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, cafs 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 8.5 million people. New skycrapers, high-rise buildings, bridges, gardens have been constructed. 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.
First Asian-African Conference, also known as the Bandung Conference was hosted in Bandung by President Soekarno in 1955. Bandung will be supporting as one of the host cities of 2018 Asian Games. Current international airport redevelopment is completed in 2016. To improve infrastructure, the construction of Jakarta-Bandung High Speed Rail and Bandung Metro Kapsul, a type of indigenous Automated People Mover (APM) will start in 2017. The new Bandung Kertajati International Airport also will be completed as early as 2018, just in time for the games.
Bandung, the capital of West Java province, located about 180 kilometres (110 mi) southeast of Jakarta, is the third largest city in Indonesia. Its elevation is 768 metres (2,520 ft) above sea level and is surrounded by up to 2,400 metres (7,900 feet) (7,874 ft) high Late Tertiary and Quaternary volcanic terrain. The 400 km2 flat of central Bandung plain is situated in the middle of 2,340.88 km2 wide of the Bandung Basin; the basin comprises Bandung, the Cimahi city, part of Bandung Regency, part of West Bandung Regency, and part of Sumedang Regency. The basin's main river is the Citarum; one of its branches, the Cikapundung, divides Bandung from north to south before it merges with Citarum again in Dayeuhkolot. The Bandung Basin is an important source of water for potable water, irrigation and fisheries, with its 6,147 million m of groundwater being a major reservoir for the city. The northern section of Bandung is hillier than other parts of the city, and the distinguished truncated flat-peak shape of the Tangkuban Perahu volcano (Tangkuban Perahu literally means 'upside-down boat') can be seen from the city to the north. Long-term volcanic activity has created fertile andisol soil in the north, suitable for intensive rice, fruit, tea, tobacco and coffee plantations. In the south and east, alluvial soils deposited by the Cikapundung river predominate.
Geological data shows that the Bandung Basin is located on an ancient volcano, known as Mount Sunda, erected up to 3,0004,000 metres (9,80013,100 feet) during the Pleistocene age. Two large-scale eruptions took place; the first formed the basin and the second (est. 55,000 Before Present) blocked the Citarum river, turning the basin into a lake known as "the Great Prehistoric Lake of Bandung". The lake drained away; for reasons which are the subject of ongoing debate among geologists.