THE NEW FACE OF KALIJODO
The new fun park in Jakarta
alijodo in the northern side of Jakarta was not only a red-light district area, but also a dense slum. People used to say that wives would always worry if they knew their husbands were around Kalijodo because of the negative stereotype of the area. However, on my recent visit to Kalijodo, I found so many changes after a big transformation that was done by the end of 2016.
Covering 5,489 square meters of land, Kalijodo has turned into one of the family-friendly integrated public spaces in Jakarta. The area has been rejuvenated so well that there was no trace of slum area next to the Ciliwung River, which used to be easily spotted from the Jakarta inner ring toll road. The area now has become a big open space with some tracks and obstacles for skateboard, rollerblade or BMX bicycle enthusiasts.
ALL THE FUN!
A mini soccer field and a playground for younger children welcomed me at the front of the park. As I went further inside, I was really impressed by the graffiti painted on the playground walls. More than a dozen children were playing around the Kalijodo X Park – that is what the youngsters call this skateboard park now.
During my visit, I met Agung, a ten-year-old boy who was showing off his skateboarding skills to some older boys. Agung revealed that he has just learned to ride the skateboard over the last two months, not long after he heard about this new trendy place in town. According to Agung, many boys his age ride skateboards at Kalijodo now, and they are tempted to try new tricks and push their skills
to the limit at the park. Another boy there told me he has been learning to ride his skateboard for two years. Earlier this year, he was curious about this new skateboard park and decided to visit. Now, he rides his skateboard at Kalijodo X Park at least twice a week.
These children and teenage skateboarders share some tips and tricks as well as show off their skills at the area. As a new skateboard park in town, Kalijodo X Park – which is built to international standards – offers various obstacles for beginners and expert skateboarders. Beginners can try moving their boards on the flat area or glide at the diagonal ramps or the quarter-pipe obstacles, while the experienced riders can try the more difficult obstacles, such as the halfpipe or even the bowl obstacles.
Aside from skateboarders, the park is also full of BMX bikers and the roller-blade enthusiasts trying to enhance their skills. Kalijodo X Park is made complete with a skateboard and bike rental facility so everyone can have fun and try skateboarding and cycling even if they don’t have their own equipment. But for those who are not up for any of these sports, don’t worry because Kalijodo X Park provides a jogging track, an amphitheater as well as a night market and food market selling local delicacies. These facilities make the park even more popular for families, be it on the weekdays or the weekends.
Situated about 15 kilometers from downtown Jakarta, Kalijodo X Park is very easy to reach. For instance, the city’s bus operator TransJakarta has now opened a new city tour route with double-decker buses – the route takes passengers from Jakarta’s City Hall to the Kalijodo area in Penjaringan in North Jakarta via Sarinah and Tosari bus stop before the bus is finally off to Kalijodo via the inner ring toll road.
One of the main purposes
of this new city tour route is to accommodate local residents who want to visit Kalijodo. Thus, the buses are scheduled to operate from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the weekdays, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturdays, and 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays.
The good news doesn’t stop there. This new route to Kalijodo by TransJakarta is available for free, and that’s why many families are using the city tour bus not only on the weekends but also on the weekdays. However, for those who prefer to get to the park using your own vehicle, don’t worry as the park has a parking lot for cars and motorcycles.
Kalijodo X Park is one of the 71 children-friendly integrated spaces built between 2015 and 2016 in Jakarta. The transformation of Kalijodo – and the establishment of fun parks alike – raises hope for more family-friendly playgrounds in Jakarta.
What was a red district now has become a family fun park.
The new skateboard park soon becomes the talk of the town.
Not only a skateboard park, Kalijodo X Park also has an area for bikers and a playground for the little ones.