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Title: Participation and place-making : the case of Thailand
Author: Wungpatcharapon, Supreeya
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2012
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During the last few decades, Thailand and its places have been dramatically transformed by the economic-oriented policies in order to support the rapid growth of the nation and to compete with other countries at the international level. Most of the recent projects and place-making approaches are driven by capitalist interests and dominated by the vision and prospects of the powerful. They tend to undervalue the everyday lived spaces of the ordinary; as a result, several old neighbourhoods and their underprivileged inhabitants have been struggling to survive. This research is, therefore, an attempt to search for more democratic ways of making place within architectural and urban practice. Recent studies argue that the practice of place-making should shift to a participatory practice of placemaking which essentially engages those who are marginalised and are also, most of the time, the inhabitants and users of those places. Since the participatory practice is still emerging and has been insufficiently studied in Thailand, this study aims to achieve a better understanding of how participation could become a democratic tool of place-making in Thailand. Following key theorists such as Henri Lefebvre and Doreen Massey, this research study focuses on place as socially and politically constructed. The theory of participation and democracy is employed to analyse multiple case studies, i.e. the Porn Mahakan community, the Bang Bua community and the Samchuk market community from central Thailand. To gain essential information about the selected case studies, an in-depth investigation was conducted through a combination of methods, such as documentation research, in-depth interviews, direct observation, mapping and diagramming. The findings of this study demonstrate that the achievement of the higher level of participation depends on; to what extent participatory place-making can be transformed into a state of 'agonism', and to what extent the practice can transform the power structure into horizontal politics. Furthermore, participatory place-making is a social and political process that not only transforms the place physically, but also empowers the inhabitants. People's participation in the making of place could also become a platform for their exercise of political power and democratic actions from below, at the local level.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available