Last weeks news on Jakarta has been quite encouraging. Community initiatives such as greenlifestyle, greenmap, Indonesian Folding Bike Community, and even rujak.org received media coverage. Media were also eager to get a glimpse of the upcoming masterplan of Jakarta, which is said to be transit oriented development, and experts were enthusiastic to respond.
Among all the good news, theres hidden a small report about a growing number of religion-based housing estate for sale in the suburbs, high in demand. And this is not just talking about the architecture style, but it goes as far as the selection of buyers and even renters.
To ensure the implementation of Islamic values, all developers seek out Muslim buyers exclusively, and ask that if they decide to sell or rent out their house, that they only choose other Muslims to sell or rent to.
Is this a clear sign that our society is become more segregated than before?
In Jakarta, were working really hard to stay within our herds. People are working hard to stay segregated from other social class.
The cars are no longer a mode of transportation – they are bubbles that isolate the passengers from the harsh reality of Jakarta street life, keeping them in comfort despite Jakartas scorching sun. It brings the passenger from a secure, gated house, to a secure gated office or shopping center. Houses race to build higher and higher concrete fences. A person living from bubbles to bubbles. Its really hard work, costly, and inefficient. It is a social illness.
Meanwhile, the other segment of the society is excluded from those spaces. The delineation is clear.
Why the push for bubbles and segregation? Perhaps, there is this illusion of, If everything is uniform, then everything is going to be allright. But history proves that civilization actually thrives with diversity.
What is your thought on this? We should do something, don’t you think? Tell us your ideas.