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Bangkok’s Sidewalk Revolution: Governor Chadchart’s Vision for Safer, More Inclusive Streets

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Imagine strolling down Silom Road in the heart of Bangkok, early morning sun peeking through the skyscrapers, and you witness the dawn of a new era for the city’s pavements. Workers, in a symphony of coordinated effort, are busy giving these pathways a much-needed transformation. This spectacle was beautifully captured in a photograph by Somchai Poomlard, symbolizing the commencement of an ambitious facelift for Bangkok’s sidewalks.

In a city buzzing with endless energy, Bangkok City Hall has embarked on an exciting pilot project that aims to rejuvenate the sidewalks across 16 roads, covering an impressive total length of 86 kilometers. This ambitious renovation kicks off on the historical Rama IV Road, beginning its journey from Hua Lamphong, the iconic former main train station of Bangkok, and stretching a full 5km to where it gracefully meets Kasemrat Road.

The restoration project is split into chunks of tangible progress. The initial stretch, covering 2.3km from Hua Lamphong to the leafy gates of Suan Limpini Park (gate No.3), is already 40% complete. Meanwhile, the subsequent section extending 2.7km forward, tells a story of 57% completion, painting a picture of swift, determined progress, as shared by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA).

Last year, the city undertook the minor repair of over 300km of pavements, narrated by Wisanu Subsompon, a deputy Bangkok governor. Despite these efforts, the city’s pedestrians echoed a chorus of pleas for improvements, signalling that their journey on Bangkok’s pavements was far from satisfactory.

Chadchart Sittipunt, the dynamic Bangkok governor, acknowledges the pavement plight. With a sprawling network of pavements stretching over 6,000km across the capital, he admits that there’s still much work to be done.

The renovation blueprint is bold and aims high, aspiring for international acclaim in pavement standards. As outlined on the BMA’s Facebook page, the project introduces a slew of enhancements. The curb concrete edging will now stand at a neat 10 centimeters tall, a significant reduction from the towering 18.5cm of yesteryears. Further, the pavements will don a new coat – a layer of fortified concrete, chosen for its promised durability. For those seeking alternatives, asphalt concrete stands as a viable option under the new regime. This concrete will not only be 10cm thick but will also be reinforced with steel that’s 6 millimeters thick, ensuring that it stands the test of time and the trample of millions of feet.

Accessibility and inclusivity stand at the forefront of this renovation. Ramps will ease the transition at building entrances, ensuring a smoother journey for all. For the visually impaired, life in Bangkok is set to become a tad easier with the introduction of Braille blocks. Furthermore, to harmonize nature with urbanity, porous asphalt will embrace tree surrounds, making way for more walking space and greener sidewalks. A cutting-edge horizontal surface drainage system is also in the blueprint, destined to swiftly whisk away water, guaranteeing a puddle-free, pleasant walk.

Bangkok’s pavements are not merely pathways; they are the city’s arteries, pulsating with life and stories. With this sophisticated facelift, City Hall isn’t just upgrading concrete slabs; it’s curating an experience, a journey that’s safe, inclusive, and enjoyable for both the denizens and the many sojourners to this electrifying metropolis. So, next time you find yourself in Bangkok, remember to look down and appreciate the path beneath your feet, for it’s a path that’s been thoughtfully laid out with you in mind.


  1. CityWalker April 15, 2024

    Finally! It’s about time Bangkok took its sidewalks seriously. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve tripped over uneven paving. Hoping the new changes make a real difference.

    • SkepticalSue April 15, 2024

      I’ll believe it when I see it. They’ve promised improvements before, and yet, here we are. Plus, where’s all the budget for this coming from?

      • BudgetWatcher April 15, 2024

        Actually, investing in infrastructure often stimulates the economy. Better sidewalks could lead to more tourists and healthier citizens. It’s a win-win.

      • CityWalker April 15, 2024

        Agree with BudgetWatcher. Plus, the safer and more accessible sidewalks are, the more we can enjoy the city. It’s not just about walking; it’s about community.

    • GreenThumb April 15, 2024

      Happy to hear about the porous asphalt for tree surrounds. It’s high time urban projects considered nature too. More green, less concrete jungle.

      • ConcreteLover April 15, 2024

        Trees are fine, but let’s not forget humans need to get around efficiently too. I hope these ‘greener sidewalks’ don’t slow down foot traffic.

  2. TechieTrevor April 15, 2024

    The mention of a horizontal surface drainage system sounds innovative. Curious how it’ll handle Bangkok’s heavy monsoon rains. Could be a game changer.

    • OldSchool April 15, 2024

      Innovation is great and all, but what about maintenance? More complex systems mean more things can go wrong. Sometimes simpler is better.

      • TechieTrevor April 15, 2024

        Fair point, OldSchool. But progress requires some level of risk. If maintained well, this could solve a lot of the flooding issues on sidewalks.

  3. HistoryBuff April 15, 2024

    Renovating sidewalks is all well and good, but I hope they don’t erase the historical character of certain areas. It’s the soul of Bangkok.

    • Modernista April 15, 2024

      History is important, but so is progress. We can preserve history while still making the city accessible and safe for everyone.

      • HistoryBuff April 15, 2024

        There’s a balance for sure. I just hope it’s more harmonious integration rather than blatant modernization.

  4. BudgetWatcher April 15, 2024

    Everyone’s talking about the benefits or the aesthetics, but what about the actual cost? Infrastructure projects are notorious for going over budget. Who’s footing the bill when that happens?

    • TaxPayerJane April 15, 2024

      Exactly my worry. I’m all for better sidewalks, but not if it means a spike in our taxes. There needs to be transparency about the funding.

  5. AccessibilityAdvocate April 15, 2024

    Thrilled to read about the ramps and Braille blocks! It’s high time public spaces became more inclusive. This project seems to be setting a good standard.

    • VisionaryVic April 15, 2024

      Yes, and let’s not stop at sidewalks. Public transportation, buildings, parks—all should follow this example and become more accessible.

  6. TouristTim April 15, 2024

    As someone who loves visiting Thailand, these improvements could make a huge difference in how tourists experience Bangkok. Excited to see the changes on my next trip!

    • LocalLek April 15, 2024

      It’s great for tourists, sure, but it’s even better for us locals. It’s about time we had sidewalks we could be proud of and safely use.

      • TouristTim April 15, 2024

        Absolutely, LocalLek. I didn’t mean to imply otherwise. Improved infrastructure benefits everyone—locals most of all.

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