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Region based urbanization in Bangkok’s extended periphery Greenberg, Charles 1994

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REGION BASED URBANIZATION IN BANGKOK’S EXTENDED PERIPHERYbyCHARLES GREENBERGB.A., The University of Manitoba, 1984M.A., The University of Manitoba, 1986A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFDOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHYinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Department of Geography)THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAFebruary 1994Charles Greenberg, 1994We accept this thesis as conformingtotheIn presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(Signature)______________________Department of€c rcoAjThe University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate Fe . ‘7’ /9’iDE-6 (2/88)iiABSTRACTBangkok’s expansion and population increase are both causes and consequences of rapid economictransformation and growth. In this light, the study examines the synergic conditions that are operating in theBangkok region, that define the relationship between economic growth and spatial expansion. What is emergingis a chaotic tapestry of an urban and rural landscape which reflects a bonanza form of development and hasaccelerated in the last ten years.Moreover, there is evidence supporting an urban form that is emerging at Bangkok’s edge, extending up to 100kilometres from the central city, which is neither city nor countryside. It is a settlement system characterised byan intense land use mix, where agriculture, industry, housing, and recreation all inflect upon each other. Withinthis region there has been a shift of labour from farm to off-farm sectors within the strictly defined rural areas.The dissertation argues for a new set of definitions to account for an extended urban settlement pattern which issensitive to the prevailing heterogeneous space economy. The term Region Based Urbanization (RBU) isintroduced to describe the phenomena in a region with 14 million people, now known as the Extended BangkokMetropolitan Region (EBMR).Aside from affirming RBU as the predominant settlement form in the EBMR, there are three notable conclusionsto this study:(i) Since the mid-nineteenth century diverse and disparate forms of dominant capital have contributed to outercity development.(ii) As the region diversifies, and further affirms its economic primacy within Thailand there is indication ofincreasing disparities and uneven development among socio-economic classes.iii(iii) There is empirical support to challenge traditional rural-urban transition models. Outer areas of the EBMR,which are defined as ‘rural’, are not only ‘holding’ population, but are the destination of a large migration fromperipheral regions of the Kingdom.ivTABLE OF CONTENTSAbstractTable of Contents ivList of Tables viiList of Figures ixList of Plates XAcknowledgments xiiPART I - NEW URBAN FORMSChapter one - INTRODUCTION 11.1 Goals and Objectives 31.2 France: Late Nineteenth Century Outer City Development 51.3 The New Regional Geography 121.4 The Extended Bangkok Metropolitan Region 151.5 Outline of dissertation 23Chapter two - REVIEW OF URBAN THEORY: FOCUS ON MEGA-URBANIZATION 252.1 Rural-Urban Shift and Urban Transition Model 282.2 Settlement Dichotomy 352.3 A Region Based Urbanization 40PART U- THE EBMR: HISTORY AND PRESENT CONDITIONSChapter three - PRECONDITIONS OF REGION BASED URBANIZATION IN THE EBMR:THE PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY, HISTORY, AND POLITICAL ECONOMY OF THE CENTRALPLAIN 453.1 Physical Geography 463.2 Ayutthayan Period 523.3 The 1855 Bowring Treaty and the Integration of the Central Plain into the World Economy 543.4 Pre World War II Political Economy 643.5 Post War Capitalism: Soi Ratchu Khru to the 1980s Boom 703.6 The Fringe to the Fore 74Chapter four - DIMENSIONS OF CHANGE: THE AMPLITUDE OF TRANSITION INTHE EBMR 794.1 Economic Transition 814.2 Population Change 1024.3 Space-Time Compression 109PART HI - REVOLUTION IN TIlE OUTER FRINGE LANDSCAPE: 1986-1991Chapter five - LAND USE AND LAND PRICES 1195.1 Land Prices 120V5.2 Land Use Metamorphose 130Chapter six - THE NEW LANDSCAPE I: INDUSTRY AND AGRICULTURE 1416.1 Industry 1416.1.1 Land Use 1416.1.2 Multi-National Corporations 1496.1.3 Industrial Estates 1576.2 Agriculture 1696.2.1 Agribusiness 1726.2.2 Aquaculture 1746.2.3 Turf Farming 1766.2.4 Persistence of Rice 1776.2.5 Summary 181Chapter seven - THE NEW LANDSCAPE II: HOUSING AND RECREATION 1837.1 Spatial Extent of Outer City Housing 1867.2 Outer City Housing Typology 1897.2.1 Shophouses 1907.2.2 Rowhouses 1917.2.3 Condominiums 1927.2.4 Dormitories 1947.2.5 Slums 1967.2.6 Housing Estates 1987.2.7 The Persistence of the Traditional Village 2017.2.8 Summary 2047.3 Recreation Landscape 2057.3.1 Golf in the EBMR 2057.3.2 Evolution of Golf in Thailand: The Emergence of an Outer City Activity 2067.3.3 Golf: A Non-Productive Sector 2117.4 Hobby Farms 2157.5 Summary 220Chapter eight - OUTER CITY ILLUSTRATIONS 2218.1 The Northern Corridor 2218.2 Minburi-Bang Chan 230PAJ{T IV - CONCLUSIONSChapter nine - CAPITALISM AND RESTRUCTURING 2479.1 The Spatial Process of Capitalism in the EBMR 2499.2 Forms of EBMR Capital 2519.3 Capitalism and Labour 2559.4 Capitalism and Underdevelopment 256Chapter ten - NEW MODELS: THEORETICAL REFINEMENT OF SETTLEMENT ANDURBAN GEOGRAPHIES 25810.1 Verification of a New Settlement System 25810.2 Convergence and Standardization Within the Urban Region 26010.3 Ideology and Extended Urban Development 26310.4 The Urban Region: An Awakening for Urban and Settlement Geographies 26610.5 Seven Questions for Consideration 26910.6 Conclusion 280Bibliography 282viAppendicesAppendix I Research Plan and Methods 295Appendix II Field Work Diary 302Appendix III Notes on Thailand Census Data 306Appendix IV Foreign Direct Investment 308Appendix V Land Values 309Appendix VI List of Acronyms 317viiLIST OF TABLESNumber1.1 The EBMR: Selected Demographic and Economic Data 224.1 GDP Growth rate 794.2 Per Cent Distribution by Sector of GPP 824.3 Per Capita GPP in Selected Changwats (1981, 1985, 1989) 844.4 Pathum Thani: Economically Active Population 854.5 Samut Pralcarn: Economically Active Population 864.6 Pathum Thani: Agriculture Population 894.7 Samut Prakarn: Agriculture Population 894.8 Number of Rais Planted by Year, in Selected Changwats 934.9 Urban land Use, BMA Outer Areas (in Rai) 944.10 Increase in Urban land Use, Over 10 and 4 Years 944.11 Location (EBMR) of Selected BOl Approved Projects 994.12 Change in Distribution of Manufacturing Establishments 1014.13 Five Year Regional Net Migration (1975-2000) 1044.14 Migration of Population into Selected EBMR Changwats 1054.15 Urbanization of Selected EBMR Changwats 1084.16 Average BMR Population Densities 1085.1 Price Trends for Serviced and Unserviced Plots 1275.2 Agricultural Land Use in the BMR for Selected Years 1346.1 Distribution of GDP 1426.2 Number of Factories in 8 EBMR Changwats 1436.3 Factory Size in BMR, by Total Employees 1456.4 Projection of Total Employment by Region 1456.5 Estimate of Industrial Land Use in BMR (TDRI) 147viii6.6 Estimate of Industrial Land Use in BMR (DLD) 1486.7 Industrial GDP 1486.8 Industrial Estates in Thailand 1646.9 Minburi District Agriculture: Decision Making 1706.10 Agriculture Land Use in Pathum Thani 1726.11 Harvested Rice in Selected EBMR Changwats 1787.1 Housing Stock in BMR (1974, 1984, 1988) 1847.2 New Accommodations Registered in 2 Outer City Changwats 1867.3 Subdivision Permit Requests 1877.4 Outer City Golf Courses 2097.5 Golf Course Boosters 2158.1 Population: Klong Luang and Pathum Thani 2248.2 Estimate of Northern Corridor Population 2248.3 Northern Corridor: 1987 Land Use 2248.4 Number of Factories and Labour Force by Type of Factory 2268.5 Population of Minburi and its Subdistricts 2358.6 Minburi’s Population: 1984-1991 2358.7 Farmland in Minburi Under Paddy 236ixLIST OF FIGURESFigure1.1 Southeast Asia 161.2 Ring of Access 171.3 Thailand and the EBMR 181.4 Extended Bangkok Metropolitan Region 191.5 Bangkok Metropolitan Region 202.1 Settlement Hierarchy in Thailand 383.1 Central Region 473.2 Canal Excavation 503.3 Ayutthayan Canal Excavation 573.4 Canals of the Central Plain 593.5 Historical Growth of Bangkok 753.6 Historical Forces Operating to Extend Bangkok’s Space Economy 784.1 Contours of Change Within the Space Economy of the EBMR: Tripartition of Change 804.2 Ampoes of Pathum Thani 914.3 Ampoes of Samut Prakarn 924.4 Eastern Districts of BMA 954.5 Foreign Direct Investment 974.6 Percentage of Total BOl Approved Projects in EBMR 1004.7 Bangkok Mini-Megalopolis 1064.8 Spiralling Transactive Linkages 1114.9 Trip Demand Increase 1154.10 Traffic volume: Asian Highway 1164.11 Increasing Demand For Road Space 1175. la Average Land Prices (Agricultural - Road Side) 1235. lb Average Land Prices (Agricultural - Off Road) 124x5. ic Average Land Prices (Non-Agricultural - Road Side) 1255. ld Average Land Prices (Non-Agricultural - Off Road) 1265.2 Land Conversion, 1974-1984 1335.3 Factors Operating in Outer City 1406.1 Industrial Estates of the EBMR 1616.2 Bang Plee and Gateway City Industrial Estates 1677.1 General Patterns of Outer City Housing Developments 1887.2 Upscale Outer City Housing Estates 2027.3 Outer City Golf Courses 2107.4 Hobby Farm: Nong Sua, Pathum Thani 2187.5 General Patterns of Outer City Hobby Farms 2198.1 The Northern Corridor 2238.2 Selected Land Use Activities Along the Northern Corridor 2318.3 Minburi 2328.4 Khwaengs of Minburi 2418.5 Selected Land Use Activities in Minburi 2428.6 Bang Chan, 1957 2448.7 Bang Chan, 1992 2455. la(appendix) Land Prices (Agricultural - Road Side) 3035. lb(appendix) Land Prices (Agricultural - Off Road) 3055. lc(appendix) Land Prices (Non-Agricultural - Road Side) 3075. ld(appendix) Land Prices (Non-Agricultural - Off Road) 309xiLIST OF PLATESPlate1.1 Persounage assis tude pour Une Baignade Asnires 81.2 Le Convoi du Chemin de fer 91.3 Une Baignade Asnires 106.1 Flexible Production Along the Northern Corridor 1466.2 Hi-Tech Industrial Estate 1607.1 Villa California 2007.2 Muang Thong Bangna; Fortune City 203xiiACKNOWLEDGMENTSFor initiating my interest in this topic, and allowing this study to be possible, I am grateful to my supervisor,Dr. Terry McGee. His advice and guidance during the field work and writing-phase of this dissertation wereinvaluable. I am also indebted to my conmiittee, Professors Edgington, Siemens, and Dearden, who kindly gavetheir time to read and edit this dissertation.I wish to express my gratitude to three funding agencies who provided support for my visits to Thailand:International Development Research Centre, Canada-ASEAN Centre, and the Northwest Consortium forSoutheast Asian Studies.The Human Settlements Division at the Asian Institute of Technology (AlT), provided excellent support duringthe research phases in Thailand. Professors Robinson, Yap, and Kammier were particularly supportive. Situated42 kilometres north of Bangkok, along the Northern Corridor, in the heart of the extended Bangkok urbanregion, MT. for me was a special metaphor for the project.Guidance in the field were provided by Wiwat Cathithammanit, Khun Ruangwit, and Cherukuri Sasidhar. Theywere the core band of investigators for the Rapid Rural Appraisal team.I wish to thank a number of my friends. Shaun Shefrmn, although 2000 kilometres away, provided support bothas a friend and a ‘master of methods’. Ellen Gilfix’s friendship and humour were a much needed inspiration,particularly at the end of this project when I thought it may never be completed. During the early stages of thisdissertation Sue Melnychuk, through her companionship and intellectual guidance provided this project with agreat beginning. Scott Macleod, my ubiquitous comrade, was always present to offer valuable advice. I trulyrespect his knowledge and expertise. Andrew Marton, not only faithfully organized weekly ‘dissertationstrategy meetings’, but provided invaluable encouragement and intellectual sustenance, more so then he mayrealize.1PART INEW URBAN FORMS IN ASIACHAPTER ONE:INTRODUCTIONFebrualy, 1985:A four day lay over in Bangkok seemed the peifect pretwie to afive month research andfield trip toBangladesh. Although it was not my first visit to Thailand it was my first time in Bangkok, and predictably,within a few days I was yearning to escape the overcrowded and polluted city for the countryside. Beforeleaving Winnipeg, a Thai classmatefrom the University of Manitoba had offered me his family’s address in avillage “very near to Bangkok”; it was to be my ticket out of the city. I received directions from dozens ofpeople, figured out the bus routes and schedules, and was set to embark on a journey to meet Songsan ‘5family. After three buses, and a ‘songtaew’ (small pickup with benches, regarded as a rural mode ofconveyance) ride, on a muggy and sultry morning, I landed in a bustling market town and soon realized itwas not my intended destination, and moreover, I was told, I was “at least” two districts off There was noshortage ofpeople to help me get back on track, and within 30 minutes I was in another songtaew headedfor another town, where I would catch yet another songtaew to the village. One and half hours maximum, Iwas told, it would take to reach my location. I made an easy connection at the second town, but it wasbecoming late in the day, and 1 was concerned! would reach the village after sunset and not locate thefamily.Sure enough dusk had set in when I eventually reached the village. After nearly afidl day of travel, Iimagined I was much furtherfrom Bangkok then the 50 kilometers 1 had travelled. Perceptually, the tangiblelandscape was as farfrom Bangkok as travel allows. The village was a linear assemblage of traditionalhouses, on stilts, lining a meandering canal. There was a tranquil and nonaggressive attractiveness, incomplete contrast to Bangkok’s bedlam. To the north and east, endless paddy fields reached the horizons,reminding me that the Central Plain of Thailand in February looked strikingly similar to the Canadianprairies in September. Chickens and ducks scurried about their business, oblivious of a mammoth waterbuffalo (that nearly stomped them to pulp), being dragged from the fields by an old leatherfaced man in atightly wrapped sarong, nakedfrom the waist up exceptfor an intricate and overflowing tattoo on the chestand back. This was the countryside I left Bangkokfor this morning!I approached a small shop near to where the songtaw left me andfor a moment watched a group ofkidsplaying with spinning tops. I asked the shopkeeper the location of Songsan ‘5 family’s home, and was told tohave a seat while one of the children was sent to the house to announce my arrival. Within minutes I wasregretfully informed that the family was away on business to Khon Khaen. Over a Singha beer I ruminatedover the long and exhausting day of travel, (with no payoff), and began to consider the journey back to myhotel in Bangkok. Just then from the same dusty road that my songtaew arrived, appeared a shining silverToyota LX Minivan. Atfirst, I took little notice of it but thought it seemed out ofplace in the village; to me itwas a vehicle that was more suited to shuttle tourists back andforth from airport to hotel.The minivan stopped in front of the shop, and as the four passengers climbed out, I watched curiously andintently. First to emerge was a woman, thirtyish, immaculately dressed in whatappeared to be a fine AlfredSung suit, and a pair of expensive italian pumps. The second passenger was a man, about the same age,dressed equally ‘downtown-style’ in a tailored suit, crisp windsor knot on his silk tie, carrying a leatherattache and a Central Department store bag. The third commuter was younger, probably a teen, dressed inGuess blue jeans, a Miami Dolphins t-shirt (ugh), and Nike high tops. The last passenger to file out was a2woman in a grey skirt with matching jacket and the Thai Military Bank logo below the left lapel. She had inher arms a large rectangular Sanyo stereo box. The minivan then pulled away.The two women and the Dolphins’ booster scurried off towards the village, but the man entered the shop, satdown at a table adjacent to me, and ordered a Momma noodle and Pepsi. “You all work in Bangkok?”, Iasked as 1 took my Singha and sat with him. Over the next 20 minutes he explained to me that about 50residents of the village work in or around Bangkok. He was a corporate executive with Kodak, and isprovided with the van and a driver. Other commuters, who work near the Kodak office on Phetchaburi Roadpay him a small monthly feefor the 75 minute return trip, six days a week. He had lived all his 4fe in thevillage, exceptforfour years at Chiang Mai University, and saw no reason to live in Bangkok. His parentsowned and cultivated 60 rai of land (30 under paddy, 20 under tapioca, and 10for a garden).I wondered if he perceived the unlikely juxtaposition in his life as I did. Perhaps he was too close to notice.Because of the tninivan and road network, the city does not have to sprawl to the village, the village can betransported to the city, and at the same time the city sends its quintessence to the village. The city andvillage are not as detached as I had expected, but are melded in a curious amalgamation. One day, Ithought, I would like to explore this themefi4rther. Little did I know then, that this day trip in 1985, was tobe the ‘seed of the research ‘for my doctoral dissertation six years later.The songtaew back to the market town pulled up to the shop. It was now completely dark. I thanked my newfriendfor the insightful conversation and handed him a picture of Songsan and lice skating in a hockeyarena in Winnipeg. I asked him to pass it on to Songsan ‘sfamily when they return from Khon Khaen. Iclimbed into the songtaew and as it sped away I looked over and waved to my friend. He looked down at thepicture, then up to me. It was all over his face; he and Songsan, were best friends.31.1 Goals and Objectives:The process of urbanization, the result of age old practices and division of labour has endowed Thailand withunique ways of life and diverging land uses. The urban fabric has developed an influence in economics,politics and culture that has induced change not only in the city, but areas nearby. Within the last severaldecades the New International Division of Labour (NIDL) has augmented the urban process in ways that callfor profound revisions of urban theories and even the concepts that have been used to describe the process inThailand.Theories of regional growth, development and land use transformation must account for these changes.Theories must go further, and suggest plausible explanations why these changes have occurred, and why atparticular times and places. This dissertation will propose an explanatory framework to understand theprocesses of urbanization that are relevant to Bangkok and its environs. Although this project will focus onthe extended urban region of Bangkok it will offer pertinent examples and warnings for other urban regionsin Asia, and elsewhere.Extended urbanization emerges in what is referred to in this dissertation as an extended urban region. Thisimplies a non-agricultural economic and demographic growth process that is occurring as an enlargement andcontinuation of the growth processes of the primate city. There is a spatial distension of an ‘urbanism’contingent upon behavioral social changes, economic transformation, and in many instances, capitalistindustrialization.’Extended urbanization is becoming the norm over much of Asia, and Bangkok is not immune.Unprecedented change since the end of World War II, particularly in the 1980s, and most notably since the1. Johnston, R.J. (1985) “Urbanization. THE DICTIONARY OF HUMAN GEOGRAPHY, eds, R.J. Johnston eta!,Oxford: Blackwell Reference, pg.363.4end of the 1980s, has rapidly restructured the extended Bangkok region into a fragmented collage of landuses and functions.In this light, the goals and objectives are five fold:1. to explain why at this time, and in this region of Thailand, extended urbanization emerges.2. to characterize the landscape of the Bangkok urban region in a graphic and detailed manner, in a way thatgoes beyond the concrete and visual landscape, and which also accounts for symbolic and abstractrepresentations.3. to interpret the role of capitalism in the Thai context, as a ‘space forming’ urban process, and to accountfor its unprecedented acceleration in the last decade.4. to account for, and interpret levels of spatial inequality in the growth processes of extended urbanizationin the study region.25. to impart theoretical models of urban growth that rationalize and delineate the processes transpiring in theBangkok urban region.2. l’his goal and objective was not intended to be a central theme of the project. As the work of data collection andanalysis progressed it became evident that hidden beneath the vitality of economic growth and rampant industrializationwas a comparatively invisible process of pauperization emerging among the agriculture and working class populations.The unevenness of development became an unavoidable and critical theme of this project.51.2 France: Late 19th Century Outer City Development:Extended urbanization, in a historical sense, is not without precedent. In fact the larger discoursesurrounding the outer city, whether referring to the large urban regions of Asia, or the edge cities ofAmerica, have parallel antecedents rooted in 19th century industrial expansion in Europe.3At the time, withthe industrial revolution in full progress, the outer city was under a transformation not so dissimilar to theprocesses that will be described in this study. We will begin this dissertation with a look at the environs ofParis in the 1870s and 1880s, through the work of two French artists of the time. There are lessons to berealized from 19th century outer city Paris that are applicable and informative to Bangkok’s extendedurbanization process. By temporarily focusing on art history as an alternative discipline to geography, thereexists an opportunity for fresh and explanative insight into the forthcoming theoretical rationalization of theBangkok urban region.Impressionist painting, particularly early impressionism is a “discovery of a constantly changing phenomenaloutdoor world... “.‘ Moreover it is an underlying critique of the symbolic social and political formalities of alandscape. As the bourgeois proceeded to build a landscape away from the increasingly polluted and teemingcities of France, particularly Paris, Impressionist artists, such as Claude Monet and George Seurat were ableto portray a new landscape in their art, “in which the environs of Paris are recognized to be a specific formof life: not the countryside, not the city, not a degenerated form of either.”5What emerged, as an early3. See Merriman, John M. (1991) THE MARGINS OF CITY LIFE: EXPLORATIONS ON THE FRENCH URBANFRONTIER, 1815-1851, New York: Oxford University Press.4. Clark, T.J. (1984) THE PAINTING OF MODERN LIFE: PARIS IN THE ART OF MANET AND HISFOLLOWERS, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, pg.3.The movement in French painting, originating in the 1860s, was named for one of Claude Monet’s pictures -Soleillevant, or Impressionism (in English) that was displayed at an 1874 exhibition. Aesthetically, Impressionism is knownfor its concern with fleeting effects of light and motion, its disregard of outlines, and distaste for gloomy and sombercolors. The subject matter is normally open air landscapes. The movement’s impact in art has been extraordinary, inthat virtually all development in 20th century art is traceable to its principles. Two important readings are: Rewald, J.(1973) THE HISTORY OF IMPRESSIONISM, NY: NY Graphic Society., and Pool, P. (1979) IMPRESSIONISM,Toronto: Oxford University Press.7Monet’s work suggests productivity at economies of scale. It speaks to a highly developed and prolificindustrial economy on the periphery of Paris.9The dominance and strength of the railway in this paintingmay be a metaphor for a rapidly developing transportation system. It is clear that the factories are producingfor more then local markets. Circulation of commodities (and presumably capital, people, ideas, technology,etc..) is implied in this painting, and moreover, there is the insinuation that the outer city has taken on aregional significance as a centre of capitalist enterprise. This location is recognized, perhaps less as an outercity ‘nature’ landscape, as an outer city ‘production’ landscape. A final observation is the three people in thelower centre of the canvas, strolling towards the town, frivolously twirling parasols. As in Seurat’s work,there is a casual and composed attitude emanating from the three figures. There is a sense of aloof consentand indifference towards the contradictions of the landscape.Plate 1.3, “Une Baignade Asnires” (in English; A Swim at Asnieres), 1883-1884, by Seurat plays onanother outer city theme, that being the juxtaposition of production and recreation. Visitors from Paris, on aweekend “outing” are attempting to escape the congestion and pollution of the city. 10 The irony is that thesubjects appear oblivious to the belching smoke from factory chimneys behind them. A second themeportrayed by Une Baignade ) Asnires, is the sense that the undeveloped or ‘natural’ spaces of the outer cityhas been claimed by the city. The countryside was being made part of Paris, for its parks, greenery, andclean air. Even industrial Argenteuil was overrun by weekend pleasure seekers. The appropriation of outercity space by the city is consistent with the true spirit of urban bias. Residents of the city are the recipients,and local residents, particularly farmers, are the benefactors.9. Up until 1878, Monet lived in Argenteuil, a small town 25 kilometres west of Paris, along the Seine River, (or 15kilometres as the crow flies northwest of the Cathedral de Notre Dame). Clark (ibid, pg. 186) describes Argenteuil as “afactory, with nature produced as its best commodity.’ Through the 1860s and I 870s, Argenteuil became increasinglyindustrial. By the early decades of the 20th century it was an industrial and transportation suburb of Paris. Monet livedin Argenteuil from 1871 to 1878, and the rapidly changing landscape was the inspiration for his series of outer citypaintings, including Le Convoi du Chemin de Fer.10. The term “outing” came about only in the 1 860s to describe outer city thy trips. Clark (ibid, pg. 198) writes, “theword (outing) and the activity were suddenly indispensable.” The term in the 1990s takes on a new meaning. It refers togay people who reveal their sexuality.H ru CD C,-) 0 CD C’.) CI) CI) (D\CD 0 CD CD CI) CD’CD CI)0.)910(A”4ft4..4.-iI.I.1LIP 011The ironies and inconsistencies in all three paintings are in fact the existent realities of outer citymetamorphosis. Clark alludes to the indetermination of classifying the landscape:This landscape can not fairly be described as suburban, for there is toomuch space still remaining between the weekend retreats; but it canhardly be called countryside, in Monet s terms. It is too empty to deservethe name; too ragged and indiscriminate, lacking in incident anddemarcation apart from that provided by the houses (which does notamount to much); too formless, too perfunctory and bleak. Thesenegatives add up, it seems to me, to a specific kind of composition, oneappropriate to the things in hand: they are Monet’s way of giving form tothe elusiveness f Argenteuil’s surroundings, their slow dissolution intosomething else. 1Monet’s textualization of landscape through art offers an insightful discourse of interpretation. In theenvirons of 19th century Paris and in the late 20th century Bangkok, the very elusive formlessness and lackof identity and demarcation that Monet focuses on are the essence of defining the landscape. It is not a city,and should not be measured against one. Certain political and economic forces coalesced under a particularset of ecological and historical preconditions to give rise to a distinctive settlement. In the Bangkok outercity, it is an ‘urban’ region, but certainly not a city. In the Paris region, perhaps due to the lack ofresidential development, there is a resistance to use the term urban. Notwithstanding, it is clearly neither citynor countryside. There is no attempt to suggest a rigid analogy between Bangkok and Paris; however,despite profoundly dissimilar environments and histories, salient resemblances in the morphology (atdifferent times; in different centuries) should not be ignored.An interesting parallel between the (outer city) Impressionists and many academics currently writing on thelarge Asian urban regions is the political critique of industrial capitalism. Specifically, the environmentaldegradation, appropriation of agricultural land, and class conflict are dealt with by both sets ofcommentators. These critiques and explanations will be expounded upon throughout the dissertation.11. Ibid, pg.191-2.121.3 The New Regional Geography:A distinguishing characteristic of the Bangkok urban region is rapid and continuing change. The resultingchaotic tapestry of rural and urban landscape is emerging so rapidly that conventional means of urbananalysis such as landuse mapping are out-dated before they are even completed. After several visits to fieldsites I realized it was inconceivable to collect even reasonable land use data. Any published documentconcerning the region was at least partially dated before it even went to print. Village headmen and districtofficers were often not up to date on new projects and other similar land use changes in their jurisdiction.Planners and academics in Bangkok were even further outdated with their information regarding the changesto the landscape. Similarly, business leaders and industrial managers were unable to keep their informationcurrent. The 1990 census data from the National Statistics Office (NSO) was only partly released in 1993,rendering it largely historical information. Generally, tangible published data was not the most effective wayto interpret the Bangkok urban region.Another consequence of the changing quality of the data was that not all topics could be covered, and thosethat are dealt with are not always covered completely. The major effort of the thesis is to attempt to capturethe elusive synthesis of the changing landscape of the Bangkok region. This has certainly not been attemptedbefore, perhaps because of its intrinsic difficulty.In this light I chose Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA) as a methodology. It is applicable to a rapidlytransforming region as it is multidisciplinary, based on triangulation, and ‘fast’ and responsive systems ofdata collection. It is a technique that involves selective field checking of maps and statistical data wheneverpossible, considering time and money limitations. RRA is explained in detail in Appendix 1, and inAppendix II is a record of all fieldwork interviews and visits to field sites.13Another aspect of the technique of RRA involves gaining familiarity with the region under investigation. Aspart of this research, I spent 13 months travelling through the Bangkok urban region using public transport,and any form of conveyance that was available. This enabled me to develop a sense of how various processesacting on Bangkok’s periphery were spatially differentiated through the region.Throughout the research period, ‘fieldwork’ was the fundamental tool for discovering the economic, social,and cultural bedrock of the Bangkok urban region. I travelled thousands of kilometres throughout the regionvisiting numerous villages, towns, industrial estates, farms, factories, and temples. More importantly, I metand spoke with hundreds of residents of the study region; from aquaculturalists to factory workers, districtofficers to nomadic duck herders. Fieldwork was the hallmark of this research. and it would be apt to state,that rather than studying people, I was learning from them (see Appendix I for Research Plan and Methods).The local printed media also proved to be a valuable asset for data collection. Not only were mediaobviously the most current source of information, but journalists and news gatherers working for both Thailanguage and English daily newspapers possessed a refreshing sensitivity to the outer city landscape.Through the media as well, advertising and promotional literature were significant methods to obtaininformation. For example, the only way to learn of a new golf course being developed in a small districtwest of Bangkok was often by reading promotional advertising literature selling memberships. 12The swift pace of transformation in the urban regions, and the tenuous quality of current data has induced,and is reflected in, a trend in geography to move away from regional quantification, and a move tounderstanding the sense or symbolism of place. It returns to the geographer a credibility that may have been12. For an insightful discussion on the power of the media and its impact on Geography, see Burgess, J. & J.R. Gold(eds.), (1985) GEOGRAPHY, THE MEDIA AND POPULAR CULTURE, London: Croom Helm.14lost with the problems of sampling and the lack of reliable data. Also, it creates a need to pursue the lesstangible images on the landscape, which is part of a fundamental shift taking place in regional geography.13There is an assumption in the discipline that the world is more homogenous, and that the process ofmodernization has activated a convergence of lifestyles. Regional differences are said to be fading, which insome ways explains the end of “chorology”14as a foundation for practicing geography. The ‘new” regionalgeography, or what Thrift called “reconstructed” regional geography15posits that regional diversity couldnot be seen as vanishing, as society is in constant transformation and reconstruction. It is the persistence oftransformation of landscape that nurtures the recent developments in regional geography.An important feature distinguishing traditional regional geography from the new regional geography is theway space is observed. Sauer’s regional geography, for example, was based on the virtue of observablematerial elements. 16 In contrast, the new regional geography focuses on the less physical and materiallandscape; symbols, social relations, class, power, perception of nature, and adaptation to nature. Moreover,description of landscape is being supplanted by the need to describe processes behind the production orformation of the landscape. The shift from observation to ‘formation’ is described by Massey, (as cited inPudup, 1988):It is important to get away from discussions of apparently simple ‘objects’, and toconceptualize processes and relations. Objects are not simply given to analysis, but arethemselves products, and must be conceptualized in such a way as to incorporate, not just13. Pudup, Mary Beth (1988) ‘Arguments Within Regional Geography”, PROGRESS IN HUMAN GEOGRAPHY, vol.12, no. 3, pg.369-390, and Gilbert, Anne (1988) “The New Regional Geography in English and French SpeakingCountries”, PROGRESS IN HUMAN GEOGRAPHY, vol. 12, no. 2, pg.208-228.14. Chorology is the study of areal differentiation. The term is often attributed to Varenius, the 17th century Germangeographer, who in his renown work entitled “Geographia”, introduced formalized regional geography, which wassynonymous with chorology. See Sack, R.D. (1974) “Chorology and Spatial Analysis”, ANNALS ASSOCIATION OFAMERICAN GEOGRAPHERS, vol.64, pg.439-452.15. Thrift, N. (1983) “On the Determination of Social Action in Space and Time’, SOCIETY IN SPACE 1, pg.23-57.16. For an example of Sauers work see: Sauer, C. (1966) THE EARLY SPANISH MAIN, LA: University ofCalifornia Press.15their descriptive characjristics, but also the process of their production, the larger dynamicof which they are part.The new regional geography, with an indiscriminating scale, focuses on the inflection of the global on thelocal. In the study region the diverse forces emanating from TNCs, the Thai state, and local capital havecontributed a vitality and dynamic change at the local level. Decisions being made in Tokyo and Singaporehave epochal impact on villagers and factory workers in the extended Bangkok region. Localities in theregion are being transformed by exogenous processes such as intra-regional and international trade, foreigndirect investment (FDI), global banking surges, and strategic alliances with offshore high-technologycorporations. Case studies in Chapter 8 focus on this new regionalism in geography. The new regionalgeography is an ontological base of this project.1.4 The Extended Bangkok Metropolitan Region:The focus of this dissertation will be the Extended Bangkok Metropolitan Region (EBMR) consisting of theBangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and thirteen adjacent provinces; five in the inner ring andeight in the outer ring. The region is loosely contained in a circle 100 kilometers around the center ofBangkok (Greenberg, 1989), covering approximately 54,000 square kilometers, one tenth of the total landarea of the whole kingdom, roughly the size of Nova Scotia (see Figures 1.1-1.5). 18 This is the most rapidlyurbanizing region of Thailand measured by such indices as increasing levels of urbanization, growth of nonagricultural labour force, and growth of non-agricultural economic activity.17. Massey, Doreen (1984) SPATIAL DIVISIONS OF LABOUR: SOCIAL STRUCTURES AND THE GEOGRAPHYOF PRODUCTION, London: Macmillan.18. Throughout the dissertation, maps that are unsourced have been generated with information off Government ofThailand maps, at various scales. I am grateful to Andrew Marton for an earlier draft of Figure 8.7..•:•.••..j:;.•::4aIpd,....E.•E•::.••.ttAIWAN..:::••KMung•..•..Lv...:•..:••:.:i:5y;..IangkongIHalkouBayofaBengalSouthChlnaciPhilippineTHAILANDk;SeaMa,L’,rH11IPPINAndaman:SeaPtinomNMinhCitylioiio4•Cebu4•Songkhiar3’icudat..DavaoBRUNEI2-SINGAPOREfeniate..I’adangBaükpapan.i’qsvitAJjRMafene4biptYw.BubTdukbetwigBonthan•akartaIND0NESIAIndianTernate0ceanMoresby*j5b:.•..::•..:..:t:..Figure11SoutheastAsiaI’‘,idomeen17Figure 1.24.1<200 milesI I200 kitometer187//.7><:,‘\E.B.M.R.:L1’I.)1. Kanchanaburi2. Rotchaburi3. Suphan Burl4. Nokhon Pathom5. Sanaut Songkro.rn6. Samut Sakhon7. Ayutthaya-.?‘..//8. Pothum ThanI9. Nonthaburi10. Bangkok11. Samut Prakarn12.Soraburi13. Chochoengsao14. ChonburiI /—_\I.;’AndamanSea:... .:4<Gui:.F.f ofThailand :.:••.::•:7...IFigure 1 3 Thailand 0and the E B M R ., ii,MAL<AYS.IA.,4I-I‘061.IC..—+44,4C,ftI’ ThSARABURI‘AYUTTHAYAi-I-),,, IiI,-—PATHUMTHANI=---L‘SAMUTSAMUTC.<‘SAKHONPRAKARN-‘SAMUT-1NGKHRAMCH410-—,,‘—0‘I ItbC,—ez0e‘.zI——z—-..--I—..••_—rCZ-C..$/0zc -4I——________________*21It is important to describe the region by changwat, and establish a range and demarcation.’9The inner ringchangwats, Samut Prakarn, Pathum Thani, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Sakhon, and Nonthaburi, with Bangkok(BMA) are collectively referred to as the Bangkok Metropiltan Region (BMR). The outer ring changwats ofAyutthaya, Chachoengsao, Chonburi, Samut Songkram, Ratchaburi, Kanchanaburi, Saraburi, andSuphanburi combined with the BMR comprise the EBMR.2°Industry is highly concentrated in the inner ring, and dispersed throughout the outer ring, particularly alongthe east coast. Also, it is important to note that industrial locations are not necessarily near large urban areas;a reflection of a region based urbanization. Aside from Bangkok, the EBMR has only 6 cities with over50,000 people; Nonthaburi, Samut Prakarn, Saraburi, Pattaya, Ayutthaya, and Samut Sakhon. There are alsotwo sanitary districts, which by official definition are not ‘urban’, however both Pak Ret and Phra Phadenghave over 100,000 people (see Chapter 2). 21Table 1.1 highlights some economic and demographic data of the EBMR. There are several points ofimportance. The ‘official’ population (1990) of 12.7 million22 is an underestimation. There are hundreds ofthousands of workers, some seasonal, many children, that are not included in surveys, or the national19. Changwars are the principle administrative division in Thailand, comparable to a state or province. There are 72 inThailand. The capital region, or BMA is not considered one.20. An argument can be sustained for including several other changwats in the EBMR. For example some areas ofPhetchaburi, Prachinburi, Nakhon Nayok and Ang Thong may fall within the 100 kilometer ring of Bangkok. At thesame time parts of EBMR changwats included in the study are outside the ring. The most notable example is ChonburisEastern Seaboard which is 125 kilometers from Bangkok. The National Economic and Social Development Board(NESDB) appears to consider the EBMR as only the BMR and the three changwats of Chachoengsao, Ayutthaya, andChonburi. They do confess that a handful of adjacent changwats could just as well be included. See National Economicand Social Development Board (1991) National Urban Development Policy Framework, Recommended DevelopmentStrategies and Investment Programs for the Seventh Plan (1992-1996), pg.iii. It is important to realize that the EBMR isa new and arbitrary region (creation) without definite boundaries. Although this study includes thirteen changwals,analysis will be limited to inner ring regions of the EBMR, in particular Samut Prakarn, Pathum Thani, and the easternoutskirts of the BMA. It is beyond the scope of this study to cover all possible’ areas (eastern, western and CentralPlain) that could justifiably be included in an EBMR region.21. Also, the primacy of the region in Thailand is apparent, when considering that the inner ring alone now accounts for50 per cent of national GDP and 77 per cent of manufacturing output, ibid.22. Thailand Government (1990) Population and Housing Census, National Statistics Office.22census. The statistical yearbooks use registration data that are incomplete. Further, there are reputed to bemany informal unregistered economic activities, such as prostitution and contract labour, that do not report,or accurately account for their workers. A universal shortcoming of national census data is its tendency toTABLE 1.1THE EBMR: SELECFED DEMOGRAPHIC AND ECONOMICDATAAre. Pop. Pop Pop. Pop. Per Per GDP(sq. kiii) density (000’s) (000’s) growth % Capita Capita Growth(1990) 1981 1990 I annum GDP GDP.. 1981-90 1981 1986 /annum(Babt) (BahI) 198146Bangkok 1565 3754 5331 5876 1.1 21750 23505 1.6Samut Prakarn 1004 767 557 770 4.2 21941 24293 2.1Pathum Thanl 1526 269 332 411 2.6 13143 18536 8.2Nskhon Pathoni 2168 290 570 629 1.1 7446 8890 3.9Samut Sakhon 872 368 271 321 2.1 11754 11272 -0.8Nonthaburi 622 924 404 575 4.7 6691 7016 1.0Ayutthaya 2557 274 627 701 1.3 4204 5149 4.5Chachoengsao 5351 103 498 552 1.2 6914 8126 3.5Chonburl 4363 195 738 851 1.7 13428 15882 3.7Samut Songkrain 417 461 198 192 -.03 3902 4830 4.8Ratchaburt 5197 141 654 735 1.4 7762 8599 2.2Kanchanaburl 19483 33 545 641 2.0 10120 11559 2.8Saraburi 3577 142 475 507 0.7 8429 11083 6.340t* 48702 $2 11200*0 11161*0 II 31Thailand 513115 106 47875000 54532000 1.5 6520 7345 2.5Source: JICA (1990a).Thailand Government (1990) Population and Housing Census, NSO.Statistical Yearbook ofThailand (1990).Note: In 1993 approximately 25 Baht equals I U.S. Dollar.23over-count village population and under-count urban population.23 In industrial zones of the EBMR,workers from peripheral regions of the Kingdom are not always counted as local residents, yet theirpermanency can be measured in years.It is also of critical importance to the theme of this dissertation to note that both Gross Domestic Product(GDP) and population grow quicker in the EBMR then in the Kingdom as a whole. Thus, primacy of thelarger region continues to increase at the same time the actual primacy of the more spatially constrainedBangkok (BMA) is declining; the GDP and population are increasing at a decreasing rate, a clearconfirmation of the rise of the ‘region’, (as opposed to the city). This is covered in more detail later in thisthesis.1.5 Outline of the Dissertation:This study is presented in four parts covering 10 chapters. In Part I, entitled, New Urban Forms in Asia,aside from this Chapter (1), Chapter 2, is a literature review of current urban models and theories, with anemphasis on the recent body of literature dealing with extended metropolitan development. Although thisChapter is largely a review it can not avoid raising some new questions and proposing a rationality toabandon old thinking, particularly that ‘urban’ is a tightly settled and organized morphology.23. An example of the type of errors that can occur in counting population in certain areas of Thailand was told to meby a western scholar who has worked in Thailand for many years. A small district in the inner ring, according to thestatistical yearbook had an absurdly large population. A ground check confirmed that there was only a fraction of thereported number of people. The problem, eventually solved, was that a hospital in the area registered all new births asresidents of that district, (personal communication, D. Kamnner, July, 1991).24Part II, entitled The EBMR: History and Present Conditions, begins with Chapter 3 which presents a sketchof the synergic conditions that interplay, in terms of the region’s history and geography. In particular thischapter highlights the role of various rounds of dominant capital in shaping the urban landscape.Chapter 4 presents a tripartition of factors acting as a base of change. Firstly, economic change in the regionis described, with emphasis on data derived from the five national censuses since the end of World War II;1947, and the preceding four decennial censuses (1960, 1970, 1980, and 1990). The second and third factorsare population and transportation. This is a rich empirical chapter emphasizing the tidal movements ofchange involved in reshaping the outer city landscape.Part III, Revolution in the Outer Fringe landscape: 1986-1991, contains four chapters. Chapter 5 examinesthe larger process of land use metamorphose in terms of factors of change, and in particular land values.Chapters 6 and 7 describes forms that are emerging on the new landscape; industry, agriculture, housing,and recreation. Generally it sketches the diverse consumption of space in terms of activities. Chapter 8contains two regional case studies, which balance the empirical thrust of the preceding two chapters. Itestablishes the density of activities in two outer city regions.Part IV, Conclusions, begins with Chapter 9, explaining the role of the various brands of capitalismoperating in the EBMR. In this chapter a greater understanding is gained of the prominent impact capitalismhas on shaping the landscape.Finally, Chapter 10 comes to a resolution on the direction urban geography must follow in the future, whichis sensitive to understanding settlement systems within large extended urban regions. The chapter concludeswith seven pertinent questions that act as both a summary of the dissertation, and a mandate for furtherresearch.25CHAPTER TWO:REVIEW OF URBAN ThEORY: FOCUS ON MEGA-URBANIZATIONIncreasingly, in the market economies of developing countries1,urban and rural transformations should beseen as products of structural change in society, instead of processes in themselves. The two terms (urbanand rural) must be analyzed simultaneously in order to appreciate significant transition and change. When aneconomic system is under the domination of capitalism, the landscape, articulating industry and agriculture,become fused and linked; the distinctions are reduced.2Moreover, when commercial enterprises becomewidespread in a relatively rapid time period, as is the case in the Central Plain of Thailand, the social andeconomic landscapes take on an urban facade without the morphological attributes of a city. The blurring ofrural and urban boundaries become an obvious characteristic of the settlement system.The spatial imprint of capitalism in Thailand, more specifically, late flexible capitalism3reduces thetraditional divide between rural and urban, yet it has been this division which has acted as the basis ofsettlement planning strategies since early industrial periods in almost all societies. As Koppel points out, thetwo processes - urban change and rural change - have been largely studied autonomously, Thut {they are}1. Market economies are characterized by the domination of three main capitalist groups: the local state, globalcapitalists (TNCs), and local capitalists.2. see Harvey, David (1978) ‘The Urban Process Under Capitalism”, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF URBANAND REGIONAL RESEARCH vol. 2, pg.1O1-131.3. Flexible capitalism (or flexible accumulationlproduction) is a production regime that is argued by Harvey (1989) tohave followed ‘fordism’. Employers exercise enhanced powers of mobility and flexibility, resulting in increased levelsof labour control on a workforce that remains largely unskilled and impermanent. See Harvey, David (1989) THECONDITION OF POST MODERNITY, Cambridge: Blackwell, pg. 147. Harvey (1989) describes flexible accumulationas follows:It rests on flexibility with respect to labour processes, labour markets, products and patterns ofconsumption. It is characterized by the emergence of entirely new sectors of production, new waysof providing financial services, new markets, and above all, greatly intensified rates of commercialtechnological and organizational innovation.26tacitly recognized to be linked if not always correlated” .‘ But when urban4ike ecologies spring upthroughout the countryside, industrial modes of production permeate villages and distinctly ‘rural’ regions,and when nearly an entire cohort of a young non-urban population find their employment in non-agriculturalactivities, we must join Koppel in asking, “does a rural-urban appellation offer the most incisive appreciationof what is going on?”5Nearly 125 years ago, Marx (1867) wrote the following:The irrational old fashioned methods of agriculture arereplaced by scientific ones. Capitalist productioncompletely tears asunder the old union which heldtogether agriculture and manufacturing in their infancy.But at the same time it creates the m6aterial conditionsfor a higher synthesis in the future.This prediction underpins the process whereby the changing market economy will eventually lead to newsettlement hierarchies. Urban-rural fusion as a process, has occurred in the west in varying forms anddegrees. Referring to the USA, Lang (1986) states, “the apparent characteristics that distinguished urbanfrom rural in earlier times have either largely disappeared or have become more difficult to identify andmeasure.”7Taking this point further, Oberlander (1989), referring to Canada said, “The dichotomy whichis sometimes assumed between rural and urban is no longer there. Canada today is 22 million urban people,regardless of where they live.”8 This is not to suggest, Thailand, for example, is 60 million urban people,4. Koppel, Bruce (1991) “The Rural-Urban Dichotomy Reexamined: Beyond the Ersatz Debate?” in THE EXTENDEDMETROPOLIS: SETI’LEMENT TRANSITION IN ASIA (eds) N.Ginsburg, B.Koppel, T.McGee, Honolulu:University of Hawaii Press, pg.47.5. Ibid. pg.49.6. Marx, Karl (1867) CAPITAL: A CRITIQUE OF POLITICAL ECONOMY, translated from the 3rd German editionby Samuel Moore and Edward Aveling, NY: International Publishers, pg.505.7. Lang, M. (1986) Redefining Urban and Rural for the U.S. Census of Population: Assessing the need for AlternativeApproaches, URBAN GEOGRAPHY, vol. 7, no. 2, pg.118-134.8. Oberlander, Peter (1989) Personal Communication, May.27but official statistics of urban population are dramatically underestimated. Certainly, living in a city is notthe only qualification for urbanization, and ‘city is not the only settlement form to be labelled ‘urban’Although, the dichotomy is beginning to be dismantled, one place where it persists is in urban transitiontheory. The process of rural-urban migration seems to be generally accepted as a precondition formodernization and development. Urbanization and industrialization are often synonymous terms, whereeconomic development is closely associated, and in fact often defined in terms of the movement of labourfrom rural to urban areas. It has been generally understood that the rural sector is dominated by agriculturalactivities, and the urban sector focused on industrialization. This has led to an assumption that economicdevelopment occurs by the gradual reallocation of labour away from agriculture and into industry throughrural-urban migration. The urban transition model, then endorses an analogous association of urbanizationand industrialization. Furthermore, there exists a presumption of a rigid settlement dualism; rural and urban.Here it is argued the validity of this dualistic perspective, needs to be challenged and critiqued in light ofextended and mega-urbanization. This chapter, using two common discourses of urban theory, the urbantransition model and the settlement dichotomy, will embrace a new direction for inquiry in urbandevelopment, a finer conceptualization of Asian urbanization, specifically a working theoretical applicationfor Thailand’s urban framework. A new frontier of urban morphology that will act as a framework is herecalled Region Based Urbanization (RBU), an extended urban form that includes surrounding regions of acity core, that have taken on many characteristics without all the features of a core city’s morphology.Knox (1990) believes that outer-city urbanization is an area of urban geography that is under-represented inthe literature. “The cupboard is bare”, he writes, yet the significance of, “these changes amount to nothingless than a new urban geogphy”10Clearly, a settlement transition is emerging which reflects the new9. According to the 1990 Population and Housing Census the official level of urbanization in Thailand was 18.7 percent.10. Knox, Paul (1990) “Planning and Applied Geography” in PROGRESS IN HUMAN GEOGRAPHY, vol. 14 no. 1,March, 1990.28forms of industrialization located in traditional rural districts adjoining large city regions that are nowcommon throughout Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, and particularly inThailand. This chapter will first review the urban transition model, then examine the settlement dichotomy.Following a critique of both models, an innovative approach will be suggested centered around RBU.2.1 Rural-Urban Shift and Urban Transition Models:Rural to urban migration was an expected, almost timeless, universal movement. It was a widespreadphenomenon in developed countries, and a process either occurring or eventually to occur in the post-colonial world. There is debate over its timing and extent, but it is generally recognized as an inevitableprocess. A voluminous amount of literature has been published on this phenomena, and several good reviewsof the literature are available.11The conceptual model of internal migration, presented by Lee (1966), focused on migration decision makingand influences effecting the decisions. 12 Generally, Lee argued that in every region there are a number offactors acting to repel movement, as well certain factors act as an adducement to possible migrants. These11. see Brigg, P. (1973) “Some Economic Interpretations of Case Studies of Urban Migration in Developing Countries’Washington D.C. World Bank Staff Working Paper No.151., Connell, J. et al (1976) MIGRATION FROM RURALAREAS: THE EVIDENCE FROM VILLAGE STUDIES, Delhi: Oxford University Press., Haque, E. (1984)“Understanding Rural-Urban Migration in the Third World: A Critique of the Current Theories”, JOURNAL OF THEBANGLADESH NATIONAL GEOGRAPHICAL ASSOCIATION, vol.12, nos.1&2., Yap, L. (1975) “InternalMigration in Less Developed Countries: A Survey of the Literature” Washington D.C. World Bank Staff WorkingPaper No.215., For literature of rural-urban migration specifically for Thailand, see Kritaya Archavanitkul, (1988)MIGRATION AND UREAMZATION IN THAILAND, 1980: THE URBAN-RURAL CONTINUUM ANALYSIS,IPSR publication no.122, January., Thienchay Kiranandana et al (1985) THE PROJECTION OF THAI URBANRURAL POPULATION 1987-2001, TDRI, December., Stemstein, Larry (1974) ‘Migration to and From Bangkok’ANNALS OF THE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN GEOGRAPHERS vol.64, no.1, March., Penporn Tirasawat(1985) “Migration in Thailand: Past and Future” in URBANIZATION AND MIGRATION IN ASEAN, eds P.Hauser,D.Suits, N.Ogawa, Tokyo: NIRA.12. Lee, E. (1966) “A Theory of Migration” DEMOGRAPHY, vol.3, pg.47-57.29two polarized set of elements may be thought of as “push and ‘pull” forces. The multifarious range offactors can be reduced to four categories.Origin factors are the “push’ forces, such as rural poverty that have acted as a universal cornerstone forrural-urban migration. Destinationfactors, such as the ‘bright lights’ of the city are obviously an example ofa “pull” force, thawing migrants into an act of migration. The third factor, intervening obstacles are forcesthat divert or prolong a rural to urban migration. Distance is the most common obstacle. Finally, personalfactors, such as class, ethnicity, and education are further considerations determining migration.Economic models are also commonly used to explain rural-urban migration. The most prevalent of this genreis Todaro ‘s expected income model, which attempted to address the seemingly paradoxical act of migratingto a city with few jobs or economic opportunities.13He hypothesized that internal migration is decided uponby perceptions in the value of expected earnings, as opposed to certain or actual income. The model stillstands as an important contribution to migration theory, but is essentially urban biased and orientated, anddoes not address the determinants of rural income, nor the social system of the rural area.A second economic model, more workable in mega-urbanization situations, is the inter-sectoral linkagemodel. Hirschman (1958), Mellor (1976), and others argued that by concentrating on the linkages and flowsbetween cities and the rural areas, a more comprehensive grasp of rural-urban migration may be achieved. 14An extensive series of backward and forward linkages interconnect the city and village. The industrializationof the countryside and agri-business are two processes that stimulate interaction through communication andtransportation. Within this highly integrated model, rural incomes are expected to rise creating aproliferation in rural consumption and a subsequent increase in urban production. Newly createdemployment opportunities in the city will induce rural-urban migration.13. Todaro, M. (1978) INTERNAL MIGRATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES, Geneva: ILO.14. Hirschman, A.O. (1958) THE STRATEGY OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, New Haven: Yale UniversityPress., Mellor, J.W. (1976) THE ECONOMICS OF GROWTH: A STRATEGY FOR INDIA AND THEDEVELOPING WORLD, Ithaca: Cornell University Press.30These models and the many others attempting to explain rural-urban migration share the same overridingcharacteristic of categorizing settlement systems into either rural or urban; an unwarranted dichotomizationof settlement. Urban transition theories as well, are infamous for not acknowledging an intermediatesettlement, distinctly separate from city and village. However, RBU and Mega-urbanization models can playa role in rectifying this shortcoming.The shift of population from rural to urban areas is effected by a plethora of factors. Hence, the urbantransition model seeks to delineate a paradigm for population movement to cities. Since western nationsexperienced a rural-urban transition in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, it provides aconvenient backdrop from which to draw from for the post colonial countries. However, it is thisappropriation which activates contention and discrepancy. Reissman (1964) has analyzed urbanization in postcolonial countries as a replication, albeit, in a more concentrated and uneven form, of the urbanizationexperiences of the European nations a century ago. He states:.that industrial urban development inthe west and in the underdevelopedcountries today is the same processalthouh greatly separated in time andspace.Reissman creates a typology of change reflected in stages through which a society passes. He includedindustrial development, urban growth, and nationalism; all accurate representations of Europe’s transition.However, is post colonial urban transition merely a repeat of Europe at a different time and space?McGee (1967) developed the position that the Post Colonial countries would not experience a ‘true’ urbanrevolution in the same milieu as western countries. He coined the term “psuedo-urbanization” to describe the15. Reissman, Leonard (1964) THE URBAN PROCESS: CITIES IN INDUSTRIAL SOCIETIES, Glencoe, Illinois:Free Press.31process.16 At the time, Post Colonial countries were economically orientated to the export of primarycommodities, and the import of finished manufactured goods, suggesting the unlikely chance of developing avibrant industrial base, as was the case that contributed to urban growth in the west. 17The settlement revolution was ill-timed. It did not occur as a response to the growth of urban employmentopportunities as in the European experience, where industrial revolution technology was still relativeLyinnovative and at the pioneering stages of development. In the Post Colonial countries, expansion of themanufacturing sector lagged behind urban growth, and the limited investment in manufacturing that didoccur tended to he capital rather then labour intensive. The early urban transition of the European model ofeconomic growth was labour intensive, providing abundant opportunities for factory employment. Roberts(1978) describes the need for labour in nineteenth century Britain:England had developed a substantial network of smallbut thriving market centers. some of these were alreadycenters of important manufacturing activity carried outby rural migrants who were now spinners and weavers.Particular attention was drawn to the greatest industrialregion in the area forty miles around Manchfter as oneof the greatest industrial regions of the day.Moreover, industrial employment in Europe was the base of a much wider market than has been available tocountries that urbanized subsequently. This macro growth financed more investment and industry which inturn absorbed more rural labour. A similar precondition has not greeted urban migrants in the Post Colonialeconomies, resulting in an inflated informal economy.16. McGee, T.G. (1967) THE SOUTHEAST ASIAN CITY, London: G. Bell and Sons.17. This resulted in a proliferating informal economy, particularly within the service sector. McGee later referred to thisas “urban involution’. Some scholars believe this to be the nourishment needed for a revolutionary force. See de Sota,Hemando, (1987) THE OTHER PATH: THE INVISIBLE REVOLUTION IN THE THIRD WORLD New York:Harper and Row.18. Roberts, B. (1978) CITIES OF PEASANTS: THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF URBANIZATION IN THETHIRD WORLD, London: Edward Arnold (after Chapman, 1904).32While rapid economic development coincided with urban transition in Europe, the Post Colonial countries incontrast, experienced a more hurried pace of urban growth, even in countries with low levels ofdevelopment, such as South Asian and central African nations.19 In other words, accelerated urbanizationbegan in the west only as part of a process of rapid industrial and economic growth according to theconventional models. Yet, urban growth in the Post Colonial countries has taken place at much earlier stagesof economic development and now involves a much greater population at a faster rate.2°Finally, the safetyvalve of emigration that characterized late 19th century Europe does not exist for most Post Colonialsocieties.Returning to Hirschman-Mellor Rostowian urban economic growth theories, within an urban transitionframework, a much heard critique was levelled by a school of theorists known as the Dependistas. Thecriticism was most eloquently forwarded by Frank (1967), using a neo-marxist approach, who attackeddiffusionist growth theories that relied on the city as being the leading sector of economic growth and asource of social change.21 The position essentially maintains that decay is ultimately rooted in industrialcapitalism, hence, urban centres are not a stimulus for development. Foreign and industrial capital (andtechnology) tended to concentrate in a few urban based sectors rendering an inequitable income distribution.Within this view, the western experience will not be repeated. The city is thus, parasitical on the populationsin the periphery, as well as on the “urban-peasants” outside of, or marginalized by the urban capitalist modeof production.19. McGee, T.G. (1971) THE URBANIZATION IN THE THIRD WORLD: EXPLORATION IN SEARCH OF ATHEORY, London; Bell.20. Berry, Brian and John Kassarda (1977) CONTEMPORARY URBAN ECOLOGY, New York: Macmillan.21. Frank, Andre Gunder (1967) “Sociology of Development and Underdevelopment of Society” CATALYST 3,Summer and Galtung, J. (1971) “A Structural Theory of Imperialism” JOURNAL OF PEACE RESEARCH, no. 2,pg.81-107, and Baran, Paul (1957) THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF GROWTH, N.Y.: Modem Reader Paperbacks,and Dos Santos, T. (1970) “The Structure of Dependence”, AMERICAN ECONOMIC REVIEW, vol.60, no.2,pg.231-236.33Interestingly, the Rostowian camp of development theorists enjoyed a resutgence in the late 1970’s (andlater).22 This coincided with the popular school of urban economic thought that emerged to defend WorldBank-international monetized development and export orientated industry. The argument states that ideally,offshore and state capital are brought together to develop indigenous entrepreneurial activities, and the‘tigers of Asia’ are a shining example of this form of development. Notwithstanding, due to complexintricacies of the new international economic order, it can not be considered a replication of the earlierEuropean experience.USince the mid 1980’s the urban transition model has once again been disputed . This time the wholepreconceived separation of rural and urban have been discredited. The United Nations Center for HumanSettlements forecast that by the year 2020, 50 per cent of the world’s population will reside in urban places.This prediction adopts a rigid division between two spatial settlement patterns - urban and rural. In the lasttwenty years, many countries in Asia, while experiencing rapid urban growth, have also developed regionsadjacent to the large metropolises, characterized by an intensive mixture of agricultural and non-agriculturalactivities occurring side by side.25 These regions are neither urban or rural, but possess features of both.22. Armstrong, W. and T.G. McGee (1985) THEATRES OF ACCUMULATION: STUDIES IN ASIAN AND LATINAMERICAN URBANIZATION, London: Methuen, Chapter 3.23. Industrial capitalism with a foreign led export orientation appears to have had success in Singapore, Hong Kong,Taiwan, and S. Korea. A second view, however, argues that environmental degradation and harsh societal inequitieshave been the costs of this economic growth. See Bello, W. and S. Rosenfeld (1990) DRAGONS IN DISTRESS, SanFrancisco: Food and Development Policy.24. The traditional western model of urban transition for Post Colonial socialist countries has also received attentionfrom many scholars. Eliminating the wide contrast between urban and rural has been a classical objective of Marxism.Reducing the rate of urban growth through the strict control of migration has been a routine practice in countries suchas Tanzania, Vietnam, Cuba, and North Korea. See Slater, D. (1978) Towards a Political Economy of Urbanization inPeripheral Capitalist Societies: Problems of Theory and Method with Illustrations from Latin America,INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF URBAN AND REGIONAL RESEARCH, vol.2, no. 1, pg.26-52.25. McGee, T.G. (1988) “Urbanisasi or kotadesasi? Evolving Patterns of Urbanization in Asia’, in F.J. Costa, A.F.Dutt, L.C.J. Ma, and A.G. Noble (eds) URBANIZATION IN ASIA: SPATIAL DIMENSIONS AND POLICYISSUES, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.34McGee has conceptualized such regions as desakota, a word coined by joining two Indonesian Bahasa words- Desa (village) and Kota (town).In this light, the urban transition model needs to be reevaluated. McGee (1989) highlights two inadequaciesof the model which desakota addresses. First the model is too limiting by assuming that the spatialseparation of rural and urban activities will persist as urbanization continues. Secondly, it is inadequate in itsposition which suggests “agglomeration economies” are an urban phenomena acting to spur the concentrationof population at the scale of the city area.27 Due to space-time convergence, facilitated by advances inintermediate transportation and communication technology, agglomeration and concentration is no longer asimportant, and is encouraging the dispersal of urban activity.28 At the same time, the accelerating prices andgrowing costs in the core of these regions is encouraging dispersal. In Thailand for example, industrial firmsare locating 70 kilometers or more from Bangkok, yet due to transportation and communication technologiesare economically part of the metropolitan area. The case of Bangkok (and many other Asian metropolises)justifies the need to position urban transition in a broader framework, sensitive to the active space economythat has emerged in the desakota.The splintering of the urban transition paradigm for Asia is consistent with Hackenberg’s (1980) “diffuseurbanization’ model, where he argues, “rural areas are being penetrated by urban-type forms of production,infrastructure, and administration”.29These “spread effects” create large metropolitan regions, which serveto alleviate and constrain rural out-migration from the region. Also, and perhaps more important, ruralmigrants from further areas of the hinterland are more apt to migrate to the extended areas of the mega-urban26. Desakota was formed after McGee observed the spatial process emerging in Java. By using non western words, itpartially evades Eurocentrism, so prevalent in much of the development literature on Asia.27. McGee, T.G. (1989) “New Regions of Emerging Rural-Urban Mix in Asia: Implications for Nationa’ and RegionalPolicy”, a paper presented at the UNCRD seminar on Emerging Rural-Urban Linkages, Bangkok, August 16-19.28. For a discussion of space-time convergence see Harvey (1989), op.cit., chapters 12-18.29. Haclcenberg, Robert (1980) ‘New Patterns of Urbanization in Southeast Asia: An Assessment” POPULATIONAND DEVELOPMENT REVIEW, vol. 6, Pg.391.35region, which are becoming crowded with industrial estates and housing projects. In fact he argues that theseregions are the most productive industrial zones in their countries, when considering industrial output value.Moreover, from a public policy perspective it is a viable alternative to the overcrowded cities.In Thailand, past migration from the Northeast and other peripheral regions, traditionally targeted the BMAas the major destination. This trend is no longer valid, as migrants from rural regions now overwhelminglychoose the five provinces of the BMR, or the outer ring of the EBMR. The migrants settling in thesehistorically developed rural areas, will for the most part reside in modern housing estates and be employed innon-agricultural labour sectors (manufacturing, service, commerce, or construction).30The consequence isan intriguing blur of rural and urban features, that make urban transition models superfluous. Since Thailandnow has the capacity to industrialize without transferring large numbers of people into the strictly definedcities, we must question the validity of any settlement model that does not focus specifically on the extendedand mega-urban regions adjacent to the large metropolises, for it is here, that industry and settlementprosper. This study, by examining the extended urban region of Bangkok is set to challenge the traditionalapproaches to urban theory, and interpolate RBU as a viable alternative.2.2 Settlement Dichotomy:Thailand is among a large number of countries for which the rural-urban dichotomy in settlement patternspresents significant obstacles for policy makers and planners. Current thinking and policy planningconcerning the dichotomy is far from satisfactory, as it has exaggerated the rural-urban separation.31 The30. In later chapters. detailed evidence and a full description of this process will be offered.31. The United Nations and nearly every country collects detailed statistical data concerning their populationssettlement status; either urban or rural. It should be noted that there is a political ideology supporting rural-urbanseparation in light of efforts directed at rural development. Non-Government Organization (NGO) and state sanctioned36definition of rural and urban was presumed to have universal application for the representation of settlement.‘Rural’ was associated with agriculture, and ‘urban’ with industry. Eventually, as Marx had predicted,agriculture was to be supplanted by industrialization, and developed industrial societies, as has emerged inthe West, would be the universal precedent. In this light, with the predominance of urbanization, rural-urbandistinctions would disappear. Mega-urbanization and desakota models, on the other hand would lead us tobelieve that the distinction will not disappear, but will be significantly reduced and blurred.32 Along thisline, writers have been overly skeptical of standard presumptions of rural and urban, and the amorphousnature of prevailing definitions. Reiss (1955) maintains that, “empirically at least, ‘urban’ can beindependent of size and density.”33 Moreover, various socioeconomic criteria that are regarded as ‘urban’benchmarks, quite simply do not correlate closely with settlement variation in size of population or density;income, mobility of population, extent of formal schooling, women workers, housing type, to name only afew.34 Expanding this point, Dewey (1960) writes:Evidence abounds to show that many of the thingswhich are uncritically taken as part and parcel ofurbanism do not depend on cities for their existence.History reveals that creativity in the form of inventionand discovery is not limited to cities, that literacy is nottied to urbanization, and that sacred ties are stronger inrural development schemes are based on a critical distinction and separation between rural and urban. see Lipton, M.(1977) WHY POOR PEOPLE STAY POOR: URBAN BIAS IN WORLD DEVELOPMENT, Canberra: ANU Press.32. Pierce Lewis draws our attention to an interesting event in American history. After the 1890 census tapes weretabulated, the United States Census Bureau decided it would no longer delineate a “settlement frontier”. The Bureau’srationale was based on the inability to demarcate a boundary between settled and unsettled land. Lewis refers to theclosing of the American frontier as an “epochal event”. This marked the first time there was an acknowledgment of aninadequacy in the settlement dichotomy. Seventy years later, Gottman capitalized on this theme in the formulation of hisstudy on the American Northeastern Seaboard, Megalopolis (see footnote 44 in this chapter). Lewis, Pierce (1983) “TheGalactic Metropolis, in BEYOND THE URBAN FRINGE: LAND USES OF NONMETROPOLITAN AMERICA,(eds) Rutherford Platt and George Macinko, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.33. Reiss, Albert J. (1955) “An Analysis of Urban Phenomena in (ed) Robert Fisher, THE METROPOLIS INMODERN LIFE Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Co.34. see Duncan, O.D. (1957) “Community Size and the Rural-Urban Continuum” in (eds) Paul Hatt and Albert J. Reiss,CITIES AND SOCIETY, Glencoe Ill: Free Press.37some iges than in many small towns and farmingareas.In fact, the root of the distinction is largely a subjective categorization that is becoming increasingly narrowin scope. Over time, acculturation, transportation technology, electronic media, and the convergence ofconsumption patterns will work to obliterate even further the differences between rural and urban. Theconvergence of the countryside and city through transportation innovations is explained by Jones (1983),The late-comers in the development process can takeadvantage of the most up-to-date technologies.Developments in transport mean that many people evenin poor countries can commute up to 50 miles towork... Transport developments facilitate patterns ofcircular mobility that not require continuousresidence in the city.An example of the complexity and unsuitability of the settlement framework currently adhered to in Thailandwould be useful. Figure 2.1 illustrates the various categories of settlement in the Thai urban hierarchy.Inherent contradictions and paradoxes are built into this hierarchy. For instance, large tracts of eastern BMAare unmistakably rural, and could be considered ‘village’ Also, within the last decade, hundreds offactories and housing estates have sprung up among the villages of the Central Plain and Eastern Seaboard,emphatically giving rise to a distinct rural-based ‘urbanism’. Sanitary Districts (SD) are the mostcontroversial settlements within the hierarchy, and have been the subject of several studies attempting to35. Dewey, Richard (1960) “The Rural-Urban Continuum: Real but Relatively Unimportant” AMERICAN JOURNALOF SOCIOLOGY, vol.66, no.1, July. For a seminal discussion of urbanism’ and its representations see Wirth, Louis(1938) ‘Urbanism as a Way of Life”, AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY, vol.44, July.36. Jones, Gavin (1983) “Structural Change and Prospects for Urbanization in Asian Countries Papers of the EastWest Population Institute, no.87, Honolulu: East-West Center, pg.25.37. There are large areas of intensive agriculture, mostly paddy, in the districts of Minburi and Nong Chok within theBangkok Metropolitan Area.38Figure 2.1 SETTLEMENT HIERARCHY IN THAILANDMETROPOLIS(Only Bangkok has been designatedas metropolis since 1972)NAKHON MUNICIPALITY(Places with Population of at least 50.000and population density of at least 3,000 per km sq.)MUANG MUNICIPALITY(Places with population of at least 10,000and population density of at least 3,000 per km sq.)TAMBON MUNICIPALITY(No specific numerical criterion)URBAN SANITARY DISTRICT(SDs with population more than 5,000)RURAL SANITARY DISTRICT(SDs with population not more than 5,000)VILLAGESource: Romm (1972).39grapple with their ambiguity.38 Pra Phadeng SD in Samut Prakarn province has a population of 165,000(1988), but was regarded as non-urban within the hierarchy. In fact, in that year, eight SD’s had apopulation of more then 50,000, and the average annual income was at least 50 per cent higher then villagelevel. Romm (1972) has termed ‘s as “semi-urban areas”Kainmiers (1986) attempt to revise the urbanization level of Thailand proved revealing. His study examined25 towns and the BMA to measure levels of underboundedness. His results show most cities are considerablyunderbounded, and the actual urbanization level may be as much as 50 per cent above the conventionallydefined figure. This suggests Bangkok’s primacy is fairly exaggerated, and more importantly, it confirmedthe need for a more applicable and accurate urban-rural classification, with less emphasis on politicallyconstrued margins.So, by eliminating the boundaries between rural and urban, planners and decision makers should be betterprepared to regard the whole extended mega-urban region as a single territorial unit. It is, however, notalways that simple. Koppel states:it is the failure to seriously engage the middleground that has yielded the most debilitatingconceptualization; rural conceived as peasant agriculture38. Sanitary Districts are a confusing settlement type, that are too dense and populated for ‘village’ level, but are clearlynot a municipality. Many SD’s should be classified as ‘urban’ but have not received the added amenities and servicesthat are considered municipal standards. There are also political reasons not to shift SD’s classification to ‘urban. Formore discussion on SD’s see Romm, Jeff (1972) URBANIZATION IN THAILAND, Working paper for theInternational Urbanization Survey. N.Y.: Ford Foundation, Santhat Semsri (1980) “Differentials in Urban—RuralDemographic Behavior and Events in Thailand” PhD dissertation, Brown University.39. Romm, op cit. Since the 1980 census SD’s are divided into rural and urban, with the 5,000 population mark as thedifferentiating threshold. However, it is important to realize that an urban SD is NOT a municipality, and not calculatedinto the national level of urbanization statistics, despite contributing a total of nearly 5 million people. Phra Phadeng, infact is larger then Chiang Mai and Hat Yai.40. Kammier, Detlef, (1986) “Thailand’s Small Towns: Exploring Facts and Figures Beyond the Population Statistics”,BEITRAGE ZUR BEVOLKERUNGSFOSCHUNG Band 1, Wien. Bounding refers to how well the administrative areamatches the urban aggregate. There is rarely a case of a ‘true bounded’ city. The BMA is critically overbounded insome areas (such as the eastern reaches), but in the north and southeast is largely underbounded. For actual statisticssee Kammier (1986).40unconnected to markets, media or the urban masses;urban conceived as everything else. 41 —It seems that many of the large metropolitan areas of Asia will continue to develop in a form, which not onlyblurs the distinctions between rural and urban, but which also extends the ambit of urbanity as far as 100kilometers from the central core. It is a function of a multitude of conditions that are intrinsically geared tospatial forms of capitalist production, and reproduction, procuring waves of urban morphology to theperiphery.42As Yeung (1990) says, “The Asian Landscape is becoming an urban landscape”, which leads toa discussion on Region-Based Urbanization.432.3 A Region Based Urbanization:The discussion in this chapter has revealed inadequacies and deficiencies in the current ianguageM andperspectives commonly used to describe and analyze emerging Asian settlement systems. If, in the past therehas been a tendency to ignore new region-based urbanization, then the future course of metropolitan changein Asia is likely to amend this neglect, as the urban region becomes the formal scale of analysis fordemographic and economic growth processes.An overriding feature of the extended urban regions is that certain urban functions, such as residentialdevelopment, industry, and even tertiary sector activities, traditionally associated with only the “inner-city’,have become widely dispersed. Ginsburg (1991) compares Asian urbanization with what Gottmann, in41. Op cit, Koppel, pg.67.42. Beginning with the next chapter, the synergic conditions that interplay to create extended urban development will bediscussed.43. Yeung, Yue-Man (1990) CHANGING CITIES OF PACIFIC ASIA, Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, Pg.xvii.44. Chapter 10 deals with alternative terminologies for extended urban regions.411961, referred to as “megalopolis” Gottmann was describing the large multi-metropolitan region evolvingin the 1 950s along the Northeastern Seaboard of the United States, from Boston, Massachusetts, toRichmond, Virginia. Particularly revealing to Gottmann was the concentration of population in suburbs andexurbs, interspersed with areas of low population density, and the efficient transactive transportationnetworks that weave the region together. The comparison is an effective one, but demographic densities aremuch higher in the Asian urban regions, where rice cultivation has been the traditional form of subsistencefor many centuries. With very few exceptions, rice growing correlates positively with high populationdensities. In fact, the densities of the extended areas of the urban regions are frequently much higher thanthe suburban areas of the west. Nevertheless, the Gottmann paradigm is an interesting model to build uponfor the Asian urban regions.A morphological lesson that should be recognized from Gottmann’s conceptualization, is that the form andshape of an urbanized landscape need not conform with conventional spatial configurations andconstructions, largely associated with built up high density agglomerative concentrations. A city-basedlandscape is not the lone urban form. Urbanization patterns can be dispersed, linear, or interspersed withrural activities.As global market forces operate ever more freely and effectively, infrastructural investment catering to theseprocesses will dictate the nature of urban form, and increasingly that form has been linear developmentcorridors. The internationalization of the urban space economy and the complexity of technological changehas created an urban environment in much of Southeast Asia where investors, are participating in a rapidacquisition of large tracts of land pushing further away from the city core with forceful intensity. It appearsto be a shopping spree by investors, resulting in the rise of the outer city. In order to be accommodated45. Ginsburg, Norton (1991) “Extended Metropolitan Regions in Asia: A New Spatial Paradigm”, op cit (eds) N.Ginsburg, B. Koppel, T.G. McGee, Honolulu: U. of Hawaii Press. Gottmann, Jean (1961) MEGALOPOLIS: THEURBANIZED NORTHEASTERN SEABOARD OF THE UNITED STATES New York: Twentieth Century Fund,Kraus International Publications.46. Oshima, Harry (1986) ‘The Transition From an Agricultural to an Industrial Economy in East Asia” ECONOMICDEVELOPMENT AND CULTURAL CHANGE, vol. 34, no. 4, pg.783-810.42efficiently by the existing (but stressed) infrastructure, much of the development is laid out in a ribbon-likecorridor along the main roads and rail lines. In the Bangkok extended urban region, it will be argued that thelinear urban form is a major type of regional growth. It is important to note that the ‘urbanized rays, whichare built up linear extensions of the city, generate ‘growth impulses’ which ‘urbanize’ areas alongside. As ittranscends a region, it draws a larger spatial extent into the urban orbit.Almost thirty years ago Blumenfeld (1965) predicted a world- wide metropolitan form, called, “stellar’ or“finger” metropolis, which he argued would be a linear city connected to a much larger concentratedagglomerated city.47 His prophecy was accurate and insightful. Linear development in the 1990s is theresponse to a political and economic decentralization, fragmentation and deregulation of the private businesssectors. Manufacturing today, with flexible technologies, reliance on communication and transportation,transactive in nature, find corridors an effective and practical urban form. The role of corridors indeveloping Asian regions is well documented, particularly in Taiwan and Japan. Also, Gottmann pointsout the extensive network of corridor development in the Northeastern American Seaboard.49Corridors also serve nationally exogenous development as well. There are well established road, rail, and aircorridors linking, for example, the countries of ASEAN. Riinmer (1991) refers to a “Southeast Asiancorridor”, linking other Asian corridors, forming what he calls a “Supra-Region”, which in turn areconnected to North America, Australia, and Europe. 5047. Blumenfeld, Hans (1965) “The Modern Metropolis”, SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN vol.213, no.3, September.48. see McGee T.G. and G.C. Lin (1993) “Footprints in Space: Spatial Restructuring in the East Asian NICS, 19501990, in ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT IN PACIFIC ASIA, David Drakakis-Smith and Chris Dixon(eds), London, Routledge, and Ginsburg (1991) op cit.49. An exemplary case of corridor development is U.S.A’s lnterstate-85. It is the fastest growing industrial region in theU.S.A., and is a linear ribbon of development along 1-85, from Durham N.C. to Atlanta Georgia. It is referred to as the“Boom Belt Mega-corridor”. See “The Boom Belt” (1993) BUSINESS WEEK, September, 27, pg.98.50. Rimmer, Peter J. (1991) “The Emerging Infrastructural Arena in Pacific Asia Since the Early 1970’s” PROC. OFJSCE no.43111V-15, July pg.1-17.43Although some previous urban theory has identified alternative urban patterns to tight concentratedagglomerations, this dissertation will extend the line of thought by suggesting that RBU is not just analternative or substitute urban form, but is becoming a dominant pattern. l’his is prevalent in parts of Asia,and particularly in the high density rice bowl delta of Thailand’s lower Central Plain.51Finally, we must be prepared to embrace a new thinking in urban development, to distinguish between whatmay be called city-based urbanization’ (CBU) and region-based urbanization’ (RBU). CBU is what we havetraditionally known as built up concentrated urban nodes. This is contrasted with RBU, which can becharacterized as regions adjacent to large metropolitan cities that take on urban-like infrastructure, arecomprised of an urban-like economic base, possess fluid links and interaction with the central city, withoutbecoming urbanized in its customary form. This is precisely the direction of the future course of Asianurbanization; a type of mega-urbanization that can be described as an urban civilization that for the first timeis spatially independent from the city. This is not to suggest the ‘city’ core is not part of the larger urbanregion, but the outer city is much more dispersed and characterized by ‘polynucleation’ - a series of smallurban patches in a region of urbanization. This leads to a structural deconcentration of power from the citycore.52As is often the case these developments are recognized in the indigenous language. Thus the almagamation ofcity and countryside embodied in a single settlement system is captured by the Thai word “chonmuang”.Although it is not used often, and largely unknown as a concept to most people, it is occasionally heard bythose attempting to characterize regions away from Bangkok’s pollution and congestion, but near enough to51. There has been recent writings dealing with dispersed urban settlement in outer city regions of the United States.See Garreau, Joel (1991) EDGE CITY, New York: Doubleday, and Greenberg, Charles (1992) ‘Angelic Scatter: TheOuter Cities of Los Angeles and Bangkok’, Paper presented at the Canadian Association of Geographers annualmeeting, Vancouver, May.52. Although decision-makers, parliaments, corporate headquarters, and other elites are still located in the inner-city,there is an important division of spatial activities over the extended metropolitan region, which has importantramifications for transportation, community, control of land use, distribution of economic and social infrastructure, andregional tax bases.44interact regularly with the city. The term is the result of a merging of two Thai words, ‘chonobat’, meaningcountryside, and “muang” meaning city.53. Although the term is not widely used, and may not catch on, it is used by planners and adniinistraters.A parallel term used in Japan is konjuku, meaning melting’ of housing and countryside. Hebbert, Michael (1986)“Urban Sprawl and Urban Planning in Japan “TOWN PLANNING REVIEW, vol. 57, no.2, pg. 141-158.Casinader (after Issac, 1986) tells us that in Kerala, the Malayalam term gragaram is used to describe urban-ruralfusion. The word is derived from ‘gra’ (gramam or rural), and ‘garam’ (nagaram or urban). Casinader, Rex (1992)DESAKOTA IN KERALA: SPACE AND POLITICAL ECONOMY IN SOUTHWEST INDIA, PhD Dissertation,University of British Columbia, Geography Department.45PART IITHE EXTENDED BANGKOK METROPOLITAN REGION: HISTORY AND PRESENTCONDITIONSCHAPTER THREE:PRECONDITIONS OF REGION BASED URBANIZATION IN THE EBMR: THE PHYSICALGEOGRAPHY, HISTORY AND POLITICAL ECONOMY OF THE CENTRAL PLAINThe aim of this chapter is to show the synergic conditions that interplay in terms of the region’s historicalpreconditions, and physiographic features. The central theme is how Bangkok’s contiguous periphery cameto be an important high density zone of economic production, within the formation of RBU.Geographers contextualize a landscape through its varied social constructions and institutions. This processbecomes decidedly complex and revealing through enhanced periods of rapid transformation and spatialtransition. The articulation of landscape is characterized by Lefebvre (1976) as “second nature”, which isdistinguished from Nature.1 Soja (1989) explains Lefebvre’ s ‘second nature’ as; “...the transformed andsocially concretized spatiality arising from the application of purposeful human labor” Taking this conceptfurther, it is apparent that Lefebvre’s ‘human labor’ embraces an ideological agenda, which would thenpermit geographers to analyze disparate political forms on the landscape. Spatial restructuring under acapitalist mode of production constructs a conspicuous landscape form, only to be reconstructed wheneconomic conditions dictate a need for change. As Harvey (1978) explains:1. Lefebvre, H. (1976) “Reflections on the Politics of Space”, translated by M. Enders, ANTIPODE, vol. 8, pg.30-37.The term “second nature’ actually comes from Cicero, the 1st century B.C. Roman philosopher and thinker who wasdescribing humanly made nature. It exists in balance with “first nature” which is the natural environment.2. Soja, Edward (1989) POSTMODERN GEOGRAPHIES: THE REASSERTION OF SPACE IN CRITICAL SOCIALTHEORY, London: Verso, pg.80.46Capital represents itself in the form of a physicallandscape created in its own image, created as usevalues to enhance the progressive accumulation ofcapital... Under capitalism, there is then a perpetualstruggle in which capital builds a physical landscapeappropriate to its own condition at a particular momentin time, only to have to destroy it, usujly in the courseof crisis, at a subsequent point of time.The Central Plain of Thailand, as a landscape, has been the target of numerous constructions andreconstructions from various layers of dominant capital.4This chapter examines the region adjacent toBangkok, and highlights the transformations of an inaccessible wasteland, to a heavily capitalized, ebullient,extended urban region.First though, it is necessary to give a sketch of the physical geography of the lower Central Plain for this isthe distinctive stage upon which urbanization is being played Out.3.1 Physical Geography:The Central Region, (an officially recognized sub-division of Thailand, which is more of an administrativeor political area, then a physical region), is comprised of four subregions: (see Figure 3. l).1. Bangkok Region, comprising the BMA and the five adjacent provinces of Pathum Thani, Samut Prakran,Samut Sakhon, Nakhon Pathom, and Nonthaburi.3. Harvey (1978) op.cit, pg. 105.4. This is from Massey’s geologic metaphor. See Massey (1984) op.cit. Also see chapter 10 of this dissertation.5. National Economic and Social Development Board (1990) “Central Region: Facts of the Present Day”, ECONOMICAND SOCIAL DIGEST, vol.27, no.3, May-June, (in Thai language).FIGURE 3.1 47CENTRAL REGION___‘I I \‘ I,J1‘jTA1NORT1ERN FO11,i•1scJ,q,or,lAI, ‘çAKMAE SOf°1‘-• z- UPPERIPiIETCI/ABUNAlI—’ -‘ /1 Ic-’,!CENTRALJ’ cPLAINS FJi(.Ji-PAGODAPASS C)c ‘)cIIAINAr iáSz’ MEKLONG LOWER I-37\ ) li’\ I-v\ MOUNTAINS -z- CE! TRA—I$— KANCII48URL,, P L A I N S- \ f I -—I!tlGulf of Siam!?ACFILIAP•1 1(1111?! KIMNI,km /-‘-. 100EI ISource: Donner (1978).482. The upper Central Region made up of 6 provinces of the Central Plain rice bowl, namely, Ayutthaya,Angthong, Singburi, Lopburi, Saraburi, and Chainat.3. The west Central Region made up of Samut Songkram, Suphanburi, Ratchaburi, Petchaburi,Kanchanabuii and Pratachab Khirian.4. The east Central Region made up of Nakorn Nayok, Chachoengsao, Chonburi, Prachinburi, Rayong,Chanataburi, and Trat.When contrasted with Figure 1.4 (EBMR) it is realized that the Central Region is a larger territory than theEBMR, and that the EBMR is geographically positioned within the larger region. The west Centralsubregion is wholly excluded from the boundaries of the EBMR.Since the majority of analysis in this project is focussed on the areas immediately adjacent to the BMA, therewill be an overview of the physical environment of the Bangkok region, which in this discussion is asynonymous term for BMR, and/or lower Central Plain.The lower Central Plain is situated at the southern reaches of the Chao Phraya River system, and enclosesthe lower 60 kilometers of the delta. Bangkok is positioned at 13 degrees 35’ north latitude (same level asAcapulco, Mexico) and 100 degrees 29’ east longitude.This geographical situation has provided the opportunity for the growth of this region, at the mouth of themain artery of the country’s largest river, the Chao Phraya. By the 1800s this economically strategic locationin terms of transshipment of goods and people via the Gulf of Siam and Indian Ocean proved to be a keyfactor stimulating growth and development.49The topography of the lower Central Plain is a mostly flat, slightly undulating relief, formed by silting ofthe Chao Phraya and its tributaries. The subregion is a low lying deltaic plain with an imperceptible slope.6The average elevation is 1.1 meters above sea level, and much of the subregion is sinking.Silting has pushed the coast further into the Gulf of Siam, and synchronously formed natural levees along theriver banks. These levees normally reach above the average flood level, and hence, have developed intolocations for agriculture, temple sites, and village settlement. Insofar as the extending coast on the Gulf,Dormer writes; “If the river continues to transport silt down to the gulf- and there is no reason why it shouldnot- Bangkok may lie in another 1500 years as far from the coast as Ayutthaya does today.”7The most important natural phenomena in the subregion is hydrology. The lower Central Plain is shaped bywater; the proximity of the sea, the life giving Chao Phraya, and thousands of kilometers of human madechannels. The meandering Chao Phraya is between 150 and 1500 meters in width and nearly encirclesBangkok and the western BMA community of Thonburi. The most dramatic bend is at Phra Phadeng inSamut Prakran, south of Bangkok, where the lower bank comes within 600 meters of the more southernupper course. The development and history of canals in the lower Central Plain is legendary and is dealt withat some length in other parts of this chapter, and has contributed to the various constructions andreconstructions of the space economy (see Figure 3.2).Being part of a monsoon country, the subregion receives periodic heavy rains, particularly in the two wettestmonths of September and October. During this time of the year flood waters peak, and since the drainagecapacity of the Chao Phraya is limited, the region, particularly along the tributaries is inundated.6. The lower Central Plain slopes at 0.004 per cent which is equivalent to one meter in height for every 25,000 metershorizontally. See Donner, Wolf (1978) THE FIVE FACES OF THAILAND: AN ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY,London: C. Hurst and Co., pg.763.7. Ibid. pg.766.50FIGURE 3.2CANAL EXCAVATIONu\ )/ k \. 1 j.J’IWO——Ion oh&S- II- IQfon Pta Wet 8Qt;.1c,0j(I.. ‘1•‘ I;‘‘‘V SOnrong IS (111? KAN1Source: Donner (1978)51The mean annual precipitation is 1,413 millimeters (in comparison, Vancouver receives about 1500 mm.annually).8Two problems with the subregion’s groundwater have interested hydrologists for the last three decades.First, there is a gradual increase of salinity in the groundwater pumped through the artesian aquifers whichserve the city’s growing need for household water. This problem is directly related and partially caused bythe second concern, which is land subsidence. The Bangkok region is sinking below sea level because of theincreasing weight from buildings of heavy construction, and because of the large amount of water that ispumped from the ground. Bangkok’s very low elevation (sea-level) and vulnerability to flooding certainlycompounds the mounting concern of land subsidence. Water shortages have led to groundwater extractioncausing seawater to seep into wells up to 20 kilometres from the coast, and land subsidence of 5-10centimetres per year. Some areas of the EBMR are below sea level, while flood damage due to land sinkinghas been costly. Prevention and mitigation costs are also high. The government has vowed to absolutelyphase out groundwater extraction by 1 998.Aside from rainfall, climatologically, the lower Central Plain is fairly consistent throughout the year.Temperatures and humidity are high year round with remarkably insignificant deviation. Temperatures arehighest in April with a mean of 25.6 degrees centigrade, and at the low end, January has a mean of 20.5degrees centigrade. Humidity deviates less; high: September: 84.5 per cent, low: January: 72.7 per cent.’°The geological foundation of the lower Central Plain is uniformly a layer of solid granite rock at a depth of aminimum of 400 meters. The soil pattern is therefore relatively simple, when compared to other regions of8. Within the region there is consistently higher precipitation values on the eastern side of the Chao Phraya; SamutPrakarn, for example, typically receives approximately 200 millimeters a year more of rain then Thonburi which is westof the river, ibid, pg.773.9. Sodarthit Anuchit (1989) ‘Bangkok Flood and Control’ Paper presented at the workshop on Bangkok LandSubsidence- What is Next?, June, 22-23, Bangkok.10. Donner (1978) op.cit, pg.776-777.52the country. The soils are classified as alluvial with some variation in chemical composition depending onproximity to the river. The active tidal flats at the lowest coastal reaches of the Chao Phraya, which arenaturally covered with mangrove vegetation, are suitable for limited cultivation; coconut palms, aquaculture,and salt pans. In and around the BMA, the more fertile silty clays with former marine and brackish waterdeposits, are a suitable soil, rich in iron-oxide, for market gardening, orchards, and some rice. Thesubregion is mostly covered, however, by acid sulfate soils used for growing rice, van der Kevie hasidentified 20 different soils in the lower Central Plain, of which 14 are suitable for paddy cultivation.113.2 Ayutthaya Period:Before 1850, aside from the small city of Bangkok, the lower, (and younger) southern deltaic plains of theChao Phraya were mostly vacant or sparsely populated. In fact, Bangkok-Thonburi was only establishedafter the Burmese sacked the old capital of Ayutthaya in 1767.12 A small group of Kha hunters who settledinland from the river, were the only regular inhabitants of the lower Central Plain.13 However, areassurrounding Ayutthaya have been the site of wet rice cultivation since the sixth century, and have been11. van der Kevie, (1972) DETAiLED RECONNAISSANCE SOIL SURVEY OF SOUTHERN CENTRAL PLAINAREA, pg.22, after Donner (1978), op.cit, pg.780-1.12. At that time the capital was shifted southward down the river to its present site. By 1850 Bangkok probably hadbetween 300,000 and 500,000 people, and the whole Kingdom, was less then 6 million. Aside from a concentration ofpeople in the city, the population was sparsely spread in a ribbon-like fashion along the river between the old and newcapitals. See Ingram, James C. (1971) ECONOMIC CHANGE IN THAILAND, 1850-1970, Stanford: StanfordUniversity Press.13. The Kha are the tribal or indigenous people of the region, mostly aniniists, nomadically occupying parts ofThailand, Laos, and Cambodia.53occupied by fairly dense rice growing populations since the eleventh century. Only after the eighteenthcentury did population spread to the site that is currently the BMR.14Reports of an isolated and secluded Kingdom, absolutely self sufficient and inward-looking are incorrect.The Ayutthaya Kingdom, that emerged in 1350, was known as an established merchant and trading powerwith world-wide links, that would make proud, even today’s export orientated capitalist leaders. One reporton trade in Siam in 1678, refers to Ayutthaya as the granary of neighboring countries.’5During the reign ofKing Narai (1656-1688), the Kingdom was known to be actively trading with Persia, Arabia, Japan, China,England, Netherlands and France. 16 The outward looking character at the time is further demonstrated bythe fact that the privileged class were largely made up of, and even favoured to be foreigners. 17 It should bementioned that, although pre-Bowring Treaty Siam, and more specifically, the Ayutthaya Kingdom, wereinvolved in foreign trade, the typical peasant and village community were largely self-sufficient, producingmost of what they consumed, and engaged in only a limited amount of trade with the wider economy. Jacobs(1971) reports that the Ayutthaya Kingdom exacted a tax of no more then 10 per cent of production, to beused for nobility consumption and trade. 1814. Tanabe, Shigeharu (1978) ‘Land Reclamation in the Chao Phraya Delta in THAILAND: A RICE GROWINGSOCIETY, (ed) Ishii Yoneo, trans Peter Hawkes and Stephanie Hawkes, Kyoto: Monograph of the Center for SoutheastAsian Studies, Kyoto University pg.41.15. Anderson, John (1890) ENGLISH INTERCOURSE WITH SIAM IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY, London:Kegan Paul, pg.242.16. de la Loubere, S. (1969) THE KINGDOM OF SIAM, Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press. Kuala Lumpur.17. Ishii reports that the King of Ayutthaya favoured foreigners in the bureaucratic courts, and a ‘Mohammedan’ wasthe official in charge of commercial affairs in the late seventeenth century. See, Yoneo Ishii, “History and RiceGrowing” in Ishil op.cit.18. Villagers were also obligated to ‘pay” in military service or labor, for one quarter of each year. See Jacobs, N.(1971) MODERNIZATION WITHOUT DEVELOPMENT: THAILAND AS AN ASIAN CASE STUDY, N.Y.:Praeger.543.3 The 1855 Bowring Treaty and the Integration of the Central Plain into the World Economy:In the mid-nineteenth century, Southeast Asia found itself confronted with a rapidly growing demand for itsprimary products, especially rice. By the 1600’s, European countries had not only begun to consume largequantities of rice as an inexpensive staple grain, but had started using rice in various other functions andforms (starch in sizing textiles, cattle feed, brewing whiskey and beer). Siok Hwa (1968) describes rice-hungry European consumers looking abroad to satisfy their needs. Much of the supply originally came fromthe southern United States, but with the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861, Burma, Vietnam, andSiam became important alternate trading targets.19 Furthermore, Europe had been seeking new (andpopulous) markets for products developed and mass produced by the industrial revolution, and was on theverge of entering a new phase of capitalist distension and mercantilism. Also as important, all land east ofEgypt could be tapped more readily and efficiently by the 1869 opening of the Suez Canal, which cut thedistance between London and Singapore by one-third, to about 13,000 kilometers.Thailand was not to be excluded from the European economic invasion. In the same decade that the Britishcaptured Rangoon, the French fortified their stance in Judo-china, and the Dutch extended their reign of theDutch East Indies into Sumatra, the Thai entered into a treaty that was to change the shape of Thailand’spolitical economy and history. In 1855 King Monkhut (Rama IV) signed the Bowring treaty with GreatBritain, in which Thailand allowed free trade in almost all products, and maintained damaging low exportduties. It was a remarkable surrender of sovereignty and fiscal authority. The treaty orchestrated by Sir JohnBowring was signed voluntarily, in part, to ward off the even greater threat of British colonial rule, and theKing earnestly assumed that Thailand’s economic future depended on its relations with the west.2°Bowringhimself remarked, “(the treaty) involved a total revolution in all the financial machinery of the19. Cheng, Siok-Hwa (1968) THE RICE INDUSTRY OF BURMA: 1852-1940, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.20. For the King’s position on the treaty see Ingram op.cit, pg.33. Also, it is worth mentioning that it is not the firsttreaty Thailand entered with Britain. In 1826, the Burney Treaty was signed mostly involving trade and border issues.55government” 21 As pointed out earlier, Thailand was already partially integrated into international trade, butthis treaty created dramatic alterations to village production regimes, unparalleled in all preceding dynasties.Ingram claims that Thailand went from exporting no more than five per cent of its total rice production in1850, to 50 per cent in 1907. By the 1930s the Thai share comprised 30 per cent of the world trade inrice.22The treaty also gave unprecedented privileges to British subjects in particular, allowing them to tradedirectly with the Thai. The importance of European trading houses is explained later. The British demandedtin, teak, and later, rubber, but rice was the main focus of the treaty. It presented a situation of extraordinarychange for the Thai peasantry who were almost exclusively specialized in subsistence rice cultivation.Thailand, and notably the Central Plain were integrated into the capitalist world economic system; aprimitive introduction to what would become one of the most dependent economies in Asia.23The mostly unoccupied lands surrounding the capital were to become the new granary which would satisfytreaty quotas. Before these areas could be cultivated they had to be well settled. Hence, canals had to be cutthrough the harsh natural landscape. The canals enabled farmers to invade the frontier and eventually deliverthe paddy to market. The excavation project was an important and controversial period of modern Thaihistory. The extensive network of canals, built in the nineteenth century for defense, irrigation, and to pryopen the hinterland, interestingly act as a significant water resource for today’s factories and golf courses.2421. As cited in Keyes, Charles (1989) ThAILAND: BUDDHIST KINGDOM AS MODERN NATION STATE,Bangkok: DK Printing House, pg.45.22. Ingram op.cit. pg.37.23. The term ‘dependent’ refers to a reliance on foreign capital, investment, management and technology that hascharacterized the present economy.24. Another significant use for the canals is aesthetic residential waterways. New housing estates that straddle canals aretouted as modern marina property, and fetch a considerable price. This will be discussed at greater length in Chapter 7.56The nineteenth century canal project can be seen as a continuation of excavation works carried out during theAyutthaya period. Figure 3.3 shows the extent of canals that were carved out prior to 1767. These canalswere constructed by an army of corvee laborers for military purposes, trade, and short-cut routesstraightening the meandering Chao Phraya River. 25 The early canals constructed in the Bangkok period,prior to the treaty, were mostly for defense. For example, in the 1830s a perilous threat from the unifiedVietnamese greatly concerned the young Bangkok Kingdom, who believed a connecting canal between theChao Phraya and Bang Pa Kong Rivers would facilitate troop movement to possible battle sites such asSiemreap. The canal, which was dug almost from the Palace in Bangkok through the eastern plains, wasknown as Saen Saeb canal, and was more instrumental in opening up a productive rice economy in anelephant infested periphery, than a passage to eastern battles.26A handful of other canals dug during that time period were also projects of defense. In the 1860s, however,Phasi Charoen Canal, running westward from Bangkok to the Tha Chin River, was the first canalconstructed solely for purposes of trade and commerce. The success of Phasi Charoen gave rise to asubstantial feeder canal, Damnoen Saduak, built to facilitate the sugar industry, which was the region’s mostsubstantial economic stronghold up to the 1870s. Rice quickly took over. By 1880, Thais recognized a25. Corvee was a pervasive form of indentured labor. From the early Ayutthaya period to the first decade of thetwentieth century, “ . .each able-bodied male between 18-60 (was required to) be registered with one of the governmentagencies and be obligated to the state for three to six months of labor per year or pay a fee in lieu of service.” Johnston,D. (1975) RURAL SOCIETY AND THE RICE ECONOMY IN THAILAND: 1880-1930, PhD Dissertation, YaleUniversity. pg.9. Labor was used for calvary, canal building, elephant herding, cultivating royal lands, and mill work.According to Johnston, the standard greeting in Thailand of “where are you going?”, (bai nai) originated from the timeof corvee, when citizens would routinely ask men, are you on the way, or returning (from corvee)? By the earlytwentieth century, corvee was on the decline as peasants were required to be producing rice for overseas markets.Elephants were also driven away from the deltaic plains, and canal work was complete. Concerning the Ayutthayancanals, it is interesting that modern day Phra Phadeng was an estuary garrison port town, overseeing all incomingriverine traffic. See Ishii op.cit.26. Translated, Saen Saeb, is ‘100,000 stings, suggesting the harshness of an area infested with scorpions andmosquitos. Describing the emergence of the canal, Sharp and Hanks wrote, “Every basket of clay carried up from theoozing pit on the back of a Chinese coolie and dumped upon the dyke was accompanied by the bites, nips, and stings ofthe myriad creatures living along the way. The pain of some five thousand hired Chinese transformed the wasteland ofthe 100,000 Stings into a land for living.” Sharp, Lauriston, and Lucien Hanks, (1978) BANG CHAN: SOCIALHISTORY OF A RURAL COMMUNITY IN THAILAND Ithaca: Cornell University Press. pg.39. From the waters onSaen Saeb sprung the excavation project of Bang Chan canal, which lead to the village by the same name. The economyand landscape of modem day Bang Chan will be discussed in subsequent chapters.57FIGURE 3.3AYUTTI-IAYAN CANAL EXCAVATIONSource: Tanabe (1978).58potential economic wealth in the desolate plains of the Chao Phraya River basin. Canal construction took ona new and hurried pace, rushing to open the region and cash in.For the next three decades, canal excavation surged, forming the lattice work of waterways, that opened upone of the most prosperous rice bowls in Southeast Asia (Figure 3.4). Officials, nobility, royal familymembers, and occasionally commoners claimed large sections of land along the new banks. An unsatisfiedappetite for more and more land, led to the privatization of canal excavating corporations, Europeanengineers, and state of the art dredging and excavating machinery. The most ambitious project was theRangsit system, linking the Chao Phraya and Bang Pa Kon Rivers, north of Saen Saeb. The spine of thesystem, the Rangsit Canal was to have forty smaller canals to its north and south; over 1700 kilometers inall. Upon completion, in 1905, some 2 million rai were accessible for cultivation through the Rangsitsystem.27In the first decade of the new century, a Dutch engineer, Homan Van der Heide, drew up the plans for animmense hydrology project, involving the entire Central Plain, and an extensive expansion of the canalnetwork. It would develop an enormous region, enhance communications and provide agricultural benefits toa whole generation of farmers. The project was debated for several years with high strung emotion andconvincing evidence, however, it was ultimately rejected. At the time government funds were beingchanneled into railway construction, which was a development scheme promising revolutionary changes totransportation and communication. Feeny(1979) cites another reason;The other major reason for the Thai government’srejection of a proposal in 1902 to irrigate the CentralPlains was that the project would have been detrimentalto the interests of Bangkok elite absentee landlords,many of whom were important government officials ormembers of the royal family. Had the project been27. For a detailed account of the project, from start to completion, see Chapter 2 of Johnston, op.cit./—1’—CanalsoftheCentralPlainUi60pursuedhe landlords at Rangsit might have lost theirtenants.The whole theme of agricultural underdevelopment will be discussed later. Notwithstanding, Van der Heidedeparted Thailand to resume his post on the island of Java.As rice production levels spiraled upwards, several industries developed in connection with export growth;rice milling, finance investment, marine transportation, and marine insurance. However, many longestablished local industries and handicrafts suffered grim consequences from the influx of importedmanufactured goods. Local sugar production, for example, was almost totally phased out, as cheap highgrade European sugar pervaded local markets.29The textile industry also experienced a damaging decline,as imported products saturated local markets. Ingram writes:It is quite likely that it was cheaper to ship a ton ofcloth from England to Bangkok than from Chieng Maito Bangkok. The textile producing regions of Thailandsimply coöild not compete with the textile centers ofEurope.3Furthermore, lands that formerly produced locally consumed products, such as betel, cotton, tobacco, andsugar cane, were turned into paddy. Generally, the entire economic regime was altered.An interesting observation is that throughout the post-Bowring period, rice production was increased throughexpanding land, as opposed to improving techniques of production. In 1931, Zimmerman discerned that theRangsit Canal irrigation schemes, “...could support tripley its present population, and have higher averageincome...”if tilling techniques were advanced. 31 Poorly developed agricultural methods, Feeny would28. Feeny, David (1979) Post World War II Thai Agricultural Development Policy: Continuity or Change inPOVERTY AND SOCIAL CHANGE IN SOUTHEAST ASIA ed Ozay Mehnet, Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press,pg.61-68, pg.62.29. Between 1886 and 1900, sugar imports jumped ten fold. See Suehiro, Akira (1985) CAPITAL ACCUMULATIONAND INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT IN THAILAND, Bangkok: Chulalongicorn University Social ResearchInstitute, January. pg.2-2.30. Ingram, op.cit. pg.114.31. Zimmerman, Carle (1931) SIAM RURAL ECONOMIC SURVEY,, are the result of the Bangkok elites demanding the status quo, which of course, keep their positionsand income secure. Absentee landowners had little motivation to invest in mechanization as the existingmode of cultivation drew considerable profits.A powerful landlord from the royal family, Prince Narathip, was a wealthy rentier, who was known toadvise fellow nobility, that the most successful landowners never farmed themselves. He owned huge tractsof land, particularly in the Rangsit area, and later expanded his empire into teak forests, tramways, raillines, rice mills, and a market place in the Rangsit district.32 The accumulation of large landholdings bymembers of the royal family was common in the areas adjacent to Bangkok, and led to the entrenchment ofpatron-client relationships, which were largely a continuation of the Sakdina, from centuries earlier. Sakdinais a strongly centralized form of semi-feudalism, between the aristocratic nobles and commoners.33In asense, patron-client relationships individualizes the commoner. Keyes describes the relationship:Underlying the practice of patronage is the idea thateach individual is situated, however temporarily, in aparticular position in a hierarchy of relative power.Those higher up in the hierarchy seek validation of theirpower from among those below them, and in return,those lowr down expect tangible benefits from theirsuperiors. ‘Na Luang, or royal ricelands are lands that the king or royal household administered directly. In the CentralPlain, they were acquired during the canal excavation period and offer an understanding of the patrimonialelements in the current land tenure system. Na Lwing still exist today, and more than half of the most fertilelands in the BMR are still controlled by royal family lineage.3532. For more on the Princes capitalist activities see Johnston, Chapters 2 and 9, op.cit.33. Sakdina means control or power of the fields.34. Keyes (1989), op.cit, pg.136. Also see Korff, Rudiger (1986), BANGKOK: URBAN SYSTEM AND EVERYDAYLIFE, Saarbrucken: Verlag breitenbach Publishers, pg.69-70.35. op.cit, Johnston (1975).62The result of such tenure patterns led to an increasing land concentration in the hands of few, mostlyabsentee landlords. Comparing tenure regimes between land-abundant northern villages, and denser land-scarce villages of the Central Plain, Moerman (1968), concludes that commercialization creates laborcommodification and land concentration.36Since the turn of the century, the Central Plain has beencharacterized by large scale landlessness; a trend that is prevalent today, and acts to facilitate the labor shiftto non-agricultural economic sectors. Douglass (1984) confirms this trend, claiming that 94 per cent oflandowners lived in their tambon in the northern changwat of Chiang Mai, while in the Central Plainchangwat of Ayutthaya, the corresponding figure was 40 per cent.37 In the 1920s Zimmerman observed thattenure contracts were usually for one year periods resulting in the injurious situation where peasants werecompelled to move often, incurring large debts to Chinese merchants and their landlord. 38 The highincidence of tenancy, as Zimmerman explains, often leads to indebtedness, a predicament that hascharacterized Central Plain farming for over a century. Douglass maintains that throughout the post-Bowringera, the Plain has experienced “exceptional” levels of indebtedness, three to five times higher than otherregions of the Kingdom. La Nuang, and commercialized tenancy patterns that sprung from it, gave rise totwo important systems of exploitation; a decrease in power for clients within Sak.dina, and landrent.36. Moerman, M. (1968) AGRICULTURAL CHANGE AND PEASANT CHOICE IN A THAI VILLAGE, Berkeley:University of California Press, pg. 11337. Douglass, Mike (1984) REGIONAL INTEGRATION ON THE CAPITALIST PERIPHERY: THE CENTRALPLAINS OF THAILAND, The Hague: Institute of Social Studies, Research Report Series No.15. pg.52.A tambon is an administration area two levels below the changwat. It is parallel to a sub-district.38. Zimmerman explains the problem of short term tenancy with an example, “...a farmer improved a farm by bundmg,thinking that he would make the money back if undisturbed for ten years. In three years the land was sold and the rentraised, so that particular tenant lost and became discouraged. op.cit pg.307. Moreover, conventional wisdom wouldsuggest that cultivators with secure legal ownership, have higher variable inputs and consistently harvest larger yieldsper land unit. This, of course is partially why the Central Plain faces relatively low yields compared to other Asianricebowls. In particular see Feder, Gershon, (1988), “Land Ownership Security and Farm Productivity: Evidence FromThailand JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENT STUDIES, vol.24, pg.16-30.63A spatial trend characteristic of the EBMR today is the large scale migration of labor from the labor glutregions of the Northeast (Isan) to the factories and industrial estates adjacent to Bangkok.39This pattern hasits roots in late nineteenth century Central Plain agriculture. When the lands became accessible and settled, acritical labor shortage was evident, and was first alleviated by utilizing the cheap labour of prisoners. Whenlands further expanded, migrant workers from impoverished Isan were brought to the Plains. In 1906, KingChulalongkorn (Rama V) was believed to have said, “.. . (this migration is) of benefit to both parties. 40was indeed an insightful remark, for the process of Isan to Bangkok migration, would later constitute one ofthe largest and most unlimited labor flows in Southeast Asia. Cultivators in need of labor would often go toKhorat to collect additional labor from nearby villages, and later, after 1900, when trains would ply to andfrom Isan (Northeast Thailand), anxious workers could always be found at railway stations in Saraburi orRangsit, a practice still found today. As to the number of Isan workers that sold their labor in the CentralPlain in the early years of this century, it is hard to ascertain. Johnston’s research in Thanyaburi district,Pathum Thani province, however suggests that at least ‘several thousand” migrated each year.41Buoyant foreign demand for rice was the salient feature that first created, and then shaped the landscape ofthe Central Plain. The main trend that characterized the nascent period of commercialization was increasedrice production, carried out in a way, that never disturbed the delicate balance of Sakdina. Levels of inequityand social stratification that were part of the commercial baggage, foreshadowed similar structural injusticesthat would be characteristic of the foreign influenced corporate landscape emerging 75-100 years later.Tanabe refers to this time period as a process of transition from “medieval” to “modern” state.42 We willnow examine some of the forms and directions of early industrial capitalism in the outer city.39. The most comprehensive treatment of ‘rural to Bangkok migration is Stemstein, Larry (1984) “The Growth of thePopulation of the World’s Most Preeminent Primate City at its Bicentenary”, JOURNAL OF SOUTHEAST ASIANSTUDIES, vol. 15, pg. 43-68.40. As cited in Johnston (1975), op.cit, pg.226.41. Ibid, pg.226-233. Labor migration will be discussed in the following chapter.42. Tanabe (1978), op.cit, pg.40.643.4 Pre-Worid War 11 Political Economy:A critical feature of the economy, was the absence of Thai people as significant players in commercial andindustrial activities after the Bowring Treaty. European and Chinese capital dominated the economiclandscape from the second half of the nineteenth century. Transnational corporations (TNC5) becamecommon throughout Bangkok immediately following the treaty. By the turn of the century, several Britishfirms such as the Borneo Company Ltd., the Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation, and the Anglo SiamCorporation were granted exclusive concessions to various resources, such as teak. Overseas Chinese alsohad important roles in rice, rubber and teak exports, and the importing of manufactured goods.43 TheEuropean trading houses were prominent and influential because of their linkages with the United Kingdom,the heart of the world capitalist economy.Another distinguished group of early capitalists were the royal family, nobility, and faithful aristocrats,collectively termed the Privy Purse. Their power stemmed from their vast landholdings, accumulated duringthe canal excavation period.’ This form of capital consistently seeks protection from foreign competition,acquires special licenses and subsidies, and is largely ignorant of technological aspects, and generally dealsin what Yoshihara (1988) refers to as “ersatz capital”, or capital that is ‘unproductive’. Yoshihara highlightsvarious forms of ‘ersatz’ capital in Southeast Asia, particularly crony capital, royal capital, and militarybureaucratic capital. These are comprised of rent seekers, bureaucrats, speculators, political leaders, and43. See “TNCs in Thailand”, (1989) BUSINESS IN THAILAND, pg.34-39, June. A discussion of Chinese business isfound later in this section.44. For more about the three categories of dominant capital; Sino-Thai, European, and Privy Purse, see Suehiro, op.cit,pg.2-9 to 2-14.65TNCs. These players are important figures for the capitalist environment, but too often they are after quickprofits with short time horizons.45The manufacturing era began in the 1930s. Suehiro notes that in 1919, there were only seven factories inBangkok, excluding rice and saw mi11ing.’ When the government began setting up state owned factories inthe 1930s, seventeen manufacturing firms existed, of which only two were owned and operated by Thaicapital, one of which was the Singha-Boonrawd Brewery. Ten were European, and the remaining five wereSino-Thai. It was this decade that Thailand entered the ‘industrial’ era. Textile factories, paper mills, cottonfactories, and imported European machinery were part of the government’s new industrial policy ofeconomic nationalism. The government also entered rice milling and marine transportation, which up to thispoint was almost exclusively controlled by Chinese capital.As a state industrial policy was formed and promoted, the Sino-Thai were able to improve their position.Companies owned and operated by Sino-Thai adjusted well to the depression, beginning in 1929. Theyoperate with few professional managers, low overhead, and are more flexible then state run firms. At thistime, for example, Sino-Thai traders joined the Privy Purse and established national banking institutions.47Chinese success in the economic theaters of Thailand, according to Yoshihara, is partially due to the leniencyand abiding nature of Thai Buddhism, (unlike Islam in Malaysia and Indonesia).’Ethnic Chinese have in no small way contributed to the nascent development of commercial and industrialinterests in areas outside and adjacent to Bangkok. Since the second half of the nineteenth century the Thai45. Yoshihara, Kumo (1988) THE RISE OF ERSATZ CAPITALISM IN SOUTHEAST ASIA Singapore; OxfordUniversity Press.46. These were: a cement factory, leather factory, cigarette plant, three aerated water factories, and a soap plant. SeeSuehiro, op.cit, pg.2-7.47. Yoshihara offers three examples; Wanglee Bank, Tan Pen Choon Bank, and Thye San Bank. All were liquidatedby the start of World War II. op.cit, pg.47.48. Ibid, pg.60-61.66economy has been characterized by economic specialization along ethnic lines. The Thai have beenstereotyped as languid in economic dealings, and invariably concentrated in agriculture, while Sino-Thaihave shown an inclination towards a broad range of non-agricultural activities, from finance to overseastrade. Skinner (1957) summarizes the contrasts:The Chinese were characterized as displaying extremeindustriousness, willingness to labor long and hard,steadiness of purpose, ambition, desire for wealth andeconomic advancement, innovativeness,venturesomeness, and independence. The Thai, bycomparison, were generally said to be indolent,unwilling to labor for more than immediate needs,contented with their lot, uninterested in money oreconomic advancennt, conservative, and satisfied witha dependent status.An ecological explanation for this discerning distinction is that ethnic Chinese had migrated from highpopulation density regions of southeastern China, mostly Fujian and Kwangtung provinces. In such a‘grimly Maithusian setting”, there emerges among the population a survival ethic reflected inresourcefulness and industriousness which over centuries is manifested in cultural and economic traits. Incontrast, the Thai have Lived in a relatively sparsely populated environment, amongst fertile land, andlivelihood came much easier.5°The position of the Sino-Thai was also enhanced by Sakdina which institutionalized the stature of the Thai aspeasantry with limited opportunity for mobility and enterprise in non-agricultural activities. The Sino-Thai,who were excluded from Sakdina, found there was a lacunae in commerce, trade, and finance, they wereable to fill, contributing to the development and emergence of non-agricultural activities within and outsideof Bangkok.49. Skinner, William (1957) CHINESE SOCIETY IN THAILAND: AN ANALYTICAL HISTORY, Ithaca, NY:Cornell university Press, pg.91.50. Ibid. pg.92. Skinner contrasts a number of Thai and Chinese proverbs pertaining to wealth and accumulation.Chinese: Money can do all things and “With money you can get the devil himself to push your cart’. For the Thai,the proverbs reflect a perilous attitude to materialism; “Do not long for more than your own share” and “Sacrificewealth rather than honor.” pg.95.67There were a number of activities the Sino-Thai have been involved with since the nineteenth century whichallowed control of areas outside of the capital, and directly contributed to outer city development. Asmentioned earlier, rice was an important export commodity after the Bowring Treaty, and the major foreignmarkets, aside from Europe, were Singapore, Hong Kong, and southern China, giving the Chinese in Siam avital advantage in trade negotiations and deals. Moreover, the output for export came almost exclusivelyfrom Sino-Thai owned rice mills, which by the second decade of the twentieth century were nearlyubiquitous in the lower Central Plain provinces of Pathum Thani, Ayutthaya, Chachoengsao, and SamutPrakarn. The milling, marketing, and trading of rice was made possible by the provision of travel, whichwas not possible for immobile Thai peasantry. Between 1890 and 1910 highways and railroads radiated fromBangkok, further facilitating itinerant travel by the Sino-Thai, and greatly improving on traditional waterwaytransport methods.51Sugar was another important export crop that the Sino-Thai dominated from production to trade. By the endof the 1860s, the largest sugar plantations and refineries were adjacent to Bangkok in the provinces ofChonburi, Chachoengsao, and Naithon Pathom. Although the sugar industry all but collapsed by the end ofthe century, a post World War I revival, again controlled by the Sino-Thai, was focused in Chonburi.52Two other outer city activities in Sino-Thai hands were market gardening and salt production. As Bangkok’spopulation expanded through the twentieth century, the Sino-Thai responded by providing fresh vegetablesto the city, grown on farms at the city’s fringe.53 Salt produced along coastal areas of Samut Pralcarn and51. Ibid. pg.205-220. During the Great Depression (1929-1935), Central Plain rice farmers were severely effected, andhostility and blame were targeted at the Chinese rice merchants, who through money lending activities went unscathedduring the difficult years. By the end of the 1930s, a high ranking Thai Minister (Phra Boripan Yuthakit) in cabinet leda zealous anti Chinese campaign to commandeer the rice trade and give it over to Thai interests. In a 1939 radiospeech, the Minister said, “So it looks as though the government will have to help from begim g to end to free thegrowers from these aliens. That is, it must help from the time the rice is planted in the ground until it is put in thestomach of the final buyer.” Landon, Kenneth Perry (1941) THE CHINESE IN THAILAND, NY: Russell and Russell,pg.245. It is worth noting that in the 1990s, rice milling and trading is an enterprise still dominated by Chinese Thai.52. Op.cit (1957), Skinner, pg.112 and 217. In the 1990s sugar remains Chonburi’s most important agriculturalproduct.68Samut Sakhon were not only for local consumption, but were significant eport commodities, particularlydestined for Hong Kong and Malaya. In a controversial move, the government, in 1939 introduced the Saltand Tobacco Act which essentially drove Sino-Thai salt farmers into bankruptcy.54Since Sino-Thai activities, including those connected to agriculture, have traditionally been city based, veryfew urban centres outside of Bangkok had concentrations of Chinese population large enough to support theireconomic activities. In the whole Kingdom, at least half the Sino-Thai population resided within 100kilometres of Bangkok. And as the economic thrust of the Thai economy shifted to industrial nonagricultural activities beginning in the late 1950s with the Sarit regime, Sino-Thai commercial interests, withreactive resiliency, were able to respond. Although the average size of Sino-Thai industrial firms wasrelatively small, their influence was broad in scope. Sino-Thai commercial interests were and still are largelyconcentrated in the hands of a few large industrial capitalists.55Today, large scale industrial estates, andheavily capitalized foreign TNCs Lie alongside the Chinese operated plants, and have done little to weakentheir wealth (and even expansion)! Clan based Chinese families operate with no boundaries and no politics.They have a penchant for insider dealings in private networks, and rely heavily on guanxi (MandarinChinese meaning ‘connections’).Anti-Chinese policies, which reached a peak in the early part of this century were largely abandonedfollowing World War II, and in the 1960s, Chinese became full-fledged members of Thai society. Today,many of the smaller privately owned industrial firms throughout the EBMR are still Sino-Thai owned.The decade of the 1930s was momentous for the development of Thai capitalism. It was at this time that anew and Promethean player entered the ring; the military. The origins of Thailand’s military-orientated53. Ibid, pg.217.54. Op.cit (1941), Landon, pg.225-226.55. Skinner, William (1958) LEADERSHIP AND POWER IN THE CHINESE COMMUNITY OF THAILAND,Ithaca. NY: Cornell University Press, pg. 176-177.69political and economic structure were consolidated in 1932, when an eclectic group of dissatisfied soldiers,academics, and upscale bureaucrats joined together and overthrew the absolute monarchy, and replaced itwith a European-influenced constitutional monarchy based on Parliamentary supremacy. Within a year themilitary rose to control the coalition, and has held various forms of power since. Their accumulation ofassets are now enormous, and they have come to control the crucial and sensitive high-tech areas that areessential in the region’s future development and competitiveness. Thus, Transport and Communications,Telephone Organization of Thailand, State Railways, Thai Airways International, CommunicationsAuthority, and Ports Authority, are core intrinsic structures for Thailand’s rapidly developing economy, andare all operated by the military.56Thailand’s modern experience with economic nationalism, was however only partially successful. Thenationalization of industry and resources never materialized as envisioned, due to the military-bureaucraticelite, royal capitalists, and Chinese “compradores” maintaining a secure and rigid clasp on most assets andcapital, creating irregularities in the development of the economy, (ie. no or little formation of indigenousThai capital).57 Also, Bangkok significantly increased its primacy, as the Central Plain, and the other moredistant regions were essentially left to develop with little assistance. Incessant poverty and disinvestment inthe hinterland resulted in a narrow domestic market for Bangkok’s industrial production.56. Today the rank and file of the army numbers 160,000. Also, there are 32,200 in the navy, and 43,100 in the airforce. They have a well established presence in almost all forms of business, including banking, and sit on almost everystate enterprise board. They also control extensive logging concessions, and command access for international and locallogging firms entering sensitive border areas along the Cambodian and Burmese frontiers. Their power also extends tothe media, where they own 210 radio stations and two of the five national televisions channels. Field Marshal SaritThanarit, who will be discussed later, came to power in 1957, owned Bangkok International Trading Co., one of thelargest exporters of rice. It is also worth mentioning that the military, have certainly not ruled continuously since 1932,as there has been short periods of democratic government, amongst the 22 coups (since 1932). For a fair treatment ofthe military’s power see McKinnon, John (1992) “Can the Military be Sidelined?”, PACIFIC VIEWPOINT, vol.33,no.2, pg. 128-134.57. Through the years leading to the War, Thailand became increasingly close with Japan, to the extent of declaringwar on the U.S.A. in 1942. Japanese capital was beginning to form another distinct form of investment. After the Warhowever, an anti-Japanese movement called for by a number of revolutionary ideologues, such as Pridi Phanomyongand his Free Thai Movement resulted, ironically leading Thailand closer to the U.S.A. Notwithstanding, by the late1950s Thailand’s economic relationship with Japan was reestablished and grew to unprecedented dimensions. This willbe dealt with both in this and subsequent chapters. Alcira (1985), op.cit.703.5 Post War Capitalism: Sol Ratchu Khru to the 1980s Boom:Following the War, there was a dramatic rise of the economic role played by bureaucratic military capital.The ‘Soi Ratchu Khru”, a group of officers, some of their relatives, and a police general, carried out the1947 coup, and ushered in a new era of military dominated capitalism.58Two additional events after the War, were the communist victory in China, and the partition anddecolonization of India, which meant that hundreds of businesses changed their status to Thai, and thousandsof business people became Thai citizens. Much of the profits generated by both Indian and Sino-Thaibusinesses that had previously leaked out of the country now remained in the local economy. A friendlierbusiness environment enhanced capital circulation. There was greater flexibility for expanding and enlargingtheir business operations, and this in turn opened up new opportunities for real estate holdings. It was a boonto the industrial economy.59A new national industrial strategy, beginning in the 1950s was launched to build up the manufacturingsector. New investments in irrigation and transportation brought greater wealth and profits from theagricultural sector. Steep tax premiums on rice production also provided a one way rural to urban flow ofcapital, which conveniently was used to build up the industrial sector. It was a development scheme designedby successive waves of military leaders, the most prominent being Field Marshal Sarit Thanarit, coming to‘absolute power’ after a 1957 coup. Sarit encouraged private investment, abolished labor unions, and in58. Soi Ratchu Khru, led by Field Marshal Phibun Songkram, was named for Phibun’s residence, Soi Ratchu Khru,Paholyothin Road.59. op.cit (1989), Business in Thailand, pg.38.711959 formed the Board of Investment (BOl). It was an industrial strategy augmented by the arrival of theWorld Bank and the United States as major economic players (stakeholders) leading to a massive capitalpenetration that was as much of a military operation as a development scheme.One of the most debilitating government programs for the Central Plain, as mentioned above, was the ricepremium tax policy, which lowered the domestic rice price to transfer peasant’s income to the urban elite. Astenant cultivators were forced to surrender their output to the government at prices below the market level,Bangkokian consumers enjoyed heavily subsidized rice. Rozental (1970) has shown that in the late 1960sbranches of provincial banks in the Plain, collected niral savings and channeled them to the capital; only aquarter of the funds deposited in the provinces were being retained.60 It was an urban bias that, between1962 and 1972, was estimated to absorb 25 per cent of rural income.6’Furthermore, newly introducedimported fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides were forced on the peasants at prices, up to 70 per cent aboveinternational market values.62 There was an undeniable intensification in the process of proletarianisationand pauperisation of the Plain peasantry. Survival strategies were often bent on abandoning agriculture, andmigrating to Bangkok. Chiengkal is forthright; “Now they have to send their sons and daughters to bedirectly exploited in the industrial and services sector. The monopoly capitalists now could take surplus fromboth ends.”63With an expanded tax base, an ample supply of labor, and another military leader at the helm, Thailand bythe 1960s built up an impressive import substitution industrial program. 64 U.S. influence became even60. Rozental, A. (1970) FINANCE AND DEVELOPMENT IN THAILAND, New York: Praeger. For more on therice premium, see Feeny, op.cit and Witayakorn Chiengkal (1983) ‘The Transformation of the Agrarian Structure ofCentral Thailand, 1960-1980,” JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY ASIA, vol.13, pg.340-360.61. Lam, N.y. (1977) “Incidence of the Rice Export Premium in Thailand’ JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTSTUDIES, vol.14, no.1, October, pg.3-13.62. See Douglass (1984), op.cit, pg.176.63. Chiengkal (1983), op.cit, pg.349.64. When Sarit died in 1963, he was succeeded by Field Marshal Thanom Kittikatchorn, ibid.72more pervasive, as the Vietnam war began, pumping more than a $1 billion in economic and military aidinto the national reserves, not to mention service sector receipts from U.S. soldiers on ‘rest and relaxationleave in Thailand.It was not long after the Free Thai anti-Japanese campaign, when investment from Japan surged into the Thaieconomy. In the late 1950s, Japanese investment commenced with exceedingly liberal and generousflexibility from the Thai government, including 100 percent ownership, tax exemptions on the import ofindustrial machinery, and unprecedented five year tax holidays. It was the start of what would become one ofthe most exploitive economic relationships in Asia. Today, Japanese export orientated industrializationdominates the landscape of the EBMR, and Japan s economic reign has expanded into housing estates, themeparks and golf courses. Also at this time, TNCs started operation in large numbers. Between 1957 and 1972,92 TNC firms entered Thailand, of which 80 per cent were from the U.S. and Japan. These matters(Japanese investment and TNC5) will be dealt with at length in subsequent chapters.By the early 1 970s the investment incentive laws were being amended to offer further enticement to exportindustries. From this point on, the industrial economy would become increasingly geared to offshoremarkets. Although foreign investment increased, the 1970s and the first half of the 1980s were onerous timesfor the Thai economy, with two oil shocks, the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the region, and a pair ofcivil uprisings. Inflation rose sharpiy, as did the external debt.65Prosperity was reestablished, and by the mid 1980s there was evidence of a significant sectorialrestructuring. The proportion of the labor force in agriculture fell, as did the value of agricultural output.The economy became focused on the manufacturing and service sectors. Thailand’s resource extractionindustries became a decreasingly important factor in development. By 1991, Thailand’s traditional resource-65. 1973 was a particularly difficult year, with the Yom Kippur War driving up the price of oil, and in the same month(October), army tanks rolled through the streets of Bangkok killing about 100 unarmed demonstrators demanding aConstitution.73based exports of rice, sugar, tin, etc.. comprised a paltry 16 per cent of exports.66The Plain’s rice bowlwas becoming a large industrial park.Since 1986, Thailand has enjoyed an economic boom, envied by deveLoping countries throughout the world,highlighted by annual GDP growth rates of 11 per cent. Manufacturing output has not only soared, but hasdiversified, and tourism has proven to be an effective income earner as well. The EBMR has been theprimary target of much of this growth, and between 1985 and 1989, over 2000 new factories opened in thefive provinces adjacent to Bangkok, averaging one per day. There are now over 700C) factories in the area;the industrial heartland has clearly been extended out of the capital city.67The Central Plain has been an economic ‘playland for the various forms of Bangkok based dominant capitalover the last 150 years. Since the 1855 Bowring Treaty the Plain peasantry have been impelled to almostsurrender their economic autonomy for capitalist expansion, first by the Privy Purse, then the Europeantrading houses and Chinese merchants. After the 1932 revolution, the oppression continued, as the militaryfurthered their interests in a most counterproductive way, leaving very little surplus for the people. The Saritregime (1957-1963) marked a new era for capitalist development, opening the door, wider then ever,inviting the Japanese, American, and TNCs in to operate nearly at will. As attention focused on industrialdevelopment, first import substitution industrialization (1ST), then later export orientated industrialization(EOI), the Plain peasantry were being taxed to the hilt to support urban development. By 1980 wealth andincome were more unequally distributed then ever before, and indebtedness levels were dangerously high,leaving the peasants of the Central plain more dependent on the dominant capital then peasants in any otherregion at any other time. The low wage levels, the frustrated farmer, and the iron will of Bangkok capital,66. Handley, Paul (1992) Wired for Export’, FAR EASTERN ECONOMIC REVEIEW (PEER), 30, January, pg.46.67. THE NATION (1991) October 20, ‘Quo Vadis, Bangkok?”, pg.B4, Charles Greenberg.68. Feeny (1979), op.cit.74were the precise combination needed to expediently turn the Plains into the ultimate urban industriallandscape, for a population as economically fragmented as the landscape.3.6 The Fringe to the Fore:The historical context in which a region-based urban landscape emerged in the Plain is grounded in whatKorff refers to as, “the decomposition of the rural society.” Lands adjacent to Bangkok, owned largely byabsentee aristocrats, were heavily integrated into market production, leading to dislocation of the peasants inthe form of circular migration.69This eventually became permanent migration, as Bangkok’s populationgrew rapidly. Yet, morphologically the city spread outwards, to the Plain, spilling into the nearbyprovinces. Then, when bureaucratic and foreign led industrialization policies were formed, beginning in the1960s, new factories were located in the fringe, on land that was often owned by Sakdina lords. Thefactories provided jobs for former dislocated peasants, who set up housing and markets nearby.7°From its founding, Bangkok was destined to be a sprawling city. The underlying political economycombined with modern space-time compression technologies of transportation and communication, havepushed boundaries outward towards the Plain (Figure 3.5). Its earliest spatial form adhered to a pattern ofconcentric rings radiating from the Royal Palace, dissected by perpendicular canal routes heading towardsthe periphery.69. Korff, R. (1986) BANGKOK: URBAN SYSTEM AND EVERDAY LIFE, Saabrucken: Verlag bretenbach, pg.46.70. Ibid.CFIGURE3.5HISTORICALGROWTHANDEXPANSIONOFBANGKOK‘amoo936953 4-971SOURCE:JICA(1990b)76A feature of Bangkok’s incipient morphology that contributed to its outward expansion was that it has been amulti-functional city. McGee has described Bangkok as a “dual city”, where an older indigenous preindustrial city was juxtaposed and coexisting with a newer commercial city.71 The inner city, within thedistrict of the walled Grand Palace, was the quintessential Sjobergian pre-industrial centre, fulfilling theadministrative, religious, and cultural wants of the city and Kingdom.72Bangkok has been described as acity blanketed by more “than a hundred wats, occupying all the best locations. As some of them embraceseveral acres, they cover no small part of the site of the city..”73 By the turn of the century Bangkok was intransition, as a significant commercial city emerged to accompany the pre-industrial center. However, withthe inner city dominated by pre-industrial functions, much of the new commercial growth, and residentialexpansion was destined for the city’s fringe. Ginsburg describes one such effort:A new city appeared on the Northern outskirts of theold, a planned creation built in (1910-1925)... withbroad boulevards and buildings ranging from shockingVictorian variations on Italian Renaissance to morerecent battleship modern. The contrast between thefacade of modern buildings fronting these boulevardsand the stilted bamboo, thatch, and tin-roofed housesbehind them is one of the most strikii demonstrationsof cultural dualism in Southeast Asia.Second, since the decade of the 1930s an expansive military element in the landscape has covered Bangkok.Within the BMA are the spacious headquarters for the navy and airforce, and the usual spatial paraphernaliacatering to this type of land use; military stadiums, airfields, training colleges, barracks, and golf courses.Particularly in the northern reaches of Bangkok, this landscape is extensive.71. McGee, (1967), op.cit, pg.72-74.72. Sjoberg, Gideon (1964) THE PRE-INDUSTRIAL CITY, Glencoe, Ill.: Free Press.73. Stemstein, Larry (1976) THAILAND: THE ENVIRONMENT OF MODERNIZATION, Auckland: McGraw Hill,pg.96. It should be noted that these are not Sternsteins words, but are part of a historical anthology he has assembled toanalyze Bangkok under the reign of Rama IV.74. As quoted in London, Bruce (1980) METROPOLIS AND NATION IN THAILAND: THE POLITICALECONOMY OF UNEVEN DEVELOPMENT, Boulder: Westview Replica Press, pg.29-30.77The fact that the city elite had vested interest in the ricelands outside the city, insured that a series of travelroutes to the hinterland were always available. Sterustein describes one of the earlier (and ‘efficient) links tothe fringe;Electrified tramways were introduced in Bangkok in1894 when horse drawn trams still served manyEuropean capitals. Cheap, efficient, well patronized andexceptionally profitable tramways reached Out toprovide access to most parts of the rapidly expandingcity; indeed the tramways encouragd the city to sprawlinto the surrounding countryside.Into the early years of the new century, it was clear that Bangkok was extending along “two legs”; one alongthe Chao Phraya river towards the north, the other towards Samut Prakarn in the southeast. 76 I..ater, tinsbecame much more complex as villages were integrated into the city and the legs began their own outwardexpansion. By the 1960s several outlying towns had become larger nodes of economic influence; Bang Khen,Rangsit, Nonthaburi, Phra Phadeng, Samut Prakarn, Minburi, and Prakhanong. The tidal process of urbanextension over the last decade will be empirically sketched in the following chapter, and characterized interms of consumption of space in Chapters 6 and 7. By the I 980s, a time-space convergence, cheaper ruralland values, and state sanctioned start-up grants extended the zone of urban industrialization, beyond theBMR, to the outer ring areas of Chonburi, Ayutthaya, Chachoengsao, and Saraburi (see Figure 1.3). Figure3.6, as a summary of this Chapter sketches the historical preconditions which acted to extend Bangkoksspace economy.75. Stemstein, Larry (1982) PORTRAIT OF BANGKOK. Bangkok: Published to Commemorate the Bicentennial of theCapital of Thailand, pg.32.76. Korff (1986), op.cit, pg.63.FIGURE3.6Historica’ForcesOperatingtoExtendBangkok’sSpaceEconomy(ontimecontinuum)175018001850190019502000AyutthayaPeriodCanalExcavationBangkokDynastyExpansivePre-IndustrialInnerCityBowringTreatyandt0ommerciahizatborofCentralPlalEconomicandSpatialMobilityofChineseSakdinaandNaLuangLandTenureSteepRicePremiumTaxPolicyFieldMarshalSarit TNCSpaceEconomyMigrationfromPeripheralRegionsofKingdom*FieldMarshalSariVsLiberalizationofEconomyandFormationofBOI79CHAPTER FOUR:DIMENSIONS OF CHANGE: THE AMPLITUDE OF TRANSITION IN THE EBMR:The aim of this chapter is to show aggregate and quantifiable changes in the EBMR. The following Chapters(5-8) give a qualitative description of the rapid transition documented in this chapter.Thailand’s economic success focused on the EBMR is the envy of not only ASEAN neighbors, but also therecession-ladened western world. GDP growth rates have had consecutive years of double digit increment(see Table 4.1), while several European countries and Canada during the same period have witnessednegative economic growth. 1TABLE 4.1GDP GROWTH RATERATE 3.5 4.9 9.5 13.2 12.0 10.0 9.0(%)Note: Based on 1972 Prices.Source: Adapted from FEER (1991), 18 July, pg.31.Any society subject to rapid and extensive economic growth, experiences consequent levels of change, and itis the nature of change that is the central theme of this chapter. In this light the chapter will be an empiricalexamination of a range of indices that indicate a rapidly restructured space economy. Unprecedented changesince the end of World War II, particularly in the 1980s, and most notably in the early 1990s hastransformed the EBMR into one of the premier industrial export regions in Asia. This transformation ismanifested in many ways. This chapter will describe the change of the space economy in three significant1. Since 1990, quarterly GDP for Canada has fluctuated between -1 per cent and 1 per cent growth. Statistics Canada,1992.80directives - namely, population, economic, and space-time collapse - a reductionist approach which will bereferred to here as a ‘tripartition of change’ (see Figure 4. 1).Figure 4.1 Contours of Change Within the Space Economy of the ExtendedBangkok Metropolitan Region: Tripartition of Change81The transformation rests on a tripartition of factors, which together constitute the base of change. Firstly,‘economic transformation’ essentially dictates the economy and spatial layout of the landscape. It reflectsland use as constructed through new patterns of the built environment, employment opportunities, andoccupational structure. Secondly, the changing features of ‘population’ are salient factors, as the economyevolves to a non-agricultural base. Migration from other regions of the country becomes a critical measure ofchange. If it were not for successive waves of migrants from the labour glutted periphery, the EBMR spaceeconomy would remain static and immobile.2 Moreover, as the population density increases, agriculturedeclines, and industry concentrates, causing the structure of landscape and settlement to take on new formsand constructions. Finally, it can be reasonably argued that the process of change is largely facilitated byinnovations in transportation, information, and diffusion technologies. ‘Space-time compression’ will beexamined through the changes in trip and traffic flows in the region.4.1 Economic Transformation:This component of the tripartition represents a new thrust in the economic development of the country. Thefirst trend in the EBMR is that agriculture is giving way to other types of land use. The land of the EBMR,since the turn of the century has been a fertile rice bowl allowing Thailand to have been one of the few netexporters of food, and for many years, the world’s premier rice exporter.3This is all rapidly changing as farmland in the EBMR is being lost to other uses. Real estate speculators,industrialists, the tourist industry, and golf course development are combining to create an irreversible trend,2. . . .unless Thailand encouraged immigration or contract labour from other countries, which is occurring only in thecases of technical and managerial labour.3. Thailand (1990) Statistical Yearbook, NSO.8249.647.122.417.515.171.269.748.834.718.543.719.072.069.853.159.228.337.513.837.419.813.17.210.332.57.999.944.837.224.420.173.315.6PER CENT DISTRIBUTION BY SECTOR OF GPP; 1970,1983,1989K AGRL . MANLJF. OTHER GPP1970 :1983 •1989 1970 1 1983 I 1989 1970 1983 1989 1970 1983 1.19S9:BMA 14 3A’T9 283 300 315 70.3 676 666 309 628SP 135 47 33 369 241 24.7(770) . . . :._____________in .n:i________________ii nnnInnnIIIIIYPT 338 8.8 5.2 191 2L5 25.0(411) I INONTH 379 60 3.9 397 45.2 43.052.3 234 102 30.2 4I 30.6NP 306 28.6 179 543 329 5.3.8629_____________________________________________HONB 123 68 440 557851) :: :. :: .•: .:.:.: . .:.. ..:::11111 I IIIAYUT 1.S 176 59.5 68.6(701)34)6 141 87 278 60# 57.5 107 29.2...J. :4.I I iPHRAE 310 22.5 664 75.2 4.3 70(483) (N) •:: .:• . .:liii I!!IIIIIIIIIIII liii II! II IlIlIllUhl 11111 I ICHAfl 465 34 46.3 54.0(998) (1)__ ___ __ ___PATT 284 271 686 69.8(516)(S) ::: ..:..<:.•• : .::::.: •:..:Notes: 1. Brackets indicate population in thousands.2. GPP is in 100,000’s of Baht at current market price.3. Blank cells mean data is unavailable.Source: NESDB (1986)Thailand in Figures (1991, 1992, 1993)Thailand Government (1990), Population and Housing Census, NSO7.54.612.77.7causing people to ask if the 1990s will bring about the total demise of agriculture in the region. Table 4.2shows that among selected changwats of similar population, for the years 1970, 1983, and 1989, agriculturein the EBMR experienced significant declines in overall percentage of Gross Provincial Product (GPP). Yet,for the non-EBMR changwats, the decline was marginal at best, and in one selected changwat (Pattani) inthe south, between 1983 and 1989 there was essentially no decrease. Several other observations can be madefrom Table 4.2:TABLE 4.283(i) In all three non-EBMR changwats (Pattani, Chaiyapum, and Phrae) in 1989, at least 20 percent of GPP isstill obtained from agriculture,(ii) the EBMR has a strong manufacturing component in its economy, contrasted to the mostly service andagriculturally driven economies of the rest of the country.(iii) Total GPP is considerably larger in all EBMR changwats then in non-EBMR (particularly in SamutPralcarn and Chonburi).(iv) In the EBMR, manufacturing growth is lowest in the BMA, suggesting that the focus of industrialgrowth is away from the city.(v) in the three key industrial changwats of Chonburi, Samut Prakarn, and Pathum Thani, manufacturing isbeginning to level off, as the service sector accelerates. All three changwats are seen to be several decadesaway from becoming fully developed post-industrial economies.Table 4.3 shows per capita gross regional product for EBMR changwats. A striking fact is that allchangwats in the period 198 1-1989 have outperformed the BMA. This again is an indication of economicvitality in the outer city. Also of note are the actual growth rates. All provinces more then doubled their percapita GPP. Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi and Chachoengsao in particular had very high increases.The previous five post World War II national censuses; 1990, 1980, 1970, 1960, and 1947, provide data onoccupation of all economically active population 11 years of age and older (see Appendix III).Tables 4.4 and 4.5, for Pathum Thani and Samut Prakarn4respectively, document the evolving demise ofagriculture, concurrent with a rapid expansion of all types of off-farm employment, primarily manufacturing4. These two changwats have been selected because they have experienced the most rapid change of all provinces in theEBMR, and are emphasized in the analysis of Chapters 5-8. They are also the most industrialized and ‘urbanized’.84TABLE 4.3PER CAPITA GROSS REGIONAL PROVINCIAL PRODUCT OFSELECTED EBMR CHANGWATS FOR 1981, 1985, 1989 (IN BAHT)BMAPATHUM THANISAMUT PRAKRAN 56,893 85,525 119,309 110BMR 46,891 59,003 99,557 112CIIONBURJ 39,633 60,363 87,781 121SAMUT SAKHON 26,452 42,743 69,036 161NONTHABURI 12,353 18,911 58,783 376CHACIIOENGSAO 14,356 31,505 55,603 287NAKHON PATHOM 14,027 19,373 31,631 126AYUTTHAYA 10,989 14,474 24,062 11929,046 47809 100,293 245Source: Thailand: Statistical Yearbook (1985, 1986, 1990).85TABLE 4.4PATHUM TIIANI: ECONOMICALLY ACTIVE POPULATION, 11YEARS OF AGE AN]) OLDER, BY OCCUPATION, OVER 5CENSUS PERIODS1947 1960 1970 1980 1990Note: 1. PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL consists of: doctors, nurses, vets, paraprofessionals, judges,engineers, accountants, surveyors, technical workers, teachers, midwives, actors, musicians.2. ADMiNISTRATORS, MANAGERS consists of: executives, business owners, governmentofficials, directors.3. CLERICAL SALES consists of: shop assistants., wholesale and retail workers, hawkers,peddlars, vendors.4. AGRICULTURE consists of: fishers, aquaculturalists, miners, foresters.5. LABOR UNSKILLED consists of: transportation workers, drivers, boatmen, conductors,spinners, dyers, knitters, machinists, metal and woodworkers, painters, food processors,constructionworkers, factory workers.6. SERVICE SECTOR consists of: police, guards, cleaners, barbers.-Percentages are rounded off. Totals may not equal 100.Source: Thailand Government (1947, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990), Population and Housing Census.86‘I’ABLE 4.5SA’IUT PRAKARN: ECONOMICALLY ACTWE POPULATION, 11YIARS OF AGE AM) OLDER, BY OCCUPATION, OVER 5CINSUS PERIODS1947 1960 1970 1980 1990POP% P. % pp % POP. %: POP.I. PROF. 798 1 1634 2 33 3 9701 4 21,889 5TECH.2.ADMIN., 14.413 19 177 0 3 8296 4 984 2MGR.3.CLERJC 725 1 13,699 13 17,4&3 13 39,322 18 90,161 2AL SALES4. AGRI- 50,752 67 7h,182 70 50,244 38 42,394 19 48,441 12SUREI. LABOR, 8948 12 13,248 12 48,535 37 107,591 49 222,414 54JNSIKILLET) ....16.SER’vIcE.m3750 3 1758 6 13,078 6 18,288SE(OR.11AL 75,980 100 108,690 100 130,767 100 220,382 100 411,044) 100Note: 1. PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL consists of: doctors, nurses, vets, paraprofessionals, judges,engineers, accountants, surveyors, technical workers, teachers, midwives, actors, musicians.2. ADMINISTRATORS, MANAGERS consists of: executives, business owners, governmentofficials, directors.3. CLERICAL SALES consists of: shop assistants., wholesale and retail workers, hawkers,peddlars, vendors.4. AGRICULTURE consists of: fishers, aquaculturalists, miners, foresters.5. LABOR UNSKILLED consists of: transportation workers, drivers, boatmen, conductors,spinners, dyers, knitters, machinists, metal and woodworkers, painters, food processors, constructionworkers, factory workers.6. SERVICE SECTOR consists of: police, guards, cleaners, barbers.- Percentages are rounded off. Totals may not equal 100.Source: Thailand Government (1947, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990), Population and Housing Census.87based labour.5The current economic structure of both changwats, particularly Samut Prakarn, is moreindicative of an urban population than rural, and the transition that is occurring has been over a relativelyshort period of time; as late as 1980 nearly half the labour force in Pathum Thain was engaged inagriculture. The 1980s however, were the landmark decade for Pathum Thani. For the first time the nonagricultural labour force (category 5) surpassed agriculture. Interestingly, that same landmark sectorialchange occurred in Samut Prakarn in the 1960s. There are several observations from the census data:(1) On the basis of the data presented in Tables 4.4 and 4.5, industrial sector GPP has been levelling off inSamut Prakarn and Pathum maui. The census data also indicates that labour inputs remain high and areincreasing rapidly. This would suggest that the production process is becoming increasingly labour intensive,utilizing largely unslcilled female workers. The Central Plain is still a source of cheap labour, and this isevident by data showing (that aside from 1947-1960 in Samut Prakarn), that labour sector (category 5)doubled in population through each census period.(2) The professional and technical category is now 5 per cent of the total labour force in both changwats.Although this is a modest level it has undergone a steady rise, doubling in size every 10 years since 1970.Considering the content of production output (a trend towards high technological and electrical appliances),one would expect a slightly higher level for category one. However, a high proportion of the professionaland technical labour force are expatriates, many of whom are based outside the country (see footnote 2).(3) The clerical and sales category also is rising steadily, and combined with the service sector (category 6),comprised over one-fifth of the total labour force in 1990. This is up considerably in both changwats fromthe previous census period.5. For notes on Thai census data, and a description of the Thai census, see Appendix III.88(4) Although agriculture, as a percentage of total labor levels is declining, the actual population inagriculture is still significant. Thus, in Samut Prakarn, there was an increase between 1980 and 1990,attributed mostly to agri-business and aquaculture. Agriculture, particularly in Pathum Thani, is far fromextinct. In the following chapter there will be a discussion on agriculture and its restructured croppingpatterns.Another view on the descent of agriculture in the same two changwats, would be to disaggregate data byampoe.6Tables 4.6 and 4.7 examine the number and percentage of population that are entirely dependant onagriculture. There are three pertinent observations from these tables.(1) The importance of breaking changwats down into smaller administrative units for analysis is obvious; thedifference in the proportion in agriculture in Pathum Thani (1990) is considerable; 57 per cent in Nong Suaand 5 per cent in Thanyaburi. In Samut Prakarn, during the same year, there is also a wide range. AmpurMuang is 2 per cent, and Bang Po is 27. This suggests that changwat level data, such as Tables 4.4 and 4.5,provide a surface level of analysis only. Some areas (ampoes Nong Sua, Lam Luk Ka) of inner ring EBMRprovinces remain largely dependent on agriculture.7(2) Both changwats experienced a rapid, almost abrupt decline in agriculture, however, the timing wasdifferent. As the data indicate, Samut Prakarn underwent ‘revolutionary’ changes between 1960 and 1970,unparalleled anywhere in the Kingdom. Ampoe Muang dropped from 40 to 10 percent, while the total for allSamut Prakarn decreased to 21 percent from 55. Samut Prakarn was the first important target for FieldMarshal Sarit Thanarit’s World Bank supported campaign of industrial and foreign investment. A similar,6. An ampoe is an administrative region between changwat and tambon. It is similar to a district.7. Despite remaining ties to agriculture, most of these ampoes are changing rapidly. Between 1960 and 1980 Lam LukKa underwent a 52 per cent decline in agriculturally dependent population. Bang Plee, over the same period had a 59percent decrease.89but not as expeditious ‘revolution’ occurred in the following decade in Pathum Thani. The 1980 and 1990data indicate that Pathum maui is now industrializing and ‘de-agrarianizing’ very rapidly, indeed, for theTABLE 4.6PATIJUM THAM: AGRICULTURE POPULATION1970‘ 372713835823500371412623527762181542369611073405820776442TABLE 4.71990427021206227SAMUT PRAKARN: AGRICULTURE POPULATION.. 1970 ::::::::ii. .1 .1’:AMpo: . .. AGRJ % jr.,’ TOTAL ACRE % IN TOTAL ACRE % iN TOTAL AGRI % iNpop. POP AGRI i’OP POP ACRE POP POP ACRE POP POP ACREMUANG 84878 33619 40 1371•4 14074 10 :227390 .4766 3 36347 5327 2PHRA 48777 26913 55 87Z40 14477 17 143239 9654 7 ISISS6PHADRNG_____ ____________________________________BANG 48028 27474 57 47911 11972 25 44706 1126.3 25P0___BANG..S3022.: 4O139 76 57149 28030 49 69294 20439 29 . 132271 22641 17PLEE .:•TOTATI 55 n”” 21 44I9 4 ia 7ø 8Source: Thailand Government (1970, 1980, 1990), Population and Housing Census, NSO.1 1990KLONGLUANGTHANYABURlLAT L1JMKALAM LTJKI______________________8637576219300847560430751252521251038681472415785720619127915549212376Source: Thailand Government (1970, 1980, 1990), Population and Housing Census, NSO.33353 18938 5790first time, at a faster pace then Samut Prakarn. Several areas of Samut Prakarn, particularly Muang, PhraPhadeng, and Bang Plee are very densely developed with industry creating numerous environmentalproblems. Pathum maul is losing agricultural land quicker then any other changwat, averaging 10 per centper annum since 1987.8 Many observers see Pathum Thani becoming the EBMR industrial heartland in thecoming decade.(3) Finally the two Tables when accompanied with Figures 4.2 and 4.3 offer a spatial dimension toagriculture decline. The importance of transportation and proximity to Bangkok are key determining factors.Thanyaburi, Phra Phadeng, and ampoe Muang (Samut Pralcarn) are evidence of this spatial trend. KiongLuang, part of Pathum Thani’s Northern Corridor (which will be the subject of a case study in the nextchapter), more then doubled its population between 1970 and 1990, and cut its agricultural labour levelfourfold. Its position, strung along the main super-highway, brought a wealth of new investment andindustry in the 1970’s when the road was widened. Between 1980 and 1990 there was a rapid proliferation ofinformal modes of transportation, such as; motorcycle taxis, small trucks with benches, and privately ownedchangwat based public transport. This contributed in no small way to opening up peripheral areas of allEBMR provinces. Nong Sua and Bang Po in particular benefitted from this development.9Over time, as an increasing number and assortment of non-agricultural opportunities become accessible, theamount of land and labour invested in agriculture decreases. If one crop is affected more than others, it isrice. The EBMR, as a classic Asian rice bowl, was traditionally dominated by rice making up to 95 percentof all cultivated land. One yardstick which can be used to measure an expected or anticipated economic8. National Economic and Social Development Board, National Urban Development Policy Framework, IMPROVINGTHE URBAN ENVIRONMENT, Area #7, 1991, pg.90.9. Residents of Nong Sua now routinely work in factories along the Northern Corridor by travelling with 3 or 4different modes of transportation. For example a motorcycle taxi shows up at the village each morning at a prearrangedtime. The factory worker travels on the back of the motorcycle until the end of the road, at which time along theperpendicular road, a privately owned pickup truck with seats (a private bus company) takes the worker to the mainhighway (Northern Corridor). From there a transit bus is taken to the place of employment. In less then one hour theworker has travelled from village to factory. See Appendix II (April 22, 1991).16‘i100-ICMP1e0i.93‘revolution’, is to gauge a region’s proportion of land under paddy. As early as the late 1940s and 1950s,Pathum Thani and Samut Prakarn were beginning to exhibit a reduction of land allotment to rice. This wasnaturally tied into higher yields per rai,1°but as Tables 4.4 - 4.7 indicate, the emerging encroachment ofnon-agricultural activities was beginning. Table 4.8 provides data showing, among four selected ricegrowing changwats, two EBMR, one peripheral EBMR, and one non-EBMR, the time period of plateau, orwhen it reached its highest level before decline, for land under rice is quite varied.11TABLE 4.8NUMBER OF RATS PLANTED BY YEAR IN SELECTEDCIIANGWATS (TIME PERIOD OF PLATEAU SHADED), in l000s of rai198 i968. .::19.I9:::::Patbum Tham 731 448 400 688 648 999 851 1ø 806 820Samut Prakarn 195 142 410 234 -. Z3 fl 239 204Chamat IIM 89.1 , 50 770 737 575 562 398 328 320Kanchanabzri 408 273 174 113 192 79 3)Source: Thailand Statistical Yearbook, various years.In Pathum Thani and Samut Prakarn, the plateau was reached 25-30 years ago, while it is just beginning todecline in the peripheral EBMR changwat (Kanchanaburi), and shows no indication of slow down in thenon-EBMR changwat of Chainat. From the data in these two figures, there exists an inverse relationshipbetween rice cultivation and emerging industrial enterprise.1210. 1 rat = 1600 square metres1 hectare = 2.47 acres = 6.25 rat.11. These four changwals display a wide range of industrial development and are spatially diverse within the CentralPlain space economy. Chainat is non EBMR, but part of the Central Plain. Kanchanaburi is at the northwest peripheryof the EBMR, and Samut Prakarn and Pathum Tham make up the core of the outer city EBMR.12. This should not be confused with yield productivity, which normally is increased during the nascent years ofeconomic transition.The eastern areas of the BMA, which have only begun to develop in the last decade are also zones undertransition. Table 4.9 presents data showing that the outer eastern areas of the BMA, such as Nong Chok,Minburi, Bang Khen, Ladkrabeng etc.. have experienced a rapid and profound change in land use, (seeFigure 4.4).TABLE 4.9URBAN LAND USE, BMA OUTER AREAS (IN RAI): NONG CHOK,MINBURI, THONBURI, BANGKHEN11-20 I 126.150 I 221.913 I 269,088Source: Adapted from PADCO (1990), pg.25.Moreover, the most sensational changes occurred furthest from the city center, suggesting the emphasis ofgrowth and development is the outer city. Table 4.10 reveals growth rates of urban land use, of over 25percent per annum in the outer areas (30 kilometers from city center and further), between 1984 and 1988.TABLE 4.10INCREASE IN URBAN LAND USE OVER 10 AND 4 YEARS, FROMFIGURE 4.9KM% INCREASE IN 10YEARS (19744984)% INCREASE IN 4 YEARS(1984—1988)Source: Adapted from PADCO (1990), pg.25.13. There are still considerable tracts of land that are largely under non-urban land uses in the outer reaches of theBMA; Nong Chok and Minburi in particular. Urban land use refers to non-agricultural built environment, ie. housing,industry, and golf courses. See Appendix II, (December 9, 1992).21-30 44,394 84,619 128,675OVER 30 27,781 79,106 162,781I!jo5milesIIIIIIIII05kilometersFigure4.4:EasternDistrictsofBMAUi96Achieving conversion rates of this scale suggests constant, intensive construction, and development, whichleads to rolling farms into factories at an unprecedented pace! The next chapter focuses entirely on land usechange.A comment on the role international capital plays in inducing change is apposite at this time. The EBMR is alandscape deeply influenced by international capitalism and foreign led industrialization. Export orientatedgrowth and the increasingly open and free economy is the foundation of strident advice offered by the WorldBank (IBRD) during the early years of the General Prem leadership. Through the 1980s, each successiveyear was marked with new levels of openness’ as previous regulations of tariffs designed to induce importsubstitution industries were gradually dismantled. 14Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), as seen in Figure 4.5, except during a global oil-based recession, has beensubject to a steady climb. Since 1985, Thailand has outperformed all ASEAN nations in securing Japaneseinvestment. The large Japanese presence, and a consistent, reliable group of investors from Korea, HongKong, Taiwan, Singapore, and the West, has insured that the industrial base has increased in size anddiversity, and are mainly orientated to overseas markets. 15 Thailand’s Board of Investment (B01), agovernment agency founded in 1959, chaired by the Prime Minister, and responsible for encouraginginvestment in Thailand, approved 230 foreign and indigenous investment firms in 1986. 16 The followingyear the number increased to 550, and from 1988 to 1990, the BOl was averaging over 1000 approvals ayear.14. Douglass (1984) op.cit.15. Daniere, Ainrita (1991) Review of the Recent Economic Boom and the Accelerated “Internationalization” of theThai Economy, Bangkok: Thailand Development Research Institue. See data for Figure 4.5 in Appendix IV.16. The BOI offers a wide range of investment services, start up grants, and tax breaks to its approved projects. Inparticular, the BOl permits import duty reductions on imported technologies and raw materials. In some instances, theBOl has authority to exempt income taxes and royalties for up to 5 years.50000-400000cc0ccccSource:Ichikawa(1990),Pg.16.BusinessinThailand(1989)June,Pg. 39.Figure4.5FOREIGNDIRECTINVESTMENT(Millions ofBaht)300002000010000 0.IIIIIIcc I,098Between December 1989, and August 1991, I conducted a survey of 682 BOl approved projects. Of thattotal, 455, or 67 per cent of all projects located in one of the 13 EBMR changwats, or Bangkok.Approximately 75 per cent had at least some foreign ownership.17Table 4.11 ranks in order of frequency, the location of the 455 BOI approved projects (also see Figure 4.6).The three provinces of Chonburi, Samut Prakarn, and Pathum Thani, aggregately account for nearly one-third of all approvals. Chonburi’s Eastern Seaboard development project explains the 72 BOl firms locatedthere. Three Central Plain outer ring changwats combined, Chachoengsao, Saraburi, and Ayutthaya,attracted 13 per cent of the national total of this survey. Up until very recently, these three changwats inparticular, were known as outstanding contributors to rice bowl production only. Their rapid surge in nonagricultural development epitomizes the region based industrial and urban development that is central to thisproject.’8These figures show that foreign investment was an important force behind EBMR social andeconomic transformation.17. One venture, Namchao Co. Ltd., destined for Ratchaburi, was approved to produce for export 120 million packagesof instant noodles per year. The Baht 268.3 million investment is 99.99999 percent Taiwanese, and 0.000001 percentThai holding.The following countries, from the survey were represented as foreign investors; Sweden, Australia, Taiwan, China,Canada, USA, Liberia, Korea, Japan, Demnark, Italy, Singapore, Malaysia, HK, India, Belgium, Luxembourg,Panama, Norway, Holland, England, Portugal, and France.The range of services and products that were to be offered and produced were diverse; garments, transistors, tourism-hotels, resorts, packing boxes, automobile tires and headlights, moulds of electronic equipment, electron guns, baseballgloves, imitation crab, hair dryers, stronium ferrite, footwear, CD’s, several hospitals, golf clubs, granite blocks, ringgears, precious stones, acid dye, skateboards, mosaic tiles, thermal relays, canned fruits and vegetables, electronic toys,elastic bands, chopsticks, washing machines, cartoon films, floppy disc drives, plastic sacks, leather clothing, greetingcards, ice hockey gloves (a Canadian led joint venture), binoculars, chili sauce, children’s books, kidney cleaningtubes, and synthetic eggs. See BOl statistical reports, 1989, 1990, 1991.18. In the mid 1980s Chachoengsao’s economy was nearly all agriculture. By 1991, there were approximately 600factories, mostly producing electronic parts and components. There were also two industrial estates, Gateway City, andWell Grow, combined, on 9000 rai of land. Chachoengsao is also the site of a handful of new golf course projects. Allthe new opportunities, in this changwat of just over a half million people, are creating a labour shortage . Tens ofthousand of workers are being imported from neighboring Samut Prakarn, and the Northeast. State Governor TaveePadungrat has established, what may be the first ‘labour bank’ in the Kingdom. The bank’s labour reserves, which areknown villages in the Northeast with ‘labour prosperity’, assures investors an ample labour supply. KrissanaParnsoonthorn (1991) , THE NATION (1991) May 10, “Chachoengsao in Transition” pg.Fl.99TABLE 4.11LOCATION (EBMR) OF SELECTED BOI APPROVED PROJECTSBETWEEN DECEMBER 1989 AND AUGUST 1991 (TOTAL 682)RANKED IN ORDER OF 13 EBMR CI[ANGWATS AND BANGKOK (BMA)NUMBER %OF TOTALBANGKOK 94 14CHONBURI 72 11SAMUT PRAKARN 71 11PATHUM THANI 59 9AYUTTHAYA 42 6CHACHOENGSAO 37 5SAMUT SAKIION 36 5SARABURI 13 2NAKIION PATHOM 11 2RATCHABURI 8 1KANCHANABURI 5 1NONTHABURI 4 1SAMUT SONGKRAM 2 -SUPHANBURI 1 —ALL OTHER CIIANGWATS 227 33‘r1 .‘.b’.—tflCDbCCD0CD4*nQCDni03S4+.3431144\33ti)I)3,.1...e.,_—‘S ¼C. —__tw’__’_---9——Iw—.WIaCao--oIaIL1 .aQia001101Approximately 50 per cent of approved factories were located in the BMR. Table 4.12 shows change indistribution of all (BOl and non-BOl) manufacturing establishments in the BMR. for the period 1985-1989.Although this data does not indicate size of firm, most factories located in the BMA and Nonthaburi aresmall operations, often with less then 10 workers. Nevertheless the data (Table 4.12) reveals that over thefour year period, in the five provinces alone, 2,136 new establishments were created, an average of morethen one new factory a day. Presently, industry occupies approximately 33,000 rai, or 0.7 per cent of totalBMR land area. If current trends continue, by the year 2011, 233,700 rai, or 5 per cent of the land will berequired for industrial ,,• 19 If this is true it translates into a serious need for new sources of labour overthe next few decades. The labour vacuum will be filled, not by an increased birthrate, or by the in-situpopulation, but by interregional migration, which is the focus of the next section.TABLE 4.12CHANGE IN DISTRIBUTION OF MANUFACTURINGESTABLISHMENTS BY CHANGWAT IN THE BMRNUMBEROF_FACTORIES____ ________198S 1987 i98fi89 1987____Z1C 1Z14A’ 213_ __ _::::::::fr\: 11.208.6135$ p4% 1446sur 10.50PRAKARNSAMUT :i 992SAKHON3.84___ ______ ___Source: Ministiy of Industry (1990).AVERAGE ANNUALGROWTH RATE1988 19896.98 7.587.52 13.4110.47 7.7013.65 18.7611.62 10.8710.44 11.857.86 8.5219. NESDB, Area #7, op.cit, pg.84.1024.2 Population Change:The second component of the ‘tripartition of change’, in the spatial revolution occurring in the EBMR ispopulation growth. Migration from the peripheral changwats in particular forms a cornerstone of theregion’s rapid development. The density of industrial enterprises in several pockets of the EBMR, requires alabour force that exceeds the prevailing supply, resulting in significant workforce shifts, both large innumber, and diverse in destination. For example, several changwats in the EBMR which have habituallybeen the source of migrants, are presently migrant destinations. The traditional destination since the turn ofthe century, Bangkok, is rapidly becoming known as a point of origin. Not only is migration causingdemographic restructuring in the region, but it is a migration that is building urban districts in the region’souter rim.For over a century, Thailand’s dominant migration pattern remained very steady; it was simply a case ofpeasants from predominantly ‘rural locations moving to Bangkok. As late as 1980, Bangkok was receiving95 per cent of national net interregional migration.2°This major flow of in-migration fueled numeroussocial problems, such as urban housing shortages, overcrowding, under and unemployment, crime, andtraffic congestion. The situation is currently changing, as the new migration pattern is predominantly a‘rural’ to EBMR flow, and changwats such as Pathum Thani, Saraburi, Chachoengsao, and Ayutthaya arethe new destinations, offering wage labour opportunities, and a wider selection of urban amenities.Sternstein (1976) notes that in the 1960s “droves of migrants” left Samut Prakarn to work in the factories ofBangkok.21 Similarly, the Institute of Population Studies at Chulalongkorn University (1974) reported thatin the 195 5-1960 migration survey, Pathum Thani was the seventh highest province in terms of out-20. National Economic and Social Development Board (1986) Recommended Development Strategies and InvestmentProgrammes for the Sixth Plan, Bangkok.21. Sternstein, Larry, (1976) “Migration and Development in Thailand, THE GEOGRAPHICAL REVIEW, vol., pg.401-419.103migration, with 60.8 out-migrants per 1000 population, at a time when the_national mean was37522 Infact the whole Central Plain contributed to the growth and development of Bangkok. Chapman and Allen(1965), using the term “social fluviology” to refer to migration streams, noted that the expected trend of areduced stream from areas of high paddy production, was not always true. Pathum Thani, withtraditionally some of the largest rice yields per rai in the country, was, as noted above, largely characterizedby high out-migration.24The migrant catchment of Bangkok was not only restricted to the Central Plain, but included the wholecountry. Every changwat had contributed to Bangkok’s growth. The most notable region, the Northeast(Isan), with a population of over 20 million (1990), on a largely sterile rocky plateau, has consistentlycontributed to the capitals growth. Between 1975 and 1980, an average of more then 25,000 migrants peryear from the Northeast alone, arrived in Bangkok. This trend is declining however, not because Isan is lessof a sending region, but because the destination regions were being extended outwards (from Bangkok) tothe BMR and outer ring changwats.25Table 4.13 reveals the gradual change of net in-migration in the BMR, from Bangkok to the five inner ringprovinces. It shows that by 1990, for the first time, the five provinces aggregately began receiving moremigrants than Bangkok. This data, affirms the shift of demographic and economic emphasis away from theBMA. By the year 2000, it is predicted the inner ring provinces will be receiving 70 per cent more migrantsthan Bangkok; this can be compared with the situation only two decades previous, when they received half asmany! This is consistent with data that show through the 1980s, the BMR’ s 3.3 per cent population growth22. THE POPULATION OF THAILAND (1974), Institute of Population Studies, Chulalongkorn University, preparedfor the NESDB, pg.100.23. Chapman, E.C. and A.C.B. Alien (1965) INTERNAL MIGRATION IN THAILAND. University of New England.Armidale, NSW, ANZAAS, Hobart Meeting, August. pg.12.24. Thailand Government, Population and Housing Census, (various years).25. Ibid.104Table 4.13FIVE YEAR REGIONAL NET MIGRATION, 1975-2000 (population inl000s)4FOVINE:fr1975-80 96 1901980-85 122 1841985-90 151 1491990-95 181 1241995-2000 195 115Source: NESDB 7th Five Year Plan (1992).rate was a full two per cent higher then the BMA’s. Taking this discussion one step further, by the turn ofthe century, for the first time since inception at least one source speculated, the BMA may experience adecline in population.UTable 4.14 shows the increase of migrants into selected EBMR changwats, over three survey periods. Theaccelerating rate, shows a high correlation with growth in non-agricultural employment opportunities. Also,noteworthy is the increasingly significant role of Isan migrants, comprising almost 20 per cent of the total inPathum Thani, and over one-quarter of the total in Chachoengsao in the 1985-1990 census period.The decentralization of the point of origin for net interregional migration is not a new trend. Since the1970s, migrants began leaving Bangkok for adjacent areas that offered urban employment. Also migrantsfrom peripheral regions, such as the upper Central Plain, Isan, and the North began targeting the clzangwatsof Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, and Sainut Prakarn. It was an expected response to the early stages of areconcentration of industry in a decentralized fashion. Stemstein, influenced by the work of the Department26. National Ecoconomic and Social Development Board (1991), National Urban Development Policy Framework,GLOBAL AND NATIONAL ISSUES IN ThAILAND’S URBAN DEVELOPMENT, Area #1, pg.16. Bangcok wouldcertainly not be the first Asian mega-city, to have reached a point of population reduction. Calcutta has had nopopulation growth for at least 10 years. The Calcutta urban region, however continues to grow. Also see NationalEconomioc and Social Development Board, (1991) National Urban Development Policy Framework, URBANPOPULATION, EMPLOYMENT DISTRIBUTION AND SETTLEMENT PATTERNS, Area #2.105TABLE 4.14MIGRATION OF POPULATION iNTO SELECTED EBMRCITANGWATSPATHUM TIIANI 17,071 32,570 58,455(1349) (3993) (10,978)SAMUT 49,395 61,992 NO DATAPRAKARN (4171) (10,891)AYUTTIIAYA 11,289 19,248 21,764(930) (2304) * (2707)CRONBURL 19,683 53,122 NO DATA(8492) (10,829)CRACHOENGSAO 5247 16,787 28,504(908) (4,018) (7473)Note: Values in bracket are for Isan only.* Based on 11 of 17 Isan Changwats only.Source: Thailand Government (1970, 1980, 1990), Population and Housing Census, NSO.of Town and Country Planning (DTCP), and perhaps slightly influenced by Gottrnann’s 1961 Megalopolisthesis, devised the “Bangkok Mini-Megalopolis”. Figure 4.7 is Sternsteins creation, which is strikinglycomparable to the EBMR. The Mini-Megalopolis is divided into “outermost”, “intermediate”, and“innermost” parts, not unlike the inner and outer rings of the EBMR. The model was based oninfrastructural availability, transportation access, and was proposed as a grand plan to deflect demographicpressure from Bangkok. It was an insightful representation of future development of the region, which, asSternstein emphasized, was largely influenced spatially by transportation corridors. He concludes one of hispublished articles, with the following astute statement, “within a comparatively short time, certainly by theyear 2000, a wide ribbon of land bordering the Bight of Bangkok will be built up and will house a106FIGURE 4.7Source: Sternstein (1971)107population of at least 15 million.”27This form of ‘regional urbanization’ is creating a non-agriculturallandscape, without large cities.An example of the effects of population growth in the EBMR through migration is revealed in Table 4.15.The forecasted data suggests, the emergence of a large region, anywhere from 50 to almost 100 per centurbanized, in a spatially scattered fashion. By the end of the first decade in the next century according tothe table, Nonthaburi will be almost fully urbanized. Chonburi, Samut Prakarn, and Pathum Thani will allbe over four-fifths urbanized. In fact it is probable the whole EBMR will take on a ‘new landscape; theurbanization of the rice bowl. Table 4.15 offers two important lessons which are crucial to this dissertation.Firstly, there is a serious shortcoming in the traditional administrative definition of ‘urban’, and secondly,the EBMR is under an urban ‘assault’, without cities.The above analysis has implications for the desakota literature. McGee (as discussed in Chapter 2) maintainsthat high demographic densities are necessary preconditions for the emergence of desakota. Table 4.16shows densities for the BMR and BMA. The BMR has the highest population densities in the Kingdom. Thehighest densities in Samut Prakarn and Nonthaburi reflect large areas that are built up and are ‘suburbansprawl’ of Bangkok. This is not the case for the other inner ring changwats. The point here is that in situlabour of the higher population density areas of the BMR was not sufficient to match the high demand forlabour brought about by rapid industrialization in the BMR in the 1980s. When we consider the empiricalevidence of the Samut Prakarn and Pathum Thani cases, it appears that some of the surplus labour that was27. Stemstein, (1976) op.cit, pg.419. For an edited translation (original in Thai) of the Department of Town andCountry Planning, Minister of the Interior, 1971 report, entitled, Report on the First Revision of the Plan for theMetropolitan Area’, see Stemstein, L., (1971) ‘Planning and Developing Primate City: Bangkok 2000, OccasionalPaper 9, Dept. of Geography, School of General Studies, ANU, Canberra, pg. 17-91.28. The two definitions are as follows: 1 .Administrative- Municipal areas designated by the Ministry of the Interior. It isold, and never updated, resulting in a considerable underestimation. 2.Geographical- Much more ‘actual’ and accuratethen the administrative definition, taking into account land use and density. It contributes to solve the problem ofunderbounding. See Chapter 2 for more discussion of the rural-urban dichotomy. The data for figure 4.15 was collectedby field workers for the TDRI. See NESDB, National Urban Development Policy Framework, URBANPOPULATION, EMPLOYMENT DISTRIBUTiON AND SETTLEMENT PATTERNS, Area #2, 1991, pg.33.108TABLE 4.15URBAMZATION LEVEL (%) OF SELECTED EBMR CIIANGWATSUSING ADMINISTRATWE DEFINITION AND GEOGRAPhICALDEFINITION (FOR THE YEARS 1990 AND 2010)f________ADMIN GEOG ADThN. GROG.NONTRABURI 67 81 84 95SAMUTflAKARN 56 67 66 87PATRUMTHANI 45 53 69 82SAMUTSAKRON 38 41 43 56AYUTTUAYA 31 36 38 54CHACHOENGSAO 20 22 37 4648 62 56 82RATCHABURI 32 36 42 50SARABURI 39 43 58 65Source: adapted from NESDB (1991), Area #2, pg.33.TABLE 4.16AVERAGE BMR POPULATION DENSiTIES (PERSONS PER SQ.KM.)1980 I86 1990BANGKOK (BMA) 3,285 3,680 3,754SATIJRATED URBAN 33,654 32,261 no dataTRANSITIONAL URBAN 965 1,234 no dataSAMUTAKARN 560 697 767PATHUMTHANI 218 266 270NONTHABURI 585 723 924SAMUTSAKHON 315 362 368NAKHONPATEOM 252 285 290Source: NESDB (1986)Thailand Government (1990), Population and Housing Census, NSO.109already recruited to Bangkok in the 1960s, returned to the outer city through the 1980s and early 1990s.Along with migration from other parts of the Kingdom, population densities increased quickly. McGee’sassertion of a high population density being a precondition to desakota is not valid in the BMR. Theindustrial labour force has largely been recruited from other regions of the Kingdom to fill consequent labourdemands. Current high population densities are based on recent migration flows into the region.4.3 Space-Time Compression:The primary focus of this chapter has been the spatial dimension of change, and the resulting constructionsof the ‘urbanized’ geo-economic landscape. Within this approach, the role of transportation andcommunication are of central importance; they are processes that have facilitated spatial restructuring in theEBMR and have enhanced the spread effects. Amid the framework considered here, space-time compressionstands as the final, but most influential and compelling component of the ‘tripartition of change’. Brunn andWilliams (1983) define time-space’ convergence’ as “the rate at which places are moving closer togethermeasured by travel time and communication time.”29 It is a concept that has taken up a central position inthe recent literature on urban restructuring and transformation, particularly the rise of the extended outercity. McGee and Lin (1993) suggest that the relative prosperity of the Asian Tigers is due in part to asuccessful process of ‘time-space’ compression’ •3029. Bnmn, S.D., and J. Williams (1983), CITIES OF THE WORLD: WORLD REGIONAL URBANDEVELOPMENT, NY: Harper and Row, pg.468. In this dissertation space-time compression, and space-timeconvergence are used interchangeably, despite slight semantic differences.30. McGee, T.G., and C. Lin, (1993), op.cit.110Contributing to the understanding of this phenomena, Pred (Figure 4.8), has linked two separate models;time-space compression and cumulative causation. Despite its western bias, the construct is a fairly relevantrepresentation of the spiralling transactive linkages that are expanding in the EBMR.31 The two processesare mutually reinforcing, particularly at times of rapid growth and development. Generally, the model movesthrough several stages as follows:- New industrial activity (and local demand) stimulates innovation in transportation andcommunication.- This leads to new construction activity, and amenities, creating the compression of time-space.- Growing economy, and subsequent forward and backward linkages, create a new “regional threshold”.- Population is increased, economy becomes spatially concentrated and centralized.- The infrastructural base is extended and broadened to ease aggregation and interaction, forming aperipheral spatial economy.- It is a circular cycle, which, as it proceeds creates space through phases of time-space compression.This model acts as a historical record, and future direction for EBMR development. The linkages to createnew thresholds are largely products of public roads and highways. Gottinan, referring to the northeasternU.S.A. megalopolis, wrote, “the future course of Megapolitan development appears to depend to a largeextent upon the quality of the transportation services the region will be able to offer its inhabitants andvisitors.”32 Within the EBMR, highways and freeways are the essential transportation system. It is a costlyendeavor, but provides the most cost efficient form of transportation system at present. The type oflandscape being produced (for better or worse) can not survive without highways and automobiles. The31. Dicken, P., and P. Lloyd (1990) LOCATION IN SPACE: THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES IN ECONOMICGEOGRAPHY, NY: Harper and Row, pg.248. The model is based on the work of: Pred, A. (1966) THE SPATIALDYNAMICS OF US URBAN INDUSTRIAL GROWTH, Cambridge: MIT Press and Janelle, D.G. (1969) “SpatialReorganization: A Model and a Concept’, ANNALS OF THE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN GEOGRAPHERS,vol. 59.32. Gottmann (1961), op.cit, pg.631.111Figure 4.8 Spiralling Transactive Linkages7. Peripheralspace6. Infrastructure I________________baseis_________________taton and II extended j 2. New transpor- Ition technologyj communica- I[New indushyand demand_j1.5. New regional J____ ______________3. Time -Space Idemand convergence4. IncreasedSource: Adapted from Pred (1966)112spatial economy is already overly dependent on vehicle arteries, which is largely a reflection of poor urbanand transportation planning decades ago. The outer city sprawl, and extended industrial growth would havenever occurred, if not for a good network of regional all-weather highways that were constructed starting inthe 1950s. Rail networks and river transportation were the nascent transportation systems that initiallyopened up the region over one century ago. They were efficient and practical for the time, but with thedelinearization and scattering of the space economy, their effectiveness were curtailed. Until the 1980s, roaddevelopment throughout the Kingdom, aimed primarily at improving connections and access to Bangkokalong major routes. Little has been done to develop the distribution of secondary road networks.33The EBMR, and notably the inner ring have recently experienced growing traffic. Hurdles of this naturemust be overcome before additional development and prosperity takes root. For example, a proposed massrapid transit system has been finally (1992) given federal level consent to commence construction. A newrail line to the Eastern Seaboard (ESB) has been laid, including a new route linking Laem Chabang (ESB)with the Northeast, eliminating the need of traversing already congested Bangkok. There are currently(1992) a number of ongoing highway construction projects in the EBMR, all strategically aimed at easing thetraffic congestion expected in the next few years.34Access to, and mobility within the changwats of the EBMR will be decisive in determining the success offurther development. The present pattern is characterized by large portions of land close to main arterialroutes being held idle by speculators. Partial blame is due to the lack of access roads discouraging33. Daniere, Amrita (1993) Transportation Planning and Implementation in Bangkok: Economic Growth and FracturedPurposes, Unpublished manuscript, Graduate Program in Urban and Regional Planning, University of California,Irvine.34. Some of the projects undertaken by the Department of Highways to curb congestion problems are; several projectsat Rangsit, a major commuting hub in Pathum Thani, a 150 kilometer road opening more of Saraburi to the Northeast, a183 kilometer highway is being built linking the industrial estates of Ayutthaya to the Northern city of Nakhon Sawan,another urgently needed highway between Pattaya and Chonburi, and a 62 kilometer road joining Samut Prakarn andAyutthaya. This highway is of particular significance, as it skirts, the expected route through highly congestedBangkok. These projects are expected to be completed between 1992 and 1994. See Haicrow Fox and Associates andAsian Engineering Consultants Ltd., (1992) SEVENTH PLAN URBAN AND REGIONAL TRANSPORT (SPURT),National Economic and Social Economic Board, Bangkok.113development between main arterial highways. The Sixth NESDB Development Plan called for improving theinterstitial road networks to pry open new areas, and eliminate the impenetrable ‘super blocks’. Suchdevelopment will further integrate the nearby changwats with the conurbation, and provide for greater interchangwat linkages.35The internationalization of the economy has created a demand for increased travel and communication. Thedemand is just as prevalent in the villages of the Central Plain, as the central areas of Bangkok. Travel timeand accessibility are determining factors for villagers who are employed in EBMR factories, as well ascellular-phone-toting executives in the office towers of Silom Road. Although both economic ‘players’ areultimately linked, and a necessary element of the larger picture, this dissertation is concerned with outer citytransportation challenges. There are two issues of inquiry; first, there is a need for more inter-changwatroads in the EBMR. The Department of Highways have begun to address this concern. It is an urgent matter,as the congested areas extend up to 50 kilometers concentrically outward from the CBD, and the ‘jamsession’ is in both directions.36Secondly, there is a requirement to continue encouraging and developingcost efficient, informal modes of transportation. As mentioned earlier, motorcycle taxis, songtaews (pickuptrucks with benches), privately owned minibuses, and minivans are instrumental in escalating populationfluidity in the changwats of the EBMR. Also, small capital projects, such as erecting a short span bridgeacross a canal, is conducive to alleviating seclusion and economic isolation (see case studies). At the inter-village level, gains have been made to enhance circulation and mobility. Nearly every village in the regionhas at least one bus connection daily to nearby market towns, and the towns are all connected with fluidregular bus service to various areas of Bangkok. Privately owned minibuses service a wide concentric range35. Op. cit NESDB, 1986.36. One estimation is that GDP could be 10 per cent higher in the BMR without the appalling traffic congestion. Thesame source contends that 36 million Baht per day (13 billion Baht annually) of fuel is wasted by vehicles idling intraffic jams. The typical motorist spends 44 days a year in these ‘linear parking lots’.. .enormous opportunity loss.BANGKOK POST (1990), August 15 “High Cost of Bangicoks Traffic Jams”, excerpts of an article from the SingaporeStraits Time.114around the capital, often up to 40 kilometers. Even the Transit Authority run regular routes deep into theextended region.There are several ways to measure the increasing transactivity of the region. Figure 4.9 shows the forecastedtrip demand increases in the core of the EBMR (Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakarn, Samut Sakhon,BMA), between the years 1989 and 2006. An apparent observation is not just the thickening of the spidernetwork, indicating a large increase in person trips per day, but the inflated and expanded breadth of thenetwork. Notably, areas in the eastern BMA, Nonthaburi, and Pathum Thani will rise the most.Figure 4.10 indicates 1989 traffic volumes on the Asian Highway leading north and southwest out ofBangkok.37The stretch of the super highway immediately north of Bangkok with 82,700 vehicles recordedpassing per day is the heaviest used highway between Singapore and Vientiene.38Much of the traffic istransport trucks travelling to the many factories that line the road, and also shipping produce from the North.However, by weight, 53 per cent of total tonnage (41.4 million tons) shipped by truck in 1988, wasconstruction materials, such as gravel, cement, wood etc.. Trucking has recently surpassed rail, becomingthe major mode of shipping materials and goods throughout the Kingdom. Between 1982 and 1988 truckfreight tonnage increased an average of 12.5 per cent per annum.W Almost all goods that are hauled inThailand, at some point in the trip, pass through the extended metropolitan region.Finally, Figure 4.11 portrays the forecasted changes in vehicle ownership. As the illustration shows, thegreatest increase is predicted to be in the outer areas of the region, particularly in the adjacent inner ring37. The Asian Highway stretches from Singapore to Vientiane.38. Ibid.39. NESDB, Area #1 (1991), Ibid.115FIGURE 4.9TRIP DEMAND INCREASE40 - IIIIIIP!I(‘iae,,,u1909Peih.. th*fll*. •.ah P.rakPretPeep bu1 TIloIlq -qo tb.h tiLet $1r.a1mph. II.mnqk•.njk.k itn...t filet.en PurlThin Thl.nPit PliltIli(IEZ)2QQ IlhI.n5 lb.nlLi. u.k p.Pet I,.%Iinq IJk-?—eltl,eputtlet Pbe..‘SIsnpk,p N. Ii epiSenpk.k V.1Th..l ch.v..pPrath. •,,en Purlimp Thu. This,Set PurinaiS iIi.SSource: JICA (1990b).116FIGURE 4.10TRAFFIC VöLUME:ASIAN HGI-IWAY(Numbers In boxes Indicate 1.000sjer day)N/‘ 20.2/ AlT Cainpu/Ran?sit23.1Astan HIhwavSource: Asian Highway Route Map. 5th Edition, 1988FIGURE 4.11 117FIGURE1989 1997 2001INCREASING DEMAND FORROAD SPACEccQQ.. 4OOOCXX) :.OOOO88888844’.TIlE INCREASE IN TRAFFICIN GREATER BANGKOKTUE EXPLOSION INCAR I MOTORCVCL.EOWNERShIP(thousands of vehIcles)400260I1989 1991 2001INNER BANGKOK(exci. Central Area)I390270190II1989 1997 2001CENTRAL AREAL_1989 1991 2001OUTER BANGKOK(exci. Inner Bangkok)340L11989 1997 20013ANGKOK REGION(excl. Bangkok)4603702201989 1997 2001TRIPSPER DAY(miflions)MORNINGPEAK hOURTRAFFIC(thousand PCUs)Source: NESDB 7th Plan (1991)118changwats, where in the 12 year period, the forecasted growth will be 196 per cent, or 16 per cent perannum.This is precisely the area where an explosion of wage labor in the industrial sector is expected to occur in thecoming decade. However, a paradox of success is the ‘motorization’ of society, and nowhere is this moreapparent than in the EBMR. The environmental consequences are severe, and the pollution generated fromthis ‘measure of success’ is critical. People in the region will not give up their cars no matter how severe thejams become.This chapter has shown that the EBMR, and particularly the BMR, have undergone change andrestructuring. Data clearly point to an ‘urbanized’ pattern of development where agriculture is rapidly beingsupplanted by industry and service sector activities. The region (EBMR) has usurped the city (BMA) as alarger node of influence and production. This chapter complements the theoretical perspectives reviewed inChapter 2 by providing the empirical evidence of a RBU. The following chapter sketches the process of landuse change and describes the forms and functions found on the landscape.119PART ifiREVOLUTION IN THE OUTER FRINGE LANDSCAPE: 1986-1991CHAPTER FIVE:LAND USE AND LAND PRICES:This chapter moves beyond the accessible and quantifiable data on changes in the EBMR. It examines theprocess of land use metamorphose in terms of factors of change and land values. Land pricing mechanismsand its spatial distribution and variance are also central to this chapter.Growing far beyond the city limits, the new forms of land use and socio-economic reorganization in theEBMR constitute revolutionary change and a consequent necessity to shed old ideas and perceptions acquiredfrom former urban-rural orthodox thinldng. Referring to the Megalopolis in the Northeastern U.S. seaboard,more then three decades ago, Gottmann wrote: “The major ‘revolution’ takes place in our understanding ofhow society is organized, how land is occupied, and how the various professions actually function.”1Therevolution’ this dissertation addresses, is twofold; first, as mentioned above, it is a revolution in theoreticalinterpretation and comprehension of what urbanization and urban regions are. Second, there is anunmistakable revolution in land use resulting from the symbiosis of rural and urban. The two are irrefutablylinked. This chapter will examine the second of the two ‘revolutions’ (land use), leaving the more theoreticalof the two for Chapter 10 (New Models: Theoretical Refinement of Settlement and Urban Geographies).1. Gottmann (1961), op.cit. pg.216.120Thailand’s rapidly changing society, uprooted by the unbinding power of technology is altering its landscapesocially, economically, and spatially. Bangkok and its extended environs have exploded into a boundlessurban region of contiguous settlement invariably characterized by a rich mix of land use. It is this ‘land use’which will be the focus of Chapters 6 and 7.5.1 Land Prices:The rising cost of land in Bangkok city is a major contribution to the growth of non-agricultural activity onthe periphery of the EBMR. A recent world wide survey of the cost of inner city office rents in major urbancenters revealed that Bangkok’s office space ranks as the 23rd most expensive. Within the Asia-Pacificregion, it is in the seventh position.2The steep prices cause finance and commercial enterprises, which aremostly comprised of offices, to conglomerate in skyscrapers in the overpriced city center, forcing spatiallyexpansive, less capital intensive tertiary sector activities, manufcturing, and housing to the outer city. Theprohibitive costs of central city ‘space’, combined with the economic boom, according to Chulalongkornurban planner Khwa.nsuang Atibodhi, are precisely the causes of dispersed urbanization that “has alreadyeaten into much of the surrounding provinces.”3Inner city office rents are only a small part of the bigger picture. The fact is that land prices in Thailand havegenerally soared. In Bangkok’s metro district for example, from 1977 until the mid 1980s land prices2. The survey conducted by Colliers International with cooperation and assistance from Coffiers Jardine Thailand Ltd.established Bangkok’s office space cost at Baht65O (US$26) per square foot. Tokyo’s exorbitant US$216 per squarefoot was (again) ranked first. The cheapest city to rent office space from was Memphis (US$12 per square foot). Thesurvey results were reported in The Nation, August 30, 1991.3. For more of Acharn Khwansuang’s precepts of Bangkok’s growth, see THE BANGKOK POST (1991), September16, A Life Worth Living? Examining the State of Modern Bangkok”, Pongpet Mekloy.121increased 50 per cent per annum, and between 1987 and 1990 the increase was in the order of 3.75 times. In1987, land costs accounted for approximately one-quarter of total building costs, and rose to nearly one halfin 1990. Rising land prices combined with transportation and communication conveniences have driven allkinds of urban land users to the outer city.A recent study compared Bangkok residential land prices to those in Karachi and Jakarta. Not only doBangkok’s land price values far exceed those in the other two Asian metropolises, but the differences,according to the authors (PADCO, 1990) are “startling”. The study notes, that since the mid 1980s landprices have leaped significantly, bypassing even the rapid GDP per capita growth rate. The study reports, “..the 1990 pattern of residential land prices in Bangkok is far different than that found in 1986.Land price increases will continue through the 1990s creating an active and volatile land market in theextended urban areas. A handful of large infrastructure developments in the eastern BMA, Eastern Seaboard,Pathum Thani, and Samut Prakarn will further bolster a demand for land, making it likely that prices willcontinue to rise. The nature of the demand seems to indicate an emphasis on large industrial projects, andexpensive residential development, again pointing to escalating prices. Furthermore, foreign investors arereacting to the government’s recent financial and investment liberalization policies forcing land demand andprices to increase further.4. For a discussion on rising land costs see United Nations (1990) CASE STUDIES IN METROPOLITAN FRINGEDEVELOPMENT, ESCAP 593. and NESDB (1991) National Urban Development Policy Framework, Vol.1 and 2,DEVELOPMENT COORDINATION BETWEEN BANGKOK AND ITS SUBURBS, NESDB, TDRI.5. The ‘difference’ between 1986 and 1990 is an important one, as the real estate landscape changed dramaticallyduring those years. The pace of change will be discussed later. The study found that in Jakarta and Karachi, 9 and 13per cent respectively of GDP per capita would be required to purchase one square meter of residential land 10kilometres from the city center. In Bangkok, a similarly positioned piece of land would amount to 29 percent of GDPper capita, reflecting a much higher land to GDP ratio. See Planning and Development Collaborative International(PADCO) (1990) Washington D.C. and Land Institute Foundation (LIF-Bangkok) BANGKOK LAND AND HOUSINGMARKET, A report prepared for the NESDB, Royal Thai Government, and Regional Housing and Urban DevelopmentOffice for Asia, Bangkok.122A sure indication of soaring land values is the rapid increase in the number of land transfers. In 1987 thegovernment collected BahtS500 million from land transaction fees. The estimated earnings in 1990 wereBaht22,000 million, or a 300 per cent increase in only three years. 6To provide further empirical evidence of these general trends, land values for 180 different locations in theEBMR were obtained from a survey conducted by Japan International Cooperation Agency. They weredivided into four groups:1. roadside agriculture2. off road agriculture3. roadside non-agriculture4. off road non-agricultureDistances of the sites ranged from 10-125 kilometres from Bangkok city centre (which are shown in Figures5. la - 5. id). The price ranges are broad; from BahtlO million per rai at Baan Kiong Ta Chain (inNonthaburi) to only Baht2,000 per rai. The differences between roadside and off-road are quite pronounced,yet for all four of the graphs, which are aggregate groupings, the average land price curves are fairly smoothand unilinear. Actual land value curves shown in Appendix V are erratic and variable, but still point to aninverse correlation between land price and distance from the city centre. The emergence of nodes of unevenland values at varying distance from the centre of Bangkok reflect the development of nodes of industry,residential or recreation land use. The chaotic tapestry of land development leads to an erratic distance decayfrom the centre. An important message here is that as land values rise the incentive to shift the land to adifferent function rises. Moreover, theoretically we would expact that, as time passes, and infrastructure is6. Although these amounts are for the whole Kingdom, three-quarters or more of it is in the EBMR. See BANGKOKPOST. (1990) July 21 • “Increase in Land Prices to Continue for 3 Years”AverageLandPricesarea1,200-.1,000-800-600-400-200 0-Average0-20LandPriceinBaht(000s)21-4041-60Distance61-8081-100101-120121-140fromBMA(kms.,)t’J wAgricultural-roadsideaIIISIIAverageLandPricesAgriculturalarea-offroadAverageLandPriceinBaht(000s)FigureSib350300250200150100 50 00-2021-4041-6061-8081-100101-120121-140DistancefromBMA(kms.)HIIIpFigure5.lcAverageNon-agriculturalLandPricesarea-roadside4,0003,5003,0002,5002,0001,5001,000500 0AverageLandPriceinBaht(000s)21-4041-6061-8081-100101-120121-140DistancefromBMA(kms.)10-20AverageLandPrices1,4001,2001,000800600400200AverageLandPriceinBaht(000s)area0DistancefromBMA(kms.)HNon-agricultural-offroad0-2021-4041-6061-8087-100101-120121-140127extended to the outer city, an increasing proportion of the land becomes roadside-non-agricultural, and theland use metamorphose escalates. All raw data in which the analysis is based is reported in Appendix V.7Another salient characteristic of the EBMR land market is the considerably higher increase of land values inthe outer city. This differentiation holds true for both serviced and unserviced piots. Table 5.1, in constant1990 prices, demonstrates that the compound increase of land values is nearly four times higher in the urbanfringe (over 30 kilometres from the core) than in the center. Between 1988 and 1990, a serviced wa/i of landin the urban core increased in value by 8.2 per cent.8 At the urban fringe a wa/i of land over the same twoyear period increased in value over 36 per cent. The differential costs between city and outer city is a criticalTABLE 5.1PRICE TRENDS FOR SERVICED AND UNSERVICED RESIDENTIAL PLOTS,1988,1989, 1990 BY DISTANCE FROM CITY CENTRE, IN CONSTANT 1990PRICES (DART PER SQUARE WAR)6-10 32,209 37,201 43,898 16.7 15,712 17,038 20,393 13.911-20 14,633 17,465 21,684 21.7 5,146 6,634 9,41931.921-30 9,553 13,083 15,356 26.8 3,123 4,235 5,920377OVER 30 4,081 5,464 7,582 36.3 1,553 2,103 3,342 46.7OVERALL 23,34 21,566 4,I2 20.9 4,898 5,823 31.0Source: PADCO (1990), pg.74.7. Appendix V shows the land value data for each of the four situations, accompanied with graphs depicting actual landvalues (as opposed to average) and distance from BMA-CBD. The data was obtained from JICA (1990b).8. One wah = four square metres; 400 wah = 1 rat128point. This trend is typical of most rural areas under an urban assault. The higher income that willpotentially be realized from urban use triggers the hefty jump in value.9Au the thta and figures are not able to depict the dynamic nature of the skyrocketing land prices. Eachampoe and even tambon has undergone dramatic land value increases. Landowners, peasants, tenants, andeven factory workers all have a story to tell concerning a parcel of land which has astronomically risen invalue. Newspapers are full of anecdotal reports of foreign land grabbing and near-ludicrous land inflationcases, and district officials are bewildered and frustrated by runaway land prices in the outer city. Forexample, one woman working at a hobby farm along Ram Intra Road near Safari World in the eastern BMAecstatically claimed that the land along the road is now worth no less then Bahtl6 million per rai. Acartographer in the Pathum Thani land office maintained that the property on which his office sits was valuedat BahtlOO,000 per rai in 1987; in 1991, the price of the same land with no additional infrastructure wasgreater then Bahtl million. He also claimed that a new road from Bangkok to the Northeast was planned inthe same vicinity. The precise location is secret, for if disclosed, land prices would shoot up 300 per centcausing a scramble of buying and selling. An industrial estate manager in Bang Plee, Samut Pralcarn reportedthat land adjacent to the estate has increased in value to Balit 4million (in 1991) from Baht45O,000 in 1984.A landowning farmer-village headman, along a canal in off-road Pathum Thani boasted he has been offeredBaht62,500,000 for his 50 rai. A resident along Bangna-Trad Highway in Samut Prakran recalled that only adecade past, land along the highway was Baht 40,000 per rai. With the recent development of SamutPralcarn, Chonburi, and the ESB, in 1992 nowhere along the road is the land less then Bahtl million perrai.1°9. See PADCO (1990), op.cit, pg.72. Dowall, participating in the PADCO study showed similar land pricing data foran earlier time, suggesting a trend that is not unprecedented. Between 1977 and 1986 land prices increased 4.3 per centper annum at a distance of 20 kilometres from the CBD. At 10 kilometres, land values increased only at a rate of 1.8per cent per annum. It also suggests that extra road infrastructure contributes to a rise in land value. Dowall, David(1989) “Bangkok: A Profile of an Efficiently Performing Housing Market”, URBAN STUDIES, vol. 26, pg.336,pg.327-339.10. These figures were never verified, but it is apparent a few values were embellished. In land sales, perception of thevalue of land is more important than market value assigned by governmental authorities or market mechanisms.129The next section will address and describe the process of land change from agriculture to non-agricultureuses. At this point though, it is worth mentioning that competition between urban land uses and agriculturalinterests have contributed significantly to the soaring land prices. As illustrated, prices of Bahtl-5 millionper rai are routine, yet even a conservatively high estimate of the actual value of agricultural land is nogreater then Baht6O-70,000 per rai.1 From a landowner’ s point of view, selling is much more economicallyattractive and viable then renting out or cultivating by himlherself. For tenant farmers, the incentive forabandoning agriculture is even more pronounced. Not only is there an absence of a social attachment to theland, but tenant farmers can earn nearly twice as much from industrial or service sector work than fromfarming.12The aberrant and inflated land values in the outer city has caused a precarious speculative bubble. The rise ininvestment real estate’ and the numerous tracts of idle land suggests developers are earning considerableprofits from land transfers. Korff (1986) is one of many observers who has argued that low and middle classconsumers are invariably squeezed out of the housing market due to land speculation. 13 Land hoarding hasbeen prevalent in this region. This is problematic due to: i) as agricultural villages are engulfed by industrialdevelopment, the people are forced to opt for alternative occupations and housing, leading to a changinglifestyle and altered social patterns, ii) as agricultural land is replaced by scattered settlements, golf courses,and factories, some landless people have been forced to encroach on forests causing environmental problems,and iii) there are numerous reports of smaitholders who have sold their land for millions of Baht, only toNotwithstanding, it is a very controversial subject. As stated in the PADCO report, “In Bangkok the topic of landprices is like the weather: everyone talks about it.” op.cit pg.59. See Appendix II (April 8, May 22, 1991).11. Actual value refers to profit bearing productivity, negating land as speculative investment.12. Appendix II (May 22, 23, August 17, 1991).13. Korif (1986), ibid, pg.51., Also see Angel, Shlomo and Sureeporn Chuated (1990), “The Down-Market Trend inHousing Production in Bangkok, 1980-87”, THIRD WORLD PLANNING REVIEW, vol.12, no.11, pg.5, pg.1-20.130squander it quickly and irresponsibly, culminating in poverty, landlessness and unemploymenL14Thissection has shown how rising land prices have reduced the incentives for rice cultivation. Land speculation isa growing trend in the EBMR contributing to land use change and the decentralization of non-agriculturalactivities.5.2 Land Use Metamorphose:Geographers have long been concerned with spatial restructuring of the forms and functions on thelandscape; perhaps none is more evident than the expansion of metropolitan regions. The nature and extentof urban growth has been the subject of much writing and research. One helpful essay, written by Gottmann,21 years after he published “Megalopolis”, is worth examining.15Writing theoretically, and universally (asopposed to dealing strictly with highly developed societies), Gottmann contends that “the deepmetamorphosis of the metropolis” is explained by two agents; human and geographical.The “human problem” reflects an interplay of various factors. Technology has given choices never beforeimagined to many people in both urban and rural areas. People have been unlocked from their limited space,leading to expanded circulation and migration. A proliferating urban population, escalating freedom, andbroadened forms of commerce demanded additional city space, opening up adjacent urban peripheral lands.14. This sad and unfortunate experience is occurring regularly, with no recourse to prevent it being repeated. TheDistrict Officer of Ainpoe Lam Luk Ka in Pathum Thani described this event as one of the three main problemseffecting people in his district. As a related side note one of the other problems he mentioned was the increasingproportion of unused (speculative) land hoarding. See Appendix II (interview on April 22, 1991).15. Gottmann, Jean (1982), ‘The Metamorphosis of the Modern Metropolis” EKISTICS, Jan-Feb. This is a particularlyuseful piece to examine because much of the theoretical foundation of the current dissertation is adopted from Gottmansseminal study, ‘Megalopolis”. This later article follows a similar theoretical line.131The “geographical problem” that Gottmaun describes is largely connected to space time collapse (seeprevious chapter). Contemporary transportation and communication technologies have led to substantialincreases in flows of traffic and migration. Place of work and residence are not confined to close proximityany more, and understandably residence and commerce scatter. Land speculation has contributed to an evengreater expansive sprawl.The stressful land requirements of the metamorphosis is the focus of this section. Gottman’s contention iscredible for Thailand, but the process has been enhanced and precipitated by an interplay of distinctivegeographical and political forces.As noted earlier, metropolitan Bangkok was developed on an alluvial coastal plain surrounded by fertileagricultural lands. The adjacent areas have always been characterized by the highest population densities inthe Kingdom. In this sense, it is hardly surprising that land use change in the outer city was a continuous andvigorous process since the early years of this century. Furthermore, the seasonal nature of paddy contributedto a flourishing variety of non-agricultural activities, increasing the propensity for land metamorphosis.An even more important factor provoking a gradual, but persistent land use shift, is the political decisionmaking that has surrounded development expenditures. Since the Bowring Treaty of 1855, the administrativeregime never invested equitably in agriculture, and particularly after the end of World War II, aid fundingand local development schemes were orientated principally towards insurgency problems. There has been abias in favour of the manufacturing sector manifested in high rates of protection for industrial activityconcurrent with heavy agricultural export taxes. In sum, net capital transfers flowed from rural rice lands tourban Bangkok. Over the decades since the war, there were no respectable increases in real per capita incomein the agricultural sector. This negligence acted to keep the cost of food low and in no small way tosubsidize urban and industrial land uses.’616. For an interesting discussion of Thai under’development policy see Feeny (1979), op.cit. Of particular relevance inthe Feeny article is how investments to increase agricultural productivity occurred only when the elite were to benefit.Irrigation expenditure for example, proven as an effective investment to increase yields occurred only seldom. Roadsand railways were the favoured infrastructural investments as it was more apt to support manufacturing and infiltratecommunist outposts. For a thorough treatment of Thailand’s development policy prior to WWII see his (unpublished)132Figure 3.5 illustrates the expansive and rapid spatial swell of Bangkok since the turn of the century.Specifically, note the rapid growth that occurred since 1971. The agricultural lands were overrun byextending urbanization, the corridors were lengthened and thickened, development increased significantlyaway from the Chao Phraya River, Pathum Thani to the north and Samut Prakarn to the south became mostlyurbanized, and undeveloped ‘blocks’ emerged as conspicuous barren blotches on the urban landscape.Despite the dramatic visual impact of Figure 3.5, the average annual conversion rate in the BMR since 1971(until 1990) has been a very modest one per cent. 17 However, when considering the previous few years,these moderate conversion rates have dissipated, and replaced by considerably higher figures for thechangwats of Pathum Thani, Samut Prakarn, and Nonthaburi. The steep increases correspond with rapidpopulation growth and recent increases in the growth rate of the economy.It is not only relevant to note conversion rates of agricultural land to non-agricultural uses in the BMR, but itis equally important to examine land use change within the agricultural sector. A cropping pattern hasappeared suggesting a radical break from the traditional Central Plain rice bowl landscape where 90 per centor more of land cover had been paddy. Figure 5.2 highlights these dramatic changes and will be discussedlater in this chapter. As seen in Table 5.2, between 1981 and 1988, paddy land decreased almost 18 per cent,representing (in 1988) only 37 per cent of total land and 55 per cent of total agricultural land. Substantialincreases for land cover in vegetables and flowers (29 per cent), grasslands (211,051 per cent), and idlelands (1,360 per cent) are apparent. These agcul’ land uses are in fact more akin to an ‘urban’landscape then rural. This region traditionally was based largely on a monoculture cropping system ofPhd dissertation: Feeny, David (1976) TECHNICAL AND INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE IN THAI AGRICULTURE,1880-1940, University of Wisconsm @ Madison. For more information on the injurious and adverse rural taxingpremiums in Thailand see Lam, N. (1977), op.cit.17. It should be noted that one of the five BMR provinces, Nonthaburi, has experienced a higher conversion rate thenthe others over the same time period (1.57 per cent).133FIGURE 5.2BMR LAND CONVERSION RATES: 1974-1984Convecson SQ Kmo to .2.2to .7.7 to 1.01.8 to 9.5No Oatm• SCALEa---- 20KMSource Dowall (1989). pg.333134TABLE 5.2AGRICULTURAL LAN]) USE IN THE BMR FOR SELECTEDYEARSJTOTAL 4,848,841 .8,841 4,848,841 ILANDTOTAL 3,004,221 I 12,878,968 12,813,379 I 13,267,544 I I •‘‘ IAGRI. LANDAVG. FARM I 23.93 24.09 23.60 26.75 I 11.75 7SIZENUMBER 125,518 I 119,517 I I 119,224 122,168 I I -2.67 IOF FARMSHOUSING I 82,807 I I 84,536 96,144 I 90,635 I 9.45 IAREAPADDY 12,163,463 12,048,228 11,899,669 I 1,779,513 -17.75LANDFIELD I 296,165 I 302,515 1 I 184,726 I -37.63CROPSFRUiT & j 300,394 1 I 303,250 409775 1 F 478,136 -59.17 ITREE CROPVEGS. & 1 59,188 f 74,979 I 90,940 1 76,523 I 29.29FLOWERSGRASS 200 3,934 I I 3,385 I 422,301 211,050.50LANDI 100,367 f 44,199 51,093 lE 211,805 [ 111.03 -11,844,620 111,969,873 112,035,462 I 1,581,297 -14.28Note: All land values in rai.Source: Adapted from Barasopit Mekivachai et al (1990), pg.44, after Agricultural Economics Office ofStatistics, 1989.OThERLANDUNCLASSIFIED LAND135paddy. The changes within the agricultural sector are consistent with the central theme of this chapter, landuse conversion.Disaggregating the data from the BMR (Table 5.2) into the individual changwats reveals some dramatictrends. To the west of Bangkok, Nakhon Pathom has undergone a substantial restructuring of its croppingpattern. In 1981, 56 per cent of total agricultural land cover was taken up by paddy, and seven years later,this figure had dropped to 39 per cent. The main point is that the area consumed by fruit and orchard crops,grass lands, and idle lands under speculation, together add up to slightly more land cover (40 per cent) thanpaddy in 1988. In 1981, the three combined represented less then 1 per cent of the total agricultural land.Although Nakhon Pathom has not been recognized for high land conversion rates or industrial development,its agricultural land cover has undergone significant changes suggesting a commercialization process with areduced role from traditional paddy.Pathum Thani, formally, a steadfast rice bowl province, and recently an important industrial locus of theEBMR, offers another vital example of land use change within the agricultural sector. Between 1981 and1988, paddy land has decreased by 25 per cent while orchard crops have increased by 239 per cent. In 1981orchards covered one-sixteenth of the land area that rice did; by 1988, the ratio was one-third. Grass and idlelands have seen remarkable increases as well, again endorsing the trend towards the speculative capitalizationof the landscape. 18Land conversion from agricultural land use to non-agricultural in many ways is much more noticeable thancropping pattern changes, and certainly more talked about in the EBMR. The causes of conversion toindustrial or residential land use from agricultural are not altogether distinct from factors that motivatecropping pattern changes. Land owners, in a free market economy, when offered choices respond to18. Data for the Nalthon Pathom and Pathum Tham examples are from the Department of Agriculture Statistical Report,(1990) Office of Agricultural Economics, and Barasopit Mekvichai et al (1990), URBANIZATION AND THEENVIRONMENT: MANAGING THE CONFLICT, Bangkok: TDRI Research Report #6 (1990 Year end conference).136economic incentives, and this often means converting land to alternative crops, or entirely different landuses. Despite a strong spiritual attachment to the land, many land owners when seeking options for thehighest potential return, are finding that selling is the obvious recourse.Although economic incentives are the overriding cause of land conversion, a number of related factors needto be considered. Throughout the world, and certainly Thailand is no exception, pollution is harmingfarmland and reducing potential productivity. Emissions from a growing number of automobiles andomnipresent factories have damaging effects on grain crops such as rice, fruit trees, and livestock.19Also,brackish toxic waste water from aquaculture (especially prawn farming) and golf courses contaminateagricultural lands in the fertile low lying drainage divides. There is no specific estimate of the amount ofagricultural land that has been converted to other uses due to various forms of ‘urban’ pollution, but farmers(and fishers) throughout the region complain vociferously about insufficient and ineffective environmentalprotection. As one report stated, “ is obvious that failure to require reasonable environmental controlsacts primarily as a subsidy to urban and industrial uses and as a penalty to agricultural uses.” 20Another factor that ‘subsidizes’ non-agricultural land use is the low property tax rates. Not only are ratesamong the lowest in Southeast Asia, but according to the Land Institute Foundation (LIF) of Thailand, asreported by Barasopit Mekvichai et al, only half of the assessed taxes are collected. Hence, landowners arenot fiscally discouraged from tying up large parcels of land unproductively, contributing to the speculativebubble encasing the region.2119. Studies indicate that carbon derived pollution not only affects the health of humans but also animals. Vegetation isalso harmed. The exact level of impact is not known, however an increasing number of studies mostly in the UnitedStates confirm the assertion. Data from the Food Control Division of the Thai Ministry of Health show harmful levels oflead, cadmium, and mercury are present in food marketed in the BMR. See Barasopit Melcvichai et al (1990), op.cit,pg.5 1.20. Ibid.21. Ibid. pg.52.137Although, mentioned earlier in this chapter, it is worth reiterating that the unprecedented growth of the Thaieconomy is a key factor in the land conversion process. Few countries have been able to save its most fertileagricultural land during expansive industrial development.22As inner city land and property prices becomeprohibitive, horizontal suburbanization is the obvious response. The land grab for industrial and residentialdevelopment has gone beyond the BMR, and outer ring changwats such as Chachoengsao, Saraburi, andAyutthaya are experiencing land conversion rates similar to BMR provinces in the mid 1980s. Landownersare faced with powerful incentives to sell, as the market price is at least 50 times higher then expectedrevenue from agricultural production.A contentious issue in the EBMR is distinguishing between urban and rural. As the landscape becomeshomogenized, and city and countryside bond, the differences are blurred. So it is difficult to identify preciseboundaries of the ‘urbanized’ area in the Bangkok region. For instance, does a modern housing or industrialestate that comes to dominate a small ampoe cause a shift of the area to ‘urban’? Is a small village in PathumThani where all economically active population work in non-agricultural activities considered ‘urban’? Andhow does one account for ribbon development?; how far off the main corridor are the adjacent landsconsidered ‘urban’? Notwithstanding, the National Housing Authority (NHA) and Asian Development Bank(ADB), in conjunction with PADCO, in a report entitled, “The Bangkok Land Management Study”attempted to track the “urbanized” area of the BMR, and its changing scope, based on land use. The studycontends that between 1974 and 1984, on average 32 square kilometres of land were converted to urban useeach year in the BMR, bringing total urban land area up to 1304 square kilometres from 984. The total areaof the BMR is slightly greater then 7600 square kilometres. The study projected that by the year 2000, thetotal urban area of the BMR would rise to 1816 square kilometres, nearly twice the 1974 figure.22. Japan has enacted legislation to preserve farming land, but in the process has spuriously driven land prices up atexorbitant inflationary levels. Barasopit Mekvichai reports that this inflation has also driven the price of Japanese riceup to seven times the world market level. See Barasopit Mekvichai, pg.53.23. Japan International Cooperation Agency (1990) UPPER CENTRAL REGION STUDY, Sector Report, vol.1:Spatial Framework and Network for Development24. PADCO (1987) BANGKOK LAND MANAGEMENT STUDY, Vol.1, Final Report, in conjunction with ADB andNHA.138In the 10 years between 1974 and 1984, 42 per cent of the total land conversion occurred in a thin zone thatrings the BMA, 11 to 20 kilometres from the central business district. The areas beyond 20 kilometresaccounted for 46 per cent of the total converted land. Figure 5.2 illustrates land conversion rates for theBMR between 1974 and 1984. The areas with noticeably high rates of land use change are the eastern BMA,Pathum Thani and Samut Prakran. The change along the “Northern Corridor” of Pathum Thani, just east ofthe Chao Phraya River is particularly noticeable. This area will be the subject of a case study later in thischapter. Since 1984, there are sufficient reasons to believe conversion in the ‘outer’ zone (beyond 20kilometres) has accounted for more then half of the total converted land in the BMR, shifting the‘conversion’ center of gravity at least 10 kilometres outward.25It is difficult to distinguish between ‘urban’ and non-urban’ in this region. The Bangkok Land ManagementStudy offers an effective attempt at pulling urban and rural apart (for quantitative convenience), but the trueessence of this region, from a settlement perspective should only be seen through the blurring coalescence ofrural and urban. Studies dealing with rural-urban differences are useful only to gauge land use conversion,and should not be considered as instruments for explaining and defining settlement systems as opposed tosettlement processes.One of the significant findings of the Bangkok Land Management Study was that roughly 3340 per cent ofthe total land conversion was directly attributable to residential development, both formal and informal.Although formal large scale housing estate development devours sizable tracts of land, smaller, morefrequent informal housing activities are just as responsible for the land conversion process. Landowners inthe outer city frequently demarcate their land into numerous small plots and rent or sell their land to newly25. Ibid, pg. 18. Since the Bangkok Land Management Study, rapid industrial and residential expansion in thechangwals of Pathum Thani and Samut Prakarn have converted enormous tracts of land from agricultural to nonagricultural uses. Suggesting that conversion of lands further then 20 kilometres from the CBD represents more then 50per cent of total conversion would be a fairly safe presumption. Furthermore, as already mentioned land conversion isalready becoming noticeable in outer ring changwats.139arrived migrants, or families from Bangkok who have been evicted from a slum settlement, or have movedoutwards for employment. The plots often lack proper drainage, water supply, electricity, and surely evadegovernment’s residential development standards. Angel and Pornchokchai believe that 10-15 thousandinformally established plots are sold each year.26 Many are informally subdivided and are akin to slumsettlements. Housing will be dealt with specifically in Chapter 7.An example of an informal land use shift elucidates the conversion process. Gaed Pairoh, in Samut Prakarn,is a typical fringe industrial zone, and former fish pond area that was subject to land use change. In 1980,the landowner began renting out his land, probably because it was spoiled by an aquaculture waste product.Although the land was undeveloped, with poor accessibility, within three months there were 112 individualplots covering the 20 rai. The landowner provided electricity and water, but not drainage. There was aBaht5500 entry fee, and monthly rents were approximately BahtlSO.27 Small scale residential projects suchas this, are common throughout the area, enhancing the land conversion process, and at the same timegradually filling the gap in the low income housing market. Furthermore, the individual plots eventuallybecome fully serviced, and often shift from tenancy to ownership situations. Considering the highlycapitalized speculative bubble surrounding residential development, the smaller informal route may be aviable alternative when the formal sector is not preempting the stock of accessible land.Figure 5.3 demonstrates the pressures operating simultaneously to induce outer city land use metamorphose.It not only stands as a summary of this chapter, but illustrates the linkages between the various factors actingon the outer city landscape. For example, the low tax rate leads to land speculation, which in turn,contributes to a decline in rice farming. Yet, at the same time, both the low tax rate and land speculation,26. Angel, Shlomo and Sopon Pornchokchai (1987) “The Informal Land Subdivision Market in Bangkok” inBANGKOK LAND MANAGEMENT STUDY, PADCO in conjunction with NHA & ADB.27. Informal developers such as this one in Gaed Pairoh make use of a loophole in the land subdivision regulationswhich stipulates that 10 or more plots in a single subdivision are subject to official standards. By subdividing the landinto parcels of nine plots at a time, developers simply sidestep the regulations. For additional case studies of informalresidential land subdivisions see Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) (1990) CASESTUDIES ON METROPOLITAN FRINGE DEVELOPMENT, WITH FOCUS ON INFORMAL SETI’LEMENTS.140independently lead to a decrease in land under paddy. Finally, it is useful to view this Figure jointly withFigures 3.6 and 4.8 showing the historical preconditions to appreciate the synergic conditions of outer citychange.Figure 5.3 Factors Operating in Outer CityLand Use Metamorphose141CHAPTER SIX:THE NEW LANDSCAPE I: INDUSTRY AND AGRICULTUREThis chapter is divided into two parts; (i) industry, (ii) agriculture. The purpose of the chapter is to showthat both industry and agriculture have separately undergone a metamorphose in terms of production, labour,and even ownership. By combining this chapter with housing and recreation (Chapter 7) the resulting‘mixing pot’ depicts the NEW landscape of the EBMR.6.1 INDUSTRY6.1.1 Land use:Throughout Asia and abroad, Thailand has been recognized as an ‘emerging NIC’ (Newly IndustrializingCountry), or ‘the next tiger’. The International Monetrary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (IBRD) haverecently commended Thailand for its open and free export orientated economy, and hinted that Thailand is a‘model’ for Third World development.1Neo-classical economists point to Thailand as a modern dayvalidation of the archaic linear stages-of-growth model. As the accolades pour in, this achievement (anddevelopment?) is fueled by an industrial growth process. The growth of the industrial sector in Thailand hasbeen concentrated almost exclusively in the EBMR.1. THE NATION (1991) October 12, “World Bank Makes the Poorer Become Poorer”.142The increase of industrialization in the EBMR and in Thailand is revealed best through the restructuring ofmerchandise exports. In 1960, a full 98 per cent of all exported products were traditional primary sectorcommodities (rice, minerals, rubber, etc..), yet in 1987, this sector accounted for only 26 percent of allexports, and in 1991, a mere 16 percent. This data is also reflected in the changing distribution of GDP since1960 (see Table 6.1).FIGURE 6.1PER CENTAGE DISTRIBUTION OF GROSS DOMESTICPRODUCT IN THAILAND (1980-1990):• :MANUFACTURING 21.7 20.7 23.0 24.2 25.0AGRICULTURE 20.6 20.0 17.0 15.9 14.9Source: Bank of Thailand (1990) Monthly Reports, March , after Daniere (1991).Even in recent years there has been a dramatic rise in industrial activity as reflected in the number andgrowth rate of registered factories. Between 1987 and 1989, in eight EBMR provinces, the number offactories rose from 6,312 to 7,867, nearly a 25 per cent increase (see Table 6.2). This translates into morethan two new factories per day in these 8 provinces. Also evident is the decreasing’ growth of BMA’sindustrial role; between 1987 and 1989 it only increased at a rate parallel to the whole Kingdom.In a few of the EBMR provinces, the total number of employees per factory is very high. For instance, inPathum Thani (1989), nearly a third of the 645 factories have more than 50 employees, and 34 have over500. Similarly, in Samut Prakarn, 77 factories have more then 500 workers, and one quarter of the totalhave more the 50. In Bangkok however, this certainly is not the case; of nearly 19,000 factories in 1989, 95143TABLE 6.2NUMBER OF FACTORIES IN 8 EBMR CIIANGWATS (1987 and1989)NAKHON 619 761 22.9FATHOMNONTH- 588 704 19.7ABIiRIPATRUM 456 645 41.1TRAMSAMUT 2348 2955 26.8PRAKARNSAMUT 698 886 25.8SAKHONAYUTTRAYA 272 344 26.5CHACH- 298 383 28.5OENGSAOCHONBURI 1033 1189 15.1::Z:*t;6BANGKOK 16316 18977 16.3(DMA)ISource: YOngUth ChaIamwong (1990), pg.52.144per cent had fewer then 50 employees and 64 per cent had 9 or less. Table 6.3 illustrates factory size data forthe BMR, 1989.2A study by TDRI projected total employment by region to the year 2000. The highest rate of growth for thedecade of 1990 to year 2000, in the country, at 35 per cent, is in the five inner ring provinces of the EBMR(Table 6.4). Almost all of this growth will occur in the manufacturing and service sectors. Agriculturalemployment will increase by a nominal 12 per cent, mostly in agribusiness. By disaggregating the regionaldata, it is hardly surprising that the provinces with the highest rate of total employment growth are in order:Nonthaburi, Samut Pralcarn, Pathum Thani, Krabi, Chonburi, and Chachoengsao; except Krabi; all are partof the EBMR.3It is worth noting that during the short reign (1991-1992) of Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun’s caretakeradministration, unprecedented policy changes were instituted. Dr. Sippanondha Ketudat, appointed asMinister of Industry, initiated an overhauling of the bureaucratic and administrative system. He presentedpolicies ushering in new levels of flexibility and ease of entry for both local and offshore private investors(see Plate 6.1). Further, industrial protectionist policies were dismantled to encourage fiercer competition. Inseveral industries, such as concrete and steel, the Minister announced an easing of controls and restrictions.4Other industries were deshackled from regulations and the impediments of start up bureaucracy. This was thebeginning of Thai industry responding to the opening of investment opportunities in Russia and Eastern2. The largest factories are textile producers. In 1989, there were 53 textile factories with over 500 employees, 21 inSamut Prakarn alone. Much of this data comes from the Thailand Department of Industrial Works (1990) Ministry ofIndustry (in Thai language).3. Krabi’s dynamic employment growth is associated with the expected growth and development of the SouthernSeaboard in the mid 1990s. The projection methodology is based on a several step process; see NEDB (1991) Area #2.4. Rapid economic growth in Thailand has led to unprecedented consumption of steel, a product that is almost entirelyimported from South Korea and Japan. It is believed that local supplies are now imperative. As a result several largescale steel foundry projects are being promoted including a massive US$800 million Thai- Italian joint venture.Although Thailand’s consumption is moderate in relative terms (60 kg per head, compared to 500 kg. per head in SouthKorea, based on 1988 data), projected demand will nearly double between 1990 and 2000. See “Steel is Hot” (1991)FEER, May 30, (cover story).145TABLE 6.3FACTORY SIZE IN BMR, BY TOTAL EMPLOYEES (%), 1989Source: Dept. of Industrial Works (DIW) (1990).TABLE 6.4PROJECTION OF TOTAL EMPLOYMENT BY REGION (000s)IWO OOO %GROWTh5 PROVINCES 1533 2063 34.6CENTRAL 5526 6407 16.0NORTH 6805 7546 10.9NORTHEAST 12061 13580 12.6SOUTH 3910 4866 25.5BM.A 3184 3771 18.49Ofl)4 pjLESSBANGKOK(BMA)63.69 30.99 4.96 0.36 100NAKEION 46.11 36.30 15.37 2.22 100PATHOMNONTH- 65.58 26.92 6.85 0.65 100ABURIPATRUM 35.11 35.70 24.06 5.13 100TRAMSAMUT 46.07 32.18 20.85 0.91 100SAKUONSAMLJT 39.98 39.98 22.44 2.60 100PRAKARNSource: Adapted from NESDB (1991) Area #2‘%.IPLATE6.1FlexibleProductionAlongtheNorthernCorridorI.jl;t,E-147Europe. At the same time there was an effort to ‘ride the wave of industrialization in Thailand; stay with themomentum. The contribution these policies made to land use change in the EBMR was monumental.Despite new liberalization policies for industry, and the proliferation and rapid growth of the industrialsector, land requirements for expansion in the BMR are quite moderate. Two studies have projectedindustrial land use requirements in the BMR. The more conservative estimates by the Thailand DevelopmentResearch Institute (TDRI) indicate that nearly 72,000 rai will be needed by 1996, and approximately234,000 rat by 2011 (see Table 6.5). Although, this amounts to greater then 600 per cent increase in the 23year period, total allocation of land for the whole BMR will still be under 5 per cent in 2011.TABLE 6.5(EXPECTED)LAND USETOTAL BMR 4,848,841 4,848,841 4,848,841% OF TOTAL 07 1 48 4.82BMR(IAE) BYTDRISource: Adapted from Barasopit Mekivachai et al (1990), pg.83-84.The second assessment carried out by the Department of Land Development (DLD) reveals drastically higherland requirements, but again, even in 2011 less then 10 per cent of the region’s land area is expected to beneeded for industry (Table 6.6). Between 1988 and 2011, the growth rate is projected to be in the order of400 per cent.65. Industrial area was calculated using the MGI (Ministry of Industry) classification which parcels factories into 4groupings according to labour levels. A small factory with less then 9 workers would have a maximum area of 0.5 rat.A factory with 10-50 employees is up to 2 rat, 50-500 employees is less then 6 rat, and 500 or more workers is over 6rat. Normally, the maximum size for the 4 categories is used to prevent underestimation.6. The difference between TDRI and DLD values can be attributed to the number of factories, mostly small householdunits that are not registered with the MOl (Ministry of Industry).’ TDRI draws their information from MOI data tapes.ESTIMATE OF]fThTAL32,535 •“‘“I 233,711.1 618148TABLE 6.6ESTIMATE OF INDUSTRIAL LAM) USE IN BMR, (RAI) BY DLD____________4...(EXPECTED) LAND 97,000 140,000- 470,000- 395_____150,000 480,000TOTAL BMR 4,848,841 4,848,841 4,848.841% OF TOTAL 2.0 2.8-3.1 9.7-9.9Source: Adapted from Barasopit Mekivachai et al (1990), pg.83-84.Five important inferences can be made from the projections:(1) There is no indication that demand for new land for industry will slacken off.(2) There is no indication to believe that an increased efficiency of land use will occur over the next coupleof decades. Table 6.7 indicates that the increase of industrial GDP over the 23 year time period will be lessthen 600 per cent while TDRIs projection for land use requirement is 618 per cent. Therefore, any increasein production over the two decades will require an equivalent increase in land. However, it is reasonable toexpect that land use will become more prudent and efficient as land prices inevitably rise.TABLE 6.7INDUSTRIAL GDP (in Baht)[i8,203 605,5i’ 1 587Source: Adapted from Barasopit Mekivachai et al (1990), pg.83-86.(3) Land availability is not the real issue, however. Based on current industrial location, the real problem ishow to concentrate industrial activity in areas where their impact on the environment can be moderated.Present trends suggest there is an urgent need to control industrial pollution and waste disposal.149(4) The projections do not, nor are they able to indicate the extent to which future development will bedirected to the numerous industrial estates throughout the region. Well located industrial parks are viablesolutions to scattered industrial development, as infrastructure costs and provisions can be reducedsubstantially. Also, industrial pollution can be better monitored and confined.7(5) Finally, it would be prudent to keep in mind that the data in Table 6.5 and 6.6 (5-10 per cent of the totalBMR is projected to be under industrial land cover in 2011) do not reflect possible spin off land use. Forinstance, residential development associated with workers’ housing should be factored into the sum.Expansion of the transportation network and consequent land required for other infrastructure and servicescan also be expected, and thus, is functionally tied to industrial growth.6.1.2 Multinational Corporations:As seen in Chapter three, from the late 1950s, multinational corporations (MNCs), began to play a criticalrole in the region s industrial landscape. This has continued until the present, and contributes to Thailand’semerging-NIC’ status.Approximately 20 to 30 years ago Fordist industrialization arrived from western economies in newenvironments, where labour regulations and environmental standards were weak or nonexistent. Particularlyin Latin America and Southeast Asia, industrialization was coming to suppress customary economic7. In August 1991, Industry Minister Sippanondha issued a directive to relocate approximately 500 factories out ofSamut Prakarn province. The factories effected are responsible for excessive discharge and emission of pollutants, andare unable to meet accepted standards. The plan included a relocation scheme to industrial estates throughout theEBMR, where central waste treatment systems are in operation. As expected the plan has come against stringentopposition from the Samut Prakarn Chamber of Commerce. See BANGKOK POST, (1991) August 7, “Worry OverRelocation Plan”.150production and remove agriculture from its commercial pedestal of sectorial dominance. Within the NIDL(New Industrial Division of Labour), multinational corporations take advantage of prevailing qualitative andquantitative labour systems and cultural processes. At the same time manufacturing throughout the postcolonial world saw a steady automation of production processes, culminating in the growing use of unskilledlabour. In this regard, Thailand was an accommodating, complying and preferred destination for MNCsfrom many western economies, and particularly Japan.In a politically liberal environment such as Thailand, MNCs have wielded immense power on the landscape.The MNC production process is expansionary as it transforms space rapidly and irrevocably. With its largejob creation potential, the imperialistic tendencies have been appreciated and revered by the state andindustrial community. The EBMR may be the quintessential landscape to examine the benefits anddeficiencies of MNC production in Thailand.8The purpose of this discussion however, is not to put MNCson trial, but to offer a short overview of MNC operation in Thailand, and the EBMR in particular. Also,there will be an evaluative case study review of three MNCs operating in the study region.From Chapter 4, it can be seen that FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) data shows a sharp increase since about1980. There are three important observations to note by disaggregating the total investment. First,traditionally the largest proportion of FDI was for oil and gas exploration, with little impact on the EBMR.This emphasis shifted in the last decade to the industrial sector, where textiles and electrical appliances havereceived the largest share. In the last few years, electrical appliance investment has increased sharply. In1989 alone, 30 new electrical appliance factories were erected in the five inner ring provinces. In 1990-1991, the number of foreign semiconductor factories more than doubled from 6 to 13, including globalgiants such as AT&T, Hana Electronics, and Sony Semiconductor. Also included under electrical appliances8. For an insightful discussion of NIDL and MNCs there are two pieces in particular that are recommended: Kwok,R.Yin-Wang and Brenda Kit-Ying Au, (1986) “The Information Industry; Multinational Corporations and Urbanizationin the Pacific Asian Countries: A Research Agenda”, HABITAT INTERNATIONAL, vol.10, no.1/2, pg.115-131. andCohen, R.B. (1981) “The New International Division of Labour, Multinational Corporations and Urban Hierarchy”, inURBANIZATION AND URBAN PLANNING IN CAPITALIST SOCIETY, eds: M. Dear and A.J. Scott, Metheun,N.Y., pg.287-315.151are micro chip producers such as Toshiba and Sanyo who both set up large plants outside of Bangkok in1992. Large appliance manufacturers in the EBMR are producing a large supply of products such asmicrowave ovens, refrigerators, air conditioners, televisions, and stereo equipment. This sector (largeappliances) grew 31 per cent from 1990 to 1991. Disk drive production is also proliferating, mainly due toSeagate Technologies of California, which has opened two factories, making Thailand its largest productionbase. Seagate plants, located in both Pathum maui and Samut Prakarn have 16,000 employees.9The garment industry has become a giant magnet for MNC investment. Once a major import commodity forThailand, textile products, especially ready-made garments, have become the country’s prime export.Between 1975 and 1992 the total value of Thai ready-made garments for export rose from Bahtl million toalmost Baht8l million, and is currently, by value, the largest export product, ahead of rice, precious stonesand electrical appliances.’0The growth rate of this sector in the last decade has spatially concentrated itsoperations in the EBMR. Areas of Pathmn Thani and Samut Prakarn have obtained reputations as regionaltextile industrial centers. In particular there are many American and British textile firms along the NorthernCorridor in Pathum Thani.11Despite the unprecedented success of the garment industry, it is worth noting that investors, particularlyfrom South Korea, Hong Kong, and Japan have recently been opting for China, Vietnam, and Pakistan asproduction bases. Wages in all three countries are presently about half the Thai rate. Also, Thailandcurrently has the highest tax rates in the world for imported dyeing chemicals; for example, six times higher9. Seagate Technologies produce 22 per cent of the world wide hard-drive market share. BUSINESS WEEK, (1993)May 10, pg.28.10. Board of Investment (1993) Key Investment Indicators, Office of the Prime Minister.11. Large textile factories in Pathum Thani employ I 000s of women workers for relatively low wages with harshworking conditions (see Figure 8.2, km. 34). There are no published reports detailing the severe working environmentin outer city garment factories, however a handful of Master theses are worth mentioning. In particular see AmphanYosamorusuntarn (1986) WAGES AND WORKING CONDITIONS IN THE GARMENT INDUSTRY, Economics,MA, Thammasat University, and Kultap, Praneet (1983) A STUDY OF INDUSTRIAL INJURY: A CASE OF THETEXTILE INDUSTRY, Economics, MA Thamassat University. Both reports highlight the frequent evasion of labourlaws in the factories, especially when the benefits from noncompliance exceed the costs.152than Indonesia. Domestic production of these chemicals is monopolistic, doing nothing to ease the cost.Notwithstanding, local Thai garment manufacturing is expeditiously replacing the relocating offshoreinvestors.12A second observation is that chemical and petroleum products are also attracting large shares of FDI. Thissector is heavily represented by MNCs from other Asian countries, particularly Taiwan and India. In 1989,37 of such factories opened up in the five provinces, bringing the total to 547, of which 118 have greaterthan 50 employees, and three in each Pathuni Thani and Samut Prakarn have more than 500 employees. 13Finally, service industries and finance proportionally receive the largest share of foreign investment.Although the majority are locating in Bangkok, there is an increasing number of such firms setting up in (orat least impacting) the outer city. Within this grouping, it is worth noting that FDI for financial institutionshas experienced significant declines since the mid 1970s, due the maturation of indigenous banks andsecurities. The multinational tertiary sector however, is booming. For instance, Ogilvy and Mather is thelargest advertising and public relations firm in the country. With the proliferation of motor vehicles inThailand, MNC petroleum companies are also reaping exorbitant profits, as the market is dominated byforeign firms.14 MNC fast food operations are also growing, and by the end of 1992 McThai (Mcdonalds)had opened 10 shops with over 1000 employees. Other larger foreign run fast food restaurants are alreadylocated in the inner ring provinces; Kentucky Fried Chicken (15 BMR outlets), A&W, Shakey’s Pizza, andMister Donut (20 BMR outlets).12. “Clothed in Glory” (1990) BUSINESSWEEK, December, pg.38-51.13. Obviously not all are MNCs but approximately one-quarter are. This sector produces aluminum hydroxide, causticsoda, hydrochiorine acid, enamel and emulsion paints etc...14. The largest Shell petrol service station in the world is located in Pathum Thani, with 35 pumps, accompanyingmarkets, shops, restaurants, oil/lube garages, and shanty town. On April 24, 1991, I estimated 1000 customers andemployees on the site (see Figure 8.2, km. 39).153Case Studies:Three brief case studies will help underscore the prevailing trend of MNC influence in the EBMR. All areoffshore-controlled, and are utilizing the outer city industrial infrastructure and labour reserve. The firststudy is of a new firm to the EBMR, while the other two are well established in Thailand. They represent across-section of production styles and ownership patterns, being Indian, Japanese and European respectively.(i) BV Diamond Polishing Works Ltd., which in August of 1991 set up a Bahtl25 million diamondpolishing and setting plant at the Nava Nakorn Industrial Estate in Pathum Thani, 60 kilometers north ofBangkok is an Indian based company with current or proposed trading and production plants in Antwerp,Bombay, New York, Tel Aviv, Hong Kong, Paris and Melbourne. They were able to secure a generouspackage of BOl initiation privileges, and are operating in a 40,000 square foot plant, employing 300workers. The initial production capacity is 2200 pieces of cut diamond per day with plans to raise productionto over 10,000 pieces by early 1993. At that time the labour force will have expanded to over 1000, withhousing provided for at least 500. BV Diamond chairman selected the Bangkok outer city for its SoutheastAsia manufacturing base because of Thailand’s competitiveness in both work force and production costs.Government support (BOl privileges) and cheap reliable labour were also cited. For a production process ofthis nature, the labour force is the primary consideration. Referring to its supposed ‘docile’ female labourforce, a BV Diamond publication that appeared as a Bangkok Post insert in July, 1991 contains the followingsardonic and patronizing passage:Relatively inexpensive and easily trainable, Thaiworkers are like gems in the rough waiting to bepolished to bring out their inherent value. Since theypossess a heritage of excellent craftsman-ship, they areadept at learning new skills and displaying strictestattention to intricate details with thorough training154provided by the cominy, they easily become skilled insix to eight months.(ii) The large Japanese conglomerate, Minebea is a typical success story of Japanese firms relocating theirmanufacturing bases to Thailand, avoiding the over-valued Yen, and high labour costs. It epitomizes theintra-Asia NIDL process. Established in Tokyo in 1951, the company found itself on an immediatesuccessful run, first decentralizing to Karuizawa in the Japanese northeast for less costly labour, and by the1 960s it began a global conquest building up its international network with offices and manufacturing basesin Europe and the United States. An important juncture for Minebea was 1972 when the first SoutheastAsian plant was built in Singapore. This was the start of a massive restructuring operation to shift operationsto sites of cheap labour. As industrial operations became increasingly labour intensive, Thailand was thelogical next major move. In 1992 Minebea celebrated its tenth anniversary in the Kingdom. In the ten years,Bahtl8.39 billion in capital investment was poured into its Thai operations, now the corporation’s largest,most profitable and diversified manufacturing base. Within the EBMR, Minebea has spatially focused in thelower and upper Central Plain with over 16,000 employees in factories throughout Pathum Thani,Ayuttahaya, and Lopburi.From these factories Minebea is the world’s largest producer of: ball bearings (696 million pieces a year),stepping fans and spindle motors (48 million a year), magnetic heads for floppy disc drives (25.2 million peryear), and floppy disc drives (4.2 million units a year). Other products manufactured from their enormouslydiversified Thai production base include computer keyboards, axial fans, electronic circuits, die casts,15. This is reminiscent of a controversial and (colonial) excerpt from a Malaysian government investment brochureappearing over a decade ago:The manual dexterity of the Oriental female is famous the world over. Her hands are small, and sheworks fast with extreme care.. who, therefore, could be better qualified by nature and inheritance, tocontribute to the efficiency of a bench assembly production line than the Oriental girl?Changing Role of South East Asian Women’ (1979) SEA CHRONICLE, Issue no. 66, pg.8.This dissertation will not develop a formal discussion on the role of women in MNC production processes. Theliterature although, is extensive. Three recommended pieces are: Fruenettes, Annette and Barbara Ehrenreich (1985)WOMEN IN THE GLOBAL FACTORY, Boston: South End Press,; Standing, Guy (1989) “Global FeminizationThrough Flexible Labour”, WORLD DEVELOPMENT vol. 17 no. 7, pg. 1077-1095; Nash, June (1983) WOMENAND MEN IN THE INTERNATIONAL DIVISION OF LABOUR, Albany NY: SUNY Press.155electronic circuits, cut orchid flowers, and tissue cultured baby plants. These products are almost entirely reexported to Japan, with a small proportion going directly to wholesalers in Europe and The United States.The Lopburi site in 1990 generated Baht3.63 billion Baht in net sales or 56 per cent of its total for theKingdom.’6 Its largest factory in labour force size is at Bang Pa-in, Ayutthaya with nearly 9000 workers.Minebea would certainly agree with the reasons BV Diamond chose the EBMR as the location for itsoperations. In a Nation newspaper interview, the Chairman of the Board and CEO suggested that the Thailabour force is industrious, flexible and cheap. Although the corporation has a history of shifting productionbases approximately every ten years, the CEO stated, “It seems to us that the next country after Thailand isThailand”, reaffirming the commitment to remain in the EBMR. 17(iii) The final MNC case study is Swiss food giant manufacturer, Nestle. Currently there are five Nestlefactories in Thailand, all located in the EBMR, and a sixth is scheduled to open in 1993. Factory ManagerPratchya Hemsuchi, running the most automated, state-of-the-art plant of the five, at Bang Poo IndustrialEstate, Samut Pralcarn said that if 30 per cent of production is for export there are incentive privileges and16. Although 1990 figures are not available, Lopburi had a total GPP in 1987 of just over Baht9 billion, makingMmebea an overwhelmingly dominant player on the provincial economic stage. Minimum wage (1990) in Lopburi was74 Baht per day, and with approximately 6500 employees, of whom 80-90 per cent are still likely at this wage level, arough (and liberal) calculation indicates that Minebea-Lopburi pays out no more then Bahtl4O million in wages a year,meaning that net sales are 26 times greater then labour costs!! In 1990 minimum wage was 16 Baht per day higher inBangkok and Pathum Thani. The rational for the upper Central Plain location is clear. Minebea also recognizes that anypolitical instability such as coups or democracy demonstrations typically have no impact on operations in the CentralPlain. Presumably, production did not miss a beat during Black May (1992).17. (1991) , THE NATION (1991) September 10, “Minebea Finds Home in Thailand’, Thanong Khanthong; AppendixII (May 29, 1991). Although it is beyond the scope of this paper, an equally as substantial dissertation could be writtenon the role of Japanese investment in Thailand. Between 1985 and 1990, anywhere from one-quarter to more then a halfof all FDI came from Japan. In 1987 for example, of 630 foreign venture investment projects, Japan accounted for 199,and 90 percent were export orientated. It was projected that on average, every third day from 1991 to 1994 a newJapanese backed factory opened in Thailand. Of all the recently published literature dealing with the unequal’economic relationship between Thailand and Japan, two standout: Ichikawa, Nobuko (1990) FOREIGN INVESTMENTIN THAI DEVELOPMENT: SPECIAL FOCUS ON JAPANESE INVESTMENT, Background Report 1-3, TDRI, andTasker, Rodney (1990) “Japan in Asia” FEER, May 3.156pricing breaks on machine purchases if the location is outside of Bangkok. The Bang Poo plant is currentlyexporting 35-40 percent of production.The coffee creamer plant was set up at Bang Poo Industrial Estate because of the accessible infrastructurealready developed at sight; roads, sewage disposal, telephones, and water. Moreover, there is a businessassociation of factories within the estate. For example, Nestle purchases vegetable oils from a neighboringfactory.Of the approximately 2700 Nestle employees in Thailand, 113 are located at Bang Poo, representing morethen 100 percent growth since first starting up at this site in 1984. Labour is rotated around four shifts:7AM-3PM, 3PM-1 1PM, 11PM-7AM, and the office staff are on an 8AM-5PM schedule. Roughly half thestaff commute daily on Nestle’s small fleet of contracted out mini-buses, from Bangkok and Thonburi. Theother half reside near the estate and arrive each day by bus, automobile or on foot. Less then one-quarter ofthe labour force are from Thailand’s Northeastern provinces, and most are from the Central Plain or easternregion.The gender ratio, unlike BV Diamond and Minebea is 2.5:1 in favour of men. In the initial year ofproduction (1984) it was 6:1. When asked to explain the skewed gender ratio, the Manager pointed out that50 per cent of the current staff are from an original (now closed) Nestle plant in Thonburi, that operatedwhen women were infrequently in off-farm work. He expects and hopes the ratio will be leveled off in a fewyears as the men retire. Most of the new workers are women, who are not encumbered by militaryconscription.As for production, there has been a commendable 25 per cent growth rate per year since 1984 due largely toautomation. Production grows quicker than the labour force. By 1994, he expects to double production withonly 40 more staff.157The new plant when opened in 1993 will assume the export production of coffee creamer for ASEAN, whilethe Bang Poo factory would supply the domestic market. In late 1991, Nestle announced a massive Baht2.5billion investment plan for factories in all five ASEAN countries. Through production restructuring,bolstering intra-ASEAN trade, and eliminating regional redundancies, ASEAN will be self sufficient inNestle products in a unique corporate strategy aiming to reach almost all of the region’s 300 million peoplewith a new and diverse product range.’8The overriding theme of these three case studies is that multinational capital pursues cheap malleable labour.This is consistent with NIDL theories which point to labour as the most significant factor of location. Asecond theme that emerges from the studies is that state-sanctioned privileges such as tax breaks and start upgrants are, as expected, a powerful incentive for multinationals to establish production facilities away fromBangkok.6.1.3 Industrial Estates:A number of techniques to hasten and improve industrialization have been instituted in Thailand in the lastthree decades; credit arrangements, development banks, appropriate technology, government interventionand advisory services. None has been more pervasive and prominent though, than industrial estates. Bredooffers a definition: “An Industrial estate is a tract of land which is subdivided and developed according to acomprehensive plan for the use of a community of industrial enterprises.”19Normally, industrial estatesprovide an infrastructure of roads, utilities, and often the support for erection of factory buildings. Zoning18. Appendix II (May 19, 1991).19. Bredo, William (1960) INDUSTRIAL ESTATES: TOOL FOR INDUSTRIALIZATION, Glencoc, illinois: TheFree Press. pg.l.158and tax packages are also the responsibility of the estate management. Economies of scale permit severalother services to industrial occupants; fire and police protection, landscaping, banking, medical services, andpost.After World War II, post colonial countries witnessed a surge in the construction of industrial estates. Therelatively passive nature of industrial policy and land use regulation that nurtured earlier growth were nolonger adequate. The practical spatial response was to begin building large suburban and exurban industrialestates, a practice in use since the turn of the century in the United States and Europe.20The earliest known discussion of proposing an industrial estate in Thailand was in 1960 when the Ministriesof Industry and Interior met with NESDB officials to voice their concerns over environmental deteriorationand disorderly distribution of factories in Bangkok city. At that time a number of sites were identified aspotential locations for an industrial estate. Not until a decade later did the cabinet give the Industry Ministrypermission to begin construction on what was to be the Kingdom’s first ‘showpiece’ industrial estate inMinburi, at the eastern reaches of the BMA. The estate was named Bang Chan, as it was a few hundredmeters from Bang Chan village (see Figure 8.7). At the time a state enterprise, named the Industrial EstateAuthority of Thailand (TEAT), was created to oversee the operation of Bang Chan and expansion of newestates.2120. The famous Trafford Park Estate in Manchester, England is regarded as the pioneer project, built in 1896. Threeyears later, the Clearing Industrial District in Chicago was erected as the first in the USA. The earliest industrial estatesin the post colonial world were found in the late 1940s- 1950s in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Brazil, India, and Pakistan. Twosignificant books examining the development of industrial estates in its nascent stage, throughout the world are Bredo(above), and Gloeckner, Peter (1966) INDUSTRIAL ESTATES: AN INSTRUMENT FOR INDUSTRIALDEVELOPMENT AND PROMOTION, Lahore: Ferozsons Ltd.21. By the time Bang Chan was operating, industrial estates in other countries in the region were already wellestablished, making Thailand a relative late starter. South Korea, for example, in 1972, had nearly as much land(50,000 rai) under industrial estate usage as Thailand had in 1991.An American consulting fu-m, in 1963 wrote an interesting, albeit humorous, report attempting to entice Thai leaderField Marshall Sant Thanarat to invest in industrial estates, “industry is as necessary to every community’s well beingas homes..”, and responding to industrial construction on Thailand’s arduous deltaic plain, the report suggests thatestates have been erected in similarly difficult terrain, “Rarely is physical landscape an impediment... from themarshlands of New Jersey, and Mississippi river delta near New Orleans to the mountainous arid regions of DenverColorado.” “International Development and Engineering Association” (1963) AN INDUSTRIAL ESTATE FORTHAiLAND, prepared by C.H. Leavell and Company, and Adrian Wilson and Associates. Much of the language was159Since then, the industrial estate situation in Thailand has expanded in number, and administrativecomplexity. By 1991, TEAT, on its own had established five estates, while TEAT and the private sector havein a collaborative partnership set up another 13. There are also 20 estates, informally established throughBOT promotional privileges. Altogether there are 38 industrial estates in Thailand on a total of 81,898 rai.22See Plate 6.2 for sample of a promotional advert for Hi-Tech Industrial Estate in Ayutthaya. Hi-Tech can belocated on Figure 6.1.Understanding the time frame of emergence of industrial estates in Thailand since 1972, gives anappreciation and recognition of the frenzied land use change and economic growth since the late 1 980s. Ofthe 38 industrial estates in 1991, 32 have been built since 1987. Tn 1986, Thailand was home to only 6estates on a total of less then 10,000 rai of land.23The rapid pace of industrial estate construction in the 1987-1991 period reflects several tendencies in theThai space economy. First, as discussed earlier, offshore investors were hastily relocating their productionbases to sites of cheaper labour and regulatory flexibility. Thailand’s industrial estate construction boom wastimed to correspond with this. Second, a growing awareness to air, water and solid waste pollution fromindustry created a vital demand for industrial concentration and pollution management practices. Third, theCentral Plain, and Eastern Seaboard were developing an infrastructural network that was able to absorbindustrial growth. At the same time, Bangkok’s industrial capacity was becoming saturated. Fourth, landprices rose astronomically, giving way to a rise in speculative real estate, and industrial estate space was arugged and virile, emphasizing the permanence, importance and stability of industrial estates. This undoubtedly was thestyle akin to Sarit, rooted in the belief that success reflected the merit of the ruler. His team of western-trainedeconomists were probably also swayed and impressed by the report. Keyes (1989) op.cit. after Thak describes Sarit as,“..the kind of person who represented one central model of Thai masculinity” (pg. 81). Ironically Sarit died the year theconsulting report was released.22. Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (1991).23. Currently (1992-3) there are many industrial estates under study’, and construction, including two dozen in theSouth (of Thailand), and eight in the North and Northeast. Naturally, many are also ‘under study’ in the EBMR as well.PLATE 6.2 Hi-Tech Industrial Estate41 Kmo. to Bangkok______sfF”’° 9’64 4.t, 4-.-- ..vy’,. ‘i,.’y’r4’t ;c5’:r__Next to the Railway StationNext to the River160Invest in Thailandat the Hi4ech Industrial EstateExcellent Location...ample supply of water andelectricityfl.Way transportation altertmtlves to choose.Situated on over 060 acres. adjacenl to the Ann Htyhuay.and only 41 kilometres north of flangkok in AyudhyaProvince. Hi.Tcch lndurtnai Estate offers too a choicein how you transport your raw material, and finished00du... as well as being near to your labour force.I. By Road. A main arterial lnghway linkiop theNorth and Nerth.East and Ban0kok. the Asia Iliglrway,nill also ho linked up with rho Eastern Snaboar,Jdevelopment zone as well as to tire new outer flogroad that will by.ptsss Bangkok to join op with thesouthern bound rnoterwayu. From [Ir.Toch, by usingthe Espress Way network. liangkel’s 000o ToryDocks we just n3 kilomctrns south,2. By Plane. hotwoon flannkok and Hi.Tcclt liou DonMuane Interoatiotwil Airport . convettient to, yourairltetghting and courier reqt-irementu,..rl’s loss hats30 Ininutnu away.3. By Riser. By barte or liphter, the main CltaoPraya River poor along the Eutatc. whore iv wharf canlead or unload crates of finished rood, or raw’ ototertolsfor onward journey, to and trortt rho Easturn Soaboardor Banpkok’s Potts.a. By Rail. bang Pa-In railway statrov hordors rhoEstate, where containers can be convortrontly loadedfor outbound journeYs. It is also a cnnvottiest andecnttemical transportalion system for your staff-boilsfrom the outlying Bangkok sod tIre nearer Ayodlsyaresidential areas.An impressive infrastructural network to ensurerio delays in productionWithin the Eslate you wilt find a cosopreltenuise arrayoi services like a Business Sorsice Centre, Labourrecruitment and training faiIiti. a compoter aridcommnniuations centre, as well us other nssottootrityfacilities sttglt as supermarket and shops. fire stationand pout utter, a bank and medital centre plu, anarea for social arid recreational activities.Other features IncludesWide Roads that are welt lit op sd desigsoti aridconstructed to international and wi bc ttrdoilsial EstateAuthority of Thailand’r spccifictt:ionu.Electricity supply iroon 2-. 40 MVA pnsaor rmcrpnnc:. generators to maintain productioncapabilities during aoy evtottded blackout.Toleconurnunloonion lines...os 2.11(9) direct ltnesand as access to a worldwide communication network.Abundant macor supply, both rem lie adjoiningChae Praya River and from artesian wcll, rrtnrtingthrough a minimum 20, cubic metro tsr daycapacity water troatment plant.Solid Waste Disposal icr contbu,tiblec is via twoocinnrotnen. Industrial listuel wasto will be troate’,l by aspecially designed irratmrnt plant beforo disposal.Flood preventIon in rarsiud out through a syubeer ofdykes and drainage cltasoels with puttrping statiottslocated at strategic points arouttd the Estate’s pernoetors.The flood prevention scheme iv Justgoed to cope withany eventual aboortoal flood.Estate Layout. Integrating the ntentiuuod lacilitiov.lbs Estate is divided into 3 areas-the EaportPrecousing Zone and lie General Frocnsuiog Zortc.each taking up 315 acres, with the rcmaiotog 2f0 acresbeing allocated to Residential. Commercial. Admitttstraiiunand utilities services.Deneluped by a team of experts, and supportedby the Gonornment. I-li.Teeh Industrial Estate is ajoint oporatioo between the Jurong Town Carporatiottthe pioneer’ that devnloprd “Juroug’ into an Economicyowerhusuc fur Sinapores industrial genesis. suith thelocal esponti,e front rho Thai Industrial Estate Curp.orotiottLtd.: and SUATEC Cit., Ltd., acting as Project ConsultantEnpineers. This project is the culntinatton of a trtuaterplnn mode intn an ecottomtc reality,With rho Nations avpirattoos strtsing lot greater indostrnalgrowth. the Government., Board of tusesrtnettl Itaygranted investment privileges to business investors inthis industrial estato. Fttrthertnere. there ann many servicesprosided by the Estate 10 help redure odminvstrativcdelays and speed up martufacturint attd dvscritoetttatiosapprovals...AddressCiI CoutttryPostcodezTelEnglish cersiun Tlsni C Mandarin CJapanese‘iplease tick one haulI And send to:—‘—“-I ThaI Industrial Estate CorporatIon Ltd..4111 floor. Sinthom Ruilding.32 wilteloss Rood. Sangkuk tg)3a. Thailand.i’huoo: 211t”tJn.7. Fan: (6421234.4139I.a,.,’,. c—. ‘1:;..-.Ctrs,’w,I:—. ‘j36 Kms. to Don Muang Airportcn’\H IT E C H.sD.tIYES! I have plans lo’lnnscin ‘Thailand.P1e45e send mae I detailed brochureof this New htdustrIl Erstoti’.H-Tech bdstdall Estate_j we offer you more than just basic facilities._11III_P0I.aemChabanyOMaptuPut0WeIIçrowOBangmeeiIiI0BangChanJIjI1L0SarnutSkhant30;4,4r.4_z::1:L1RW444443kj1:-13OBangP00F4;li44I4II41$444.1T;;w4/40RangpaKongIL444444I#\4.r%4144hohburI(Bo ‘Mn)DEastern40Ban9kadl0RoanaMuangBuengkhlo•SiamEasternj1024tandjOraIaNakortjMaboonkrong-fl.Rachaj4...KaengKhalCtewayCityPIRathabtkIjh1II040meter540s I-a162seemingly sound speculative investment.24Fifth, state policy of liberalizing the bureaucracy andestablishment of industrial estates was a stimulus for development.The benefits of operating in an industrial estate are abundant. For example, companies which build outsidean estate are subject to Thai laws requiring a minimum of 51 per cent indigenous ownership, but within theestate this edict is nullified. Also, by setting up in an estate, a company is not badgered by a potential‘dangerous’ neighbor that may anive later. As one foreign investor said, “It’s like buying a house- you liketo know that your neighbors are good citizens who share your concerns about the environment and theappearance of their property”. There are also a handful of tax concessions that foreign companies areprivileged to receive only in an industrial estate. Moreover, aside from the basic infrastructure that isprebuilt, most estates are furnished with recreational facilities and higher priced, but higher quality housingfor executives.25By comparison, outside the estate, private land purchases for industry can be a laborious and time consumingprocess. The following typical sequence of hurdles and permits is often obstructive; 1. BOl- promotionalpermit, 2. Land Department- apply for permission for land, 3. Ministry of Interior- apply for permission tobuild a factory, 4. Ministry of Industry- apply for production permission, 5. Ampoe- final locationconfirmation. All phases operate at different levels, and coordination among the departments is essential, butnot in place. Furthermore, in a private land purchase, the actual plot may have been owned by severaldifferent interest groups, (farmers, speculators, and crown), leading to the possibility that title has not beenfully cleared. Obtaining clear title to the land takes a long time. Building at an industrial estate becomes anattractive preference.24. The industrial estate speculative market may have exceeded profitable venture. A combination of the 1991 Gulf Warand world wide recession has left a large amount of industrial estate space sitting empty. In some estates, only one-thirdto a half of the sites are occupied; Appendix II (May 19, 1991).25. For literature on industrial estates in the Bangkok region, a pair of informative articles with a richly localperspective are worth seeing: ‘Industrial Estates Programme for Thailand’ (1974) BANGKOK BANK MONTHLYREVIEW, August, pg.505-19, and “Thai Industrial Estates - So Many Advantages Await Foreign Firms” (1989)BUSINESS REVIEW, April-May, pg. 10-31.163However, the only drawback of locating in an industrial estate is the likely distance from Bangkok. This,however is declining in significance as residential population, and so the workforce itself are decentralizing.Most estates have accompanying residential zones, and a fleet of commuting buses to bring city workers toand from the industrial estate (in 1-2 hours). Professional and executive city-based staff with private vehicleswould prefer commuting outwards than within Bangkok.26Predictably, the positioning of the 38 estates reveal a spatial aggregation in the provinces of the EBMR. Infact, including Bangkok, 31 of the 38 estates are located in 11 provinces of the EBMR. As for area, 84 percent of total industrial estate area is again located in the EBMR (see Figure 6.1 and Table 6.8).27 The estatesin the Eastern Seaboard are the largest, suggesting the future potential growth in that area of the EBMR. Theaverage size of an estate in the Eastern provinces of Chonburi, Rayong, and Chachoengsao is 5490 rai, morethen twice the size of the national average.Case Studies:Two case studies will illustrate the geography of industrial estates in the EBMR. Both estates are largeoperations with adjacent residential and recreational zones, and are situated in eastern areas of the EBMRwith rapid rates of population and economic growth. The first is an established estate set up in 1978, whilethe second was set up only in 1991.(i) Bang Plee Industrial Estate and Newtown, bestowed as King Kong Island’ is located in Samut Prakarn,40 kilometers east of Bangkok on Bangna-Trad Road, tambon Bang Sar Tong, ampoe Bang Plee (see Figure6.2). It was established in 1978 as a unique joint venture between the IEAT and the National Housing26. Appendix II (March 12, 1991).27. The map and the table do not perfectly correspond because the industrial estates in Rayong are not on the map, andonly three of the five estates in the BMA are indicated on the map.:iZ I’H 0165Authority (NHA), with a 1995 target of 130 industrial units and a population of 130,000. The initialconstruction loans came from the Asian Development Bank and USAID. It officially opened with fourfactories in 1985, and in 1991 was operating with 99 factories, approximately 10,000 employees on an areajust over 1000 rai. When (the third phase is) complete, it will cover an area of 4,469 rai, making it one ofthe largest estates in the country.Bang Plee is ‘semi-clean’, referring to factories which produce relatively limited amounts of air pollutionand waste water. Factories that are ‘unclean’ have an opportunity to locate in Bang Plee, provided they areequipped with waste water treatment systems, and adhere to estate sanctioned emission levels.An interesting advantage to the Bang Plee estate is that 1000 telephone lines connect to Bangkok directlywithout long distance charges. Outside the estate in ampoe Bang Plee toll charges are collected for the samecall. Also, the BMTA (Bangkok Metropolitan Transport Authority) run two city bus routes (#132 and 133)between CBD Bangkok and Bang Plee New Town. These are important apertures for reducing the spatialfriction between the estate and the city.The skyrocketing price of land in the Bang Plee Estate is comparable to general land value increases in theregion. In 1984 a rai of land was marketed for Baht45O,000, and has increased consistently and significantlyeach year, and through each expansionary phase. In 1991 Baht4 million per rai was the standard value.The objectives and mandate of King Kong Island are not only to create employment opportunities, relievetraffic congestion, and lessen the pressure on Bangkok’s infrastructure, but also to create a new urbaninfrastructure”, with occupational and residential facilities on site. In 1991, 60 per cent of workers (6000)lived in the residential zone of the estate, for an aggregate Newtown population of 5205 households ornearly 32,000 people. An innovative aspect of the residential area is that housing is organized by theNational Housing Authority (NHA) and size and quality varies according to income. Households areaccorded subsidized housing which will vary by level of subsidy and income level. For example, a166household with a monthly income of Baht7000 is offered a range of choices; a one story row house can bepurchased for BahtlOO,000 with long-term payments, or Baht53,500 cash, or the household may opt for asemi-detached two story row house with a steeper set of purchasing options. Moreover, the NHA has left themajority of the houses unfinished, leaving options for buyers, “We’ve provided houses with a toilet andelectricity but left it up to the owners to paint and landscape. We’ve also provided enough land so that theycan build additions to the basic house when they have the money”.Aside from the standard fire department, police station, health center, and refuse disposal system, there arefour kindergartens, one each of a primary and secondary school, sports center with gymnasium, footballground, two tennis courts, two badminton courts, two basketball courts, and an Olympic sized swimmingpool. There is also a large commercial area with restaurants, markets, and petrol stations. It is truly a selfcontained city in a traditionally very rural region. The 30 foot statue of King Kong off Bangna Trad Road, atthe main approach to Bang Plee is a befitting representation for this mammoth island of urbanization?’(ii) The second industrial estate case study is a much more recent and contemporary project, still in itsnascent stage. Gateway City in Chachoengsao province, ampoe Plangyao (see Figure 6.2), is 82 kilometerseast of Bangkok, and in an advantageous position to service the rapidly developing Eastern Seaboard. It hasquick road links to the three deep- sea ports (Klong Toey, Laem Chabang, and Map Ta Phut), the twointernational airports (Don Muang and U Ta Phao), and the proposed third international airport at Nong NguHao. It also is selling itself as an industrial “Gateway” to Cambodia and Vietnam.With nearly 7,000 rai, and a 45 kilometer internal road system, it is the largest industrial estate in theKingdom, and 62 per cent of total space is designated for industrial use. The large size ensures all forms ofindustry can be accommodated. In the summer of 1992, Toyota opened an enormous 625 rai, Bahtl billionfactory on site.28. The information obtained for the Bang Plee case study is from personal observation and interviews, Appendix II(April 11, 1991). Also, TEAT (1990) “Bang Plee Industrial Estate: History and Development”, (in Thai). NHA, (1990)“Bang Plee New Town Project”.——‘FL 00 —a168It is one of the few estates with positive geotechnic features: excellent soil stability conditions significantlylowering foundation costs, at 20-50 meters above sea-level, it is not subject to seasonal flooding, and isadjacent to a 10 million cubic meter 900 rai reservoir reducing water fees. Despite these advantages, it isstill almost two hours from Bangkok’s CBD. As a result land values in the estate are lower then at Bang Plee(Baht 1.4 million per rai).Its location will also benefit from the supply of Northeastern labour that has begun invading the Easternprovinces for employment. The work force is not only abundantly available, but is at a considerably lowerrate of pay then other EBMR industrial estates. Neighboring Prachinburi province is currently setting up aseries of vocational schools (with Japanese fimding), again potentially favoring Gateway City.Similar to Bang Plee, Gateway City has a subsidized residential zone with a small amount of low costhousing. As the estate expands its operations over the next decade the NHA will be providing additionalstock. The 40 rai commercial zone consists of a bank, post office, telecommunication services, modernsupermarket, restaurants, and petrol stations. There is a new golf course on site as well.29The two case studies point to a particular type of outer city settlement within the region. A characteristic ofthe morphology of RBU is that it has no consistent pattern. The industrial estate landscape is an ‘archipelagoof industrialization’, as small concentrations of industry and residential population are dispersed throughoutthe outer city. It evokes a sense of a scattered series of islands in a large sea. This landscape should of coursebe contrasted with the tight concentrated high density geography of city based urbanization.29. ‘Gateway City” (1991) Information Brochure; Appendix II (September 10-11, 1991).1696.2 AGRICULTUREThere are two dominant processes occurring concurrently: first, agriculture is in retreat as its lands are themain source of land for emerging housing estates, industry, and recreational areas. Second, there is aconspicuous cropping pattern shift underscored by a decrease in the traditional dominance of paddycultivation.As in Gottmann’s megalopolis in the 1950s, there has recently been a significant national level restructuringof costs and prices which has created a situation where all agricultural commodities grown in the EBMRcould be produced elsewhere in the country at a lower cost.3°Moreover, the abandonment of agricultureoccurs at a very uneven rate. Non-agricultural activities encroach through tentacle like extensions, oftencorresponding with roads or canals. Frequently farms are caught in a network of industrial or residentialdevelopment forcing upon them a non-agricultural value; an incontestable stimulus for land use transition.Rapid urban encroachment leads to speculation in the ownership of EBMR land. Prices have risen so rapidlyand steeply that new farmers can rarely finance ownership, and those with land can not justify producingunder-valued produce on over-priced land. In this circumstance land owners commonly rent out their fieldsto landless farmers for little more then the tax rate. This is an increasingly common form of tenancy. InPathum Thani for example,traditionally with some of the highest tenancy rates in the Kingdom, there hasbeen a recent escalation of various low rent leasing arrangements. Landowners rarely cultivate themselves,holding on to the land for an anticipated further value increase.3’30. Gottmann, (1961) op.cit, pg. 259.31. One case study concerns a middle aged couple owning 10 rai of land near Rangsit, Pathum Thani who both havejobs off the farm (one at a school nearby, and the other as a clerk in a Bangkok bank). For five consecutive years theyhave leased their land to landless cultivators from the adjacent ampoe for a nominal rate, Appendix II (February 20, andMay 5, 1991). This is quite a ubiquitous tenancy arrangement in the outer city, certainly enhanced by speculation anduneven urban intrusion. Interestingly, Gottmann reports similar tenancy contracts in the Megalopolis, during transitionperiods.170The next common response to speculation of agricultural lands is to pull it out of production. Throughoutthe EBMR, previous rice fields appear as over grown untended fields. The land in this state may be ownedby the farmer, or by an absentee private speculator. In either situation the land will eventually host a nonagricultural use.A further consideration is that some forms of agricultural production are more viable than others. The farmeris swayed by economic return and often, but not always may have the resources to respond flexibly. Animportant trend in the EBMR’ s agricultural sector is the frequency of rice lands giving way to moreprofitable crops. A report published by the Minburi Agricultural Department clearly illustrates thateconomically rational decision making based on input value and selling price would adduce cultivation ofgrass (or turf) over rice (see Table 6.9).32In the Nation newspaper’s 1991/1992 Midyear Economic Review, the page one editorial column wasentitled, “Will the 1990s Herald in the Death of Agriculture in Thailand?” The article echoed a voice andTABLE 6.9MINEURI DISTRICT AGRICULTURE: DECISION MAKINGGrass 5560 16000 1Fish Pond 4950 12500 2Rice 1030 2124 8Source: Minburi Agricultural Dept. Publication (1989), (in Thai).32. Other alternatives are aquaculture, market gardening, orchards, and tapioca. These will be discussed later in thissection.171concern heard everywhere in the Kingdom, and more so in the EBMR. Agriculture currently represents lessthen 15 per cent of the national GDP, and younger generations are en masse rejecting agriculture, opting towork in the rapidly expanding industrial and service sectors. As land prices soar, and rice prices slip, thetrend appears irreversible.33Dr. Utis Kaothien, Director of the Urban Development Coordination Divisionof the NESDB, acknowledges the run away urbanization trends and believes that the market will shape thelandscape. His recommendation is to preserve and promote first class irrigated agricultural land; anexpectation he confesses is beyond realism. He understands the power of the private sector and submits to itsexpansionary tendencies, but at the very least would like to direct them along a ‘positive course.34To someone unfamiliar with the space economy of the EBMR, there would be a dominant perception that theregion is charcterized by agriculture. Spatially this may be the case, but based on employment and sectorialGDP, this is far from accurate. In Pathum Thani for example, nearly three-quarters of the land (1989) isunder agricultural uses, and more then half of all land is covered by rice fields (Table 6.10), yet only 28 percent (1990) of economically active population are employed in this sector. Although this represents adramatic break from earlier land use, it certainly does not correspond with a traditional urbanizationmorphology. Perhaps this is the most remarkable and distinctive attribute of a region based urbanizedlandscape as seen in the EBMR.33. THE NATION (1992) ‘1991/1992 Midyear Review’.34. For example: housing estates, industrial parks, dissuasion of strip development, and ‘clean industry. As forpreserving irrigated farm land by saving the canals, he states, “urban growth will not go against the flow of water.”Based on personal interview, Appendix II (March 26, 1991).172TABLE 6.10AGRICULTURE LAND USE IN PATBIJM THANI (IN RAI)Total Land 915098Total Agricultural Land 720609rice field 516234fruit farmimg 184945vegetable farming 17609other crops 1821Other Uses 234489Note: Other uses include industry, residential, recreation, and water bodies.Source: Pathum Thani Provincial Office (1989).6.2.1 Agribusiness:The recent Sixth and Seventh five-year Development plans have stressed the promotion of agriculturalcommodities with high potential for export. In particular, agro-industrial products with high value addedprocessing will be offered incentives and provided with promotional considerations. Those with the highestpriority are: processed food, meat, fisheries products, canned fruits, and tapioca animpl feed.35 This policyfocus corresponds with the already growing market for tropical fruits and vegetables in the U.S. and Europe.A similar demand for frozen prawn and chicken is coming from Thailand’s East Asian trading partners. The35. See Adulavidhaya, Kamphol (1990) “Agricultural Development and Rice Policies in Thailand”, eds. AkimiFujomoto et al, THAI RICE FARMING IN TRANSITION. Tokyo: World Planning Publishers.173result has been dramatic growth in the agro-industry sector showing great potential for continuedacceleration.36A distinguishing characteristic of agribusiness in Thailand is that, unlike most countries where MNCs holdlarge plantations, the majority of produce in the EBMR for example, is produced by thousands ofindependent smaitholders. Only the final processing and international marketing is controlled by the largerconglomerates. For instance, when Dole Pineapple Inc. moved a large share of their production base fromHawaii to Thailand in the 1970s because of rising labor costs, instead of buying up large tracts of land, tensof thousands of farmers ploughed up their rice and sugar cane to grow for Dole. This land use shiftcontinues. In Chonburi for example, 17,000 fewer rai of sugarcane were planted in 1989 then in 1990-91.The difference was made up with pineapple and other commercial or residential based land uses.The actual land owned and controlled by agribusiness is quite small, however its influence and relevance arelarge and growing.37 As of 1992, it appears that the government’s national agricultural council is set to passa bill in the legislature to further assist agribusinesses at the expense of farmers. In 1992 this was beingdebated in the National Assembly, and was possibly to be passed in 1994. Under present agribusinessrelationships, farmers have choices whether to enter a contract with business, and whether to opt out at anytime. Despite these few options, contract farmers are an exploited weak partner in the relationship, and theproposed bill will further marginalize their position in the relationship. Farmers will be bound to grow36. For a comprehensive evaluation of this sector see: Briggs, T. et al, (1990) “Rural Industry and Employment Study:A Synthesis Report’, TDRI. Also see Christensen, Scott (1992) “The Role of Agribusiness in Thai Agriculture:Towards a Policy Analysis”, TDRI QUARTERLY REVIEW, vol.7, no.4, pg.3-9.37. It is difficult to collect land use data on agribusiness in the region because of its hidden nature. Farmers are notalways willing to admit they raise chicken for Charoen Popakand or grow Pineapples for Siam Food Products, howeverit is likely that ‘contracting out’ is widespread. Several respondents grieved that their produce is not always purchasedfor the price they were promised by the large firms.A relatively new and viable agribusiness commodity taking roots in the EBMR provinces of Nakhon Pathom and SamutSakhon is canned baby corn. The product is almost exclusively exported and is quickly emerging as a big foreignexchange earner.For further discussion on agribusiness see: Dohr, Larry (1988) COMMERCIAL AGRICULTURE AND EQUITABLEDEVELOPMENT IN THAILAND, Southeast Asia Business Papers, University of Michigan.174specified crops, deal with specified buyers, pay into a Research and Development fund, purchase thedesignated raw materials (seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, etc..) at set prices , with no flexibility or alternatives.It is expected that farmers already facing near bankruptcy conditions will be forced to comply (withresentment). If passed, the bill will have a large impact on remaining agricultural lands in the EBMR. It willact as another incentive and subsidy for urban and industrial land uses. Farmers who have given up on riceand earn their income from export oriented agricultural commodities would plainly sell their land.386.2.2 Aquaculture:A rapid increase in demand for fishery products, especially prawns, at both domestic and internationalmarkets, has brought on an upsurge in aquacultural production in Thailand. Roughly 10 per cent of totalfishery production is accounted for by aquaculture.39Although aquaculture is practiced in the south ofThailand, the coastal provinces of the EBMR have the largest concentration. Thus, prawn culture iscommonly found in Samut Prakarn, Samut Sakhon, and Samut Songkhram. In fact, over 90 per cent ofshrimp farms are found in the inner part of the Gulf of Thailand. Prior to 1984, 90 per cent of prawnharvests were from natural sources, mainly in the Gulf. In 1990, that figure had dropped to 50 per cent, asprawn farming area stood at 420,000 rai, and production has been estimated at 130,000 tons. Five yearsearlier, 255,000 rai produced only 15,000 tons. Only China produces more prawns then Thailand.’WPrawn farming is the environmental pariah of aquaculture. The “fill and flush” approach, adopted by manyaquaculturalists is paralleled to slash and burn agriculture; “Both [prawn culture and slash and burn] methods38. BANGKOK POST (1991) May 28, Contract Threat to Thai Farmers”, pg.23.39. Pravit Ruyabhorn and Dhira Phantumvanit, ‘Coastal and Marine resources of Thailand-Emerging Issues Facing anIndustrializing Country. AMBIO, vol.7 no.3, 1988, pg.230.40. BANGKOK POST (1991) Mid Year Economic Review, pg.58.175constitute a serious threat to the environment as they eat on new territory, leaving devastation in theirwaice” 41 Improper disposal of brackish waste water from the breeding ponds is leaving land too polluted tosupport continued breeding. Agriculture is rendered impossible in a flushed area, and nearby vegetable andrice farming are also being endangered. The salty lethal waste also has been tainting groundwater supplies,and most critically, wells. A recently released report claimed that Chonburi, in the EBMR, has the worstaquaculture pollution load in the country, with stagnant waste water beginning to encroach built up urbanareas.42Prawn farming has led to a widespread encroachment on coastal mangrove areas. Approximately 200,000 raiof mangrove forests have been transformed to aquaculture, mainly prawn farms. Coastal marineenvironmentalists claim one rai of mangrove area is capable of yielding four tons of marine fish andcrustaceans. The razing of mangrove forests are driving various species of insects, reptiles, birds and over100 species of flora to extinction.43A desperate rice farmer rarely considers the potential environmental impacts of aquaculture whencontemplating a shift to fish farming. The prevalent motivation to enter aquaculture is to escape high debtsaccrued from rice farming. One aquaculturalist in Nong Chok district of the eastern EBMR was in this exactsituation, and in 1981 pawned all his valuables, borrowed some capital and shifted his land to a series oflarge fish ponds. Alongside the pond is 10 rai of coconut, mango and cut flowers. The embryonic fish (1-2millimeters) are purchased from a breeder in neighboring Chachoengsao for one-tenth of a Baht each. Thefeed (chicken gizzards and low grade rice) to sustain the crop is inexpensive as well. With three harvests ayear income potential is high. He claims to earn approximately 3.5 times his annual input costs, and is41. “The Trouble With Prawns” MANAGER, vol.31 July, 1991, pg.26.42. Borosopit Mekavachai et al (1990) op.eit.43. Ruyabhorn and Phantumvanit (1988) op.cit.176preparing for expansion. With a large home and several vehicles he appears to be very well0ff’W Not allaquaculturalists are so prosperous.6.2.3 Turf Fanning:In response to the proliferation of golf courses and to a lesser extent, aesthetic landscaping encirclingindustrial and housing estates, turf farming is emerging as a preferred alternative to rice. Particularly in theeastern BMA districts of Minburi and Nong Chok, and Pathum Thani there is an escalation of this activity.The Grass Farmers Union Office in Nong Chok estimates 200-300 independent grass farmers operating outof the union office.45 It is a lucrative but very labour intensive operation requiring continuous (daily)irrigation and labour input. Within 35 days a properly cultivated field spreads into a rich carpet, which isthen sliced into one square meter slices and sold at markets and to golf courses for eight Baht per slice.Several slices are always retained to plant the next crop through a regeneration process which involvesreplanting each blade individually. This routine can be repeated 10-12 times per year. If done successfullythe returns are substantial.From interviews it was clear that those involved in this activity take pride in their work. They consider grassto be a ‘specialty’ crop and emphasize the required skills and experience. The grass farms all appear to belabour intensive with a variety of small activities occurring simultaneously; harvesting, weeding, watering,curing irrigation rivulets, sowing and fertilizing. At one site there were four households (18 people) who44. This information is derived from a series of interviews done with prawn farmers in the EBMR, Appendix II (March7, 10-12, April 16, 1991).45. My survey of the region would indicate there are at least twice that number, as many turf farmers are not involvedwith, or a member of the union.177within the month collectively sold all their rice land and migrated from Nakhon Nayok in the Northeast toMinburi where they were renting 30 rai of land. They were enthusiastically building houses, a road, andirrigation rivulets (2 meter wide) in preparation to commence grass farming.’6.2.4 The Persistence of Rice:Despite the appparent diversification described hitherto, if one were to identify one economic activity thatspatially characterizes the EBMR as a region it would be paddy agriculture. Particularly in the lower andupper Central Plain and eastern reaches of the BMA including Chachoengsao, much of the landscape is stilldominated by what seems as continuing fields of rice, often reaching to the horizon. In the Eastern Seaboardprovinces of Chonburi and Rayong the main crop is sugar cane, covering at least twice the area as rice.Table 6.11 compares harvested rice yields in 1975 and 1990. Aside from Pathum Thani and Ayutthaya thereis a considerable decrease in harvested yield.47There is a stubborn persistence of rice cultivation, and it appears that rice will continue to thrive alongsideindustry and manufacturing for decades to come. Rice fields abutting factories are ubiquitous in this region.However, despite rice cultivation’s ‘spatial perseverance’, its GDP contribution, labor levels, andimportance in general are declining.46. Appendix II (April 15-19, 1991).47. The 1974/75 rice season in Pathum Thani was particularly low, probably due to flooding, brown hoppers androdents. Normally yields were over 800,000 rai, and nearly 1 million ral in some years (1979).178TABLE 6.11HARVESTED RICE IN SELECTED EBMR CHANGWATS(IN RAT), 1974/75 and 1989/90CRANGWAT 1974175 198919GBangkok (Eastern 373714 239428BMA)Pathum Thani 537969 762490Samutprakarn 194158 175863Ayutthaya 1214158 1221784Chonburi 37468 295731Saraburj 793175 706582Sourêe: Thailand Statistical Yearbooks.Rice exporters are being driven out of business, and the Central Plain smaithold producers are responding bycurtailing their paddy land. Thai rice exports, for years, the world’s front runner, are undergoing a criticaltransition. Competition from Vietnam, and unexpected challengers such as Paldstan are considerablyundercutting Thai production costs. Moreover, a weaker demand in the international market combined withunpredictable market swings make rice exporting a very risky business. As one insider quipped, “The goldentime has already gone” .‘ Land use changes already recorded are also playing a role in the decline in riceproduction.An intricate lattice work of inland waterways provided sustenance for the Central Plain to earn its reputationas one of the continent’s premier ‘rice bowls’. It is perhaps ironic that problems surrounding the provision of48. BANGKOK POST (1991) April 9, “Golden Days for Rice Exports Have Gone, says Smarn” Ratchapol Loavanitch.179water, a constant reliable resource for over a century, is now contributing to the decline of paddyproduction. In the EBMR there are three main concerns:1. The canals and Chao Phraya river are polluted, resulting in declining yields. In most Central Plainvillages, farmers expressed concern at the levels of pollution, including toxic, in the canals.2. The spiralling cost of fuel to operate the irrigation pump has severely cut into earnings.3. With rising industrial, residential and golf course water consumption there exists annual acute watershortages, and unsurprisingly, the farmer loses. In 1991 for example, rice farmers were warned by theInterior Ministry to postpone annual rice planting until rain fell. Furthermore, the Ministry proposed that thesecond crop be suspended to preserve water for other uses. The 1991 edict effected the EBMR changwats of:eastern BMA, Pathum maul, Sainut Prakran, Nonthaburi, Saraburi, Lopburi, Nakhon Pathom, andChachoengsao.49Again this exemplifies the perennial neglect the central government has imposed upon the agricultural sectorsince the turn of the century. It is not surprising that agriculture is in retreat.A village headman in northern Minburi, who was notified by district officials that his village should cut backfrom two crops a year to one because of local water deficiency did not seem indignant. He cited threereasons for complacency:1. many farmers in the last two years have been raising cattle, and it has proven to be a lucrative alternativeto paddy.49. Appendix II (February 11, April 22, May 9, 15, 1991, December 10, 1992).1802. Most of the villagers are working in nearby factories, and,3. rice cultivation had become a high risk venture.50Nearly everywhere throughout the EBMR people told stories about the demise of rice. The District Officialat Lam Luk Ka, Pathum Thani predicted that there would be no rice planted in his district by 1996. Anotherofficial in Pathum Thani spoke of a linear land use transition: rice- orchard-, residential. There is also clearindication of cropping changes. Throughout the region farmers are ploughing over rice fields and alteringtheir irrigation system by digging ditches and rivulets in preparation for a substitute crop. Even at the coreof the Central Plain rice bowl in Nong Sua district Pathum Thani farmers are abandoning rice cultivation. In1990, only 41 per cent of households planted one or two crops of rice, down considerably from 67 per centin 1980. In nearby Klong Luang district there has been a similar decline (48 per cent down from 69 percent).51Yet another explanation for the shift away from rice production concerns the use of labour. The GreenRevolution in its broadest sense has radically impacted labour input levels in the EBMR. Althoughtraditional rice cultivation methods are still widely practiced, modern labour saving agricultural technology,especially associated with the harvest are now common. Throughout Pathum Thani rice farmers are bandingtogether during harvest period in April and May and renting a tractor combine-harvester. The machine andthe communal sharing of labour (termed aow in Thai), could bring down 30 rai of paddy in one day. Under50. Appendix II (April 22, 1991)51. Iqbal, Javaid (1990) VERIFICATION OF THE DESAKOTA CONCEPT, ASSESSMENT OF LAND USE ANDENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS, AND RELATED POLICY IMPLICATIONS: CASE STUDY OF THENORTHERN CORRIDOR, BANGKOK THAILAND, Masters Thesis, Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok.During a number of visits to Nong Sua in April of 1991, there were at least a dozen rice farms being changed intoorchards, mostly by labor gangs from Saraburi and the Northeast. There were also several bridges being constructedacross Klong 11, which will facilitate villagers commuting to the factories along the highway. See Northern Corridorcase study in chapter 8.181traditional methods one person harvests a rai in approximately three days. This represents a (technologicaltriumph), and a critical labour saving.Data from all areas of the EBMR are indicating dramatic reductions in agricultural labour levels, and enmasse, labour are entering the non-agricultural sectors. An interesting repercussion of this sectorial labourshift is often agricultural labour is left as the responsibility of the older generation. During the school breakthey are accompanied by the children.52A wide range of pressures are being exerted on rice farming (and agriculture in general). In this situation,how persistent can agriculture be? When a spatial conflict arises between urban and rural, urbanizationtypically prevails. A potent combination of industrial pollution, a speculative land market, labour savingtechnology, a downswing in the commodities market, imperialistic agribusiness, and nearly 150 years ofstate disinvestment in agriculture has been the recipe for vitalized urban expansion. Again, the most askedquestion in the region becomes relevant: will the 1990s herald in the death of agriculture?6.2.5 Summary:The two key production sectors of the economy, industry and agriculture are both under a dramaticrestructuring process in the outer city, in terms of labour, production, and ownership. For labour, despiteradical changes in cropping patterns, there is an increasing shift away from agriculture towards industry.This is consistent with the rapid rise and diversification of the industrial base in the provinces of the EBMR.52. During field work a distinct and consistent observation was that during the day the villages were vacant except for ahandful of older people. Often to meet them we would have to go out to the fields. The other village occupants were atschool or working off the farm.As for ownership, there is a clear trend towards corporate concentration by MNC and agribusinessconsortiums.182183CHAPTER SEVEN:THE NEW LANDSCAPE II: HOUSING AND RECREATIONAs urbanization in Bangkok finds its locus in the outer city, a housing agenda needs to be constructed whichcan explain new spatial patterns as they differ from traditional city based ones. In the next decade, thepopulation of the outer city will grow at about five per cent per annum, more then twice the nationalaverage. When combined with significant growth rates of real per capita income, as is the case in the outercity, there exists the conditions for a dramatic increase in housing disbursement. Mills (1991) argues that adoubling in real per capita income typically leads to about an 80-90 per cent increase in housingexpenditure.1 These figures coincide with the scenario occurring in outer city regions of Bangkok in the last5-10 years.In earlier sections I have written on the real estate boom in the EBMR. Private and commercial interests havecome to dominate outer city real estate in all areas of land development; housing, industry, and golf coursesin particular. Considering the hyperactivity of the real estate market, Mills contends that the market value ofhousing is higher than all other real estate added together, hence housing is and will continue to be the coreof the continuing real estate boom.2In many instances the proliferation of housing is not an unexpected trend. Social scientists and demographerspredicted it over a decade ago. The National Sixth and Seventh Five Year Development Plans allocated1. Dr. Edwin Mills, a Professor of real estate and finance at the Kellog Graduate School of Management, NorthwesternUniversity spoke at Chulalongkorn University’s Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration in 1991. His paperappeared in the BANGKOK POST (1991) May, Real Estate Guide.2. Mills appears to be hypothesizing on the Thai real estate market based on U.S. data. He writes, “In the United States,the market value of all housing is 1.6 times the market value of all non residential structures.... and I am confident thatthe same is true in Thailand and, indeed, in all countries”. There is no data to verify the authenticity of this figure as itapplies to Thailand, however my familiarity with the market causes me to surmise that it would be a smaller figure inThailand, perhaps 1.1 or 1.2.184additional funding for public housing in anticipation of the rising need. The housing boom is not just simplycoinciding with natural population increases and inter regional migration patterns, but is rooted infundamental social and economic alterations to society. Two points underscore the escalation in housingneed:1. The age structure of the population is changing. As average age is increasing, there are more young adultworkers who by the nature of the type and location of their work require housing off the farm or at leastapart from their family home.2. There is a marked evolutionary trend, rooted in the rise of per capita income, towards single-familynuclear housing. A survey of the new stock of outer city housing indicates the configuration and layout arecatering to smaller single families. Moreover, a considerable portion of the outer city housing stock, as wewill see later, caters to young unmarried labourers, again a clear and dramatic break from traditional housingnorms.Table 7.1 presents data to underscore the shift in housing stock to the outer city. In the mid 1970s thenumber of houses in the outer city and core were comparable (306,825 and 278,338 respectively). By 1988the outer city housing stock was greater then twice that of the core (854,564 and 401,818). Since 1988 thistrend has accelerated and will be the focus of the section.TABLE 7.1HOUSING STOCK IN BMR, 1974, 1984 AND 1988i9748SCITY 123,480 44.4COREOUTERCiTYNote: Outer City includes extended BMA and 5 adjacent changwatsSource: Adapted from PADCO (1990), pg.43.185To describe the growth of current outer city residential development as simply suburbanization woulddisregard the true essence of its extensive spatial dispersion. In this light, housing production patternsrepresent a trend to consume more land on the urban fringe; a residential development that is largely lowdensity and dispersed. Much of the new housing stock are locating in the two rapidly developing provincesof Pathum Thani and Samut Pralcarn, both without any significant sized cities.3The objectives of this section on housing are twofold. First, as already indicated, there will be an attempt todocument the spatial extent of outer city housing. Can millions of people live an urban lifestyle in a quasi-rural environment in the extended Bangkok region? The environmental sustainability of such residentialdevelopment is a serious concern. The second, is to construct an outer city housing typology. There are anumber of distinct and disparate housing types all serving different functions for the socially andeconomically diverse populations that have made the outer city their home. The growing gulf between therich and the poor in many ways is reflected in the wide range of housing types. This section will catalog anddescribe this outer city residential typology. Finally it is worth noting that this topic warrants the endeavorand enterprise of an entire dissertation. It is my intention to follow up some of the concepts and inclinationspresented here at a later time. For now though, rigid boundaries need to be set to limit this section and keepit within reasonable scope of the larger project. Although the entire region delineated as the EBMR isundergoing some form of an evolution in housing, this section will address the two provinces of SamutPrakarn and Pathum Thani foremost. Other regions of the EBMR will be treated at a cursory level only.3. In Pathum Tham, Rangsit and Muang are the only ‘municipal’ centers, both less then 30,000 people. In SamutPrakarn as well there are only Muang and Phra Phadeng, neither very large. The figures from the 1990 census showPathum Thani is four per cent urbanized, and Samut Prakarn is 10 per cent. Notwithstanding an objective of the largerproject is to critique the quintessence of urban-rural distinction in this region. But the point is clear, urbanization isproceeding without large cities, Thailand Government (1990), Population and Housing Census.1867.1 Spatial Extent of Outer City Housing:There are a number of variables worth examining to gain an appreciation of the spatial extent of outer cityhousing. First, the number of new accommodations registered in the two provinces between 1987 and 1989is displayed in Table 7.2. Nearly 28,000 newly constructed accommodations were registered during the threeyears in Samut Pralcarn. The modest figure (3,163) for Pathum Thani may reflect a trend to under registernew development that may not meet minimum national standards for drainage or water provisions, and doesnot capture many older accommodations or land holdings that are informally subdivided.By scrutinizing the provincial distribution of subdivision permit requests, a clearer picture is portrayed ofresidential proliferation. Table 7.3 indicates that the two provinces have submitted requests for a very largeand disproportionate share of subdivision permits. For most situations in the two provinces, landowners haveapplied to construct townhouses on their land, largely catering to the stream of incoming factory workers.4TABLE 7.2NEW ACCOMODATIONS REGISTERED IN TWO OUTERCITYCHANGWATSSource: Adapted from Bank of Housing Assistance (1990), (in Thai language).4. Bank of Housing Assistance (1989) (in thai language).187TABLE 7.3SUBDiVISION PERMiT REQUESTS, 1989SAMIJT PRAKARN 8 1.4PATHUM TRAM 9 0.7Source: Adapted from Barasopit Mekivachal et al (1990).Figure 7.1 illustrates a general pattern of outer city housing development in the BMR. It is clear that sixdominant corridors are acquiring the majority of new residential development:1. Northeast of the BMA along Ram Intra Road, past Bang Chan village towards Minburi.2. Northwest of the BMA into Nonthaburi along Chang Wattana Road.3. North of the BMA along the Vibhavadi-Rangsit highway deep into Pathum Thani.4. West of the BMA on Charan Sanitwong Road and Petch Kasem Road into Samut Sakhon.5. Southeast of the BMA along Sukhumvit Road into Samut Prakarn.6. Southeast of the BMA along Bangna Trad Road also into Samut Prakarn.The costs of extending an infrastructure to a low density and dispersed residential settlement is very high.The provision of water, waste removal and road construction are costly and inefficiently delivered. Thedifficulty of providing public transport is also an obstacle to be dealt with. Leapfrog land assembly is aI881189common repercussion from dispersed land development, leaving large under-utilized tracts of land. Acomplementary concern is the loss of fertile high value farmland. Perhaps the most wonisome consequenceis that outer city residential growth leads to auto-dominated development. Private automobile ownershipamong outer city residents is higher than in the city. The main roads and highways in the five inner ringprovinces of the BMR are heavily congested, sometimes more so than in the city. Traffic jams are oftenbumper to bumper on outer city roads in both directions, generating higher levels of airborne pollutants. Cardealerships, petrol stations, and auto service centers are ubiquitous in the outer city. As for the labourers ofthe factories in Samut Prakarn and Pathum Thani, if they are unable to reside near their place of employmentdaily commuting by bus poses serious problems. Companies often rent a fleet of buses to transport theworkers to and from the factory, or the worker depends on public transportation which is unreliable. Giventhe daily traffic congestion, commuting times of over three hours per day are not exceptional. Populationgrowth in the outer city has drawn capital and jobs from the city core, exacerbating dispersed urbandevelopment. Conventional anti-sprawl wisdom is not a new critique of urban development, but at the scaleand pace that the Bangkok region is growing, there is an increased awareness of some of the problems andcontroversies.57.2 Outer City Housing Typology:There are seven housing types common in the outer city. Some of these types can be overlapping and thedescription redundant, but to avoid omitting a certain housing type, the seven that follow best capture thebroad range. The value in the construction of such a typology is the on-going documentation of rapidly5. An informative of discussion of the implications of low density dispersed residential settlements is found in Bourne,L. (1991) “The Roepke Lecture in Economic Geography, Recycling Urban Systems and Metropolitan Areas: AGeographical Agenda for the 1990s and Beyond” ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY, vol. 67, no. 3, July, pg. 185-209.190changing residential landscapes, and exploration of current problems of particular forms of outer cityhousing in the EBMR.7.2.1. Shophouses:It would be misleading to refer to shophouses as exclusively residential or unique to the outer city. In facteach shophouse unit has ground level commercial space, and pre-industrial Bangkok was dominated by stripsof shophouse development, principally owned and occupied by the Chinese. Even today, the older parts ofBangkok are tilled with shophouse enterprises. This housing type has been extended to the outer city in largenumbers. Roadsides from the Eastern Seaboard to the upper Central Plain are dotted with shophousedevelopment. In Pathum Thani and Samut Prakran it is an ubiquitous development, as each road, thanon andsoi surely has at least one shophouse strip.These units are typically constructed in blocks anywhere from five to 30 units in length. Each unit is three tofive levels high, most commonly four. The average size of the units are 4 meters wide by 12 meters deep.The ground level is used for commercial activities, often associated with the automobile or motorcycle(service and sale). Other commercial activities typically include, restaurant, food shops, health clinics,Buddhist sculpture making, and agricultural implement sales. In rare instances the second and third floors areunder commercial use as well.The owner or rentier most often resides above the shop, as well as any employees of the commercialenterprise requiring housing. A housing study in the Rangsit area of Pathum Thani surveyed shophouseresidential population, and established that the average unit houses 5.9 people, and several had over 20.66. Ahmed, Ziauddm (1983) A STUDY OF LAND AND HOUSING DEVELOPMENT IN THE RANGSIT\AIT AREAOF BANGKOK WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO LOW INCOME HOUSING, Masters Thesis, Asian Institute ofTechnology, Bangkok.191Although this is the most common housing type in the outer city, the majority of the shophouses are vacantincluding some built more than five years ago. One of the surprising and most noticeable features of theouter city real estate market is the seemingly endless blocks of vacant shophouses in nearly all areas. Insome, paint is peeling off the walls, and the plastered sides are discolored, with no indication of there everbeing an occupant. In areas of Nalthon Pathom and Pathum Thani there are large complexes of new, yetbarren shophouse blocks instilling a ghostly and eerie ambience.The construction of shophouses is often the outcome of real estate speculation. Construction had begun whenland and production costs were less expensive, and upon completion the market value rose, frequentlyleaving the development vacant. As the region fills out, presumably, most will be rented or purchasedeventually. For example, the Eastern Seaboard is saturated with rows of barren shophouses, but withimminent growth along the coast, most will likely be purchased shortly.77.2.2 Row Houses:What has driven the price of housing up and often beyond affordability for many prospective buyers is theprice of land. It follows that if the land component is decreased, housing prices can be cut significantly.Conventional wisdom has led developers to respond in two ways: vertical construction, such as high rises, ortightly placed houses side by side, such as row houses. The vertical solution turns out to be costly and unlessthe high-rise caters to middle or upper income buyers it is often socially disastrous.8Hence, the horizontalsolution has been the practical response, and in the EBMR, after shophouses, it is the most prevalent form ofresidential development.7. Appendix II (May 4, June 5-10, September 8, 1991).8. Evidence of this can be found in Hong Kong. Also urban renewal high rise projects in the United States and Britainin the 1960s and 1970s are further verification. Singapore stands as an exception.192In Pathum Thani and Samut Prakarn row houses have emerged as privately owned real estate development,and sold by individual unit to a buyer. In many cases, the buyer purchases more then one, and rents the unitsto lessees. Row housing is accessible to a broad range of income groups. Some blocks have tiny units thatare crude and basic, and fetch a nominal market price, appealing to young single factory workers on a smallfixed income. At the other end of the income spectrum rows’ can be upscale, equipped with two car garagesand a spacious yard. Often these are single stand-alone units.9Although row houses are generally affordable, enhance infrastructure efficiency, and fill a market gap forfirst time buyers, there are a few problems. The land on the back side of the block is largely dormant, andsubsequently fetches a very low price relative to the row houses. This is another example of inefficient landutilization. In my visits to various row housing developments in Pathum Thani and Samut Prakarn, residentsusually were armed with scores of grievances, such as not being able to have doors and windows on thesides, flimsy partition walls separating the units, stagnant waste water along the back side causing buildingdiscoloring, and lack of security.10Row houses are, and will continue to be the EBMR planner’s ideal. Certainly not without its problems,‘rows’ are sensitive to outer city consumers’ needs, and when the pros and cons are tallied, they deliver thebest balance between affordability and livability.7.2.3 Condominiums11:9. Appendix II (February 20, March 7, March 12, August 9).10. During my research tenure in 1991, I resided in a row house in the eastern BMA near Minburi. A seemingly candidconcern for many of my neighbors was the approximate 50\50 proportion between owners and lessees. Ownerscomplained that renters did not provide sufficient upkeep and maintenance of their units. As one owner said, “You canclean the windows or paint the door, but unless your neighbors do the same it all looks untidy”. On the positive sidethere was a vibrant sense of community along the ‘row’, undoubtedly fostered by the close proximity of the units.11. Parallel terms are ‘townhouse’ and ‘apartment’. Both are used in Bangkok’s urban edge, but for this section theycan be deemed as interchangeable. A townhouse is a group of houses joined by common side walls. Technically it couldbe a shophouse, row house or even condominium. An apartment is a condominium with rental or tenancy status. Since193Residential condominiums began in Thailand in the mid 1970s to cater to high income groups living inBangkok. Rising land prices allowed for condominiums to be practical and profitable investments as theyrequired less building space. Condos, like shophouses are now flooding the outer city residential market, andthe concept has been modified to low cost projects. Samut Prakarn and Pathum Thani have a high density ofcondos, serving the broadest range of income earners.Outer city low cost condos are the most prevalent form of this development, usually found near industrialestates and factory sites. Yap and Rabman (1992), in their study of factory worker housing in the NorthernCorridor of Pathum Thani, found that the primary owners of condo units were nearby factories who in turnleased them to their workers. 12Outer city condos are anywhere from three - 15 levels, most being five or six. The image usually implied by‘condominium’ is ‘upscale’, ‘affluent’, and sometimes ‘opulent’. Outer city condos are in fact very differentthan the perception. The rooms are generally very small, and often house three or more people. Even thenew buildings appear run down and dreary. Elevators are rarely functioning, and burglaries are common.Notwithstanding, as the case with row houses, condos do fill a certain residential niche for migrants andindustry; that being the reproduction of labour. 13most condos are eventually rented a clear distinction is not essential.k is important to note that ‘condominium’ in thelocal vernacular has a different meaning then in North America.12. Yap, Kioe Sheng & Aminur Rahman (1992) HOUSING FACTORY WORKERS IN THE NORTHERNCORRIDOR OF THE BANGKOK METROPOLITAN REGION, Paper presented at the International Conference on‘Managing Mega-Urban Regions of ASEAN Countries: Policy Challenges and Responses”, held at the Asian Instituteof Technology, Bangkok, November 30 to December 3, pg. 15.13. Before settling in my row house I viewed about 10 condominiums in Samut Prakarn and considered a rentalagreement, which is not very difficult to arrange. Most units were quite shabby and less then 35 square metres, withoutprivate bath. Perhaps the only redeeming feature was the price, usually under Bahtl 500 per month for a rentalarrangement. Alter interviewing many residents, I sense most occupants are displeased with their condo. A Nationreport on outer city condos concurred, “They do not seem to have any other choice but to live in a small room whichboth buyers and developers try to call a ‘condominium THE NATION (1991) August 21, ‘The Downside OfCondos, Thasai Jearania & Veena Thoopkrajae.194The most ambitious low income outer city condo project in the Kingdom is scheduled for completionsometime in 1993. Bangkok Land Co., arguably the largest residential real estate developer in the country, isconstructing a mammoth condo complex off Bangna-Trad Road in Samut Prakarn, costing Baht4 billion. Theproject consists of 26 1 1-story condominiums, with 5600 units, expecting to house 20,000 people. Thetarget market is exclusively labourers in the factories of Samut Prakarn. Situated in the complex is adepartment store, food centre, and theatre. The units sell for an average price of Baht500,000 (Cd$25,000) Dormitories:The majority of factory workers are often temporary migrants, underpaid, and unmarried women, suggestingthis group is hardly in a position to purchase permanent accommodations. Moreover, most workers remit aportion of their wages to their families in the countryside. Also, single women require security and privacywithin their accommodations. Responding to these needs, it is hardly surprising that many factories provideon-site dormitories for their female workers.As a foreign male researcher it was not possible to personally visit any of the dormitories on factory sites.There also appears to be very little written on the topic.15 I did however interview several dormitoryresidents and spoke at length to factory managers concerning conditions, costs, and services.14. Muang Thong Bangna, (the projects name), was sold out before construction began. The same developer is alsoresponsible for a second project, again combining commercial and residential development in a single complex namedMuang Thong Thani. This equally as large complex wifi have four condo towers all over 18 levels, and feature the,‘magnificent Park Lane Plaza- the shopping and entertainment complex of tomorrow”. This project, located inNonthaburi province is targeting a more ‘upscale clientele.15. A notable exception is Yap and Rabman (1992), op.cit.195Dormitories provide two significant advantages to its residents. First, it practically eliminates commutingaltogether. Workers arrive at the shop floor punctually and (presumably) alert, potentially increasingworkers’ productivity. Absenteeism is reduced. Also, the workers bear no commuting cost in time andmoney. Second, there is a considerable saving on the expense of rent. Dormitory residents are charged lessthen Baht500 per month, but most often it is free.It is difficult to ascertain the actual number of workers residing in dormitories, or even the number offactories that provide the service, but it became clear that most large enterprises, such as those along PathuinThani’s Northern Corridor, and in Bang Plee, Sainut Prakarn, have dormitory arrangements. Of thosefactories that provide the service, approximately 50 per cent of the workers are in residence. And, althoughit mostly serves women workers, some men are also residents.16Dormitories are small, and can house up to five workers. There are no kitchen or washroom facilities in therooms, but there are shared baths on each floor, and the factory provides subsidized meals in its cafeteria.Although no one I spoke with, including factory managers, praised dormitory living in prodigal terms, thereis a consensus that it is practical and convenient. It serves labour and management equally well.There is possibly an ambivalence as to whether factory management condone dormitory arrangements. Onthe one hand, it is politically convenient to have a large proportion of the work force together. It enhancesconvivial staff relations, and allows management to logistically exercise more direct control. On the otherhand the threat of labour collusion and organization is increased. For this reason, management rarely havequalms to bus its labour force to and from the factory from scattered sites throughout the region.16. Yap and Rahinan, ibid, report that dormitories for men in the Northern Corridor seem to be under occupied (pg.7).196A point raised by Yap and Rahman is that foreign investors prefer to maintain maneuverability andflexibility, and may be hesitant to over-invest in fixed assets, such as residential real estate. The bussingoption, for some firms may have additional political advantages.17Without being redundant, it is worth noting that there are a number of other residential tenancy arrangementsbetween work-place and worker in the outer city. As mentioned earlier row houses and condos are oftenbought up by factories to lease to their workers (as will the case be with Muang Thong Bangna in SamutPrakarn). Several factories have also erected their own apartment-condo buildings outside the factory gates,but nearby, exclusively for their work force. Industrial Estates almost all have residential districts, often setup in conjunction with the National Housing Authority (NHA) to provide low cost subsidized housing forworkers (see discussion on Bang Plee Industrial Estate in Chapter 6). Finally, small scale rural industry inthis region, often with 10-20 employees or less, has for centuries provided residential services for its staff.My travels throughout the outer city brought me in contact with countless small industries, often cottagehandicrafts, and nearly all provided on-site housing for migrant workers.’87.2.5 Slums:’9Slum evictions throughout inner city Bangkok have increased markedly, making room for new shoppingplazas, hotels, and a convention center (Queen Sirikit). An NESDB study found that slum housing, in areaswithin 10 kilometers from the city core decreased by 11,376 units between 1984 and 1988. Since the unitsare not being replaced by privately constructed low cost or NHA subsidized housing in the city, residents areforced to seek other locations. Thus, slum development has been suburbanizing in the same way as other17. Ibid, pg.19.18. Appendix II (April 11, May 16, 1991).19. The term ‘slum’ may no longer be a useful term. The functional nature of this settlement type generally does notwarrant the negative connotation associated with the term. In Thailand, and throughout the literature I reviewed, theterm is heavily used. For that reason it may appear here as well.197housing types. In fact there is a proliferation of slums throughout the outer city, and particularly near theindustrial zones in Pathum Thani and Samut Prakarn 20 There has also been a marked increase in a similarhousing type, which is largely indistinguishable from slum housing, referred to as informal settlements.21Yap has provided data which indicate that informal settlements in Pathum Thani and Samut Prakran, between1984 and 1988, have risen 76 and 93 per cent respectively.22This data is hardly surprising, as even a hastytour through the outer city exposes many informal settlements, most emerging very recently. The mostcommon type is houses that are set on both sides of a narrow wooden walkway running perpendicular fromthe highway. The houses are often built on posts over undrained water-logged land. Many houses appear tobe built with second-hand materials, probably collected from nearby construction sites. There is rarely apiped water supply, as most households depend on rain water collection barrels. Most units are serviced byelectricity, but are without a garbage disposal system.A frequent arrangement which precipitates the informal settlement is as follows: outer city landownersobserve factories erected all around their area and respond by setting up a few shacks bisected by a walkwayon the edge of the parcel of land, and soliciting it as residential rental units. The units are without properamenities and do not abide by the minimum required housing regulations. The acute shortage of affordablehousing insures a profitable return for the landowner-cum-landlord?”20. NESDB (1991) National Urban Development Policy Framework RECOMMENDED DEVELOPMENTSTRATEGIES, Area #8, pg.24.21. There is no real delineation between outer city slums and informal settlements. Both take on similar morphologicalcharacteristics and are serviced with marginal amenities on poorly drained land or perched along a canal. For thissection, the terms informal settlements and slums will be used interchangeably.22. Yap, Kioe Sheng (1992) “The Slums” in LOW INCOME HOUSING IN BANGKOK: A REVIEW OF SOMEHOUSING SUB-MARKETS, ed. Kioe Sheng Yap, Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok.23. Appendix II (February 14, 1991).24. One arrangement of this nature in Samut Prakarn, which I visited in April, 1991, was particularly grim. The 30rooms (or shacks) set up in two long rows were very small and crowded, there was one sunk tube latrine and one waterpipe. The rent was only Baht700, enabling the entirely migrant tenants to save and remit”. Less then 30 metres from198It is also worth mentioning that several village headmen complained that “squatters” from Bangkok have setup housing within the village land. One village in the eastern reaches of the BMA had a reputation as a “safeplace” for recently evicted slum dwellers.25Finally, a few words must be made concerning the critical housing deficiency of migrant gangs ofconstruction workers. As already written, all types of construction are booming in the outer city, attracting avery large population of construction workers. Their housing may be the grimmest of all. The literature haspaid little attention to their plight, probably as they are the most contingent and ephemeral of all outer citypopulations. Notwithstanding, even the sparsest amenities are lacking.7.2.6 Housing Estates:Outer city housing nomenclature in the EBMR has adopted the term ‘housing estate’ to denote any fenced offcommunity of single detached buildings or houses. A group of condominiums, industrial park housingcomplexes, a few blocks of row houses, or upscale residential communities are all ‘housing complexes’. InThai the term muban, meaning village has been used to connote the same. To avoid redundancy, thefollowing discussion will focus only on upscale housing catering to those in upper middle class incomebrackets.the slum was the landlord’s palatial residence, with all the trappings; three cars (including a BM’A’), central airconditioning, a pair of vicious (and deviant) guard dogs, and a retinue of servers; Appendix II (April 2-4, 1991).Landlords could easily get away with renting delapidated slum housing because the rising average housing price isdriving rent prices up. In fact between 1987 and 1990 the average housing price in the BMR increased the highest forlow income units (34.3 per cent, while middle income housing in comparison increased at 22.4 per cent). See PADCO,op.cit, 1990, pg.86.25. Appendix II (April 10, 1991).199As with all other housing types, there has been a proliferation of these estates beginning in the late 1980s.They are found mostly in Pathum Thani and Samut Prakarn, but are beginning to be developed in areasfurther from Bangkok, such as Chonburi and Ayutthaya. The marketing is targeting the growing middle andupper classes of professionals employed in the formal sector. Each estate may also have a small communityof professional expatriates. Very few are rental arrangements, and prices can be upwards of BahtlO millionper unit. Some estates are as large as 800 or 1000 units. These housing estates are often mini fortresses withhighly elaborate security. Almost all have three or four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and two or sometimesthree car garages, and are usually adjacent to large leisure ponds, and golf courses. Some are built on thebanks of canals, using the waterways as an estate marina.26Perhaps more then anything else, these housing estates are ladened with status, implying wealth, success,prosperity and achievement. The image portrayed is bent on emulating American suburbia, and just asimportant to suburbia as to these outer city estates is the (over)reliance on the automobile. Advertisementsand brochures promoting the estates seem to consistently emphasize the automobile. One advert seeminglyset in the 1930s is of a young family with a Ford Model T out for a weekend picnic.Villa California, an estate named to imitate the recognition of alternative geographies, developed in ampoeMuang, Pathum Thani has adopted as its dictum, “It is specifically designed to be a lush green suburb in thenorthern corridor of Bangkok. Example of promotional advertisement is shown in Plate 7.1.The newly developed Habitat in ampoe Bang Plee, Samut Prakarn uses the following lines for itsdescription, “The warm aura of having a contemporary home set amid fresh air and lush greenery... A placewhere you can flourish amid the freshness of nature and with all modern amenities”.26. Appendix II (March 10-12, August 9, 1991).-•o:•rr’’--GETASLICEOFCALIFORNIAPARADISE...INBANGKOK4•1I--M C 0201An interesting marketing angle used by a large developer whose company is named Baan Chonnabot,(translated to ‘village home’), in a new estate in ampoe Senah Phra in Ayutthaya province, is to appropriatetraditional Thai rural values. Baan Thai Village claims, “the old Thai lifestyle need not be forgotten... {as}the essence of Thai style is relived”. There are several other estates attempting to reclaim a romanticizedhistory.Figure 7.2 shows the location of these outer city housing estates. Soja, referring to Los Angeles, but relevantto EBMR housing estates, eludes to the labelling of space:In naming, as in so many other contemporary urban processes, time and space, the ‘once’and the ‘there’ are being increasingly played with and packaged to serve the needs of thehere and the now, making the lived experience of the urban increasingly vicarious,screejed through simulacra, those exact copies for which the real originals have beenlost.7.2.7 The Persistence of the Traditional Village:Foreign and local urban planners (and consultants) who seem to be beating a path to the Bangkok metropolis,and attempting to offer some semblance of order to the ever sprawling urban development, seem to disregardor at least overlook the fact that more then half of the EBMR’s 13 million residents still reside in traditionalvillages.28 In no way does this suggest that all are engaged in agriculture. The persistence of the village willcertainly outlast the persistence of agriculture. But this does suggest that outer city housing is not restrictedto city-based residential development. The highly speculative and vigorous real estate market has not27. Soja, Edward (1989) POSTMODERN GEOGRAPHIES, London: Verso, pg.245.See Plate 7.2 for examples of outer city housing estates. Fortune City, in Samut Prakarn can be located on Figure 7.2Muang Thong Bangna is also in Samut Prakran.28. In December, 1991 a large international conference entitled “Managing the Mega-Urban Regions of ASEANcountries: Policy Challenges and Responses’ was held in Bangkok, and I was surprised that very little discussion dealtwith traditional villages in any of the five Mega-Urban regions covered by the conference agenda.202—Ø,:PLATE 7.2 203Muang Thong BangnaFortune City204conquered and integrated the entire region. For non-migrant, and even nonagricultural workers the ‘village’should remain a viable residential settlement for a long time yet.Thanks to breakthroughs in transportation, and particularly informal privately owned forms oftransportation, most villages in the EBMR are unsegregated from the urban based industrial and servicesectors (see Chapter 4 for more on informal transportation systems). Most villages are able to combineagriculture and nonagricultural activities fairly well. Without trying to romanticize the traditional village, itis apparent that tradition still has much to offer in terms of life quality, environmental aesthetics, and senseof community. After all why are the ‘city-based’ housing estate developers rushing to recreate the charm ofthe indigenous nuthan?7.2.8 Summary:There are two points to be brought out in summary. First, it is apparent that outer city housing, within itsbroad range of housing types, is in many ways a microcosm of many of the social problems underscoring thelarger region. The gap between the rich and the poor, the worker and manager, the landlord and tenant, is asconspicuous in the outer city as it is in Bangkok. Social and economic relations are often exaggerated in theouter city. In many ways the urban edge has facilitated flexibility by providing ample land, and an abundantlow cost labour pooi with lack of regulations. Anything is acceptable and encouraged. It is a geographic greyzone caught between the rigidness of the city and the more lenient countryside. It has permitted and almostencouraged estates like California Villa to abut informal slum settlements. The rules are flexible and oftennonexistent. The outer city in the EBMR is very much a postmodern housing condition!The second point is an important reiteration of an earlier theme. The EBMR, at least as we have seen, istaking on a very urban housing landscape (rowhouses, condominiums, shophouses, etc..) without any205significant cities. Beyond suburbanization, this is additional evidence supporting a ‘region basedurbanization’. It is affirmation of urbanization proceeding without cities (This theme will bedealt will more thoroughly in Chapter 10).7.3 RECREATION LANDSCAPE7.3.1 Golf in the EBMR:Since ‘Visit Thailand Year’ in 1987, there has been an enormous promotion for golf tourism. Golf promotershave realized that golf can be profitable. The golf industry’s idol, Jack Nicklaus, who seems to frequentlyvisit Thailand to design a new course layout, or partake in a lavish opening ceremony for a new course, saidat a Bangkok press conference, “When you see a game grow as fast as it has in the last couple of years inThailand, it makes you feel real good.” The following year Nicklaus was quoted in the Bangkok Post assaying, “Golf courses are the windows of the world. They are the greatest tourist attraction and exacttremendous interest. Anyone who says they destroy natural vegetation, disturb farmlands, absorb too muchwater or deprive people from earnings from their land, don’t know what they are talking about.”29 And soit is in Thailand. The words of this one golfing demi-God seem to be the conventional wisdom that drives29. The revered and respected Nicklaus seems to be held in particularly high regard in Thailand. When in the Bangkokregion, his entourage is followed by a large doting press corp that detail his every move and spoken word. NicklaussCalifornia based management firm Golden Bear International designs and builds courses and markets a line of golfmgsportswear. The Hong Kong regional office by 1990 was involved in 26 new golf course projects in Asia, of which 14were located in Thailand. With numbers like that, surely Thailand’s admiration for Nicklaus can only reciprocated.The first quote: BANGKOK POST (1991), December 2. The second quote comes from: “Getting in the Swing’, (1990),AS1AWEEK, December 21-28.206and dictates policy which has led to the emergence of the fastest growing, and arguably the most oppressive,land extensive, golf industry in Asia. It is a form of development that plays on ‘non-city’ sensitivities andaesthetics.7.3.2 Evolution of Golf in Thailand: The Emergence of an Outer City ActivityThe first golf course in Thailand opened in Chiang Mai in 1910, and was followed shortly afterward by afew small layouts in Bangkok, including one on the grounds at the Chitralda Royal Palace. Throughout thecentury a small number of courses were built, mostly in Bangkok, but a few were developed in the outercity, including a Royal Thai Air Force course at the Don Muang airport in 1936, and a nine hole layout inBangna (Samut Prakarn) in 1965. In the September 1964 issue of the American published “Golf Digest”magazine, Thailand was described as nation of 27 million people, where only 1000 played golf on a total of10 courses.3°Through the 1970s, with an increasing number of Japanese companies operating in the Bangkok area, and ahandful of regionally acclaimed professional golfers of Thai nationality, the golf industry began to take off.A few more courses at Bangna, and one each in Bankapi and Nakhon Pathom province began to establish theouter city as a select location for the industry to establish a spatial niche.3130. “Gold on the Greens”, (1990) BUSINESS REVIEW, 81, April-May.31. Ibid.207As the country’s economy grew significantly into the 1980s, the golfing population started to enlarge.Moreover, the swelling tourism industry at this time contributed in no small way to nurture and developgolfing as not only a leisure activity but a profitable business venture.32As mentioned earlier, by 1987, ‘Visit Thailand Year’, the golf industry had a firm hold on the outer city,and courses proliferated at unprecedented levels. There are approximately 140 courses in, or near operationin Thailand, with little reason to expect a development slowdown. The golf and tourism lobby maintain thatThailand has a market demand to sustain twice the current level.33There are two principal explanations for the current golfing boom in the outer city. First, golf course andcountry club investment are one constituent of the prevailing real estate sector. As developers and investorsrush to buy up land and property on the urban fringe, golf courses appear to be a ‘fashionable’ and profitableasset. Although start up and development costs are high, returns are lucrative.Second, the sport is catching on quickly with the surging middle and upper classes. The status and prestigeassociated with the sport, not only has driven membership and green fees spiralling, but has placed the sportin a gentrified class of its own. Pleumarom estimates there are 500,000 golfers nation wide, of which100,000 are expatriates and foreign tourists.34The Bangkok Post Economic Review for mid-year 1990 usedthe figure of three million for the number of people who have taken up the sport.3532. Pleuinaron, Anita (1992) Course and Effect: Golf Tourism in Thailand’ THE ECOLOGIST, vol.22, no.3,May/June.33. Ibid.34. Ibid. pg.104.35. Although 3 million seems absurdly high, this figure includes mostly occasional and irregular golfers.Notwithstanding, based on the number of courses, and prohibitive costs associated with game this figure is highlyimplausible. BANGKOK POST (1990) Mid Year Economic Review, pg.53.208Golf has become a social and business venue for the elite class amongst the military, politicians and thebusiness community. Since the late 1980s, the golfing tourist trade is dominated by Japanese, who arrive ongolfing holidays, and in some instances purchase memberships and country club property. It is moreaffordable to become a member of a Thai club, and pay travel costs to Bangkok, then to buy into a Japanesegolfing country club. Many Singaporeans arrive in Bangkok in cars and buses for a weekend golf holiday.There is a brisk golfing tourist trade from Taiwan and Hong Kong as well.36Of the 140 courses in the Kingdom, nearly 50 are located in the outer city (see Table 7.4 and Figure 7.3). Inthe outer areas of the BMA, Pathum Thani, and Samut Prakarn have the highest concentration of coursedevelopments. However, it is the Bangna-Trad Highway, linking Bangkok with the Eastern Seaboard, withthe largest concentration, that has appropriately been titled ‘golf course highway’. An unnamed source in theBangkok Post Mid Year Review stated, “Travelling down the Bangna Trat Highway in the near future willhe like staring down one giant fairway... to the left and right, intermingling with rapidly diminishingfarmland and fast growing industrial estates and housing developments, there could very well be the largestconcentration of golf courses in the world”One of the curious features of outer city golf courses are their size. The developments are very large andextensive endeavors. Pleumarom contrasts the size of golf course developments in Europe and Thailand:.whereas a golf course in Europe takes up about 64 hectares, a project in Thailand covers a much largerarea, on average 160-320 hectares”.38This can be explained with three reasons. First, most of the new andproposed outer city courses are accompanied by luxury hotels, small housing estates, and other sport and36. In Japan, memberships often cost more the BahtlO million, compared to Bahtl million in the private courses aroundBangkok. In addition to the membership there may be a monthly maintenance fee and green fees. In Thailand, even thepublic courses are extremely expensive with green fees priced at a minimum BahtSOO. After equipment purchase orrental, appropriate attire, and caddy fees, the cost is truly prohibitive. As one article quipped, (the high costs have}placed the salaried duffers in the endangered species list or turned them into joggers.” Business Review, op.cit, pg.88.In attempt to combat exorbitant costs, many developers are setting up driving ranges, often huge enterprises, sometimes3 levels high. Although, these are costly as well, they are affordable to a much wider range of potential golfers.37. Ibid, pg.53.209TABLE 7.4OUTER CITY GOLF COURSESEkachai, Samut Sakhon *Muang Alce, Thani *Navatanee, DMARose Garden, Naichon PathomRoyal Thai Airforce (RTAF), BMARTAF, DMAPinehurst, Pathum ThaniUNICO, DMAKrungthep KrethaA. I. T., Pathum ThaniBang Poo, Samut PrakarnEGAT, ChonburiGreen Valley, Samut PrakarnRoyal Irrigation, NonthaburiRoyal Thai Navy, Samut PrakarnThai Country Club, Samut PrakarnPrime City, Pathum Thani* denotes 24 hour courseKiartee l’hana, Samut PrakarnThana City, Samut PralcarnLake Wood Country Club, S.P.Palm Beach, Samut PrakarnPresident Country Club, BMAVinson, DMAPanya Resort, DMAPanya Sri Racha, ChonburiPanya Bang Chan, DMAPanya Ramindra, DMAChauncheon Flora, Pathum ThaniWindmill Park, Samut PrakamKrung Kavee, Pathuna ThaniMuang Ake Vista, Pathum ThaniMaburine, BMANoble Place, ChonburiAyutthaya, (3 courses)OThER GOLF COURSES IN THE KINGDOMDMA (inner city) 8Pattaya 12Kanchanabun 5Khon Khaen 5Yasothan ITak INakhon Nayok 1Songkla 3Uttradit ILampang 1Nakhon Sawan 1Petchaburi 10Phuket 10Chiang Mai 12Udon Thani 1Saraburi 1Ratchaburi 1Rayong 5Nakhon Si Thammarat 1Lopburi 1Phitsanalouk 1Chaiyapum I38. Pleumarom, (1992) op.cit.,pg.105.Kanchanaburi•(5courses)—0“3 I-I0211leisure facilities. Second, most of the new courses are 27 or 36 hole layouts. Only in very few settings is thisthe case of North American and European courses.39 Third, with many novice golfers taking to the coursefor only the first time, the fairways are wide, often twice the width of a European fairway.Another curious feature of outer city golf courses are that many of the new projects and some of the moreestablished ones are installing floodlights for night golfing. Already in practice in Taiwan and Japan,Ekachai Golf Club in Samut Sakhorn province, southwest of Bangkok was the first to ‘extend their hoursbeginning in l99l.’7.3.3 Golf: A Non-Productive Sector:The recent boom in the golf industry confounds the decision making process concerning the use of remainingnatural resources in the outer city. Scarce water supplies are being expended by the arid courses, forest andmangrove swamps have nearly all vanished, and most critically, prime fertile agricultural land is bulldozedinto golf courses. In this light, there appears to be cause for apprehension, as the golf sector serves a leisureclass dominated by a narrow strata of the Thai population and overseas tourists.A small rebellious lobby has emerged in the Bangkok region to scorn current land use practices and futuregolf course development.41They provide a defiant voice in aversion to mainstream views. Their nemesis,39. The most ambitious golf development in the Kingdom as of 1993 was taking shape 120 kilometers south west ofBangkok in Petchaburi province. The Kaeng Krachan Country Club, covering 35,000 rai, boasts a 54 hole layout, 700residential units, a five star hotel, department store, amusement park, auto racing track, and airport, ibid. pg. 105.40. Ekachai golf club spent Baht3O million to light the course. Although night golfmg is not without its problems, suchas mosquitos, inefficient lighting in the rough, or off the main fairways, it seems to be a rampant trend. Expectedly,membership and green fees rise to absorb the cost. See Asia Magazine, (1991), June 21-23, pg.13.212Sathit Uthaisri, vice president of the Bangkok Bank, an ardent defender of golf course expansion, is onrecord as saying, “Thailand should import rice and grow grass.”42The acquisition of land for golf courses is a process leading to inflated land values and rural landlessness.Pleumarom, (after The Nation) describes the process:To acquire a vast plot of land, investors normally begin by contacting kamnans (subdistrictheadmen) and village headmen to act as brokers in land deals with villagers. The tacticemployed is to scoop up small plots of land at the edge of the project sites first. When allareas around the project sites have been occupied by the investors, villagers living withinthe boundary created by them find they have no right of exit to the outside and are likely toface charges of intruding on private property if they cross the peripheral land bought forthe golf course... Without the acss to the main roads, the villagers have no recourse butto sell their land to the investor.Golf course development also drives the market price of land upwards. Land that carries a low value asagricultural use, is reappraised when converted to commercial use. The tax base increases, particularly whenclubhouses, hotels, and condominiums are part of the development. One farmer in Minburi told me that hisland has tripled in value since construction began on nearby President’s Golf Club. For landowners wantingto sell their land, an adjacent golf course is analogous to ‘striking oil’. For landless agriculturalists itreaffirms the unachievable aim of farming their own land.41. Although this lobby is not organized in the form of an association, a number of NGOs have taken up the cause.Anita Pleumarom, representing a German NGO, and coordinator of the Tourism, Development and EnvironmentProject of the Bangkok based Ecumenical Coalition on Third World Tourism, appears to be a leading voice in thelobby,(op cit, 1992). A sprinkling of newspaper articles addressing the darker side of the sports impact on theenvironment and society have been published. They act as a critical counter balance to the media’s consistentcommendation and adoration for the game and its proponents.42. Asiaweek, (1990) op.cit., pg 59.43. Pleumarom, (1992) op.cit, after The Nation, July 7,1991. Pleumarom describes one Northern Thailand landacquisition process where a landowner, who held her ground while all the land around her was bought up, was warnedby investors that the only way she could get off her property was by helicopter. Pleumarom also reports that as anaverage, villagers receive 30 per cent of the market value when they agree to sell. Although I saw little evidence of this,I am aware of unfair and manipulative buying practices of investors and developers in the outer city, and this is notrestricted to golf.213Since outer city golf courses are developed on prime agricultural land, it has been a significant cause of thegrowing landlessness among the population of the Central Plain. One article states that an 18 hole golfcourse with accompanying amenities, typically displaces 300-400 farming famiuies.W Although landownersare compensated for their appropriated land, landless labourers and tenants often suffer the biggest loss.Proponents argue that dispossession of land is only a provisional problem for the farmers, because coursescreate many jobs. This is only partially correct. During the construction phase, 200-300 labourers, oftenrecently dispossessed peasants, are required for about two years. When the construction is completed, anaverage golf course can operate with about 40 workers, mostly low paying greenkeepers, guards, andclubhouse staff. As technology for golf course maintenance (automatic water spriniding systems, tractormowers) advances, jobs are made itinerant and redundant. Some courses are operating with as little 10staff.45Caddies however, who are exclusively young women, are hired in very generous numbers. Some courseshave a ‘stock’ of over 500.’ In the more ‘prestigious’ clubs, golfers typically hire two caddies; one totingthe clubs and a lawn chair, the other following close behind the golfer with an umbrella. Caddies are oftenshamed into sexual liaisons with the players after the golf match. A few golf clubs which discourage sexualexploitation have replaced the caddies with motorized carts.4744. Business Review, op.cit, pg. 84.45. Pleumarom (1992), op.cit. pg.107.46. A Bangkok Post article addresses this feature of golf courses in Thailand; “Thai golfers use caddies, more caddiesthan any other golf players in the world- an act that the Guinness Book of Records should have.” BANGKOK POST(1991), August 19, “Golf: A Game of Life on the Green” August 19.47. A European trade journal describes caddies on the golf courses of Thailand in these patronizing terms; “Goodquality equipment is always available and caddies usually come in the form of young and surprisingly knowledgeableladies. And if you feel somewhat embarrassed at having a delicately built girl lugging heavy golf bags around an 18-hole course, then tip her appropriately”. Hastings, Cohn (1991) “Golf Home Away From Home for Japanese’ANNULA MEETING NEWS, October 16.214The environmental consequences of golf course proliferation are quite drastic. Not only are courses utilizingscarce water supplies as farmers are being asked to cut back their consumption, but the chemicals andfertilizers routinely used on the golf courses are highly toxic and poisonous to the natural environment.’The Thai language newspaper- Thai Rath, has taken the position that financing for golf course developmentshould be directed to development projects which reach the broadest segment of society. As golf coursesdrain the country of much needed money, only a small minority of elites benefit by participating in thisleisure sport. Although it is hard to disagree with this view, the fact is the outer city landscape is undergoinga revolutionized metamorphosis. Foreign investors, local developers, and multi-national interests are shapingthe outer city in a less than altruistic way. Development is set to maximize surplus value and subsequentreproduction of profit. In this regard we should not anticipate an equitable social and economic spatialframework for the outer city. Of all development in the outer city, golf courses, epitomize the widening gulfbetween the rich and poor or the club member and caddie.Despite the dedicated work of the anti-golf lobby, it appears that the industry will continue to growunabated. Table 7.5 is a partial list of some of the influential and wealthy Thai decision makers who areproponents and advocates for the game, and sit as honorary chairmans or on the board of governors of golfcourses.48. Appendix II (August 19, 1991).215TABLE 7.5GOLF COURSE BOOSTERSSathit Uthaisri, Senior VP, flank of ThailandFormer Supreme Commander General Saiyudh KerdpholArsa Sarasin, Leading Politician and BusinessmanChai Sophonapanich, L.eading Politician and BusinessmanSanti Bhiromphakdi, Boon Rawd IndustryUlcris Monkolavin, Former Parliament PresidentFormer Army Commander General Suchinda KraprayoonDeputy Army Commanderin Chief, General Issarapong NoonpakdeeArmy Chief of Staff, Viros SangsanitAirforce Commander in Chief, ACM Kaset RojananilFormer Prime Minister Anand PanyarachunFormer Deputy Prime Minister Police General Paw Sarisin7.4 Hobby Farms:Beginning in the mid 1980s a new form of subdivision emerged. The original intention was to convert ricepaddies into small orchards. Hobby farms, or Suan Kaset are typically small plots of land in the outer citypurchased by middle and upper class Bangkokians for weekend leisure and recreation. The individual plotsmay have a small orchard of mango or orange trees, usually a picnic table and a small covered shelter. It is216immobile property considered a safe form of land investment. Asthetically, they offer the owners a ‘non-city’ escape from the noise, congestion, and pollution of the city.The outer city hobby farm boom occurred between 1989 and 1991, when dozens of these developmentsemerged in almost all areas of the Bangkok fringe. One of the advertised attractions of the hobby farms wasa complete infrastructure; electricity, telephone lines, 24 hour guard station, accessible road network,irrigation pumps, gardening services, and recreation club houses. With the extensive infrastructure, by 1991,predictably, many individual owners started to construct houses on their plots, converting hobby farms intosmall residential subdivisions.Many hobby farms have evolved into housing estates, with the small agricultural component playing a lesssignificant role.49 Utis Kaothien, Director of the Urban Development Coordination Division at the NESDBbelieves hobby farms are mostly a form of real estate and land speculation, moreover, ‘hobby’ is just a termto conceal the true profit motive objectives.50Not all hobby farms appear to be evolving in this direction. Rangsit Hobby Farm, for example, on Klong 11in ampoe Nong Sua, Pathum Thani, as of 1992 was strictly hobby farming in its literal sense. A promotionalbrochure speaks to outer city tranquility; “Golden location for metropolitan people... not far from Bangkok,fresh air, natural scene, with fertile soil which is suitable for almost every type of fruit tree...” The hobbyfarm managers will provide on request, technical counseling for, gardening upkeep, fertilization levels, andirrigation rates. To earn income from the effort, the crop could be sold to merchants who will pick it up atRangsit Hobby Farm and sell it at nearby Rangsit market. Figure 7.4 displays a layout of the hobby farm.There are 44 individual plots, all 400 square wa/i or one rai in size,. (they resemble mini Seignuerial long49. Houses are usually constructed by farmers living nearby.50. Based on personal interview, Appendix II (June 11, 1991). Dr. Utis’ s view is shared by a number of farmers inadjacent areas to hobby farms. One farmer suggested that hobby farming as a concept is a hidden agenda for what willultimately be outright residential communities.217lots in 19th century Quebec). Each single rai plot sells for Baht800,000 to Bahtl ,200,000 depending onproximity to the main road.5’An elaborate and accommodating payment scale has been drawn up to allowfor monthly payments for up to a 15 year period.52There are three main areas of the outer city where hobby farm development is prevalent: (see Figure 7.5).1. All of Pathum Thani on the east side of the Chao Phya (in some areas of Kiong Luang this may be themost common form of new land use).2. Ampoe Sainoi in Nonthaburi.3. Eastern BMA districts of Minburi and Nong Chok.There is a second outer city development, part of the suan kaset nomenclature, that are also outer cityorchards, but emphasize production more than leisure. Private small plots are sold off in a similar fashion tohobby farms, but the owner focuses on production, marketing, and often the use of new small scaleagricultural technology. For example Durian Park, which opened in 1991 along the Eastern Seaboard,maintains the ‘urban farmer’ can benefit from computer controlled watering and fertilizing, in pursuit ofhigher production.51. This appears to be a competitive price. A brief survey of other hobby farms in the outer city, showed that Rangsit’ Sprices were on the low side, and although it is relatively far from Bangkok, it seems to be priced fairly. Legacy GardenHobby Farm along Klong 12, slightly further from Bangkok were selling 1 rai plots starting at Bahtl ,520,000.Pornpicha Project Hobby Farm in the BMAs eastern Nong Chok district had prices starting at Baht2,120,000. SeeNANGSU PIM PRACHACHART TURAKIT (1991) (newspaper), 21-26 April, (in Thai).52. Although there were no homes yet constructed in Rangsit Hobby Farm, there is evidence that this may be a futureintention. Brochures and notices in the hobby farm office refer to public utilities that are in the process of beingexpanded; electricity, and telephone exchange. The mention of a nearby hospital and school may also suggest futureplans for residential development. See Suan Kaset Rangsit (1991) Promotional Brochure, (in Thai).Figure7.4:HobbyFarmNongSua,PathumThani44PLDTS‘HiEACIr,iaatjanDitch(7metreswide)LUH6t220Hobby farms, like all the other outer city development, responds to a certain need of Bangkokians. Unlikewestern societies, most city dwellers in Thailand have direct roots or connections, if not applied livingexperience, in the rural areas. Hobby farms, in a postmodern manner, allow ‘successful’ city people toidentify with the countryside in a proactive way. It is ironic how post industrial urbanism draws people topre-industrial expressions.7.5 Summary:This chapter has shown the diverse uses of land in the outer city. The consumption of space is quite distinctfrom traditional land use as the old countryside of the EBMR has adopted new forms and functions. Thehousing study underscores the broad variation of socio-economic strata that have come to occupy the outercity. The recreation landscape section of this chapter, in many ways sustains the theme of diversity anddivergence. In this light, an important theme of this chapter has been the focus of the widening gulf betweenrich and poor that appears to characterise the housing and recreational landscapes. Because of the vast arrayof heterogeneous functions juxtaposed throughout the region, RBU is an eclectic landscape, and can becharacterised as a space that is neither urban or rural, rich or poor, modern or traditional. In short, RBU isthe ultimate ‘grey zone’ landscape.221CHAPTER EIGHT:OUTER CITY ILLUSTRATIONSThis section will consist of two case studies of small areas in the EBMR. The objectives are to focus onactual, precise land use activity, by bringing together some of the sectorial themes considered in the previouschapters, and show how they work at the local level, on the urban edge. It will largely be a descriptiveexercise, based on interviews and surveys of the two regions, sketching and explaining the rich disparate mixof land use.1 The reader will obtain a sense of landscape in the outer city.8.1 The Northern Corridor:2The Northern Corridor is a rectangular swath of land in Pathum Thani province, that is approximately 20kilometres north to south and averaging 8 kilometres east to west, narrowing in the south. The boundaries ofthis corridor are Ayutthaya province to the north, the northern fringe of the BMA to the south, the maintracks of the Northern rail line to the west, and Klong Sam to the east. The principal artery along thecorridor is Phaholyotin Highway, which is the main roadway to the North and Northeast.3Administratively,the Northern Corridor is mostly (over 80 per cent) in ampoe Klong Luang, but the southern reaches of thecorridor transgress the ainpoes of Thanyaburi and Lum Luk Ka. Also because of the convergence of the rail1. Appendix II2. The term Northern Corridor only came about in the Fifth Economic and Development Plan (1982-1986), when policymakers identified Phaholyothin Highway as a potential decentralized growth production region. Department of Townand Country Planning (DTCP), in 1987, drew up a Comprehensive Plan for the Northern Corridor. Some of their datahas been used here. Department of Town and Country Planning (1987) RESEARCH REPORT ON KHLONG LUANGAND PRACHATIPAT SANITARY DISTRICTS, AMPHUR THANYABURI, PATHUM THANI PROVINCE,Ministry of Interior, (in Thai language).3. This highway is also known as, Highway #1, the Friendship Highway, and forms a part of the Asian Highway.222line and Kioug Sam in the south of the corridor, south eastern parts of ampoe Muang may be consideredwithin the realm of the Northern Corridor (see Figure 8.1).The earliest evidence of a population in the Northern Corridor vicinity goes back to the Ayutthayan Period,when as early as the 12th century, there was a small settlement at what is today Muang Pathum Thani, alongthe Chao Phraya River. It was a small market and supply centre, half way between the Gulf of Siam andAyutthaya. During the 19th century, Pathum Thani was developed with an intricate web of canals, bringingcommercial agriculture, and population to the whole province. It has since developed into one of the mostdensely populated regions of the Kingdom, conveniently situated at the northern fringe of Bangkok.4 Theadministrative arrangement of seven ampoes was set by King Prajadhipok (Rama VII) in 1932, with KhlongLuang originally named Bangrai.Since the national census only recognizes administrative districts, there are few accurate and reliablepopulation tabulations for the Northern Corridor, hence, data from ampoe Klong Luang administrativedistrict will be used and should be reflective of the changes and development of the corridor. Table 8.1 givespopulation data for Klong Luang between 1960 and 1990.Firstly, Klong Luang has grown nearly twice as fast as the province, and between 1960 and 1980substantially increased its population share for the whole province. Table 8.2 is a Department of Town andCountry and Planning (DTCP) projection and estimation for the Northern Corridor. Again, the rapidpopulation growth is noticeable and pronounced. In fact, this may be more accurate then the census data(Table 8.1) because it appears to be sensitive to the large population of migrant factory workers who aremostly resident of other provinces. A common criticism of the census is its indiscreet exclusion of itinerant,hard to reach, and hidden population. In other words, factory workers are often overlooked by the census,rendering DTCP’s data, albeit an estimated projection, as, or more credible.4. The population density of Pathurn Thani is 270 persons per square kilometre (1990 census), and in the NorthernCorridor is 832 persons per square kilometre. (Based on DTCP’s 1987 estimation).0•I223CD 000000 00..r2mI:U)ijj—.‘4—:::::::C—i1.L :::::: :::: .:0% %OUIieax.’%O—‘.0UIpp.‘p.-‘pJI:©..ui--—-%00%00ppP!‘P.‘.0...0’.1a3IiII——I La’ a’Cl)C,) p000 I 0%—I-.©‘.0 00zI ‘.0‘.0 C© iiaOc,a’ a’ 00C00 Ilj:.00 a’ (‘I-4M225Table 8.3 depicts the distribution of land use in the Northern Corridor. From DTCP’s land use maps it isapparent that almost all residential, industrial, and educational land is along the main highway. There is alsoa lighter clustering of non-agricultural land uses near the Rangsit market, along the Klong roads, andadjacent to, and along the Rangsit-Nakhon Nayok Road. A striking observation is the amount of land that islying idle, due to lack of access, or more commonly because it is held for speculation. There is a real senseof incongruity in the Northern Corridor; the contrast of the exceedingly dense Phaholoyotin Highway andthe largely stark and barren lands flanking the corridor. It offers a valuable lesson on transportation’sinfluence and impact on land use. The transport corridor is characterized basically by a large number ofmodem, large scale factories owned predominantly by TNCs and foreign and domestic joint ventures.5Thenumber of factories in the Northern Corridor in 1990 was 373, employing 67,895 workers (Table 8.4)6.Note that nearly 38 per cent of all industrial workers are engaged in weaving and garment industries, and thenext highest is appliances and electronics at 14 per cent. Of all the workers, 75 per cent were female.7A survey conducted by Rabman (1993), a Master’s student at the Asian Institute of Technology uncoveredand confirmed some interesting facts about female factory workers in the Northern Corridor. The survey sizewas 300 (female workers in the corridor). Of these, 55 per cent were under age 25, and almost 80 per centwere under 30. As for length of tenure in the Bangkok region, 71.4 per cent have resided there for less thenfive years. The workforce is comprised of low paid and unskilled workers. This was verified by the survey,5. Limqueco, Peter, B. McFarlane, and J. Odhoff (1989) “Industrialization and the Labour Process: The BangkokArea”, Chapter 3 in LABOUR AND INDUSTRY IN ASEAN, Manila: Journal of Contemporary Asia Publishers,pg.39.6. Not included in Table 8.4 are the factories in Lam Lulc Ka and Muang Pathum Thani in the south of the corridor. Ofparticular importance is the Seagate Technologies factory in Lam Luk Ka with approximately 12,000 employees.Also not included in the table is the population engaged in informal industries and production, and the growing numberof contract and piece workers. In my travels along the corridor I regularly met workers, mostly woman, sewing andweaving, or doing assembly work for a large factory. Often their spouses were employed in a nearby factory.7. Department of Industries (1990), Pathum Thani. The gender survey included 39,838 employees of the 67,895.Considering over 50 per cent of the total workforce were in either appliances or textiles, this figure (75 per cent) maybe anticipated. Moreover, it is known that the brand of capitalism operating in the EBMR utilizes large numbers ofmigrant female workers.Co ii00 aM227as 57 per cent earned less than Baht4,000 per month, and as for education, almost one-quarter of respondentshad no secondary training, meaning they never attended school after 11 years of age. A final, and importantobservation from the survey data was that 90 per cent of the respondents were from outside Pathum Thani,most arriving from other provinces in the Central Plain, and over one-third from the Northeast.8 Theproduction zones of the EBMR are characterised by an impermanent and itinerant labour force, aqualification of McGee’s desakota model (see Chapter 2). This confirms that RBU is a fluid process underperpetual change and restructure, at least in terms of labour force.Although discussed in the section on housing, it is worth reiterating that the Northern Corridor contains awide range of housing types. Apartments, townhouses, and worker dormitories are all visible merely bytravelling along Phaholoyotin Highway. Perhaps most striking is the large number of slums or informalhousing that has clearly proliferated with increasing population and industrial development. These are oftenlocated at the edge of the highway and along the canals. There also a number of upscale housing estates andcondominium projects.As for transportation, road transport is the most important mode in the Northern Corridor. PhaholyotinHighway has a steady flow of traffic 24 hours a day. Figure 4.10 indicates traffic volumes on the Highwayleading north and southwest of Bangkok. The stretch of highway immediately north of Bangkok with 82,700vehicles passing a day is likely one of the heaviest used highways in Asia. Much of the traffic is transporttrucks coming and going to the many factories that line the road, and also trucks shipping produce from thenorth to Bangkok.9The rail line at the western boundary of the Northern Corridor is almost exclusively forpassenger service.10 Very little freight moves by any mode aside from truck.8. Rahman, Aminur (1993) HOUSING WOMEN FACTORY WORKERS IN THE NORTHERN CORRIDOR OF THEBANGKOK METROPOLITAN REGION, Masters Thesis, Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok.9. Greenberg, Charles (with the assistance of T.G. McGee) (1990) “Mega-Urban Development: The ExtendedMetropolitan Region of Bangkok”, A paper presented at the 42nd meeting of the Association for Asian Studies,Chicago, Illinois, April 5-8.228The extension of public transportation, particularly by the Bangkok Metropolitan Transportation Authority(BMTA), to the outer city has been a response to the growing number of employment opportunities outsideBangkok. There are at least 10 routes, some going 24 hours a day, between Rangsit market and Bangkok(Sanam Luang and Hua Lamphong train station). Several of these routes terminate 10 kilometres further thanRangsit at MT. From Rangsit there are dozens of buses, songtaews, and pickup trucks travelling throughoutPathum Thani. Many vehicles are privately owned, and are part of the extensive informal transportationsystem that allows this region to be so fluid and open. Perhaps the best example of informal transportationalong the corridor is the hundreds of motorcycle taxis, 5-10 per pack, situated at every small roadwayintersection along the highway.11Off the main highway to the east, up to Kiong Sam, there is again a fascinating landscape with a rich mixtureof land uses. Barely a half kilometre off Phaholyotin, the noises and congestion give way to a fairly sereneand tranquil rural ambience. This area up to the mid 1980s was exclusively rice cultivation amongst thesedentary linear village settlements straddling the canals. Although rice is still grown, it is no longer thecrop of choice for the residents. Orchards and market gardening are more prevalent in this region. In mytravels I have also noticed maize, beans, fish farming, and water melons being cultivated. Market gardenerscomplained that during the dry season, the irrigation department opens the dams to assist rice farmers inirrigation, resulting in extensive flooding of all fields. Vegetable crops are ftequently deluged and ruined byexcess water, causing vegetable farmers to pump dry their fields, at a considerable cost (for fuel).12Much of the land, particularly within two kilometres of the highway is lying idle, presumably underspeculation. With land prices of Baht2-3 million per rai, this is hardly unanticipated.’310. Rail service is not just long distance, but also moves commuters from Bangkok to the Pathum Thani area and viceversa. It is a service that is heavily used, and in May of 1993, to encourage additional use, the fares on all BMR short-haul routes were slashed by 50 per cent.11. Appendix II (May-August, 1989).12. Appendix II (Fabruary 11, 14, 20, 1991).13. Ibid.229Along Kiong Sam, parallel to kilometre 44-48 are a large number of hobby farms, some reputing to be thefirst in the country, many taking on the appearance more of a residential sub-division then weekend orchards(see section on hobby farms in Chapter 7).M enormous parcel of land between Klongs Sawng and Sam, parallel to AlT, and extending three - fourkilometres northward has recently (1990) been purchased by the Tamaguy Foundation, an alternativeBuddhist denomination. They are building huge temples, meditation centres, shrines, gardens, and ponds.They are also extending a public access road network through the site, perhaps to appease local residents. Allthe construction and development is supported by faithful followers.’4From my informal interviews and visits to the villages in this area it is apparent that there are NOhouseholds fully dependent on agriculture. Every household I visited had some, if not all members engagedin the non-agricultural sector. A surprisingly large number of workers commute daily to Bangkok, but mostare employed within the Northern Corridor. Transportation for commuters is not an impediment at all. Thereare ample motorcycles, minibuses, and songtaews plying up and down the canal roads from early morning(4:30 AM) until late night.15In sum, the Northern Corridor characterises region based urbanization (RBU) in every way. There areroughly 100,000 people, yet no morphological evidence of a city landscape anywhere. The population is notconcentrated, there is no CBD, and the land use, unlike a city, is a medley of varying functions. Nearly 80per cent of the land is undeveloped’, yet agriculture is not the central initiative of the economy. Aside fromRangsit market, according to the 1990 Population and Housing census, the Northern Corridor is entirelyrural, or non-municipal. Traditional orthodox meanings of rural and urban have no relevance in the NorthernCorridor. On a topographic base map of Thailand, or even the Central Plain, one could not identify the14. Ibid15. Ibid230extent of development in this area, as there are no ‘urban’ centres. It could just as well be a non-built uprural landscape (see Figure 8.2).8.2 Minburi-Bang Chan:Minburi is one of 36 districts comprising the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), and is locatedin the eastern reaches of the city towards Chachoengsao. Only Nong Chok district is further east (see Figure8.3). It is a flat and occasionally swampy terrain, making it suitable for agriculture, livestock, and fishcultivation.’6As mentioned in Chapter 3, Minburi was only opened up and populated in the second half ofthe nineteenth century, with the construction of the Saen Saeb canal, first ordered by Rama III in the 1830s,and completed by King Monkhut (Rama IV). In this respect, the metamorphosis of Minburi has beenremarkably quick; in less than 150 years, Minburi has evolved from a vacuous and barren wasteland to avery productive and densely populated rice bowl, and is still changing, now, to an urban region of disparateand mixed land use.Minburi was originally a province until King Prajadhipok (Rama VII) in 1951 brought it into the jurisdictionof Bangkok for easier bureaucratic transfer of paddy into the city.17 A turning point for Minburi ‘s16. Minburi, in English is ‘city of fish, earning the title because of the ease fish were raised in the paddy fields. To thenorth, adjacent to Minburi is Pathum Thani’s southern Ampoe of Thanyaburi, meaning ‘city of rice’. The two areconsidered ‘confrere’ in production of the two staples, rice and fish.17. Agricultural Guideline for Development in Minburi, (1989), Minburi District Office, (in Thai language).wqp.1)!Ul 1twqe(qqOHs6uea0 0MinburiIntheEasternDistrictsofBMAt’)233development was during World War II when the Japanese occupying forces began to construct a road fromLaksi in north Bangkok to Minburi. It was finished in 1946, and received a final layer of asphalt in 1953.Minburi was changing from a distant fanning region to an untapped suburb of Bangkok. Sharp and Hanksdescribes the impact of the new highway:Suddenly buses moving along the highway brought city streets within an hour’s travel.Bang Chan moved cityward; whereas in 1948 many had never visited the capital, by 1955four-fifths of all household heads had visited Bangkok once or more during the past twelvemonths.... government services became more available, and high officials as well asforeigners visited to satisfy their curiosity about the community that foreign ethnologistswere studying... A former generation had moved eastward to find farmland, but youthsthe 1950 with half a degree of self confidence moved into the city to find “easier” work.1Minburi was not brought into the fold of commercialization as early as other areas of the Central Plain.Perhaps this was because of the small resident population, or the harvests were never large. Sharp and Hanksreferring to the Bang Chan vicinity in the first decade of this century, suggested that only a negligibleproportion of paddy production was not for domestic or household consumption. This situation changedduring World War I, and hit a crescendo in the years prior to the 1929 stock market crash. Pre-depressionprosperity gave Minburi a taste of new technologies, new labor relations on the farm, and an appreciation forland commodification. Several decades later, after World War II, with the new road to Bangkok almostcomplete, the high prices of paddy returned and reaffirmed the ways of agricultural commercialization.Prices of land in the region shot up beyond affordability of the average family. Between 1948 and the mid1950s, land values increased from Baht300 per rai to Bahtl000, while land alongside the new highway wasas high as Bahtl2,000. Much like the situation today, farmers fortunate enough to possess land adjacent tothe main roads became extremely wealthy if they decided to sell. The post war boom had other semblances totoday’s situation. For instance, a few of Bangkok’s wealthier entrepreneurs appeared on the scene topurchase land for speculative purposes. This naturally triggered a proliferation of landlessness and adiminishing average size per holding. 1918. Sharp and Hanks (1978), op.cit, pg.225. Although in this passage they were referring specifically to Bang Chan, itcould just as well be applied to the impact the new road had on the whole district.234Through the 1 960s and 1970s an increasing amount of Minburi land was being removed from paddyproduction; a way of life was ending. In 1972, the nation’s first showpiece industrial estate was built at BangChan, and signalled the beginning of a hurried revolution in land use. The landscape has become industrialand residential, or in other words urban, and the agriculture that remains has undergone a dramatic alterationof cropping pattern. For example, Minburi is less recognized for rice as for grass, hobby farms, andaquacukure. Let us now examine some of the present demographic and land use factors of this outer citydistrict, figuratively and spatially caught in the crossroads of urban and rural.A common misunderstanding in Thailand is that the rice farmers of ‘rural’ Bangkok are an affluent andprosperous group.2°To the contrary, most are landless labourers, and are typically as immiserated as theirprovincial counterparts. Bangkok farmers are often late in receiving government assistance, and a number ofcompensation and support packages have been directed exclusively to the provinces.21The disregarded andostracized Bangkok farmer is becoming isolated and their numbers are rapidly declining. The great Minburirice bowl, traditionally with some of the highest yields per rai in the Kingdom, is under a transitioncomparable to Pathum Thani and Samut Prakarn. This outer city case study will examine the land usechanges of Minburi with a distinct focus on the decline of rice production. A sub-study will highlight thevillage of Bang Chan at the western fringe of Minburi.The population of Minburi is just over 100,000, with almost 40 per cent residing in the sub-district by thesame name (Table 8.5). The district is 174 square kilometres with a population density of 586 persons persquare kilometre.22To reach the present population, as seen in figure Table 8.6, Minburi has increased its19. In particular see Sharp and Hanks (1978), op.cit Chapter eight, “The Transformation Scene’ for an indepthdiscussion on the transitions of the post war period.20. There is an inaccurate perception, particularly among farmers outside Bangkok, that the (rural) BMA cultivators area prosperous group. The basis of this perception is simply, if Bangkok is wealthy, Bangkok’s farmers are too.21. The government in 1992 shored up paddy prices by Baht300 a tonne in the provinces only, leaving Minburi ricecultivators both annoyed and alienated, Appendix II (December 13, 1992).22. In comparison the Northern Corridor has roughly the same population on (50 square kilometres) less land (for apopulation density of 832).235TABLE 8.5POPULATION OF MINBURI AND ITS SUBDISTRICTS (1991)I D TCTPOULAI1Ot IMinburi 38.5 39,289Saen Saeb 18.1 18,471Bang Chan 13.2 13,471Sam Wa Ook 11.2 11,430Sam Wa Tok 7.1 7,246Sal Kong Din 4.9 5,000Si Kong Din TaiTOTAt7.0100÷07,1441e1984 66,9661987 81,110 7.01988 86,558 6.71989 92,741 7.11990 95,900 3.41991 102,005 6.4Source: Adapted from calculating per centage increase from figures in:Demographic and L