Abidin Kusno, Jakarta: The City of a Thousand Dimensions

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Jakarta, capital of Indonesia (for now) was founded by the Dutch and is a venue for social and spatial experimentation, not to mention the corruption and mismanagement of post-independence ‘elite informality’ (p. 113), and the city is literally sinking under its own weight. Abidin Kusno’s wide-ranging yet in-depth study of the city and its multidimensional challenges contains a felicitous mix of theoretical investigations grounded in real-life examples to unfold the story of the ‘city of a thousand dimensions’ (a term borrowed from Seno Gumira Ajidarma). In it he argues that a lack of planning has actually allowed a degree of flexibility in accommodating formal and informal, which he sees as an ‘art of governing’ (p. xi). Using multiple sites and issues, Kusno shows a ‘socio-political dimension that is neither formal nor disorderly’ (p. xii). The routines of everyday life should not be neglected, he says, because ‘they are often governed by a spatial configuration that is inescapably political’ (p. xii).
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages3
JournalUrban Studies: an international journal for research in urban studies
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Jakarta
  • city planning
  • history match


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