Sunday, February 6, 2011

Planning a Deep Island: introducing Space Syntax to an urban planning process for Phuket, Thailand

Apiradee Kasemsook and Khaisri Paksukcharern

To what extent can Space Syntax techniques be applied to an urban planning process for an area as large as a principal provincial city? How could the outcome of this integration influence a set of local areas' urban project plan and enhance the public's understanding on the spatial logic of their local areas? This paper is a report of a pilot urban planning project in Thailand that is the ¯rst to integrate Space Syntax as one of the tools to investigate the existing urban spatial network of a city and some of its local areas. Connecting to the mainland by only a road bridge at its north side, the study area is Phuket Island, a principal provincial city and a main tourist destination in Thailand. The main aim is to use Space Syntax as a medium for identifying spatial problems and their related urban phenomenon and as one of the tools to assist urban planners/designers as well as local people to participate in laying out a set of controls and urban project plans. It is clear that by far Space Syntax has identified a deep spatial structure of the island including a crucial relationship with its imbalanced urban development including trace problems and accidental rates. In addition to several other land use controls and `beautifying the city' urban design guidelines that were set out for Phuket, the study also suggests that Space Syntax should be properly introduced to the public and more involved in further local comprehensive plans in order to achieve a whole picture of successful urban planning process and to gain public participation in managing their own spaces in the future.

Phuket, Thailand, photo by Shelby PDX
A suburban street of Phuket, Thailand, by Cambridge Cat
more about urban planning in Thailand:

Urbane-ing The City: Examining and Refining The Assumptions Behind Urban Informatics

Urbanization and Urbanism in Thailand

Despite planning MRT, BRT and SRT lines, Bangkok still suffers from traffic congestion

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