advertise here

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Urban Planning and the Economy in northeast Thailand, Khon Kaen 20.06.12

I just recently, after nearly 17 years in Thailand, learned of the Ministry of the Interior, Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning and now wonder what their function is relative to "Town & Country Planning" They do have a website and it has an English language translation, the part I found most interesting is
" The office of Town and Country Planning Board is an agency as a division. It is charged with providing technical advices on town planning to local administrative authorities, analyzing, examining, proposing preliminary opinion, conducting technical services, and arranging the meeting of town and country planning committee, town and country planning sub – committee and appeal committee, considering requests and appeal of stakeholders and after that declaring the resolution of town and country planning committee including monitoring the implementation of such resolution concerning to agencies or people according to the Town Planning Act."
I have spent time in every provincial capital in Isaan and over the years in 100 of cities, towns and villages in the region and a cursory look at planning at any level might  lead one to believe that either the officers of this Department are totally corrupt or totally incompetent.
Let's take a quick look at a small corner of Khon Kaen, here at Beung Kaen Nakhon.
Restaurants and business are going out of business for 2 reasons. The economy and  lack of planning are two of the main reasons. Traffic congestion and flooding are a big reason restaurants are losing customers. The arrival of many Bangkok residents in the area has increased the customer base, but it does little good for a restaurant, like many on the beung, that specialize in Isaan fare. And the new residents are adding to the congestion, and the lack of area to absorb rainwater.
A fter the Military, as an Engineer was a contract to collect, and review data for an urban area.
As far as I have been able to determine the type of data necessary for proper urban planning is not available in the region. Studies and decisions seem to be made in arbitrary fashion.
I have been posting the flooding condition in both urban and rural area for some time now. Until an educated concerted effort is made to protect the public from rampant unregulated building and land modification flooding will worsen, traffic accidents will increas and the quality of life will continue to degenerate in the region.
You may also like to read "Analysts savage flood plan" which I'll be discussing in a future post