Speculating on Jakarta’s Future: Real Estate and Water Crisis in Jakarta
The aim of this project is to understand the role of speculative urban development in generating water crises, and how water crises in turn shape real estate markets in Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital city. I will use mixed methods, combining remote sensing analysis with interviews, surveys, and participant observation. While the proliferation of large-scale, private real estate developments under conditions of speculative urbanism has been well studied, their environmental implications have been given less academic attention. Furthermore, the literature on financialization and speculation has not sufficiently examined how nature poses barriers to these processes. This research will elucidate the co-production of transformations in water regimes and land markets and make a valuable contribution to geographical understandings of the impact of speculative development on urban ecologies. While Jakarta’s experience is particularly acute, continued urbanization coupled with climate change will intensify water shortages and flooding in urban metropolitan regions around the world. Consequently, water crises will constitute one of the primary urban planning challenges of the twenty first century. This research will contribute a better understanding of how water crises emerge, and how cities can equitably plan for and mitigate against them.
I am honored to receive this grant to support my research on the intersections of speculative urbanism and water crisis in Jakarta. With the support of the Regional Studies Association, I will be able to undertake extensive fieldwork for this project, which will be foundational to my future work and research trajectory.