Bangkok to relocate?

Share this

A city commuter train running on an elevated platform enters a station in Bangkok on 14 August, 2019.
Photo: AFP

Thailand could be the next major ASEAN city to move its capital. Speaking at a seminar titled ‘Connecting Thailand with the World’ on Wednesday, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha brought up the possibility of moving the country’s capital, Bangkok – potentially following in the footsteps of Indonesia, which last month confirmed it will move its capital away from the congested and sinking Jakarta to the rainforests of Borneo.

Prayut noted there were two po

“The first is finding a city that’s neither too far nor too expensive to move to. The second is to decentralise the urban area to outer Bangkok to reduce crowding,” he said.

“Past governments were never able to pull this off, fearing it would cause irreparable conflict in society,” Prayut added.

The Thaksin Shinawatra administration (2001 to 2006) studied a possible move to Nakhon Nayok, a province about 100 kilometres north-east of Bangkok, and there were also studies two years ago about the possibility of moving government offices to Chachoengsao, a province about 80 kilometres east of Bangkok.

As with Jakarta, Bangkok also faces challenges such as rapid population expansion – both are cities of more than 10 million people – and climate change concerns such as pollution, land subsidence and rising sea levels.

ssible approaches to moving the crowded Thai capital.

Bangkok was named the world’s eighth most congested city in the world by a global traffic index last year, and an especially bad spell of smog at the beginning of the year caused health scares and school closures.

Built on once-marshy land, Bangkok is projected to be one of the cities hardest hit by climate change along with Jakarta and Manila, and the World Bank estimates that nearly 40 percent of Bangkok will be inundated in 2030 due to extreme rainfall and changes in weather patterns.

The 2011 floods were Thailand’s worst in 70 years and came at an economic cost of US$46 billion to the country. Around US$8 billion was spent on restoring Bangkok alone, where the floods affected at least 9,859 factories and 660,000 jobs. Moving forward, the World Bank predicts that almost 70 percent of the increase in flooding costs in 2050 for Bangkok will be due to land subsidence.

Read the full article at The Asean Post:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this

Leave a Reply