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I have shared time between homes in Australia and Chiang Mai for the past ten years. My impression is that the past two years have seen more development and re-development take place than in the preceding eight years. Further, I would say that traffic congestion has doubled during the same two year period. If the same rate of increase is sustained then Chiang Mai will quickly change from being a very pleasant and livable place to one that is much more like BKK.

To change this will require not just an extremely well thought-out plan but also close inter-agency co-ordination. It will demand that difficult and unpalatable decisions be made and pushed through to implementation. I wish I could be more optimistic but I struggle to see significant progress taking place when set against the dense and opaque backdrop of patronage, saving face, mai pen rai, and endemic corruption.