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NASA shows new city rising in forest: before and after pics capture rapid urban growth.


NASA has recently shared satellite images capturing the transformation of a new city, Nusantra, emerging in the jungles of Borneo, signifying Indonesia's forthcoming capital. Situated in Eastern Kalimantan, near Balikpapan Bay, the images illustrate substantial changes in the landscape since 2022, showcasing the development of roads and buildings.

The decision to establish a new capital stems from the persistent challenges faced by Jakarta, the current capital, housing over 30 million people. Jakarta grapples with issues like frequent flooding, air pollution, water shortages, and severe traffic congestion, as reported by NASA Earth Observatory. Excessive groundwater extraction has led to significant subsidence rates, with 40 percent of the city now below sea level.

According to the New York Times, the master plan for Nusantra was formulated in 2019. The blueprint, endorsed at that time, includes innovative features such as stilted buildings and elevated walkways connecting to transportation hubs, designed to navigate the hilly terrain of Nusantra.

Construction activities commenced in 2022, covering an area 30 kilometers inland from the Makassar Strait, previously occupied by forests and oil palm plantations. The term "Nusantra," derived from old Javanese, translates to "outer islands" or "archipelago."

Initially, the new city is envisioned to accommodate 500,000 people, and the infrastructure is being developed accordingly. The project emphasizes a "green, walkable" metropolis, powered by renewable energy, with a commitment to maintaining 75 percent of the city as forested areas.

The relocation of the capital represents a comprehensive effort to address urban challenges and create a sustainable, forward-looking city that prioritizes environmental preservation and quality of life for its residents.

Feb. 28, 2024 12:51 p.m. 1431

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