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Jakarta is sinking, many neighborhoods are below sea level and battling floods, its groundwater sources are becoming harder to reach and more contaminated, and its rivers are fouled with garbage and raw sewage.

California's elected leaders talk a good game on climate change, sustainability and the housing crisis. But when it comes to actually changing the sprawling land-use patterns that have clogged the freeways, multiplied greenhouse gas emissions, exacerbated economic inequality and sent the cost of housing sky high, they've been MIA.