Thailand is one of the few countries in the Third World where
economic and social development has been accompanied by a power shift
toward democracy.  Modern changes in Thai society which began in the late
19th century have been accelerated since early 1960s when economic and
social development was consciously singled out as the most important goal
of the country.  The direct foreign investment since 1986 has also had
effect on expanding the GNP and GDP in manufacturing or industry sectors.
Although these economic and social development has succeeded, it is true
that the development strategy have contributed to broaden the regional
imbalance.  In a word, Thailand has failed to narrow the widening gap
between the rural and urban income.
	Rural-urban gaps are most obvious when comparison is made between
the predominantly rural Northeast region and Bangkok, the capital and
mega-city of Thailand.  The bigger the gap, the more people come to urban
areas, especially to Bangkok.  The problems caused by urbanization
transition are varied. It causes not only environmental problems such as
air and water pollution, traffic congestion or the urban poor but also the
serious social problems in both rural and urban areas.
	This paper seeks to illustrate the various kinds of human
resource, environmental, social and economical problems caused by the
urbanization transition from rural to urban area.  I will also deal with
Thai governmental strategy which tries to decrease the regional imbalance.
The analysis is developed with the data from World Resource 1996-97
Database Diskette, Atlas GIS and National Migration Survey Thailand 1995.
This paper is closed by suggesting that an essential plan for decreasing
the regional imbalance exists in rising the public attention and in
encouraging the regional, governmental and non governmental organizations.
Land and Climate
	Thailand occupies the territory of the Indo-Chinese peninsula of
Southeast Asia which lies between longitude 97
 E and 106
 E; its southern and northern limits are latitude 5
 N and 21
 N, respectively.  The length from north to south is 1,684 kilometers and
its greatest width is about 780 kilometers.  The coastlines command
roughly 2,875 kilometers of the Gulf of Thailand and about 740 kilometers
on the Indian Ocean.  Listed clockwise, countries bordering Thailand are
Lao People's Democratic Republic (Laos) and Democratic Kampchea (Cambodia)
on the north and the east, Malaysia on the south, and the Socialist
Republic of the Union of Burma (Myanmar or Burma) on the northwest and the
	The country is divided into four geographic regions: the central
region which includes the capital city of Bangkok, the northern region,
the northeastern region and the southern region.  The central region is
relatively more prosperous and densely populated than others, whereas the
northeastern region is the largest land-locked area but the least
economically developed.  The total land area of Thailand is about 513,115
square kilometers.  Administratively, the country is divided into 72
provinces, 784 districts, 7,003 tambons and around 63,110 village.
Bangkok Metropolitan Region if the capital and also the principal port of
Thailand.  (Ministry of Public Health Thailand, 1991)  
	Thailand is a tropical country, with rather high temperature and
humidity.  The climate of most of the country is dominated by monsoons.
In most areas, there are three seasons: rainy (June to October), cool
(November to February) and hot (March to May).  Rainfall varies, but is
generally heaviest in the southern portion of the country. (Shin, 1996)

	The rapid economic expansion over the past two decades in Thailand
was accompanied by an equally rapid population increase.  As shown in
Figure 2, during the period of 1965-1990, the Thai population nearly
doubled, growing at an average annual rate of 2.8 per cent, from about 26
million to about 51 million.  However, the annual rate of population
growth has declined from 3.5 per cent during the period of 1961-1966 to
about 1.8 per cent in 1984. (Population Policy Background Paper, 1986)  It
is obvious that the population growth in urban areas is greater than that
of rural areas in Figure 3 and the difference is the biggest in 1995.
When looking at Figure 1, the rural population growth rate has been
declining since 1965 and in 2005, t will be below zero.  This is a
critical indication that the urbanization in Thailand is the serious
social phenomenon.
	The 1990 census shows that Thailand's population is 54.5 million
with a growth of approximately 1.4 per cent annually.  This trend in
population growth indicates that the country is growing more urbanized and
is experiencing and increase in the population of working age and old age
adults and a decrease in the dependency ratio.	

Figure 1.  Urban and Rural Population Growth

Figure 2. Population Growth in Thailand.

Figure 3. Growth of Total Urban and Rural Population.

Figure 4. Industrialized Country, Thailand. Inequalities in the Distribution of Gross Regional Domestic Product, per capita by region, 1978-88.

Map. GDP in Agriculture in Mainland of SEA 1990.

Map. GDP in Industry in Mainland of SEA 1990.

As shown in Map of GDP in Agriculture and in Industry in Mainland of Southeast Asia, 1990, Thailand is obviously not an agricultural country any more. Since 1986, Thailand has experienced economic growth, which has transformed the country from an agricultural into industrial economy. In 1986, agriculture, fisheries and forestry products accounted for 41 per cent of the total value of exports and manufactured products accounted for 55 per cent. In 1991, manufactured goods formed 75 per cent of all exports, and basic agricultural, fishery and forestry products accounted 21 per cent. Over the past years, the GDP has risen by an average of over 11 per cent per year in absolute terms. (Far Eastern Economic Review, 1992) However, Figure 4 tells us that this industrialization has been occurring only in Bangkok and its surrounded areas. An important indication o this figure is the very slow increase in productivity of agricultural labor. This can be compared to the fact that the Bangkok Metropolitan Region accounted 77 per cent, and the BMR plus the Central Region for 89 per cent of the nation's value added in manufacturing in 1987. This uneven pattern indicates that the combination of industrial boom brought by direct foreign investments since 1986 and faltering agriculture has led unmistakably to widening income disparities, with the largest decline in income shares affecting the poorest 20 per cent of the population. Definition of Urban Areas In Thailand, there is no official definition of the urban population. "A municipal area" has long been formally used to demote a non rural area by the Ministry of Interior. This has long been reported as equivalent to an urban in all censuses. The municipal area (or Mas) are established for administrative purposes under the Municipal Act of 1953. There are three classes of municipalities: nakhon (city); muang (town); and tambon (small town). An area which has a total of 50,000 or more inhabitants, with a population density of not less than 3,000 inhabitants per square kilometer, can achieve the status of nakhon municipality. The muang municipality requires a minimum of 10,000 inhabitants and the same population density as a nakhon municipality. But a place which is the seat of the provincial administration, regardless of whether it has a population size or density larger than the minimum requires for muang municipality, is required by law to be a muang municipality. The status of tambon municipality has no specific numerical criteria. It is established wherever it is considered appropriate through official decrees prepared by the Ministry of Interior. (Kritaya, 1983) In addition to these municipalities, there are urban sanitary district, rural sanitary district and village. Sanitary districts (SDs) are usually treated as rural, though many sanitary districts have archived the urban characteristics to qualify as municipality.

Figure 5: Urban Hierarchy in Thailand METROPOLIS (Only Bangkok has been designated as a metropolis since 1972) NAKHON MUNICIPALITY (Places with population of at least 50,000 and population density of at least 3,000 per square kilometer) MUANG MUNICIPALITY (Places with population of at least 10,000 and population density of at least 3,000 per square kilometer) TAMBON MUNICIPALITY (No specific numerical criterion) URBAN SANITARY DISTRICT (SDs with population more than 5,000) RURAL SANITARY DISTRICT (SDs with population not more than 5,000) VILLAGE *Urban and rural SDs are terms used by the National Statistical Office in the 1980 census report.
Bangkok has been termed a primate city, which heads a single city in a country in which is found a disproportionately large of concentration of the administrative, economic, educational, service activities and wealth of the country along with large of the total urbanized population. Even though there are other urban areas other than Bangkok as mentioned above, I would like to discuss the urbanization transition to Bangkok Metropolitan Region from other areas to make my ideas clear. Characteristics of Urbanization in Thailand Manufacturing There is no doubt that, beginning of the mid-1980's, Thailand entered a new era of economic development that highly depends on direct foreign investments and worldwide markets for manufactured exports. Exports of textiles, electric goods and other labor intensive manufactured goods accelerated from 1986 onwards and have been the major factor propelling national economic growth. Much of the push for export oriented industrialization has come from rapid structural changes in the economies into labor intensive production in ASEAN countries. During the three years from 1987 to 1989, Thailand was the primary recipient of direct foreign investment among the four 'next generation' manufacturing exports of Asia (the ASEAN 4 of Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia). With approximately three-quarters of this investment coming from Japan and Asia NICs, the $17 billion in direct investment during those years is significant not only as it reflects the high level of investment and rate of increase but also for what it says the new position of the Thai economy as a host for labor intensive export industries being shed from the higher income economies of Asia. The very rapid growth of manufactured exports following from direct foreign investments in Thailand has been accompanied by substantial increase in employment in manufacturing and related service sectors. As many as 500,000 jobs may have been directly associated with the growth of manufactured exports between 1985 and 1989. With the entire labor force growing by 3.8 million workers over this period, these figures imply that exports directly absorbed the equivalent of somewhat between 11 and 17 per cent of the additions to the Thai labor force. Needless to say, these direct foreign investments based industrialization have contributed to the concentration of urban population. Thailand has been long known for its high spatial concentration of urban population, urban-based manufacturing and industrial activities and urban amenities. Part of the explanation for this is geographical. Few other cities in Asia so solidly occupy the center of gravity of the national economy and its link with the outside world. The only significant challenge to Bangkok is Eastern Seaboard, which in fact is part of the emerging Bangkok mega-urban region. I will discuss Eastern Seaboard Project in later section. A second important contributing source of urban concentration has been the very narrow increase in productivity of agricultural labor. This can be set against the fact that Bangkok Metropolitan Region accounted 77 per cent, and this region plus the Central Region for 89 per cent, of the nation's value added on manufacturing in 1987. (McGee and Robinson, 1995) Tourism and Vietnam War The continuing expansion of tourism over the decade fueled substantial growth in the services in Bangkok's economy, despite the lack of direct coordination-ordination by government, giving rise to further growth in the entertainment and hotel districts of Silom-Suriwong and Ploenchit. The number of hotel rooms in Bangkok increased from 2,041 in 1964 to 8,763 in 1970, giving rise to claims that there were too many hotels in the city. U.S. military aid to Thailand grew as the conflict in Indo-China escalated, reaching peak levels in 1962-1967. The presence of United States military personnel, both permanent and those on Rest and Recreation leave, provided and added boost to Bangkok's services sector, particularly the accommodation and entertainment sector. Bangkok's red light district of Patpong areas is a product of this period. Originally as extension of the Silom business districts, this through-way between Silom and Sathorn became a lucrative investment for the family of Udom Patpong during the Vietnam War years. The New Petchaburi Road extension was a district of clubs and bars relying on the custom of American Servicemen. It is worth nothing that overseas tourism was booming during the Vietnam War years, with tourists outnumbering R & R servicemen by 10 to 1 in 1970, although servicemen probably had a lot more disposable income during their stays in Bangkok. But R & R visits dropped drastically in 1972 with U.S. disengagement from Vietnam, while overseas tourism registered a 28 per cent increase. Nevertheless, the R & R program had provided much of the infrastructure for the investing tourism; and another legacy of the war period: ex-servicemen were among the groups investing in the bars and clubs the multiplied in the later 1970s and early 1980s in Patpong, Sukhumvit and Pattaya. This expansion of service sectors in Bangkok have also contributed to the growth of urban population, especially the number of the women and children who would like to get heir jobs in the entertainment industry. The Middle Class and Education While Bangkok was becoming a center for western consumer spending with a retailing and entertainment industry expanding according to cosmopolitan tastes, the growing city was also the center of consumption for burgeoning Thai middle-class. The education expansion program of the later 1950s, boosted by overseas scholarship schemes, had produced an educated and well paid processional strum. By virtue of the historical concentration of administration and business in Bangkok compounded by ten years of urban biases development, three quarters of Thailand's university graduates resisted in the metropolis. In 1970, the level of concentration of this group was higher than it had been 20 years earlier. The establishment of new universities in Bangkok added to the process of attraction which drew students from the provinces to Bangkok. This served to concentrate consumption power in the metropolis. The growing disparities in per capita income between the Bangkok Metropolitan Regions and the other regions of Thailand was clear enough indication of this trend. Between 1960 and 1970 per capita income in the Bangkok Metropolitan Region grew at a rate higher than Thailand's average, with income for the metropolis 11,234 Bhat in 1970 compared with 3,849 for Thailand as a whole. (Marc, 1993) Among studies of rural-urban migration in developed countries, the most generally accepted behavioral assumption is that movements is motivated by the search for a better material standard of living, and therefore results from inequalities of material welfare between rural and urban areas. Generally greater inequalities cause greater volumes of migration. (Theodore, Peerasit, Paul and Sawaeng, 1983)
Reasons for Migration and Data Figure 6: Reasons for Migration by Type and Stream of Migration and Gender Place of Current Residence Bangkok MAs Rural Single Repeat Single Repeat Single Repeat Move Move Move Move Move Move Reason for Migration from Last Place of Residence Male Work 50 69 48 53 51 58 Family 22 9 28 28 37 29 Education 10 3 6 4 1 3 Problem 17 18 13 11 11 8 Other 0 0 4 5 1 3 Total 99 99 99 101 101 101 Female Work 40 39 52 42 26 48 Family 34 40 28 40 58 40 Education 5 4 4 2 3 1 Problem 21 16 15 14 11 11 Other 0 0 1 2 1 0 Total 100 99 100 100 99 100 Reason for Migration to Current Place of Residence Male Work 35 55 33 44 16 17 Family 60 44 54 55 83 81 Education 5 1 6 1 1 2 Problem 0 0 2 0 1 0 Other 0 0 4 0 0 0 Total 100 100 99 100 101 100 Female Work 36 43 37 29 14 17 Family 64 56 61 60 86 82 Education 1 1 1 7 1 1 Problem 0 0 0 2 0 0 Other 0 0 1 2 0 0 Total 101 100 100 100 101 100
As shown in Figure 6, reasons for moving from the first place of residents varied both by gender and by the region of destination. In Bangkok, males are more likely to seem that they have repeat movers and single movers. Both repeat and single movers have a high percentage of a problem with their previous residence. Women are more likely than men to move for family reasons. Female migrants to Bangkok moves almost equally for family or for work reasons. In municipal areas, single movers are nearly twice as likely to move for work reasons than for family reasons. The opposite trend is observed for female single movers in rural areas: 26 per cent of work reasons while 58 per cent for family reasons. In regards to their current residence, the majority of both men and women move for family reasons in nearly all locations. Slightly more than Bangkok move for work reasons compared to family reasons. This indicates that even though economic factors are the main reasons for migrating to a particular location, familial networks remain important. While rural networks are particularly likely to chose their location based on family reasons, there is little difference by gender for moving to the current destination. Impact on Environmental Conditions Air Pollution Air pollution is presently most serious, to the point of being critical, for people living in Bangkok. Over the past few years, the air quality has been rated "dangerous" throughout much of the time, with the annual average air quality index nearing 300 - the maximum acceptable rate being 100.
Figure 7: The Number of Motor Vehicles in Bangkok 1990-94 Type of Car 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 Sedan 899,161 918,595 987,999 1,091,836 1,214,927 Van/Pick Up 268,598 156,136 217,336 272,190 323,902 Taxi/ServiceCar 31,643 32,247 37,081 55,053 64,869 Motorcycle 728,679 887,289 1,006,302 1,105,084 1,233,503 Tractor 9,955 11,993 12,792 13,265 13,860 Farm Vehicle 33 69 69 Others 4,676 2,658 2,792 2,956 3,293 Total 1,942,712 2,008,918 2,264,335 2,540,453 2,854,423
The major air pollution sources in Thailand are transportation, fuel combustion from stationary sources, industrial processes and solid wastes. Large quantities for toxic gases and particulate matter are discharged into air by motor-vehicles and factories. (Figure 7) The number of the cars in Bangkok has been keeping increasing. Six air pollutant measured to indicate air quality: carbon monoxide, ozone, sulfur dioxide, suspended particulate, nitrogen dioxide and lead. Reports from the National Environmental Board shows that Bangkok, Samut Prakan, Chiang Mai, Chonburi, Khon Kaen and Hat Yai, have polluted with smoke churned out by hundred of industries and the lead-contaminated exhaust fumes emitted from over one million cars and some 660,000 motorcycles caught in the endless lines of congested traffic. As bad as the situation is at present, the prospects for the future are that it will get even worse. While dust causes irritations and allergies, carbon monoxide can build up to harmful level and cause headaches, impairment of mortal function, impairment of fetal development and death in the case of very high concentrations. (Suntree, 1993) Traffic Congestion Traffic congestion is one of the most obvious problems of the Bangkok Metropolitan Regions. Many areas in the metropolis are "super-blocked" where real estate is booming. Patches of empty land can be found in between major developments because of speculation. Also, the existing transit system is inadequate, forcing people to use private cars, thereby increasing traffic congestion and the demand for road use. Culturally, Thai people like to show off their wealthy so that having a private car can be an explicit indication of their being affluent. A few hours of congestion and traffic jams each day and loose concern for safe fuel consumption can cause air pollution as mentioned in last chapter. Public bus service is very poor and control in granting licenses to an incensing number of private vehicles in going worsen the problem of traffic jams. The rate of increase of vehicles in the metropolis is estimated at about 5.7 per cent annually and if allowed to continue, by the next decade, the number of vehicles will be doubled. Although a number of subdivisions in the suburbs have built their own road networks, there is no integrated master plan to guide and link one subdivision to next. The result is a patchwork of fragmented and disconnected roads that could otherwise serve as diversion roads. At present, a number of gigantic projects have been identified in order to cope with the problem, especially expressway and a mass rapid transit system such as monorail and subways. However, these mega projects could be used if there are not enough secondary and feeder road networks to link them. It is believed that land acquisitions are the main constraint. Construction of the mass rapid transit system has been delayed, leaving only the inadequate bus service of the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority to meet transportation on the metropolis. At the same time, ongoing road repairs and construction works at many significant points in the city have caused heavy traffic jams. On bad days, traffic jams have been known to stand still hours. Water Pollution Water pollution is another product of Bangkok's growth, and here private industry and households are equally blamed. Traditionally, Bangkok has been a city with a pot of crisscrossing canals (klong), and its residents have relied on canals and rivers for bathing, traveling, drinking and waste disposal. Before industrialization, water pollutants went through the usual process of purification by bacteria interacting with dissolved oxygen which broke down these wastes into works, because the tremendous quantities of waste discharged into the water is greater than the available oxygen can cope with. Further more, some types of industrial waste sets off a biological process which accelerates the depletion of oxygen. (Tawanchai, 1987) For the majority of the residents are not served by a piped-sewerage system, sanitary facilities range from septic to nothing at all, especially in the slums in Bangkok. Needless to say, these slums are composed of the migrants from other municipal districts, sanitary districts or villages. Human waste is disposed of mainly through septic tanks and cesspools, and the effluents are discharged into storm water drains or klong. Inefficient drainage, together with periodic flooding and a high water table makes water pollution a health hazard. It has been estimated that about 50 per cent of the city's 2,500 tones of garbage finds its way into klong daily. (Sham, 1993) Slums One result of an inadequate supply of decent housing in Bangkok is the presence of slums which in the Thai context means a settlements of low-income people occupying sub-standard housing or merely house-like structures with no security of tenure, and with virtually no access to public services. According to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, there were 433 slums in Bangkok in 1982 (Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, 1983) with about 1,2 million people living there. A survey of 108 slums areas by National Housing Authority reveals that the size of slums varied from 42 to 2,000 families, with the average slum housing 247 families. (Paiboon) Slums occupied by workers, street vendors, unskilled labors, lower level of government officials and others. The average family income in slums is 3,000 Baht per month, well below the average monthly income of Bangkok households which was 4,231 Baht per month in 1982. The majority of the slums, 59 per cent, are found on privately owned land, while 37 per cent are on government owned land and the remaining four per cent are owned by the slum dwellers. Slums developed mainly as a result of the rural poor migrants to Bangkok in search for jobs. Without enough income or marketable skills, often having several dependent, people were unable to afford rental housing and were forced to set up crude houses on vacant land without the owner's permission. Although landowners often charge rent for profit while waiting to develop their land, the government usually does not charge rent and throw out the poor. In both cases, there are virtually no public services such as piped water or sewerage as mentioned in the section of water pollution, since the slums are not viewed as permanent housing. Rather it is assumed that slum residents will eventually the relocated elsewhere. Some slums have been established for over ten years. One feature that add further misery to Bangkok slum is their location near marshy areas of the flood-prone city. Only 22 per cent of the slums are located on dry land. (Paiboon) Much slum housing has had to be built on sites over polluted and stagnant waters, filled with mosquitoes and germs. An example of such slums is on the territory of the government-run Port of Bangkok in the Klong Toey area. Another feature id the "moving Slum". Settlements of construction workers, living in temporary shacks around a building site until the project is completed, move with their families to wherever the their construction company has a project. There are no figures on the total size of this type of slums, but given the building boom in Bangkok since the 1960s, it would be considerable. Impact on Social Condition Socially, migration can have a great effect on both rural and urban areas. In many developing countries it has been suggested that rural migrants are drawn from two extreme types: person s sufficiently interested and motivated to migrate in search of education or wider opportunities in urban centers and persons who are driven by the poverty of the village and are attracted by the opportunities in the city. In Thailand, a number of studies of migration show consistent findings on educational selectivity among out-migrants. Those who move out, although not highly educated, generally have higher average education than non-migrants. This selectivity has a negative effect on the village of origin. The better educated out-migrants take with them the investments made in education. Moreover, rural social and economic conditions may shut those migrants out once they leave in that many of them cannot or do not return to the village due to the lack of employment suitable to their education and ability. Another aspects of rural out-migrants which is seen as having a negative impact is a disruption of kinship or clan ties. Increased rates of movement of young people from villages to towns are viewed as a sign of breakdown of family and village society. Rural out-migrants may lead to the reduction of kinship dominance over person's behavior but it is also argued that the extent of the impact on family and kin in the place of origin depends on the type, permanence and distance of migration as well as the ties retained by a migrant with the family left behind in the village. On the positive side, migrants who return to their villages may stimulate the process of change, functioning as agents for the diffusion of the ideas and technologies. Successful rural migrant returning from urban areas are often equipped with new ideas and skills gained during their stay in the city which they can share with those who remained behind. It is not only the sending areas that are effected by migration. Mass movements of population from rural areas affect the social structure in the urban receiving areas, too. Migrants who moved to a city with a different cultural background and behavioral norms can create tensions or social confronts between migrants and urban native or among migrants themselves. While staying in Thailand in past summer, I met a news article mentioned that a guy from Northeast region working in Bangkok was arrested of eating a black dog, which is culturally admitted behavior in Northeast region in Thailand. This kind of collective violence and conflict in the cities can result from a lack of the public information centers or supportive institutions for migrants. There are problems of assimilation and integration as migrants, especially recent movers, are less prone to join with new neighbors or other formal association in the places of destination. Impact of Economical Condition In general, migration from rural to urban areas is seen to be beneficial to both urban and rural economic development. At the micro-level, however, individuals and families migrating to Bangkok face competition for jobs from those already resident there. Poverty and slum residents in urban areas are associated with the problems of unemployment, underemployment at very low wages with unfavorable working conditions that the newcomers face. Migration represents a transfer of both labor supply and human capital. Lost primarily are persons 15 to 29 years of age, generally considered the prime years of productivity in rural areas. The absence of migrants in the prime years of economic productivity tends to increase the dependency ratio for those remaining in the areas of out-migration, especially in areas where the fertility level remains unchanged. This demographic effect of out-migration can have economic consequences. In the worst case, it may lead to changes in the economic structure of the community. Where labor shortage is not too serious, rural families can adapt to the situation. The adaptation may be that the women and children who are left behind take on more responsibility for agricultural work, use remittances receives from migrants to hire extra labor for farm work or switch to less labor intensive crops. Where the absence of male manpower is too great or hired labor is unavailable or too expensive, the result may be a reduction of agricultural production or even leaving the land uncultivated. If these situations remain unsolved in the long term, they would not only have a strong impact on the economic situation but also would alter social conditions in the community through the disruption of family stricture changing the role of women, etc. (Bahssorn and Penporn, 1987) Policy of Thai Government and Its Implementation National Economic Social Development Plan Thai government have tried a variety of policies intended to achieve more equitable distribution through influencing population movement. Policies or measurements have been initiated or adopted to discourage migration or to direct the flows of movement away from large cities. I will discuss the National Economic Social Development Plan, which, I think, one of the significant policies of Thai government. The National Economic Social Development Plan (NESDP) was established to draw up five-year development plans in economics, education, society and administration in 1961. In the Forth (1977-81) and the Fifth (!982-86) Plans, it sought to control the growth of Bangkok and achieve better balance between rural and urban development. The principal means to accomplish this was to direct investments to a select number of growth poles and lower-order rural centers in each of the major regions. However, during this period, polarization in the Bangkok Metropolitan Regions continued and rural-urban inequalities remained high. The Fifth Plan was critical of past policy and planning efforts, because it empathized that the major development issue was how to slow down Bangkok's population growth and lessen its economic dominance. To overcome those deficiencies, it outlined a comprehensive strategy for Bangkok's development in the form of a "Structural Plan for the Development of the Bangkok Metropolis and Vicinity Towns". The basic aim was to decentralize economic activity and thereby diffuse growth from the capital city to the five surrounding towns of Samut Prakan, Pathum Thani, Nonthabuti, Nakhon Pathom and Samut Sakhon, located in the five adjoining changwats (prefectures) of the same names. The plan proposed that these outlying areas be developed as planned communities with a high degree of self-sufficiency, thereby ensuring that residents would not need to commute Bangkok for employment or lower-level of services but only periodically for special cultural or entertainment facilities. It also intended that agricultural land in and around the five towns would be preserved and in order to prevent the urbanized parts of Bangkok from spreading farther, a green belt would be designated around the current boundary of the city. Thus, Fifth Plan, through the 'Structural Plan', continued to advocate multi-nucleared or polycentric metropolitan regional development of Bangkok. Another key spatial component of the Fifth Plan was the decision to develop the Eastern Seaboard into a major location for the basic industries. Although many opportunities to link rural and urban development on a regional scale remained relatively unexpected, the Sixth Plan (1987-91) adopted a much more clearly urban oriented view of development, which reversed the previous position on limiting the growth of Bangkok Metropolitan regions. According to the summery of the Sixth plan, controlling the growth of the Bangkok metropolis remained an important national goal. However, despite of the very clear statement of the objective to control Bangkok's growth, a considerable amount of investment in large-scale infrastructure projects was still being planned for a capital city. This means that instead of trying slowing down of the growth of Bangkok Metropolitan Regions, policies were directed towards improving urban management through privatization. The extended Bangkok Metropolitan Regions still represents the most important economic and employment base in the country itself. The regional policies of the Sixth plan have been substantially carried over into the current Seventh Plan (1992-96), except that the new plan does not formally recognize the extended Bangkok Metropolitan Regions as a geographical entity for the government investment. The focus remains on regional growth centers, and investments are to be coordinated through the Ministry of Interior form central to provincial and municipal levels. Local levels of government are to be strengthened to enhance planning and implementation. The Eastern Seaboard Project This is one of the development projects to accelerate the provincial development with decentralization. These regions include three prefectures which are facing to the Gulf of Thailand and aim to develop the oil chemistry utilizing natural gas and its associated industries. They are far from Bangkok enough to establish the individual economy and society and close enough to keep the communication with Bangkok. The infrastructures which Thai government developed included two industrial areas. The one focuses on a light industry with no pollution, the other oil and heavy industry. In addition, irrigation pipeline, new town housing, telecommunications were established. Thai government expects that there will be new job opportunities for about 13,000 people and also these regions will substitute for Bangkok Metropolitan Regions. There is a expressway between Northeastern region and the Eastern Seaboard, which must contribute to the development of Northeastern region and decentralization of population to Bangkok from this region. As part of the metropolitan region, the Eastern Seaboard will serve as the country's major industrial base and a new gateway to industrial growth. The seaboard is seen as a countermagnet, providing alternative investment locations to reduce congestion in the Bangkok metropolis and its vicinity towns. It is considered that the seaboard will be served with a regionally integrated transportation network of a high standard, which would link the metropolis with the inner parts of the country. m Communication networks and the new deep-sea port in the Eastern Seaboard development will increase international contacts for the metropolitan regions. To accomplish these development schemes, it is necessary to speed up expansion of major infrastructure in the seaboard, especially roads, rail and communication systems connecting the major ports of to industrial estates at Leam Chanbang and Map-Ta-Phut. All the major urban centers of the seaboard must be well equipped with standard social services and infrastructure, community environmental improvement programs and upgraded administrative bodies. The seaboard must be connected to the rest of the nation via new transportation and communication networks, and an improved international communication network will be needed to maximize its role as a new economic zone. The success of the Eastern Seaboard Project is attribute to the multi program of Thai government and private sectors. Metropolitan Regional Structural Plan National Economic Social Development Seventh Plan recommends studying how to target the metropolitan region for development by using the Bangkok Metropolitan Regional Structural Plan to provide the region with a proper plan of orderly growth. The Bangkok Metropolitan Region Structural Plan emphasizes growth to the northern and southeastern parts of the metropolis in order to link Bangkok with the Saraburi Industrial Complex and the Eastern Seaboard. The clear direction offered for regional growth in the plan will assist the alignment of major infrastructure investments rather than allowing growth to sprawl in every conceivable direction. This plan formulates measures to relieve congestion in the metropolis through construction of satellite cities and new towns, controls on building construction of city core, and prevention of housing sprawl along the main highways. The following strategies are laid out in the plan:
-Empty and unused lands in the suburban areas will be used efficiently by providing access roads to link them with existing main roads. -Promotion zones will be established, with proper controls on high-rise buildings, especially in areas directly served by rapid mass transit. The high standard of services that these areas need could be met by requiring relevant private entrepreneurs to participate in investment projects to solve traffic problems, water supply and waste water treatment and other environmental issues. In fact, a master plan for waste water treatment and a garbage disposal system has been jointly undertaken by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and a number of private firms and could eventually serve the entire metropolitan areas. -Urban communications will be improved and rehabilitated, provision of more recreation areas will be encouraged, and historically and culturally significant areas will be conserved. This last point applies particularly to Rattanakosin Island, where it would also benefit tourism. (McGee and Robinson, 1995)
In this Metropolitan Regional Structural Plan, the northern part of the metropolitan region is especially considered as the industrial zone for the Upper Central region, the center for industrial activities relocated from Bangkok metropolis (Saraburi Industrial Complex). The regional network of roads and rail will directly link the industrial zone with the seaboard for transporting export commodities without having to go through Bangkok. This direct network is important not only because it will save time but also because it could help reduce congestion in Bangkok as mentioned above. This industrial zone can be divided into three areas: (1) Saraburi as the main urban center and economic base of the Upper Central Region in trade, transportation and support services (Saraburi Industrial Complex); (2) Kaeng Koi as the center for cement and construction industry and other industries relocated from Bangkok and its vicinity towns; and (3) The Rua/The Luang as an agree-processing center for exports. (McGee and Robinson, 1995) To make the zone function effectively and attract industrial relocation and new factories, it is important to provide incentives beyond the speedy provision of necessary infrastructure services. The creation of export promotion zones is an example. (See Map of Metropolitan Regional Structural Plan) Suggestions Success in stimulating regional development through a focus on four or five regional cities, Eastern Seaboard or Bangkok Metropolitan Regional Structural Plan has had only limited success over the past few years. Whether investments were too modest or institutional frameworks too centralized is a matter of debate, but more substantial limitations exist within concept itself. For the most part, even the largest provincial cities are too small in comparison to Bangkok. A Chiang Mai study shows, for example, that investing in municipal services and infrastructure in this city have a marginal impact as a whole. The country site cannot provide what is needed in a modern industrializing economy and also there is no effort has been made to develop new business to use what is available in rural areas of the region. Policies are needed to consider the urban-centered approach toward rural regional development. In regards to traffic congestion in Bangkok, the public transportation system should be developed to reduce congestion in densely populated areas. Current Bangkok Governor, Phichit, has been trying hard to construct the new expressways, sky monorails and also begun to construct the subways. It is not until the completion of these constructions that we can debate the new suitable policies toward the traffic problems in Bangkok. However, it is true that the traffic congestion in Bangkok is worsen and worsen everyday, partly because of this construction of new transport systems. I suggest that Bangkok Metropolitan Administration should bring public attention to share the car in the morning and evening at the time of the worst traffic condition, speed up the constructions, and implement the water transport systems and bus services. In regards to the slum problems, this is directly connected urban poor problems. Most of the urban poor from other districts in search for jobs are struggling for put themselves in the urban framework such as better life, giving education to their children and so on. One Japanese NGO called SVO (Sotoshu Volunteer Organization) has been working in the Klong Toey Slum, biggest slim in Bangkok, to help especially children there. They are providing school education, medication, sanitary facilities and parental education. Their activities are well known to not only the Japanese but also people in Bangkok. Bangkok Metropolitan Administration should recognize that the urban poor represent potential labor power and this labor power should be encouraged by providing training in new skills and promoting small scale enterprise and self employment development skills in order to upgrade its production capability. In order to accomplish this suggestion, Administration should recommend a policy to enact specific legislation to protect the housing rights of the urban poor in the slums. Conclusion The population problem has the effect on social and economical development in every country. The imbalance between Bangkok Metropolitan Regions and other municipal areas or villages is one of the most significant inequalities in the world. Managing the future of Thailand itself has a number of policy dimensions. The policies in the Seventh Plan and Metropolitan Regional Structural Plan aim to enhance the positive functions of the metropolitan regions to create a center that can provide opportunities for higher incomes and better services and living standards. However, we cannot ignore the importance of the encouragement of the other municipal areas such as Chiang Mai in North, Khon Kaen in Northeast and Songkhla/Hat Yai in South. More specific regional plans for those areas are needed in order to decentralize the population. These plans should focus on providing the job opportunities with better incomes, the good educational institutes so that the young do not have to go to Bangkok and bringing the infrastructures to catch up with the growth of Bangkok. From this perspectives, policies to manage the Bangkok Metropolitan Regions and to encourage the growth of other districts will require two aspects; first, how to continue attracting and keeping mobile investments: and, second, how to translate them into suitable development that closes gaps between urban and rural areas in terms of economics, infrastructures, services an environment. Thailand, in fact, has a unique opportunity to provide a new model for urban and rural development that is likely to Southeast Asia. This opportunity drives, in part, from the capacity of the Thai economy to develop along both urban-industrial and rural-agricultural lines of economic growth. Thailand still has a rich and diversified agricultural base, which is expected to contribute to substantially to economic growth in rural areas in the future. Agri-industry now accounts for more than half of the industrial GDP for the nation, and the economies of the most regions outside of Bangkok depend on agriculture as the basic economical sector. A national strategy of economic growth with the imbalance and the poverty reduction should take advantage of these various opportunities to raise the incomes of rural people where they live and to reduce the extent of urbanization transition. It is also necessary to enhance the power of administrative, political and private organizations in rural areas in Thailand. References Archavanutkul, Kritaya. "Migration and Urbanization in Thailand, 1980: the Urban-Rural Continuum Analysis" IPSR Publication No 122, January 1988 Askew, Mar. 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"Thailand at the Crossroads of Development" Kokusai Shoin, Japan, 1995 Notes Ministry of Public Health Thailand 1991 Dah-Kuen Shin "Analysis of Infant and Child Mortality and Associated Factors in Taiwan and Thailand: 1961-1990" 1996 pp. 154-155 Population Policy Background Paper for the Sixth Social Development Plan 1986 Far Eastern Economic Review 20 August 1992 p 44 Kritaya Archvanitkul "Migration and Development in Modern Thailand" 1983 p 100 T.G. McGee and Ira M. Robinson "The Mega Urban Regions of Southeast Asia" 1995 pp. 56-57 Marc Askew "The Making of Modern Bangkok: State, Market and People in the Shaping of the Thai Metropolis" 1993 p 12 Theodore F., Peerasit K., Paul L. and Sawaeng R. "Migration and Development on Modern Thailand" 1983 p 100 Suntree Komin "A Social Research of Environmental Problems in Thailand" 1993 p 261 Tawanchai Xoomsai "Bangkok, Thailand: The Quality of Life and Environment in a Primate City" 1987 p 20 Sham Sani "Urban Environment Issues in South-East Asian Cities: And Overview" 1993 p 351 Bangkok Metropolitan Administration "Annual Statistics of Bangkok Metropolis 1983" 1984 p 136 Paiboon Knjanaharitai "Bangkok: The City of Angels" p 214 Ibid p 214 Bahssorn L., Penporn T. "Population Mobility and Development Issues Thailand" 1987 pp. 64-67 T.G. McGee and Ira M. Robinson "The Mega-Urban Regions of Southeast Asia" 1995 p 336 Ibid p 337