Rural-urban linkage pathways:
Bangkok’s urban expansion and peri-urbanisation connects strongly with the dynamic changes in their agricultural sectors. As the biggest producer of rice in South East Asia, Bangkok’s peri-urban areas is home to an immense area of primary agricultural lands. In social terms, this can be problematic as peri-urban development introduces new economic sectors, mainly industry and other secondary and tertiary sectors. All these sectors have the potentiality to replace farming. A point needs raising here is that a ‘rural-urban linkage’ pathway is one that endeavours to create a smooth socioeconomic transformation. This accounts for the potential loss of jobs in the farming sectors and how to create opportunities for substitutive jobs.
The second agenda on this pathway can focus on minimising the gap between the growth of residential areas and the provision of infrastructure services. As noted in the interview, there is a need for a better mechanism of peri-urban development to make possible the synergy between real estate and infrastructure. As the majority of development in Bangkok’s peri-urban areas are led by real estate corporates, Bangkok has great opportunity to involve private sectors in supporting the provision of better infrastructures and public services. However, this is at the same time challenging as the private and public sector agenda seemed to be overlapping. This requires a strong collaboration from both the public and private sectors to work on sustainable peri-urban growth.
Climate and resilient pathways:
This pathway centralises on the better management of water – Ground water conservation and flood risk management particular for the Chao Praya River catchment. The river plays a vital role in maintaining stability of water supply for the irrigation system as well as an important component of to control flood can contribute to an eco-design of peri-urban areas. There is also a need of a strong regulatory framework and implementation of climate policies to reduce emission in the transport sector considering the increase of traffic in the peri-urban.
Additionally, there is a need to deliver better management of coastal areas as Bangkok’s has great threats from the sea level rise. Strict zoning control to minimise development in the vulnerable areas can be an essential agenda, but foremost, is to maintain or revitalise the environmental well-being of the coastal areas.
Integrated governance pathways:
With complexities and the multi-scalar and multi-sectoral dynamics of Bangkok’s peri-urbanisation, it is vital for this pathway to encourage the establishment of a strong collaborative framework of peri-urban planning. This can be done by synergising actors in the various sectors – real estate, agriculture, transport, water and agencies or bodies responsible for the management of coastal and rivers. For the public sector, it is important to note that there must be strong integration between the state and the local government should transferring authorities become efficient in decision making and controlling development. There is also a need for both public and private sectors to nurture grassroot organisation working in the area of improving the socio-economic well-being of local people – for example, the community of farmers who did collective action to reconstruct the water system as both to mitigate flood and to maintain sufficient level of irrigation.