Mixed Land-use Planning on the Periphery of Large Asian Cities: The Case of Nonthaburi Province, Thailand

Sustainability Science, Volume 5, Number 2, 2010, 237-248

Yuji Hara, Ai Hiramatsu, Ryo Honda, Makiko Sekiyama and Hirotaka Matsuda

“Throughout Asia, rapid and uncontrolled urbanization has created serious environmental problems, and the development of sustainable urban–rural planning methods is of critical importance. To improve our understanding of mixed urban–rural land uses and provide future practical visions for regional planning, we conducted a case study of the urban fringe of the Bangkok Metropolitan Region, Thailand. After identifying local irrigation districts as the basic spatial unit for resource circulation, we quantified current material flows of organic wastes generated by households within each district. We then developed two different land-use scenarios for 2020: (1) a high-rise compact and (2) a low-story sprawl development scenario. These scenarios were compared in terms of efficiency of material flows and energy consumption. We found that, based on current infrastructure and technology, the latter scenario was more advantageous in terms of both material input and energy consumption than the former, thereby, identifying positive aspects of urban–rural land-use mixture. Based on these results, we propose that planners should focus on density control measures that take into account bioresource circulation within irrigation districts rather than simply drawing arbitrary land-use zoning lines. To this end, we suggest that the division between agricultural and urban planning departments must be bridged, and that research should take an interdisciplinary approach.”