A long-time resident of Sukhumvit 61 recently spoke with a mixture of anger and resignation about the imminent construction of four 45-storey condominiums in her already busy soi.
Apart from blocking her view, these buildings will add substantially to the traffic in the area and pressure on services. Like many others, she is wondering how much longer she can tolerate living in the city she once loved.
Her plight is shared by many others living in central Bangkok who are seeing their formerly tranquil neighborhoods being lost to so-called urban development. The pace of change is quickening, with all kinds of projects gobbling up huge plots of land along main thoroughfares like Sukhumvit and Rama 4 and their various side roads.
What’s more, in the absence of properly observed planning regulations and sensible zoning, the situation will only get worse.
It’s easy to imagine the impact all these projects will have on Bangkok’s already severely strained infrastructure in the next decade.
Meanwhile, the city’s beleaguered residents are facing the worst pollution of its air in history,caused in part by all the demolition and construction. No wonder so many people are making exits plans from Bangkok.
Is there a silver lining? Only in that Thailand has a staggering 454,814 residential units worth US$41 billion left unsold last year – many of them in Bangkok. Just think how more crowded this city would be if they were all inhabited.