Governor sets sights on Old Town revamp
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Governor sets sights on Old Town revamp

Chadchart seeks input about how to make communities in the Rattanakosin area more liveable

A festival is held along Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem near the Hua Lamphong railway station in December last year. (Photo: Nutthawat Wichieanbut)
A festival is held along Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem near the Hua Lamphong railway station in December last year. (Photo: Nutthawat Wichieanbut)

Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt has vowed to bring to Bangkok’s Old Town the best aspects of sustainable development, before his four-year term ends in 2026

Addressing a recent gathering of local residents and officials in Samphanthawong district, the governor said he expected to see the neighbourhoods along the numerous canals in the Rattanakosin area develop into more liveable areas, with a good balance between tourism promotion and the happiness of local residents.

He was referring to communities along Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem, Khlong Ong Ang, Khlong Bang Lamphu and Khlong Khu Muang Doem and Khlong Lot.

“Two years have passed since the May 22, 2022 election. And before leaving office, my wish is to see changes in the Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem, Talat Noi, Yaowarat, Sampheng, Ratchawong, Khlong Thom and Phahurat areas,” said Mr Chadchart.

The governor said he had asked business operators and residents in the Yaowarat area whether they want more temporary road closures on weekends to accommodate more trade activities on the road.

Based on what he learned from his recent visit to Japan for an international conference of city governors, he said, it is important for Bangkok communities to enhance their strengths and identities to appeal to more visitors.

In Tokyo’s Ginza, for instance, on weekend afternoons when central Chuo Dori street is closed to traffic, it is transformed into a large pedestrian zone where tourists can enjoy dining at tables arranged for them right in the middle of the street, he said.

Locally, he suggested, the road in front of Wat Samphanthawong Saram Worawihan (Wat Ko), could be turned into a walking street, while Plaeng Nam Road could be converted into a new street food and dining zone for tourists.

The Song Wat area has won a global recognition mainly because of the way local business operators and residents united to revitalise what was once a run-down inner-city area, with support from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), he said.

The Samphanthawong district office is currently gathering the opinions of business operators and residents to develop an action plan for the district’s development, expected by the end of this year.

Public forums will be held to give local people a say about what they expect from the district’s development, said an official.

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