Pulo Mas: Jakarta’s failed housing experiment for the masses

Kemas Ridwan Kurniawan, Christopher Silver, M. Nanda Widyarta, Elita Nuraeny

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1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper analyzes the first government project intended to create a housing community accessible to low-income residents of Jakarta in response to the capital city’s population explosion during the 1950s and 1960s. The project was conceived in the midst of the volatile political and economic circumstances of the Sukarno administration in the early 1960s, but implemented under the governorship of Ali Sadikin in early years of the Suharto New Order government. As the first proposed mass affordable housing settlement, the Pulo Mas plan concept was prepared by three Indonesian architects sent to Denmark to study European social housing and urban planning practices to inform a proposed satellite city scheme for Jakarta. Although conceived under the Sukarno government that regarded European cooperative housing schemes favourably, it was built under the Suharto New Order government with a revised process and plan by Jakarta’s private sector for a more upscale housing market. The changed plan precluded Pulo Mas from fulfilling its promise to bring quality housing to a broad spectrum of Jakarta’s population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-308
Number of pages24
JournalPlanning Perspectives
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • cooperative housing
  • Indonesia
  • Jakarta
  • kampungs
  • low-income housing
  • Planning


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