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Bangkok Synergy: A synergetic spatial vision to preserve Bangkok heritage, integrated with rapid mass transit system:

  • Patarakiatsan, T.
Publication Date
Jun 28, 2012
TU Delft Repository
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For decades, city plans of Bangkok have been the prerogative of a few influential interest groups. Interests of the middle to upper class and more powerful groups have been protects and carelessly neglected the needs and interests of the lower- income majority or other vulnerable groups, particularly those who live in unprofitable areas. The consequences of this approach can be seen in places, where a high proportion of population live in isolated areas lacking provision for basic infrastructure and services. In other words, when the city prioritizes global development towards efficiency and attractiveness, this exclusive approach results in segregation and fragmentation on the local level. Without being integrated to the urban tissue, this undesirable truth has triggered the author’s interest in seeking for the way to change the paradigm in which local level especially the vulnerable groups will also be able to participate and benefit from global interventions by the government. Therefore, it is very significant to promote urban vitality that enhances not only their living quality, but also economic viability and social cohesion. Thanks to the mass transit system (MTS) expansion plan of Bangkok launched by the government in last few years, the hypothesis of integrating global (infrastructure) into local dimensions (urban tissue) will be experimented. The thesis starts with a serious problem of the city brought by the MTS (elevated level) implemented on a fragmented and unorganized urban spatial structure (ground level) of the city due to a rapid urbanization. Without any coordination to urban development, when the market begins to intervene, losers are local residents seen via gentrification, segregation and inequity. However, in accordance to the expansion plan, it covers the historic core of the city, which is crucially needed to be preserved. This is a high time to reconsider and integrate not only global and local planning, but also urban and infrastructure development towards sustainability. By planning for local inhabitants, the inclusive approach aims to prepare for the undeniable infrastructure development to meet local demands and basic services before it comes and to make use of it when it finishes to improve spatial quality and to enhance socio-cultural dimensions together with economic conditions. To conclude, the author will focus on the local level and search for an appropriate linkage with the global planning by using the MTS network expansion and the historic core of Bangkok as the study case.

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