Today people across the city go to the polls to endorse one of the more than 20 Bangkok governor candidates, making their choices based on a wide variety of criteria. But one thing almost all voters would probably agree on is that they don't really expect many of the promises made in the long election campaign to become reality. At the top of the list of perennial promises is to make Bangkok "green". A lack of continuity is partly to blame, whether within the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration or the national government. Whenever a new team enters it takes time to take concrete steps to implement green schemes. Ambitious projects are usually either forgotten or never get much past the blueprints. Meanwhile, projects started under the old administration usually either languish or are dismantled altogether.
There are some quick and easy ways to make Bangkok greener, at least on the surface. For example, promote green spaces on the tops of buildings and above canals, using planters that don't impede water flow and allow for maintenance. To reduce labour costs, this could be done with hardy species such as bougainvillea that require little care.
But in order to make the city significantly greener, with all the health and aesthetic benefits go along with it, it is necessary to go deeper and make make urban planning a priority. This means more large parks and better zoning regulations; again, this requires a consistent focus from one administration to the next.
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