An interesting article in today's Jakarta Post
, unfortunately not online, is about a group of concerned citizens in Jakarta who are mapping the green areas. So far, they have mapped Menteng and Kemang, two upmarket residential areas, and Kota, the oldest part of the city.
Menteng, which has miniature parks for the residents who live in the Dutch villas and grand mansions which surround them, is somewhat idyllic yet exclusive. For me, it's vaguely reminiscent of Kensington in London, a place to visit with a purpose or to pass through, but too expensive for me to live in.
For most of us in Jakarta, green areas are to be treasured before they're built upon. And the last such open space in my area, a former graveyard where kids could fly their kites and electors could cast their votes, has now gone. New residents will soon appear and wonder where their kids can play.
Although a global movement
which aims to raise awareness rather than make political demands, Green Mapping is very much a community affair. This is fairly obvious; the website needs updating and there is only one bookshop, in Kemang and presumably QB, which sells the maps. So I've added a permanent link to the right for the 1.5mb download of the Jakarta map in .pdf format
Many projects are undertaken by schools
and universities thus heightening the awareness of communities about their local ecology. I do think it's a shame, however, that demands aren't made of politicians. Otherwise, what's the purpose of elections and the so-called democratic purpose?
The Jakarta Master Plan 2000-2010 supposedly aims to increase the city's green spaces from 9% to 13%. Let's push the new council to actively pursue this policy and put on hold all those proposed shopping malls and car parks. And we can do our bit by letting nature take over our front yards.
Is this forlorn thinking? Take a deep breath ...