Bangkok strategists turn to UQ for city planning tips
Thai city planners will take their cues from University of Queensland experts, after a team of 29 city administrators from Bangkok visited Brisbane to discuss urban planning methods.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) representatives visited UQ for a series of workshops arranged by the university’s School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management and Institute of Continuing & TESOL Education.
They spent the final morning of their one-week program travelling sections of Brisbane’s busways with TransLink staff to see how the bus-only network benefits the city.
UQ lecturer in urban planning Dr Derlie Mateo-Babiano said Bangkok’s population density made public transport a key focus for planners.
“In Brisbane the population density is approximately 140 people per square kilometre. In Bangkok it is more than 35 times higher at 5,300 people per square kilometre,” she said. “While it’s important individuals have the freedom to choose how they travel, smart city planning must carefully consider making green transport options more attractive.”
Dr Mateo-Babiano said Brisbane’s busway, which tickets more than 70 million trips a year, is a working demonstration of how good urban planning can encourage public transport use.
BMA deputy permanent secretary Dr Pirapong Saicheua said the visit to the University of Queensland would help him and his team implement a 20-year plan for Bangkok.
“Bangkok has a strong plan to reduce congestion and raise living standards,” Dr Saicheua said. “Visiting UQ and Brisbane has been an excellent opportunity for us to learn more about successful models of urban planning and how to streamline bureaucratic processes.”
Dr Mateo-Babiano said the school was happy to share its expertise in urban planning with BMA.
“Knowledge-sharing opportunities such as this strengthen UQ’s links with our Asian neighbours and can help improve the quality of life for people living in densely populated cities,” Dr Mateo-Babiano said.
This is the second visit to the university by BMA representatives. In 2013 ICTE-UQ delivered a four-week intensive English language training program for 20 BMA staff.
UQ School of Geography, Planning & Environmental Management
Unique within Australian higher education, the multidisciplinary structure of the School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management (GPEM) at the University of Queensland combines teaching and research coupling natural and built environments. With an integrated, interdisciplinary approach, GPEM helps educate tomorrow’s leaders facing important environmental issues such as climate change, urbanisation and sustainable development. The school’s mission is to understand the processes, structures, and interfaces of natural and human systems and to use this knowledge to create and inform the next generation of knowledge leaders and to help shape policy, planning and management to enhance sustainability.