This research discusses about opportunities to live on top of water which is currently developing.It is driven by the collaboration of scientists and industries rather than by governments. Living on top of water (floating) is one out of four tacticsthat has never been considered seriously by scientists and even the IPCC (2014) in responding to unavoidable sea level rise (SLR). Today 53% of global population lives in the 4285 coastal cities and half of them are concentrated in 285 large cities and metropolitan (Barragán and Andrés, 2015) such as Jakarta. Deltares (2015) placed Jakarta as the second fastest sinking cities after Tokyo, with mean cumulative subsidence was about 2 meters from 1900-2013 and estimates an additional subsidence up to 1.8 meters until 2025.
Recent studies on the modelling of coastal flood in Jakarta demonstrate that in any scenarios, sea level rise in combination with land subsidence will inundate North Jakarta up to 3 meters (e.g.Latief et al, 2018) by 2040 and the ocean penetrates the coastal area up to 10 kilometers in land (Takagi et al 2016) by 2050. The combination of SLR and land subsidence has impacted 1.6 million population in North Jakarta.
During the high tide season, sea water floods people’s houses and it infiltrates upward from the cracks in the house floor during normal season. This affects people’s health as drainage and sanitation failed to function in this situation. It also inhibits people livelihoods and other social and economic activities. Land subsidence leave houses and public facilities continuously sinking unless investment to elevate the assets can be made earlier. Hence, it is costly for middle-income earners, and it is an unaffordable investment for those in low-income group.
Instead of thinking creatively out of the box with a long-term oriented solution to deal with the sea level rise, current response undertaken by Indonesia’s government is simply through development of massive giant seawall in Jakarta’s Bay known as National Capital Integrated Coastal Development (NCICD) Project.
This research,which is led by Universitas Diponegoro,aims to complement other on-going research program on the technical aspect of living on the top of water ( www.seacities.org) at Cities Research Institute, Griffith University. Though technological research of living on top of water is progressing, the socio-economic aspects of it is under-researched yet, particularly in Indonesia.