Empowering Bangkok to tackle liveability

22 Bangkok city leaders are gathered in Melbourne for two weeks of knowledge exchange and capacity development with Victorian state and city governments, urban scholars, NGOs and the private sector to discuss innovative solutions to pressing global urban challenges.

An ageing infrastructure, rapid population growth, vulnerability to coastal flooding and pollution coupled with an unreliable transport system and the danger of civil unrest are some of the threats facing the 10+ million metropolis.

Melbourne, often cited as one of the world’s most liveable cities, is also facing urbanisation issues, population growth, transport and infrastructure and economic shifts.

Tackling those challenges whilst also improving urban resilience and liveability is no easy task.

Coordinated by the UN Global Compact – Cities Programme, RMIT University and AECOM, the BMA Urban and Resilience program has attracted great local interest.

A remarkable 19 organisations have come together from across the state to warmly welcome the Bangkok Metropolitan Government (BMA) and deliver customised seminars, workshops and site visits for city leaders over the two-week program.

Sharing their expertise and experience from city planning through to cultural development were: four Victorian government departments – Education, Health, Transport & Premier and Cabinet – four city governments – Melbourne, Cardinia, Brimbank and Wyndham – Emergency Management Victoria and the State Emergency Services (EMA & SES), AECOM, Resilient Melbourne, City West Water, RMIT, Deakin and Melbourne Universities, the Cultural Development Network, Northeast Health, Victoria Police, The Nature Conservancy and Neometro developers.

The program’s focus is on empowering Bangkok to tackle liveability through exploring solutions within the five components of liveability identified in Bangkok’s 20-year development plan: healthcare, infrastructure, culture & environment, education, stability and an extra module on creative economic education.

Speaking today at RMIT University, the Chair of the UN Global Compact – Cities Programme, Michael Nolan explained the thinking behind the program:

“Having Bangkok government and local experts from government, civil society and the private sector coming together to exchange knowledge and innovative strategies to tackle cities challenges is an immense opportunity for both cities to learn from each other and for us to support Bangkok developing tools and strategies to turn challenges into opportunities.”

BMA Deputy Director-General of Strategy and Evaluation Department, Mr Seerawsankhan Pathan, is confident the training will lead to opportunities for a more resilient and liveable Bangkok.

“This program is opening the minds of the 22 BMA delegates here, who come from multiple departments, to new ideas, to learn how to integrate and apply them at home.”

“We have 50 districts in Bangkok and we need cooperation between them to deliver strategies to make Bangkok more resilient and deliver a better quality of life,” said Mr Seerawsankhan Pathan.

The BMA Urban Liveability and Resilience program runs from 29 May to 9 June 2017.

For interviewsMichael Nolan, 0409 721 998

For general media enquiries: Catia Nunes, (03) 9925 0917 or 0447 650 77

The UN Global Compact – Cities Programme was established in 2003 by the United Nations Global Compact as a platform of collaboration between all levels of government, business and civil society to achieve fair, inclusive, sustainable and resilient cities and societies and advance the Ten UN Principles – in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption. http://citiesprogramme.org/