What Urgency Is There for Anies to Lead Jakarta Again?

ANIES needs to reaffirm what he started: reorganizing Jakarta as a global city that is friendly and delightful for its residents.

During 2017-2022, under Anies Baswedan's leadership as Governor of DKI Jakarta, the city solidified its position as a global city, on par with other major cities worldwide, becoming safe, comfortable, pluralistic, and joy-bringing for its residents.

A key program of Anies was to shift the development paradigm from one centered on private vehicle use to one oriented towards public transportation. This shift has seen a behavioral change in the public’s use of public transport, evident from the increase in ridership.

To support this, Anies has revitalized public transportation facilities and infrastructure, including organizing pedestrian paths and building bicycle lanes. He also introduced the concept of third spaces—venues for residents to interact between their first and second spaces: their home and office.

Now, sidewalks have been widened, city parks are scattered throughout, and pedestrian bridges that are Instagram-worthy have been constructed, all accessible by various integrated public transports. Consequently, these broad and comfortable sidewalks are utilized not only by those working in the area but also by other residents who do not work along Jalan Sudirman.

This phenomenon, referred to by Anies as the democratization of sidewalks, implies that they belong to everyone. Anyone can come and enjoy them, from the elderly to children, finding inspiration. Anies emphasizes that these places are not only accessible to the middle and upper economic classes but are democratic spaces where anyone can enjoy them, and their construction was a collaborative effort.

Besides sidewalks and bike lanes, the integration of transportation modes has also been intensified. There are at least nine public transportation integration hubs, 14 new pedestrian bridges, and the first underground revitalization and interconnection to the Jakarta MRT, including the Underground Interconnection, Kendal Tunnel, Integration at Tanah Abang Station, Phinisi Sudirman, CSW Integration Stop, and Tebet Station Integration.

From 2017 to 2022, these initiatives have been part of a broader vision to build a city that champions equality, welfare, progress, life, sustainability, and unity for its residents. Under Anies, Jakarta has become a city worthy of being called home, offering welfare to all.

He also addressed various issues faced by Jakarta's residents, such as congestion, inequality, pollution, and flooding, along with the cost of living, health, employment, and education. One by one, these problems were addressed. For instance, Jakarta, which in 2017 was the third most congested city in the world with a congestion level of 58%, now ranks 46th with a congestion level of 34%.

The city's progress can now be felt by all, aligning with new milestones and marking a new historical moment in Jakarta’s journey to becoming a global city. One recent global achievement is winning a prestigious award at The 2022 WSIS Prizes in the category of ICT Applications: e-Science.

These awards are a global recognition of Jakarta’s innovation, commitment, and persistence. On the other hand, the highest accolade for the Provincial Government of Jakarta is the city's progress and the happiness of its residents, which, according to Anies, will always be pursued relentlessly.

This progress is aligned with the residents' happiness levels. A survey released by the Social Resilience Lab at Nanyang Technological University in collaboration with the DKI Jakarta Provincial Government's Statistics Office recently showed that 78.90% of Jakarta's residents say living in the city is much better and more comfortable than in previous years. This is understandable, given the continuous efforts by the Provincial Government of Jakarta to create an equitable economy that allows involved individuals to live decently.

Jakarta residents have every reason to be happy when looking at a study by YouGov, which ranked 44 cities for healthy living styles worldwide. Jakarta, as the capital of Indonesia, even surpassed other major global cities, entering the top 20.

During his five years in office, Anies Baswedan has been pivotal in creating a new concept of how a city can make its residents happy.

Thus, it is not exaggerated when public aspirations urge Anies to lead Jakarta again for a second term. Anies needs to complete his grand vision of building the city. Making it a comfortable place to work and create, but also friendly for its residents, and reaffirming its status as a global city on par with other major cities worldwide. Furthermore, residents are invited to collectively enjoy and experience Jakarta as a global city with preserved heritage, culture, and traditions.

Hasreiza, S.Psi, M.Si, Chair of Youth ICMI Jakarta Province