Siam Society is hosting a forum entitled "Saving Bangkok's Historic Heart" on Wednesday afternoon to examine the threat to the historic district of the capital posed by the draft Bangkok five-year master plan.
The ‘Saving Bangkok’s Historic Heart’ forum will take place at Siam Society on Wednesday from 1.30pm to 4.30pm.
The panellists will discuss policies and laws that accommodate the need to develop and modernise the historic district of Bangkok, while at the same time protecting its heritage values and unique community character.
Explaining the purpose of the forum, James Stent, head of the Working Committee of Siamese Heritage Protection of the Siam Society, said the historical section of the old city Bangkok was gravely threatened by the new five-year plan. He said the issue rarely gets addressed, and even the last Bangkok governor election paid it little attention.
"Under this plan, redevelopment will be allowed and tall buildings will spring up in the heart of the old historical city," Stent said.
"This will end the old way of life of Yaowarat and other areas which are the historical heart of the city, expel communities that have lived in the area for a century carrying on their traditional livelihoods and ways of life, and damage the cultural landscape of palaces and temples of the Rattanakosin area.
"The new plan will remove many of the protections that have conserved the old city in the past. It will permit demolition of shop houses and construction of yet more shopping malls. What is to be done about this threat to the old city? That is what the communities involved, experts in urban planning and architecture, and government officials should come together to consider carefully before they destroy the heart of the old city forever." Emeritus Prof Dr Pasuk Phongpaichit from the Faculty of Economics at Chulalongkorn University, will moderate the panel. The panel will feature the following four experts: Somsak Songthammakul, a representative of the Woeng Nakorn Kasem Community; Asst Prof Dr Kittisak Prokati from the Faculty of Law, Thammasat University; Asst Prof Dr Wimonrart Issarathumnoon from the Faculty of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University; and Dr Jaturong Pokharatsiri, an instructor and researcher from the Faculty of Architecture and Planning, Thammasat University.
The forum will be conducted in Thai and admission is free. Advance registration is required. Call 02-661-6470_7 ext 204 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.