Advance Blog

August 18, 2022
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Bringing Change to Bangkok Urban Development

Bangkok – August 1, 2022 – Since being elected as the Bangkok governor, Mr. Chadchart Sittipunt has been actively working on his 216 policies (a number that may increase over time) with the aim of transforming Bangkok into a more livable city for everyone. His policies cover nine aspects of the city: public safety, arts and creativity, the environment, economics, transport, health, infrastructure and zoning, education, and management. According to CBRE, the world’s leading international property consultant, and with the governor’s experience as a former CEO of a listed real estate company, it is promising for the market that the policies have emerged from the perspective of someone who is knowledgeable about the real estate and urban development aspects of Bangkok.

While many policies are focusing on improving infrastructure and the public transportation network while lowering costs and tackling problems on the “capillaries” level, there are other interesting policies which CBRE believes will have a significant impact on property development.

Mr. Rathawat Kuvijitrsuwan, Head of Research and Consulting, CBRE Thailand commented, “One policy that will have an obvious impact on urban development, if it is carried out, is the policy to revise the city planning and building regulations to meet current market demands.  Many regulations are outdated and have not taken into account current real estate development, hindering the systematic growth in urban planning.”

Many have claimed that Bangkok has lost one of its unique charms, street food vendors, when restrictions were put in place to clean up pedestrian walkways without creating an area to which those vendors could relocate. The policy then aims not only to create a collaboration between the private and government sectors to create proper hawker centers in the city, but also to promote walking streets at appropriately dense pedestrian traffic areas.

Bangkok will hopefully bring back the street food industry to its past glory while also creating F&B nodes around Bangkok which are crucial for local office workers and residents, making neighborhoods increasingly attractive to occupiers of properties nearby as well as visitors. Moreover, added to Mr. Chadchart’s policy, CBRE believes that the control of cleanliness and food hygiene will be a key driver in promoting and elevating street food to international standards for the well-being of Bangkokians and visitors alike.

“The rising inflation and cost of living in Bangkok have resulted in many fresh graduates having to spend majority of their income on accommodation and commuting, leaving very little for savings and spending elsewhere which isn’t good for either living standards or the economy. One of Mr. Chadchart’s policies is to create what are called housing incubators, where fresh graduates aged 18 to 25 will be able to rent at a lower price for five years. Such a policy opens up the opportunity for this group to save more and build a better financial standing for themselves. The plan is to convert old buildings which are no longer commercially usable and buildings waiting to be developed in the CBD into these incubators. However, this will have a direct impact on the rental market across the city, increasing competition and likely pushing down achievable rents for projects that target this group of tenants,” added Mr. Rathawat.

There are many more policies which will require a wait-and-see approach as to whether they will be implemented as planned and which policies will be implemented first. But what we are seeing already is a transparency of budget management and district-level policies that identify problems waiting to be fixed across the city. All we can do now is encourage involvement from the private sector and hope that Mr. Chadchart’s motto lives up to its name: work, work, work.

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Mr. Rathawat Kuvijitrsuwan, Head of Research and Consulting, CBRE Thailand

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