Rendering of future 150-metre tall presidential palace at the heart of Nusantara (Photo: AFP)

Ambitious plans are in place to relocate an entire sinking city 1,200 miles away to a large island inhabited by indigenous communities.

More than 1.9 million residents of Jakarta, Indonesia's capital, may need to relocate as part of an ambitious £24 billion ($30 billion) plan. The first residents are expected to move to the new city by the end of October 2024.

The new capital city of Nusantara, which encompasses a vast area of 1,000 square miles, is being built on the island of Borneo. Only 216 square miles have been allocated for the city's initial development. The remaining land will be used for future expansion, according to The Sun.

Jakarta's population is booming, currently at 11 million. Experts warn that by 2050, rising sea levels could submerge up to 95 percent of North Jakarta. In response to these challenges, the Indonesian government is gearing up to develop a new capital city.

Indonesia's Ambitious Move: Building a New Capital City in Borneo

This "smart city" will be designed to be both environmentally friendly and technologically advanced. The proposed location for the new capital city overlaps with the traditional territory of at least 21 indigenous groups.

Indonesia's parliament approved plans to relocate the capital city to East Kalimantan province on the island of Borneo, near Brunei. While key details about the plans are still scarce, recently released CGI images confirm the presence of government offices and a 150-metre-tall presidential palace.

Striking new satellite images reveal the rapid progress on Nusantara, Indonesia's new capital city. Roads and buildings are taking shape remarkably, with construction carving a path through the previously dense forest.

Currently, 200,000 workers are at the construction site. "The construction of the new capital city is not merely a physical move of government offices," President Joko Widodo said in 2022.

Widodo further noted that Indonesia's vision for Nusantara is to make it a bright, globally competitive city. It aims to drive the nation's transformation towards an innovation and technology-based green economy.

Indonesia wants to build Nusantara as an intelligent, globally competitive city. According to Widodo, its goal is to be the driving force propelling the nation's transformation towards a green economy fueled by innovation and technology.

In his latest speech, the President outlined a vision for Nusantara as a "zero-emissions" city, a magnet for global talent and a hub of innovation, poised to become a leader in sustainable development.

According to reports, Nusantara, named after the Indonesian word for "archipelago," will be powered by a 50-megawatt solar plant. The city also plans to allow only electric vehicles and bicycles by 2030.

The transition to Nusantara, initially planned to begin with early construction in 2020, was delayed due to the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic. Adding to Indonesia's challenges, Bali, a province heavily reliant on tourism, increased health surveillance in 2023 to be prepared for a potential Nipah virus outbreak.

The relocation process will be phased in stages, with the entire move anticipated to be completed by 2045. The first stage of the relocation is slated for completion by the end of 2024, with over 6,000 government workers pioneering the move to Nusantara. The remaining civil servants are expected to follow in subsequent phases.

"The new capital has a central function and is a symbol of the nation's identity, as well as a new centre of economic gravity," Planning Minister Suharso Monoarfa told parliament.