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Title: Integrative analysis of city systems: Bangkok 'man and the biosphere' programme study
Authors: Helen Ross
Anuchat Poungsomlee
Sureeporn Punpuing
Krittaya Archavanitkul
Australian National University
Faculty of Environment and Resource Studies, Mahidol University
Mahidol University
Keywords: Environmental Science;Social Sciences
Issue Date: 1-Jan-2000
Citation: Environment and Urbanization. Vol.12, No.2 (2000), 151-161
Abstract: This paper argues that integrative analysis of city systems helps us to see beyond their current environmental and social problems to underlying causes, and it suggests different opportunities for possible interventions. Focusing on a single aspect of a city or its people without understanding its context risks interventions which treat symptoms rather than causes and whose short-term 'solution' often means that the problem returns in the same or perhaps a different form. Our integrative analysis of Bangkok suggests that the root of its environmental (and some social) problems lie in decision-making structures and a political culture which has historically fostered self interested decisions by stakeholders rather than the public interest. This has produced a land use and built environment configuration that largely ignores the functioning of the natural flood plain ecosystem and the well-being of residents. People adapt their behaviour to their environment but often in ways that have serious cumulative impacts on the city. This analysis suggests that problems need to be addressed at their source: the nature of decision-making by stakeholders, at every level. This requires the engagement of all parties inside and outside government, the elite and otherwise. To the extent that planning has a viable role, the focus needs to be on the source of the impacts, such as national development planning, rather than in sectors such as transport, where the problems are evident.
ISSN: 09562478
Appears in Collections:Scopus 1991-2000

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