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The Old Town and Urban Economics

Vendors selling deal price foods in old town of Jakarta - Batavia
Vendors selling deal price foods in old town of Jakarta - Batavia

If we walk in luxury Mall of Jakarta on the day off, we certainly meet visitors who are rich. They are wearing nice clothes, eating and drinking at an expensive restaurant. Not rarely they order food that cost more than one hundred thousand rupiahs for a portion. If we take a stroll in the mall hallway and thirsty there are vendors who sell drinks at a price of thirty thousand rupiahs at a time. Luxury in the mall of Jakarta is a magnet for the middle and high income class.

But if we go to the old town of Jakarta, the situation is very different. People, who visited there, are most of the middle and low income. At the edge of Jakarta History Museum square there are also vendors who sell drink, but the price is deal only six thousand rupiahs. There are expensive restaurants where the price of two portions of Soto Betawi and iced tea reaches two hundred thousand rupiahs. But this restaurant is full of foreign tourists. Meanwhile lower income society bought Soto Betawi on the sidewalk at a price of fifteen thousand rupiahs a portion

The question is why only foreign tourists and the lower income of society who visited the old city? Why the old city rarely visited by the have like the malls of Jakarta? This is a complicated question to answer because it is not just a matter of beauty but also economic problems.

The problem of beauty? We certainly see that the old town area is in decline. So many buildings are not maintained properly. Kali Besar (Ciliwung River) that divides the old town into two parts for example, is very dirty and stagnant so unsightly. Meanwhile many buildings are in ruins and therefore people only visited the square of Jakarta History Museum because the buildings around it are more organized. Perhaps this is the reason of the well-dressed people do not like to visit the old town.

From the economic point of view, in the old town of Jakarta there is not much on offer except the museum as a tourist attraction. Fancy restaurants are only a few, unlike in malls that restaurants line into a comfortable place to chat. In addition, if it rains, visitors will be busy looking for a place to take shelter. We should be heartened when we see a lot of people are overcrowded visiting the museum, it is the potency to drive growth in the old town.

Urban economic planning is not a problem of beautiful or not beautiful, but the socio-economic improvements that must be planned well. We certainly are looking forward to all, both the have and the have not, visiting the old town. If everyone likes to spent their leisure time in old town, not to mention the competition between malls to attract visitors, but the rivalry between the malls with the old town of Jakarta. However, social and economic planning is somehow also requires good environment planning. The urban economy will be able to run properly if the environment is clean. If social problems such as crime decrease, the old town would be an ideal place to live and run business. Not only visited by them from the middle and lower class but also the high economic class.