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Private developers and splintered ecological security in north Jakarta: producing difference in Singapore

Colven, Emma (2022) Private developers and splintered ecological security in north Jakarta: producing difference in Singapore. Southeast Asia Working Paper Series (2). Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre, LSE, London, UK.

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Jakarta, Indonesia, has gained much attention in recent years owing to its vulnerability to tidal flooding, its fragmented water supply, and unsustainable practices of groundwater extraction. In this paper, I ask: how does Jakarta’s water crisis shape the feasibility, profitability, success, or failure of property development? How does the real estate industry understand, and respond to this crisis? To answer these questions, I draw on in-depth interviews with consultants and bureaucrats, as well as an analysis of secondary sources relating to water and property to present two preliminary findings from research conducted thus far. First, property buyers (investors and end users) and private developers appear to understand and evaluate environmental and financial risk very differently. Second, while state efforts to secure water supply and flood protection for the urban majority have been hampered for various political, economic, and financial reasons, private developers have the capacity to insulate their developments from environmental (and therefore financial) risk and promise ecological security to property buyers. In examining developers’ responses to the water crisis, this paper provides insights into “splintering ecological security”, which is actively created in tandem with acts of financial and environmental speculation, with implications for residents well beyond the walls of these bounded enclaves.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Author
Divisions: Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 09 May 2022 08:39
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 12:24

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