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Leave no one behind: Community-driven urban development in Thailand

Partner: International Institute for Environment and Development



In August-November 2016, Tar Saeng Studio partnered with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) to examine community participation in housing projects for low-income communities in Thailand and how they have sought to ‘leave no one behind’. Baan Mankong, the government slum upgrading programme, is unique in how it has institutionalised participation. Housing projects funded by international funders, community savings or small government subsidies also use participation in their design and implementation. Simultaneously, new concepts like universal design promote an inclusive experience, taking into account the needs of all community members, irrespective of age and ability.

Six case studies are presented here, focusing on central and underprivileged homes in the programme, the renovation of homes for vulnerable people, and the design of communal spaces. We undertook two months of participatory research, holding focus groups in six communities in Chiang Rai, Nakhon Sawan and Bangkok

The project produced the publication Leave No One Behind: Community-driven urban development in Thailand. A similar research was conducted in Cambodia during the same timeframe, producing the paper Leave no one behind: Community-led mechanisms in Cambodia. These two papers served as the basis for the publication Leave no one behind: What is the role of community-led urban development?