3) Spatial Inequality and Urbanisation: A Comparative Study of Chiang Mai and Singapore

Link to Full Policy Proposal: Spatial Inequality and Urbanisation – A Comparative Study of Chiang Mai and Singapore

Link to Presentation Slides: Session 4 – Group 3

Session 4 - Group 3.jpg

Muhammad Fiaz Gul, Muhammad Majid, Ng Chye Wee, Ong Jiefang, Prasanna Vishwanatha Salian

Rapid economic growth is often associated with spatial inequality and uneven regional and urban development. Spatial inequality can occur anywhere, within a country, between cities, as well as between rural and urban areas. Spatial inequality is an important feature of many emerging cities because there are more demographic diversity and more inequity between distinct geographical areas. Chiang Mai provides an example of a large urban environment with a high level of spatial inequality in terms of access to infrastructure and access to basic services such as affordable housing, medical care, plenty of green and public spaces, clean drinking water, sanitation etc. From the standpoint of equity, spatial inequality may be socially undesirable if it contributes to social inequality across regions.

Spatial inequalities present significant socio-economic and political challenges in Thailand and Chiang Mai in particular. Policy makers are concerned that development is likely to exacerbate rather than reduce spatial inequalities and therefore there is a need to respond to growing spatial inequalities in Chiang Mai. Singapore’s experience reveals that, to achieve sustainable urban development, there is a need for effective land-use planning and efficient spatial concentration, which depends on an appropriate combination of many factors. In this context, this project attempts to look at the issues of spatial inequality in Chiang Mai. By drawing lessons from Singapore’s development experience in reducing spatial inequality, the study seeks to recommend appropriate policy suggestions for more strategic and equitable urban development in Chiang Mai and to achieve the targets set under SDG 11.