Skip directly to content

From Malls to Old City

Pasar Baru that is full of shoppers
The shops in Pasar Baru open until 6.30 in the evening

People of Jakarta are the happiest people strolling, shopping and enjoying the evening while dining. Most of this activity is carried out in Malls that were continuously built in all parts of the city. In the mall, people can see stuff, meet friends, and sit at the food court with family. The question is: Why this activity is not done in the historic Old Town? Whereas in Europe, this activity is carried out in the old city. Various ways have been made to revive the old city such as night markets or activities held at the art museum Fatahilah plaza. But all of this is temporary because after the event ends, the old city became quiet again.

Taking a walk at night is a necessity that cannot be avoided. The atmosphere has always been the theme of the evening served to visitors in luxurious shopping malls. So, in addition the present of design elements that give rise to the ancient atmosphere, the food court ceiling is also paint in black.

Architects are always thinking about how to organize a beautiful old city without thinking on what factors that encourage people to visit the old town. Additionally, architects cannot do much as they relate many things beyond their expertise such as reviving the economic activities. And do not forget, revitalizing the old town is also linked to the political development of the city. The Jakarta administration should be appreciated for their effort to revitalize the old city. However, it was not enough as it also requires the participation of the inhabitants of Jakarta. Meanwhile, the resident of Jakarta is passive in the revitalization of the old city. It now appears the various organizations for the old town; newspapers were instrumental in campaigning old city’s activities. But it seems all that is still lacking. The difficulties of city government are that many old buildings in the old city of Jakarta owned by companies, and the companies were closed at night.

In Europe, the weather is cold, a few people who like to walk at night, and they like to walk in the daytime when the sun is still there and not too cold. In contrast, in Indonesia, people always avoid taking a walk during the day because the weather is very hot. Even in the old city of Jakarta daytime temperatures reaching 37 degrees. So people prefer to take a walk at night where there is no sun. But how do they choose strolling in the old town in which the offices are closed and the atmosphere tends to be quiet? That is why people choose to take a walk in the malls rather than in the old town. Government efforts to revive the old city by doing a variety of activities such as night markets or evening food and snack center in the old town should be permanent. If you visit the old town and crowded, the revitalization will be easier on the run.

Not only the old town which is located surrounding Kali Besar, Glodok and Pasar Baru, that are actually part of the old town, always quiet at night too. In contrast to the surrounding area of Kali Besar, Glodok and Pasar Baru which are located in the south of the old city, is a row of shop houses that are inhabited at night. Anyhow, the area is also quiet at night. Glodok and Pasar Baru that are busy with people shopping in the daytime, all its stores closed when the sun sets. It's actually become part of the city government to be aware so that the evening activities are not confined to the Mall.

Leisure activity at night that is not only in the mall but in the old city center is also popular in Indonesia such as in the city of Yogyakarta which is located 538 km from Jakarta, it is in Malioboro street. The crowds peak at Malioboro Street is precisely at night when residents and tourists cornucopia there. Such activities must also be turned on in Jakarta. To plan the city is not an easy job. Changing human activities in order to open the stores in Glodok and Pasar Baru at night and change the behavior of city residents to go to Glodok and Pasar Baru when the sunset is not as easy as turning the hand.

But somehow we need to revive the old city of Jakarta!