In a recent seminar aired by the Thai-language news outlet Thansettakij, which is a part of the reputable Nation Group, Thaiwut Khankaew, heralded as the director of the City Planning and Urban Development Department, brought to light an exciting new vision for the city of Bangkok. The seminar held at the luxurious Renaissance Bangkok Hotel was centralized around property development plans, shaping the future of the city.
The inauguration of the new city planning act of 2019 – replacing its predecessor from 1975 – served as the incumbent responsibility for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) to renew and meticulously devise the layout of the city Afresh. Reflective of the soaring voices and needs of city dwellers, it had become a necessity for BMA to upgrade and alter the status of multiple urban zones, because of the consistent city sprawl and the concurrent rise of new residential areas.
The unique feature of the city blueprint for Bangkok is that it is a plan that doesn’t expire; rather, it is a living, breathing entity always open to modifications pursuant to the inhabitants’ desires and the pulsating urban evolution resultant from the broadening base of infrastructure.
Among the array of changes to be implemented in the city layout, Thaiwut highlighted a significant one – the radical land reform in Bang Khun Thien district. This district, famously located on the coast of the Gulf of Thailand, will soon see a revolutionary transformation.
The BMA has grand plans ahead, charting out the construction of dams to prevent the erosion of a mammoth piece of 2,470 rai coastal land. Not just this, the development strategy includes the opening of housing estates, opulent hotels, and resorts sprawled across a whopping 4,400 rai of area. This has the potential to transmogrify the city into a bustling tourism hub, all under the guidance of Thaiwut and his committed team.
The paradigm shift doesn’t stop here as the BMA aims to uplift multiple zones, amending their status to accommodate commercial development. However, rest assured, the sanctity of Ratanakosin Island as a conservation area will be upheld, maintaining its embargo on the construction of high-rise buildings.
Following the vision to accommodate the growing urban population, the BMA plans to transform several of the capital’s fringes from agricultural spots to residential regions. Thaiwut shared the ambitious plan for eastern Bangkok, especially in the districts of Nong Chok and Klong Sam Wa. The BMA blueprints indicate the reduction of flood retention zones from 250 square kilometres to a mere fraction of 50 sq. km.
Tackling the flood issue at its core, the BMA is devising an improved drainage system comprised of a new canal. This canal will efficiently channel excess rainwater into the Prince Chaiyanuchit Canal and Prawet Canal, thereby draining it all into the Gulf of Thailand. The innovative and eco-friendly solution manifests the dedication of the government towards developing a resilient city while prioritizing the well-being of its citizens.
These sweeping changes are not far away, for the committee in charge of revamping the Bangkok city plan already held its meeting just recently. The planned changes will now be honed by a team of advisors in the coming month, as shared by the energetic Thaiwut, dedicatedly steering the city towards a brighter, dynamic future.