ebook The City of a Thousand Dimensions

By Abidin Kusno

cover image of Jakarta

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A megacity of 30 million, under threat from rising sea levels and temperatures, Jakarta and its resilient residents improvise and thrive. Indonesian writer Seno Gumira Ajidarma calls Jakarta a city of a thousand dimensions. That suggests not only a picture represented in concepts such as "messy urbanism", "emergent urbanism", "incremental urbanism", "mega-urban region" or "megacity", it further suggests a form of governmentality (a political rationality, for better or worse) that has been formed through sedimented layers of time, that have shaped the socio-cultural and political life of the city. This book teases out some of the dimensions that have given shape to contemporary Jakarta, including the city's expanded flexibility in accommodating capital and labour, the formal and the informal, and the consistent lack of planning which can be understood as both politics and poetics of governing. It shows how such a statecraft is configured, contested, and changed. Required reading for those seeking to understand one of Asia's most dynamic cities.