges
Initially, citiizens were resistant to cooperating with the government. Some citizens requested very high and irrational financial compensation while others wanted to stay where they had been living for 20 years or more.
The Governor communicated frequently with all citizens 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 complexes and public areas. Eventually, the effected citizens were willing to move to the new housing complexes and the project became an inspiration for other projects in the city.
Lessons learned and transferability
The City' of Jakarta's 2030 vision to have a safe, convenient and sustainable city is supported by integrated water resource management strategies. The project rejuvenates the living environment where:
- 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 banks are transformed into landscaped parks and open space encouraging social inclusion.
Overall, the project shows how the city could handle other reservoir revitalization projects.
The model of the project is not limited to urban flood control or water management but can be applied in other sectors. It is also possible to expand the implementation of this concept not only within the city of Jakarta area but also to the Greater Jakarta area.
- 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)