Promoting Travel Demand Reduction in Transport Sector in Cities of Asian Developing Countries: Case of Bangkok

Discussion Paper

Urban land use observably induces and generates traffic particularly where segregation among categories of land uses are distinct. Zoning in land use that distinguishes residential and commercial zones would create the needs of motorized transport due to journey to works and other purposes, provided that the proximity between residential and commercial zones is absence. In Bangkok, this state exists because of significant residential developments in the suburban areas. Bangkok has been sprawling into various directions particularly to North, Northeast, East and Southeast to form Bangkok Metropolitan Region. This experience makes motorized travel demand increasing, and reducing it would be indispensable from the environment and energy viewpoints. This paper explores the current conditions of land use and transportation relationship in Bangkok that affects urban air quality.
With the growing number of population of Bangkok and insufficient integration of transit systems, the number of private vehicles operating on road is increasing every year. Since vehicles predominantly use fossil fuels this trend has lead to the degradation of air quality until 1996. However, with synergistic efforts in both urban development and transport sectors that commenced in 1997, the air quality in Bangkok is considerably improving. A number of solutions had been adapted to cope with the problem of air quality. While urban planners introduced strategies to promote poly-centric development of the city and thereby dispersing the traffic to limited areas, the transport planners employed a series of measures to reduce the vehicular emissions. The cumulative effects of these strategies are evident by the improving air quality in terms of most indicators. The paper suggests to create pedestrian friendly environment in inner city areas that could further improve urban air quality since it encourages non-motorized travel.


This paper was prepared for BAQ meeting 2006 in Yogjakarta, Indonesia.

Ranjith Perera