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Title: Urban development and the socio-spatial transformation of retail areas : a case study of provincial towns in Thailand
Author: Santad, Chulawadee
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2013
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This research aims to address the impact of globalisation on urban development process in the context of global South, through the case study of the socio-spatial dimensions of retail areas in three provincial Thai towns over the last 50 years. Contemporary issues of urban growth linked to globalisation have been studied in various disciplines but mostly in relation to large cities. They have been less concerned with the local scale and particularly in the transitional/new urban areas of developing countries with loose planning policies and regulations. The methodology and research design uses two different theoretical frameworks, primarily spatial configuration, and secondarily spatial political economy and the relations between them. The analysis focuses on three main types of data: spatial configuration by applying space syntax techniques; secondary data including maps of urban development over a 50-year time period; and fieldwork observations of physical retail area development and retail behaviour of users through systematic recording and analysis of a questionnaire survey. There are four research questions. The first two focus on the physical and spatial transformation of retail areas in two aspects: the centrality of the town centre (Chapter 5) and urban expansion on the fringe of town (Chapter 6). The last two questions address the relationships between the changing physical and spatial configuration and the political economy, through a particular emphasis on the retail area development (Chapter 7) and retail patterns (Chapter 8). According to the primary framework of the research, the analysis reveals that the spatial structure of towns has been dominated by the road networks and that urban land use has changed over time, which has altered the spatial properties leading to development, decline and redevelopment, as well as spatial segregation in varying degrees, in some areas of the towns. From the secondary framework, the political economic contexts of the sites were identified as significant in terms of generating production and (re)production of urban spaces through the planning policies and practices, which has been mainly through a top-down and static approach to development although there is evidence of some tensions between the local and global political economy. The research contributes to the extension of understanding of the globalisation impact on retail urban development in the global South. The analysis of socio-spatial processes of urban development can be emphasised using the multi-disciplinary approach and framework, as shown in the three provincial case study towns in Thailand. The empirical research findings reveal that globalisation in the global South is not static and uniform but dynamic and complex process, for example, the land use conflict between local and multinational retailers at local level. Notably, this research emphasises the importance of local context consideration in terms of informality, traditionalism, localism which influence the characteristics of place, including patterns of socio-spatial relations within urban retail development.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HT Communities. Classes. Races