Large scale development in urban areas will create impact not only to itself but to the surrounding areas. Kampong in Jakarta has its own particular structure and morphology. Originated as land for future development, lies in the middle of Jakarta, and often just at the back of the city's main street; urban kampong has high potential land value. Many scholars argue that urban kampong in Jakarta is one of the key elements of the survival of Jakarta to ne liberalization.
This paper studies how does work a mutual symbiosis between Kampong Menteng Atas and large scale development. Is it a smart option to maintain kampong physical existence in urban area? Or is it a gentrification in slow progress? Using the case of kampong Menteng Atas, this paper identifies economic activities which have done by informal sectors in a kampong in Asian Metropolitan City. Kampong Menteng Atas, at Kuningan area, South Jakarta is located just at the back of Rasuna Epicentrum development, which accounts more than 40ha of land. Such large scale development has changed the economic and social environment of kampong. Kampong Menteng Atas adapted against the pressure by providing various services with low values, such as food stall, cell phone shops, laundry, and rental rooms. The captive market of these services is mostly people who work at the development, such as employee, security guards, waiters, drivers, etc. With this little "help", real estate does not need to provide these services, thus keeping the development value high. In the early stage of the development, only food stalls emerged; but in later stage of the development (after 5 years) the service became more varied. The economic changes have also encourages social changes in kampong. Tempted by high return from these new economic activities (food stall can earn up to 3mio IDR/month, laundry can earn up to 7mio IDR/month, minimum wage for Jakarta is 2.4mio/month), the indigenous community flew away from the area. Those who choose not to sell (or not yet) their properties, prefer to convert them into commercial or rent them out. The high number of renters (often more than 1 in one room) indicates the high influx rate of immigrants in this kampong. The immigrants have dominated the economic activities in the area by 73% against the original inhabitants. As many of them do not mingle well with the original community or amongst themselves, it creates a fragmented society – far from the usual warm-hearted kampong society.
The research for this paper was carried out through observation, field survey and in-depth interviews as main data collection.
The results of the study demonstrate the potential of economic activities by informal sector in kampong Menteng Atas, where is adjacent with the well-developed superblock development, to deal with superblock development and to finally contribute to the understanding of how urban economic activities have been working in an Asian metropolitan city like Jakarta. The process and form of economic activities in kampong becomes a survival tool for social, economic and environmental urban aspects of the city.