The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on March 18 said it would help Indonesia develop the new capital city project in East Kalimantan, following the appointment of a former ADB vice-president as an overseer of the project.

The help will comprise designing the city, assessing potential environmental and social impacts and mobilising financing from the public and private sector to support the development, said the lender in a statement.

“ADB looks forward to helping plan for the historic relocation of Indonesia’s capital from Jakarta to Nusantara,” said ADB vice-president for East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Ahmed M Saeed.

The ADB announcement came just a week after President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo inaugurated Bambang Susantono and Dhony Rahajoe as the head and deputy head, respectively, of the new capital city authority, called the Nusantara National Capital Authority (NNCA).

Bambang was formerly ADB vice-president for knowledge management and sustainable development. He stepped into that position in 2015.

The city is envisioned by Jokowi as a green and sustainable city, incorporating renewables as its source of energy and using electric vehicles. The concept aims to reflect its surroundings, which are mostly the rainforests of Kalimantan.

ADB’s Saeed said the first step was to organise an international conference to learn how other countries have handled the development of carbon-neutral and inclusive cities.

“Developing a brand-new city provides a unique opportunity to incorporate the latest thinking on what makes a city pleasant and efficient to live, work and play in. ADB will share international lessons learned to help the NNCA design and fund construction of the new capital.” he said.

In response, NNCA head Bambang thanked his former office’s offer to support the development of the new capital.

“There is substantial experience in creating carbon-neutral and inclusive cities elsewhere, and we are keen to work with ADB to understand these experiences and incorporate lessons learned,” Bambang said in a statement.

The NNCA has a role in planning and constructing the new capital, overseeing the government’s transition to Nusantara and eventually becoming the city’s administrator, according to Law No 3/2022 on the new capital city, which was passed by the House of Representatives in January.

The NNCA is also in charge of coordinating and consolidating all ministries and agencies in the government to ensure development runs smoothly.