Development and Urbanization
Co-Authors: Non Arakaraprasertkul - Visiting Professor, Jagiellonian University
The paper explores intertwined aspects of gentrification through the case of “developmental trilemma” in an urban community in Bangkok, whereby the aforementioned conflicts propel the over-analyzing of its future hence paralyzing its decision, or “paralysis by analysis." Preserving the local cultural forms, while capitalizing on the opportunity to develop and protecting the housing rights of the long-term residents make the term “trilemma” and apt expression. Located in the heart of Bangkok’s Old City, the case study of Nang Leong is a community with a rich and complex history of multi-ethnic cultures and settlements. Having undergone through many phases of transformation over the past two centuries of its existence, the community is facing a trilemma similar to many emerging “global” cities. Faced with the pressure of opportunity cost to redevelop, owners of the land seeks to relocate long-term residents for an urban renewal program. Preservationists and academics alike, on the other hand, advocate pragmatic maintenance of the community through active engagement with the surrounding businesses and educational institutions. To maintain their livelihood, the locals tap into emerging technology to make use of space and opportunity they still legally own. This research combines ethnography and architectural methods to show not only how complicated the situation is, but also how “It’s unclear where the future lies,” is the common answer -- not because there is too little we know but too much has been done and studied to the point no “good” decision cannot be made.