Financializing (Post-)Developmental Urbanism (?): Speculative State-Spaces of Transit-Oriented Development in Jakarta

Authors: Dimitar Anguelov*, UCLA
Topics: Urban Geography, Asia, Economic Geography
Keywords: speculative urbanism, state-spaces, infrastructure, state capitalism, financialization
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM
Room: Virtual 35
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Since 2008, creditor states and development banks with geopolitical and geoeconomic interests have advanced competing market-based and state-led models to finance and develop infrastructure, presented as panacea for economic development. Mega city-regions in the global South are at the center of this infrastructure fix: facing challenges posed by rapid urbanization, they have turned to infrastructural solutions, steeped in speculative ‘global-city’ imaginaries and national developmental aspirations, in order to unclog ‘catch-up’ growth. In Jakarta, Indonesia, I examine the coming together of these models, visions and practices as they articulate with the political-economies of city and state, and their path-dependent restructuring precipitated by the speculative 1997 Asian Financial Crisis. I show how political interests and developmental objectives of state and city governments are entangled with the speculative geopolitics and capital accumulation strategies of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) in the production of urban space: producing speculative state-spaces. With a number of new rail transit projects in the city-region driving a boom in Transit-Oriented Development (TOD), SOEs speculate on market conditions and the ‘world-class city’ dreams of middle-class residents to leverage their propertied assets. Yet this financial speculation is equally premised on political speculation around the planning and execution of the projects, enabled by elite informality, and hybrid state-market models for infrastructure finance. In the territorially and institutionally fragmented landscape of metropolitan Jakarta these speculative strategies and practices come together to produce innovative governance models and arrangements between central and local governments in the management and planning of transport and housing.

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