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This phenomenon happens in the city where I am living, Jakarta the capital of Indonesia. The city for almost 10,5 million people. Dazzling with all the opportunity to find better living and better job. This city has dense urban fabric that makes many problems in providing space for various people needs.

This Housing estate called Cosmo Park a housing complex located in the top of shopping mall called Thamrin city, a mega mix building contains shopping, office, apartment, and school in the centre of Jakarta. This housing estate sit in the roof of the mall 10thfloor above the ground. The housing estate established since 2007 and now fully occupied and sold.

The estate consists of their own distribution road and their own park and complete with swimming pool, club house and tennis court. And the house also has their own yard and own garage. To enter the site with car we need to enter special car ramp to the estate with limited access. And this estate dedicated to the people who lives in there.

For the perspective of urban design this happen because one of the part of the city development reach its limits of providing houses in city centre. The common models of accommodation in the dense city is to create tower block apartment. But in this models they want to build landed house in the city centre. In this man-made artificial high land raise from the ground intent to separate the neighbourhood into more sterile and much exclusive for wealthier people. This kind of living is kind of living above the sky in the mount of Olympus just only for selective people can live.

For some positive benefit the estate is the answer for people who wants landed house in the heart of city centre. Because its located above the ground you can get fresh air comparing in lower ground of the city that full of smoke from tons of vehicles every day. You also get free from noise from the traffic below. But the price in this estate is very expensive and jut for upper class income.

In the context of where it is located the building itself contain various facilities below the estate. But its consider a failure to solve urban quality of the place. The building itself place in the dense area of low income and high traffic flow. It has shopping mall that attract people to comes from the other place but less of the people that living in the apartment using the shopping mall. The building has office tower that the people who work in the office tower, living far away from the building. The people that living in the estate have to take their children to school far away from their home. That such condition the building fills with outsider and create never ending traffic jam surround the building because in surrounding area there isn’t sufficient public transport to cover all of the people. And people prefer to use their own car or their own motorcycle.

Is this called living in lavish and comfortable? For few people maybe is the answer of practical living in the big city. It can take you to more selective community and get the environment that protect from outsider. But It is solution of the city itself? or it just the solution of the people that can buy the property? Many of this mixed use model in our city cannot success to make better quality of urban environment because this models keep collecting people to one point and not to spread them in larger area. And create greater congestion and denser population.

In my opinion, we should make the quality of urban design for everyone, and the models of mixed use single building that gathering more people to one point not solving the problem. It’s should have supported with suitable public transport and make the function more spread around the city and try to reduce private vehicle.




  1. Thank you for sharing this project, which reminds me of the roof garden. The roof garden has not only the large scale that you share, but also the small scale roof garden. The design of small scale garden should take into consideration the ornamental and functional functions of the garden comprehensively, both of which need to be perfectly combined. If the effect of small garden wants to be brilliant, the ground landscape and facade landscape should be designed emphatically, and every space should be well used.
    The ground design is mainly functional, while the facade design is mainly ornamental (both functional, such as shielding) elements.
    The ground space supports family activities and family facilities, including functions such as walking, sitting, working, leisure, entertainment and play, dining space, gardening space, receiving visitors, family gatherings, etc., according to the needs of each person, you can choose which functions are needed. The garden should create an atmosphere of leisure and ease where family members can communicate, relax and, if friends or relatives come over, accommodate them.
    Ground space needs the item that notices: walk move line and furniture are put, cannot have conflict, how to consider a space to use more, do not be infatuated with the form of the space too much. Use the right proportions and scales to make the functional space work properly. The size of the space used depends on the number of people using it.
    About the facade: create a sense of enclosure around the garden, especially the vertical and top surfaces. The vertical face can be used as a fence or fence, and the main function room in the vertical face can block the view of neighbors, forming a private garden space, which can also block the fierce cold wind in winter and the hot sunshine in summer, and can be used as an ornamental element to make the garden space beautiful and beautiful.
    Of course, a small roof garden doesn’t mean it’s not luxurious. But it can greatly improve people’s happiness and sense of belonging. Roof garden team quality of life and air purification is essential.

  2. Thank you Ganang for sharing an interesting topic. I think this phenomenon is not the best solution but it can be one of the solutions to limited living spaces in the cities. Since nowadays, many cities don’t have much ground space for housing estate anymore, and they have more and more mixed-use single buildings.

    For me, I seem to like this Jakarta’s phenomenon. Since I have been living in Bangkok where traffic congestion is terrible and our public transportation is not efficient, we spend most of the daily time on the road. So living in one mixed-use building is looks convenient. We can just live on the upper floor, and just go down to work, shopping, school, or hang out. It can reduce travel time and travel costs. However, I think the drawback of this model in Jakarta is that they may not have workplaces, schools, or facilities that meet the needs of people who live there, that’s why residents have to go to work or school far away from their home like Ganang said.

    However, if we too much apply this model to every building or every area, it would not produce good results. As for examples in Venezuela and Bangkok. In Bangkok, they try to replace the slum communities with new offices, luxury condominiums, shopping malls by moving people to affordable flats and condominiums. But it did not solve the issue. It has just turned the horizontal slum community to be a vertical slum community.

    In addition, just try to imagine the negative effect of this phenomenon that if in the future all of the buildings in the city are mixed-use like this, everyone just lives and does everything in one building, no one is outside. Our city, local shops, street activities might die.

    In my opinion, the problem of overpopulation is not the land property or residential area in the city, but the problem is job opportunities and educational opportunities in the city. Most people move to the cities because of jobs and education, even we spread residential areas out of the city or rural area, it won’t solve this problem. If we do not have those job and educational opportunities that support people, they won’t live there. However to spread the job and educational opportunities are not that easy, it does not mean moving just one or two companies, but it needs collaboration between the public and private sectors.

    Hussey, R. (2018). Reasons Why People Move From the Country to a Big City. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 Jan. 2020].

    Berg, N. (2017). Inside The Tower of David, Venezuela’s Vertical Slum. [online] The Daily Beast. Available at: [Accessed 5 Jan. 2020].

    Boyd, B. (n.d.). Urbanization and the Mass Movement of People to Cities | Grayline Group. [online] Grayline Group. Available at: [Accessed 5 Jan. 2020].

  3. Well said these phenomena will become starting of “urban sky” or “urban level”. My projection in the next few decades, at least three decades, in 2050, we will meet up with booming urban population issues. Everyone will migrate to the city, and housing demand will increase. It cannot be ignored that housing demand mentioned will become the hottest issues. All urban problems recently are limitation of land availability to provide living space. I think now the urban designer has to more concern and get cooperated with a civil engineer to creating some “reliable utopia” concept: making storey cities! Why not? It is possible to build and presenting in megacities such as Tokyo, New York, London, and so on.

    City at ground level is too crowded, polluted, and density. Let’s see how Neill Blomkamp, director of Elysium movie (2013) creating an imaginative idea of a city in space with ring structure shape. It is futuristic, but it can be real someday, and this Jakarta’s upper deck real estate should have become of a pilot project to start the sky cities idea. However, living above the ground is possible, but it will never meet with a natural environment that makes our life in nature. To presenting living harmony, an urban life should be in natural and integrated with natural ecology, natural landscape, natural ambience, and natural social interaction. All that I mentioned it could be presented by artificial, and it must be beautiful, but it will be boring also seems fake, and it takes us to become depressed and to cause mentality disorder. 

    So, what are the points in this case for me? I think this “initial” idea is amusing and creating a possibility to be developed. In my perspective, in the future, we all should be moved to live in second-third-fourth floor city. Let the ground floor returned as a green natural land, getting pure, clean, and sustainable. It is time to apologize to the ground level and get starting to living above a level; meanwhile, we are waiting for Elon Musk and Sir Richard Branson space shuttle promo ticket to taking us moving to our condo in Mars.  

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