Absrtract: Rapid urbanization in Asian developing countries has led to large urban agglomerations called “megacities.” The Jakarta megacity keeps growing and has extended along a corridor linking Jakarta to the Bandung metropolitan area. The continuation of this urban expansion, which converts strategic rice fields, seems unstoppable, regardless of its adverse impacts. This paper had four aims: to describe the tendencies of urban physical expansion over the last four decades in the Jakarta megacity; to portray the pattern of changes in the total population and population density along the Jakarta-Bandung urban corridor; to define the potential impact of the emergence of the Jakarta-Bandung conurbation; to explore better approaches for future mega-urban regions. GIS and remote sensing techniques were employed to identify urban expansion and the conversion of rice fields. The results showed that conurbation accelerated after the development of a highway road linking Jakarta and Bandung, and the population and built-up areas along the corridor have grown much faster than the cores of the two metropolitan areas. Four factors have likely driven this urban expansion: ineffective government policies, private settlements and new town development, private industrial estate development, and infrastructure. A critical effect of the growth in the Jakarta megacity is the conversion of rice fields in the region that support the rice stock for Western Java. This study recommends new approaches to mega-urban governance in developing countries to avoid the inefficiency of scarce resources, including industrial estates and new town governance with reliable data systems and collaborative approaches.
Keywords: urban Megaurban, Spatial pattern changes, Urban growth, Jakarta-Bandung urban corridor