Even though Jakarta is the world’s fastest-sinking city, it's not the only city in the world undergoing this particular crisis. Places from New Orleans and Venice to Miami and Mexico City have been called sinking cities and are the subject of much media attention in recent years for becoming increasingly submerged by rising sea levels.
Due to its vulnerable coast and rapidly expanding population, South East Asia is actually bearing the brunt of this problem. Cities like Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, and Manila are some of the most affected.
The city proper has a population of more than 10 million, and the larger metropolitan area of the Indonesian city is home to a whopping estimated 30 million. According to the government's data, that's 14,469 people per square kilometer — 4,000 more people per square kilometer than New York City.
Jakarta has transformed into a concrete jungle. Much of the land that once boasted fields and mangroves to absorb the rain and protect the coast from floods, is now jammed with asphalt, freeways, and skyscrapers. And gridlock hasn't just locked in the people - but the water, too.
Currently, Some Jakartans feel little to no impact of the sinking, as it's occurring in large areas slowly over time. But for others who live along the coast, the issue can affect people's daily lives.
To tackle the problem, the government will need to enforce regulations against pumping, as well as take responsibility for supplying clean, piped water to the whole city. However, both corruption and limited trust in the government make this a massive undertaking.