Challenging community diversity through diverse neighborhood design principle: a case study of wat-ket, Chiang Mai, Thailand

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The borders of the world seem to diminish, as we are moving into the era of diversity or one would consider it to be an era of super-diversity. Against the backdrop of immigrant issues, various countries have to rely on the movement of people for the decades to come. The members of South East Asian are among those countries. In the year 2015, in the aim for stronger economic development in the whole region, they initiated the ASEAN Economic Community to encourage the flow of skilled migrants in the territory. Several national and regional policies were nominated for smoother integration. Thailand who is ranked among the top 15 countries of migrant destination in the world will remain as the major destination in AEC. Unfortunately, the local neighbourhoods that are the area where the host and the newcomer interact were overlooked. They are the places, which have to cope with the impact of immigrant first-hand including more housing and services demands, social tension, diversified needs, etc. To make it worse, immigration studies in Thailand have only been focusing on the issue of illegal immigrant, labour regulation and immigrant health problem related to HIV and infectious diseases. However, few scholars have touched the aspects of socioeconomic development and urban development context as Haguet and Chamratrithirong (2012) stated that “Analyses of the effects of migration on the Thai economy have for the most part narrowly focused on the wages earned by migrant workers and have only recently begun to consider migration’s impact on the broader structure of the economy.”. Researchers in the field of immigrant integration have been proposing that the diversity in the local community should be adopted as the main solution for immigrant integration. (Bosswick et al., 2007; Dixon et al., 2011; MPI, 2014; Kesten et al., 2015) It is the realm that promote “commonplace diversity” (Wessendorf, 2011). Various studies support that the good-quality physical environments are significant stimulators for diversity, including space for interaction, cultural spaces, public infrastructure. (Jacobs, 1961; Penninx, 2009; Legeby, 2010; Lelévrier et al., 2015) We anticipate that with the proper neighbourhood environment, there will be numerous types of positive interaction that eventually result in better integration.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
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