Bandung (/ˈbɑːndʊŋ/) (formerly Dutch: Bandoeng, Sundanese: ᮘᮔ᮪ᮓᮥᮀ, Indonesian: Kota Bandung), is the capital of West Java province in Indonesia and Indonesia's fourth largest city after Jakarta, Surabaya and Medan, make it the third largest city by population, with over 2.4 million, and Greater Bandung made up of 2 municipalities and 38 districts, making it the nation's 2nd largest metropolitan area with 6,965,655 inhabitants at the 2010 census. Located 768 metres (2,520 ft) above sea level, approximately 140 kilometres (87 miles) south east of Jakarta, Bandung has cooler temperatures year-round than most other Indonesian cities. The city lies on a river basin surrounded by volcanic mountains. This topography provides a natural defense system, which was the primary reason for the Dutch East Indies government's plan to move the colony capital from Batavia (modern-day Jakarta) to Bandung.
The Dutch colonials first established tea plantations around the mountains in the eighteenth century, and a road was constructed to connect the plantation area to the colonial capital Batavia (180 kilometres (112 miles) to the northwest). The Dutch inhabitants of Bandung demanded establishment of a municipality (gemeente), which was granted in 1906, and Bandung gradually developed into a resort city for plantation owners. Luxurious hotels, restaurants, cafes and European boutiques were opened, hence the city was nicknamed Parijs van Java (Dutch: "The Paris of Java").
After Indonesia declared independence in 1945, the city experienced rapid development and urbanization, transforming Bandung from an idyllic town into a dense 16,500 people/km2 (per square kilometer) metropolitan area, a living space for over 2.5 million people. Natural resources have been heavily exploited, particularly by conversion of protected upland area into highland villas and real estate and, although the city has encountered many problems (ranging from waste disposal and floods to a complicated traffic system and lack of road infrastructure), Bandung still attracts large numbers of tourists, weekend sightseers and migrants from other parts of Indonesia.
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