How does Jakarta compare?
Thomas Belfield of the Jakarta Urban Blog
has sent me the link to a fascinating site, spectrum.ieee.online
- for tech insiders they say. Amongst other topics, it's packed with info on megacities.
Thomas thought I'd be particularly interested in a page on London
, maybe because I'm a Londoner. Much of the information on this page was compiled by City Limits
and published in 2002. You can download the report here (.pdf)
.Greater London, like all metropolitan areas, is a living thing. Each year it eats 7 million metric tons of food. It drinks 94 million liters of bottled water alone. It breathes, giving off 41 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. It excretes, generating 26 million metric tons of garbage. It builds itself up with 28 million metric tons of cement, glass, and other construction materials. And it falls apart, generating 15 million metric tons of debris from demolished buildings.
But very little of what feeds and builds London comes from the city itself, and even less of the waste stays there. Instead, in order to feed, clothe, power, and build today's major metropolises you need the product of thousands of square kilometers outside the city limits. And you need thousands of square kilometers more to absorb the discards.
Just how much land is commandeered to support cities, nations, and their inhabitants is measured using what sustainability wonks call ecological-footprint analysis.
They found that London's ecological footprint was 49 million global hectares, 293 times its geographical area and equivalent to two United Kingdoms or one Spain. On a per-person basis, Londoners took up 6.6 global hectares, putting them on a par with the Swiss and making them twice as frugal as the average American, but still more than three times as voracious as what the Earth can provide.
Ken Livingstone, the then Mayor of London, supported City Limits and worked towards alleviating the city's 'Ecological Footprint
', and for this and other initiatives he was a recipient of an Ethical Award
by the Observer newspaper in the Politician Category this year.
As for Jakarta .....
A couple of snippets from spectrum.ieee
made me blink a bit.Air pollutionParticulate matter smaller than 10 micrometers in diameter (pm10) is the most dangerous to human health, because it can pass through the nose and throat and enter the lungs—leading to asthma, lung cancer, cardiovascular problems, and premature death.
Beijing is featured on TV a lot at the moment thanks to the Olympics which, as I've already noted
, won't be televised here. Beijing is shutting down industries for a couple of months, restricting traffic and taking other measures to provide clean air for the presumably healthy athletes.
In 1999, the last year for which complete data were available,.Jakarta and Beijing had similar levels of pm10 concentration - about 100micrograms per cubic meter.Electricity, Sewage and Piped Water.
In 2003, 100% of homes had access to electricity, 60% to sewers but only 36% to piped water.
100% have electricity? Eh?
There is at least one valid comparison between London and Jakarta which should be noted here: in both cases, City Hall is really unhelpful.
I have written a couple of times before that Jakarta is one of the C40 cities
, a group of the world's largest cities committed to tackling climate change. This group met in London in January, with Ken Livingstone in the chair, and I suggested that if Jakarta was represented, the delegates probably spent most of their time in Harrods and other upmarket shopping emporia.
Last year they met in New York and I wrote to the secretariat
asking about Jakarta's representation. I got referred back to the websites which had given me the email address in the first place. Kafka and Catch 22 came to mind.
There is certainly no evidence on the Jakarta City Hall website
that climate change is on the agenda. Far from it. The last update in English was apparently in October 2005 and refers to the approval given by the central government to build six, count 'em, six inner city toll roads
Thomas and I can't find an equivalent survey about Jakarta to the one on London and what information there is, is scattered. We therefore invite readers to contribute and add more attributable statistics. Hopefully, this will be a useful online info trove for future generations who will no doubt not be living in Jakarta because it will have sunk under its own weight