Trends in Thai Urban Planning 2021, through Visualizations


A compilation of visualizations I’ve created at Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council of Thailand (NESDC) for enacted plans, speeches, and public forums related to urban planning, during 2017 – present. Most of them were presented in Thai, please see English captions below the maps.

Update:

2021 content from World Town Planning Day 2020’s conference: ‘Wellness City Transformation’ (November 6, 2020)

References:

  • Futurizing Thailand in Futurizing Thailand Forum 2018, Chiang Mai, Thailand – the talk was presented by NESDC Senior Advisor in July 2018. The presentation slides can be downloaded below.
  • City for All in ASA Real Estate Forum 2019, Bangkok, Thailand – the talk was presented by NESDC Senior Advisor on November 8, 2019. The presentation slides can be downloaded below.
  • Directions of Integrated Spatial and Urban Development of Thailand in Wellness City Transformation Forum 2020, Bangkok Thailand – the talk was presented by NESDC Secretary on November 6, 2020. The presentation slides can be downloaded from World Town Planning 2020 website at: World Town Planning Day 2020 : งานวันผังเมืองโลก 2563 | เอกสารประกอบงานสัมมนา

Urbanization Trend in Thailand

Thailand and Urbanization: Following the global megatrend of urbanization, has become more urban than rural (urban > rural population) since 2016. The trend is projected to continue until 2050. 80% of total population will reside in urban areas (Institute for Population and Social Research, Mahidol University). Population sizes of current cities tend to expand (UN Population Prospect). (Wellness City Transformation 2020)
Thailand and Urbanization (cont.): (left and center maps) change of population 2008-2018 and change of housing 2008 – 2018 (right table) projected percent of urban population of Bangkok, its vicinity, Central, Eastern, Western, Northern, NE, and Southern Region respectively, according to Institute for Population and Social Research , Mahidol University
(Futurising Thailand Forum 2018)

Impacts of Urbanization

Primate City phenomenon, (left map) population size of the 30 biggest cities 2018, (upper right graph) population of the 10 biggest cities 2018 showing disproportionate population among Bangkok and the other cities, (bottom center graph) GPP/Capita Gini Coefficient 2016 showing inequality caused by the phenomenon, (bottom right graph) degree of primacy vs GDP per capita when compared to other countries showing Thailand’s severe degree of the phenomenon. (Futurising Thailand Forum 2018)
Climate Change and its effect on Thailand, (left map) repeated flooded area 2005 – 2016 where red indicates more repeated flood areas, raw data from GISTDA (upper right table) according to German Watch, Thailand is the 10th most affected country from Climate Change in 2017 (lower right diagram) Climate Change Performance Index 2017 by German Watch, Thailand is in the 36th from 60 countries with capabilities to reduce effects of climate change. (Futurising Thailand Forum 2018)

Current Urban Performances

The National Strategy B.E. 2561 – 2580 (2018 – 2037)

The National Strategy B.E. 2561 – 2580 (2018 – 2037) is the plan with highest hierarchy of Thailand. The purpose is to set the country’s long-term development directions. The plan is divided into 6 aspects: national security, competitiveness, human capital, inequality, sustainable growth, and governance. Urban development is addressed in Master Plan under National Strategy Book 6: Smart Livable Cities and Book 9: Special Economic Zones.

  • Book 6: Smart Livable Cities – is directly related to country’s competitiveness, inequality reduction, and sustainable growth.
  • Book 9: Special Economic Zones – is mainly focused on cities in the zones is directly related to country’s competitiveness while indirectly related to human capital development, inequality reduction, and sustainable growth.

The following diagram shows their relationships to the National Strategy.

Master Plans under National Strategy B.E. 2561 – 2580 (2018 – 2037) and their relationships to the 6 aspects of National Strategy. (Wellness City Transformation forum, 2020)
Master Plan under National Strategy Book 6: Smart Livable Cities aims to achieve 3 goals: country’s competitiveness, spatial inequality, and application of ecological planning in urban development. Guidelines for smart livable city implementation are: (1) regional economic hubs to become global cities (2) mid-size cities to become regional hubs of services (3) potential cities to become smart cities. (Wellness City Transformation forum, 2020)
Guideline #1: regional economic hubs (Chiangmai – Northern, Khon Kaen – Northeastern, Bangkok and Vicinity – Central, Eastern Economic Corridor – Central and Eastern, Songkhla and Phuket – Southern) to become global cities. (Wellness City Transformation forum, 2020)
Guideline #2: Mid-size cities to become regional hubs of services. (Wellness City Transformation forum, 2020)
Guideline #3: All regional economic hubs and potential mid-size cities and cities in special economic zones to become Smart Cities. (Wellness City Transformation forum, 2020)

Key Factors of Achieving the Plan

Key Factors of achieving the goals addressed in Master Plans under National Strategy Book 6: Smart Livable Cities (Wellness City Transformation forum, 2020). Examples of factors are: infrastructure, open city data platform, city finance, city governance, environmental management system, integration of economic-social-environment, and implementation of ecological planning. (Wellness City Transformation forum, 2020)

12th National Economic and Social Development Plan B.E. 2561 – 2565 (2018 – 2022)

National Economic and Social Development Plans B.E. 2561 – 2565 (2018 – 2022) is a 5-year national plan focusing on economic and social development. Urban development is the 9th strategy mentioned in the plan addressing major guidelines and specific guidelines for the targeted areas. After the enactment of National Strategy Act, the plan is required to comply with the National Strategy.

The summary of the plan in English version can be downloaded here: ewt_dl_link.php (nesdc.go.th)

Urban development guidelines in 12th National Economic and Social Development Plan (Wellness City Transformation forum, 2020)

How the Plans are integrated

Urban development’s common words among the national plans: National Strategy plus its Master Plans, 12th National Economic and Social Development Plan, Province Cluster Development Plan, and Smart Cities Initiatives (ASA Real Estate Forum, 2019)

Tool from Private Sector: the National Charter

National Charter on Urban Development (Thai: กฎบัตรการพัฒนาเมือง) is a new urban development tool designed to open the floor for city-stakeholders’ discussion. Using the framework, city stakeholders, not lmited to public sector, are invited to create shared vision(s) of their city under Smart Growth principles. It is proposed by Mr. Thapana Bunyapravitra and endorsed by Thailand Science Research and Innovation (TSRI). National Charter is a technique fairly used in North America and European countries.

Designing Cities under COVID-19

Draft of Ad Hoc Master Plan under National Strategy under COVID-19 Situation B.E. 2564 – 2565

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