Jakarta is turning a golf course into affordable housing and soccer fields

Soon to be soccer fields.
Soon to be soccer fields.
Image: Pusat Pengelolaan Komplek Kemayoran
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While Japan is using old golf courses for solar-power installations, Indonesia has found another use for them. In the nation’s congested capital of Jakarta, where green fields are hard to come by, a golf course will be converted to soccer fields and low-cost apartments. The kids that live in the apartments-to-be will be able to play in competitions organized by the city, Jakarta’s governor says.

Green fields are in short supply. Love of the game is not.
Green fields are in short supply. Love of the game is not.
Image: AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim

The 18-hole course is located in the Kemayoran neighborhood of Central Jakarta, also home to the city’s annual fair, and is described as a “challenging” course just five minutes from a toll road exit.

“The golf course in Kemayoran contains tens of hectares,” said governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama (link in Bahasa), “so you can create dozens of football fields from that.”

The governor hopes the fields will lead to better soccer talent. He said he was inspired partly by Brazil, where the sport is widely played in often makeshift open spaces.

Plenty of room to play.
Plenty of room to play.
Image: PPK Kemayoran

The course is part of a larger piece of state-owned land that’s being handed over to the city administration so it can prepare for the 2018 Asian Games, which Jakarta will host.

The land will also be used to develop an athletes’ village for the games.

“Who knows,” Basuki added, “[maybe] star players will be born here.”