Countries in Greater Mae Kong Sub-region (GMS) have agreed in 1992 to develop international cooperation aiming for economic development, which will in turn improving quality of life of local citizens. However, economic development, if unplanned, may cause adverse impacts to local society. New cities in this region have arisen at a rapid rate in the so-called informal settlements as a result of poor city planning and low cooperation between local government and citizens. This study has aimed to analyze factors contributing to the development of sustainable city from the viewpoint of local citizens. In this study, two cities were chosen from Thailand and Lao PDR based on the result of primary data collection. The cities selected were Chiang Khan and Nan for Thailand and Vientiane and Luang Phrabang for Laos PDR. Data collection was done in forms of in-depth interview with stakeholders as well as questionnaire survey with local population. Questionnaire includes eight groups of indicator; economic aspect, agricultural situation, environmental characteristic, public health condition, social condition, physical condition, architectural aspect and art and cultural aspect. Results from all cities have shown some similarities. All interview and questionnaire survey have shown that cultural indicator plays crucial role in sustainable city concept. The second most important indicator varies following cities characteristics. Environmental indicator ranks the second for Nan and Luang Phrabang, while rank the third for Chiang Khan and Vientiane. Vientiane, capital city of Lao PDR has been facing with rapid growth; therefore the development of physical structure was considered important.
Alice Sharp, Independent Researcher, Thailand
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