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Jakarta Post

Postmodernism and Jakarta's urban structures

  • The Jakarta Post

Contributor, Jakarta   /   Mon, September 8 2008   /  10:56 am
Wisma BNI 46, or Wisma 46, which is located in the heart of the Jl. Sudirman business district, is the tallest building in Jakarta. (JP/J. Adiguna)(JP/J. Adiguna)

Jakarta is a sprawling metropolis of extremes. Its dwellers live in high-rise postmodern buildings reminiscent of sophisticated apartment buildings in New York City and slums that line the city's underbelly. On the weekends, children from wealthier families spend their time in air-conditioned malls like Senayan City, Pacific Place and Plaza Indonesia while street urchins roam the busy and dangerous streets as their playgrounds. Those who work in the city run the gamut from businessmen in ties and starched white shirts who chair daily meetings in their glass-ensconced skyscrapers while street vendors sell everything from beef-ball noodle soup to used books and trinkets at their portable stalls, ready to be wheeled away when the police arrive. In the past decade, Jakarta has morphed into a "megapolis" that offers almost every imaginable international brand...