International Development Planning Review

Governance responses to emerging peri-urbanisation issues at the global–local nexus: The case of Ayutthaya, Thailand

International Development Planning Review (2008), 30, (2), 133–154.

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Peri-urban areas at the edge of metropolitan systems in East Asia are the new 'factories of the world'. Multinational manufacturers are key investors in these areas; 90 per cent of Thailand's foreign direct investment (FDI) during the 1990s went to Bangkok's peri-urban areas, including the Ayutthaya extended urban region (AEUR). Peri-urban areas are where globalisation and local forces collide, perhaps more than in any other form of settlement. Typically, as in Thailand, fragmented local governments and stakeholders have limited capacity to manage urbanisation effectively in these areas, at the nexus of global and local forces. In the Ayutthaya context, stresses are generated by the expected influx of global capital and migrants, further complicated by Ayutthaya's status as a UNESCO world heritage site; its location on a globally significant rice plain; and ongoing significant changes in Thai governance frameworks, particularly decentralisation. This article focuses on emerging issues, and the role of governance in addressing them, in the context of peri-urbanisation in the AEUR. The authors conclude that a strong senior government presence is needed to put in place appropriate structures, given the complexity of the issues, and to balance the sophistication and power of the multinational corporations.

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Author details

Maneepong, Chuthatip

Webster, Douglas