South Korea, Egypt, Indonesia, Equatorial Guinea and the British overseas territory in Montserrat’s decision to relocate their capitals was prompted by growing populations, natural disasters and climate change instead of political or security concerns.
According to data compiled by the Anadolu Agency, while only the capital of Montserrat is a “ghost town” today, the capitals of the other four countries are home to a significant part of the total population of each country.
In the past, many countries such as Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Brazil, Malaysia, Nigeria and Myanmar have changed capitals due to political reasons.
The events of the last 50 years have shown that natural events, climate and economic causes as well as population growth are behind the changes in the capitals rather than political reasons.
Egypt’s new administrative capital
Egypt’s capital Cairo, which is among the most populous cities worldwide, is also among the most important cities in Africa and the Muslim world, as well as one of the leading cities with its thousands of years of history.
While the city is expected to reach a population of 40 million by 2050, construction began on the new capital, which includes high-level public buildings, embassies and key financial institutions, in 2015, which would bring government buildings closer together and reduce Cairo’s population and traffic burden.
For the time being, the new city was named “New Administrative Capital”.
Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia which is one of the most populous countries in the world, is one of the cities that has started to move.
Although the relocation of the city with a population of more than 30 million began in 2019, it was delayed due to the covid-19 pandemic.
The capital is planned to be moved to the new city of Nusantara on the island of Borneo in 2024 due to reasons linked to increasing population and natural disasters.
On the island of Java, Jakarta is the largest city in the country with a population of about 275 million and faces various disasters, especially floods, every year.
It is estimated that about 25% of the city will go down to sea level or by 2050.
Population, proximity to North Korea
Plans to move the capital Seoul were planned in 2003, and the establishment of the city of Sejong began in 2007.
Full relocation to Sejong, where all ministries and government offices except the presidential palace and the National Assembly have been relocated, will be completed by 2030.
One of the reasons for moving the capital from Seoul is the growing population.
The fact that Seoul is located approximately 30 kilometers (Over 18 miles) from the North Korean border also raises security issues.
Another reason for the relocation is to bring economic activity to the central parts of the country.
Equatorial Guinea and the British overseas territory of Montserrat in the Caribbean have also decided to relocate their capitals.
Montserrat’s capital Plymouth, along with half of the island, was engulfed by lava, ash and mud from the Soufriere Hills volcano in 1995 and 1997.
While 7,000 people, including 4,000 living in the city, were displaced, a significant proportion of the population migrated to other Caribbean islands and the United Kingdom
Although Plymouth is still the official capital of Montserrat, where 17th-century colonial artifacts are still buried, the de facto capital is the city of Brades with a population of 1,000.
But Montserrat has decided to establish a new capital in Little Bay, in the north of the island, to get a more organized capital where larger ships can dock.
The process of establishing the new capital officially started in 2013 and construction of the port began in 2019.
While the city was planned to be ready to function as the capital in 2022, efforts were extended due to the pandemic.
Equatorial Guinea’s new capital also looks like a “ghost town”.
The capital Malabo, which consists of archipelagos and the mainland, is not located on the mainland, which houses 72% of the population, but on the island of Bioko, which is closer to Cameroon.
The new capital, Ciudad de la Paz, which is preferable due to its suitable conditions in terms of climate, security, transport of large populations and proximity to energy sources, is located in the eastern part of the mainland.
Construction of the city began in 2015 and would be completed in 2020.
However, apart from a few government buildings, a few villas, hotels and churches, the planned construction could not be completed due to economic reasons.
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