New governor eyes 'walking streets' to boost locals' incomes

New governor eyes 'walking streets' to boost locals' incomes

Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt plans to organise "walking streets" for food and other stalls to create pedestrian areas that can help boost local district economies so people can generate more income.

Mr Chadchart made the remark at a meeting of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) about his 216 action plans to make Bangkok a more pleasant city for everyone.

He said he had instructed divisions under the BMA to proceed with their plans and provide updates online that are publicly accessible in the interests of full transparency.

He said his main concern is the economic problems people in Bangkok are facing. The governor said he had ordered the BMA's affiliates to plan promising projects to help local people, such as organising walking streets in each district or providing more opportunities for agricultural products in Bangkok to be sold.

The BMA is proposing more than 30 spots in the city where street stalls can temporarily settle to conduct their business, Mr Chadchart said, adding none of them will disturb pedestrians as every stall owner is required to follow certain regulations.

"Bangkok needs to share its spaces with everyone. Walkable streets can be well-organised and, at the same time, the city needs a market where affordable food is available. Those areas are open for local business and need to be hygienic and well organised," he said.

After meeting with the Chamber of Commerce of Thailand, Mr Chadchart said the BMA is eyeing projects to create open data platforms that young people can join. Moreover, the BMA plans to set up a committee of private sector representatives to help drive Bangkok's economy forward.

He said the local administration is also trying to promote Sundays as "car-free" days -- with motorists incentivised to avoid using their vehicles -- to ease emissions and lower energy use.

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