Bangkok gov’s ’15 Minute Pocket Parks’ set to bloom

Chadchart Sittipunt’s dream of Bangkok being a lean, green, sustainable machine picked up more momentum at the weekend when promoting his “15 Minute Pocket Parks” policy.

The Bangkok governor last month invited the public to plant 1 million trees in the metropolis as part of his campaign to make the city greener. Now, the 56 year old intends on expanding his flagship project, creating green spaces and improving and expanding small public parks.

The scheme will be a challenging one in a city, with a population of over 10.5 million people, which gives way to an average of 7.6 square metres of nearby green space – a figure much lower than the World Health Organization’s recommended 9 square metres.

The Urban Design and Development Center, at Chulalongkorn University, found one has to travel 4.5 kilometres on average to find a green space. But Chadchart insists the city can make more green space available with help of private landowners, administrators, and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, who, at the moment, reckons the capital has 8,922 public green spaces, consisting of a total land area of 26,329 rai.

“On July 5, we discussed the plan to use the empty lots in the communities owned by the National Housing Authority to develop communal public green spaces.

“If we reach an agreement with the National Housing Authority, we can turn much of the unused land dotted around many communities into neighbourhood parks that the local people can easily access and use.”

Chadchart revealed the BMA has sounded out the private business sector to discuss developing public green spaces on privately owned land in the form of Privately Owned Public Space. He also added that the BMA will offer tax incentives for public services to find partners for joint development.

Yossapon Boonsom, a Thai landscape architect and director of Shma Company Limited, said the success of BMA’s mission hinges on key stakeholders.

“I agree the ’15 Minute Pocket Parks’ policy is a good solution to the city’s lack of green space. We really do need easily accessible parks.

“The business sector has plenty of resources to assist with the BMA’s plan to expand more public green spaces, but each company has different strengths and interests, so the BMA needs to be clear on which areas members can best contribute to the project and what is the most suitable incentive it can give them in return.

“The BMA also needs to work closely with local communities and residents, especially on project planning and management, because in the end we need to develop the space that suits those communities’ needs and make sure there is a proper management system in place, or otherwise the park may be left unused and unmaintained.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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