From centralised planning to collaborative urban land use planning: The case of Wat Ket, Chiang Mai, Thailand

TitleFrom centralised planning to collaborative urban land use planning: The case of Wat Ket, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Annotated RecordNot Annotated
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsSangawongse S, Fisher R, Prabudhanitisarn S
Secondary TitleSocial Sciences & Humanities Open
PublisherElsevier Ltd
Key themesAccessToJustice, Conversion-FoodSecurity, Urban

The conventional approach to urban planning in Thailand has been a centralised process that relies mainly on decisions by urban planners, based on national regulations and policies. This approach has been ineffective in Wat Ket, a small and unique area in Chiang Mai City in northern Thailand. A key problem is that some parts of Wat Ket were designated as a commercial zone, without the involvement and agreement of local residents, leading to land use conflicts and efforts by local people to challenge the zoning. Collaborative urban planning has been advocated and applied in a number of countries over at least the last two decades, but rarely, if at all, in ‘developing’ countries. The main purpose of this paper is to discuss efforts, by local stakeholders, to apply collaborative urban planning as an alternative approach to urban planning in Wat Ket. In support of the collaborative urban planning experiment, land use analysis applying aerial photography and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) was used as a method for quantifying land use changes. Findings from this study are that: (1) the experiment in collaborative urban planning led to some revisions of the land use zoning and the final draft of a specific plan in two designated areas; (2) the potential for collaborative urban planning in strengthening the participation of multiple stakeholders and contributing to knowledge in urban planning was demonstrated; (3) the willingness of the planning agencies to adopt the approach requires time and resources for any change in urban land use planning policy. It is suggested that further documented experiments in collaborative land use planning will be needed to encourage policy change. 1.


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Journal Article