Eastern Seaboard Regional Planning Study
The Eastern Seaboard, a sub-region of Thailand within the Central Region, is situated to the south east of Bangkok with a coastline along the Inner Gulf.  Conditions in the area are favourable to industrial and urban development because of:
  • the potential for establishing major deepwater ports
  • the availability of natural gas
  • the region’s proximity to Bangkok
It was the client’s intention that the development should help to reduce the further growth of Bangkok but that, at the same time, it should not affect detrimentally the existing valuable environmental resources of the Eastern Seaboard.

The objectives of the study were to provide an overall plan for economic and social development and urban expansion, together with an action programme for a series of major projects aimed at achieving rapid industrial and urban growth.  Development of the region was seen as contributing to three major national objectives:
  • industrial development
  • de-centralisation from Bangkok
  • establishment of alternative outlets for produce from the north-east, one of the poorest areas of Thailand
Subjects considered in the study included: land use and human settlement patterns; industrial, agricultural and urban development; protection of the environment; transportation and all infrastructure facilities; water resources and services. Analyses were made of economic, social and financial effects as well as of how the various proposals could be implemented. Primary sector activities such as agriculture, livestock, fisheries and forestry were considered insofar as they could provide opportunities for agricultural-based industry and other forms of primary processing.

Infrastructure and heavy industry projects proposed by the Thai Government were analysed with a particular emphasis on the likely number of jobs to be created and the costs involved.  Studies were undertaken to define labour intensive industrial projects which could be developed at a relatively low cost per job and which would avoid an undue imbalance in the allocation of national resources. The measures necessary to attract such industries were also identified.

A major ‘triangle of directed growth’ was proposed in the Laem Chabang, Sattahip, Rayong area within which there would be port facilities to serve industrial development and where existing recreation facilities in the resort of Pattaya should attract managerial staff. Alternative development strategies for the growth triangle were evaluated in collaboration with government agencies and the selected option was developed in more detail. Industrial, infrastructure and urban development projects were classified according to priorities agreed with government. An investment budget was prepared and phased to correspond with the National Plan periods up to the year 2001.  Institutional constraints on implementation were examined and corresponding recommendations were made with a view to ensuring the most effective use of both human and financial resources.

SMC carried out the work in association with others and was particularly responsible for the engineering infrastructure, including road, rail and sea transport and urban facilities.
project details

client: National Economic and Social Development Board
services: Regional Planning Study
period: 1981 - 82