Gentrification in Bangkok: Transforming rundown areas into ‘hip’ neighbourhoods. A Talk by Jaturong Pokharatsiri



Since its conception in London in the 1960s, arguing for the socio-physical transformation of inner cities’ neighbourhoods, gentrification has gradually become a common phenomenon evidenced worldwide in both urban and rural settings. The proposed discussion on “Gentrification in Bangkok” consists of three parts: 1) theoretical debates and uses of the term gentrification; 2) evolution of the concepts and involved measurements; 3) Bangkok case studies and future impacts. The first argues the variety and appropriateness of the term ‘gentrification’ used in urban/rural transformation with global case evidences in the UK, US, Canada and China. The second exemplifies the measurements of gentrification in urban policy-making and development planning, focusing on conservation, tourism and regeneration in New York, Luang Prabang (Laos), Hoi An (Vietnam) and Amphawa (Samut Songkhram Province, Thailand). The third emphasises the situations in Bangkok’s neighbourhoods of Banglamphu (tourism gentrification), Ari (new-built gentrification), and Charoen Krung/Khlong Sarn (functional gentrification) and their impacts on the socio-physical value and sense of place, including affordability, quality of life and place-identity. The conclusion draws attention on the stakeholders’ and decision makers’ viewpoints on the possibilities of exploiting gentrification for both successful place-making and towards future sustainable development goals.

Dr. Jaturong Pokharatsiri submitted his thesis for a Master of Urban and Regional Planning on gentrification and place-identity in the tourist historic neighbourhoods of Bangkok in the late 1990s. He has been observing the phenomenon in the city ever since, while also expanding his knowledge of tourism gentrification and social value assessment research, which resulted in his Ph.D. dissertation into rural settlements of Thailand. Actively working in urban planning and currently teaching at the Faculty of Architecture and Planning, Thammasat University, he also serves as a Vice President of ICOMOS International Scientific Committee of Cultural Tourism, and as a member of the board committee of ICOMOS Thailand and of the conservation committee of the Association of Siamese Architects.

Date: Thursday, 19 April 2018
Time: 7.30 p.m.
Place: The Siam Society, 131 Asoke Montri Rd, Sukhumvit 21

Non-members donation: B200. Siam Society members, members’ spouses and children, and all students showing valid student ID cards are admitted free of charge. For more information, please contact Khun Arunsri or

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The Siam Society is deeply grateful to the James H.W. Thompson Foundation for its generous support of the 2017-2018 Lecture Series.