first Thai-French Seminar in Bangkok (November 2016)

1st Seminar BangkokThis second seminar on Urban Transport organized in Phuket last May comes as the second event of a serie a several Thai-french seminars organised jointly by AFD (French Agency for Development) and PDMO (Public Debt Management Office) – Ministry of Finance, Thailand, with the support of CODATU and DVDH (Des Villes et des Hommes), in the presence of : Mr. Bernard Rivalta, Vice-President of CODATU, Mr. Pablo Romero, Project Manager at RDTA (RATP Dev Transdev Asia) à Hong-Kong, Mr. Etienne Lhomet, Transport Engineer, Mr. Jacques Mangon, Mayor of Saint-Médard en Jalles, Mr. Antoine Mougenot, CEO of AREP Vietnam-South Asia et Mr. Eric Huybrechts, Director for International Affairs at IAU-IdF.

The framework of the event emerged in 2015 when AFD engaged a dialogue with the Thai authorities to identify and develop actions in the transport sector. Considering that both central and local governments are looking at opportunities to develop mass transport systems in major Thai cities, PDMO was keen to organize workshops focusing on technical solutions as well as financing schemes, and bring new ideas to support the ongoing and future transport projects.

The two-day workhop was organized around Thai and French presentations, case studies, comparative approaches, round tables and interactive brainstorming sessions. Focuses on Bangkok’s development were put in parallel with Paris transport projects’ development, as the two capital cities are comparable in size. Representatives from the Municipalities and Provinces of Phuket, Khon-Kaen, Chiang Mai, Songkla (Hat Yai district) and Nakorn Ratchasrima (known as Korat) also attended the workshop and could get interesting case studies from the second sized cities of Bordeaux and Lyon, which have similar urban and mobility challenges.

A second seminar in Phuket to analyse the transport and urban projects on the island (May 2017)

This time, the seminar was organized in Phuket, with a majority of participants coming from Phuket itself, and a main focus on the ongoing and future projects for the island. The seminar welcomed four international experts:

  • Mr. Pedro Ortiz, Metropolitan Expert,
  • Mr. Etienne Lhomet, Public Transport Engineer,
  • Mr. Denis Fuentes, Transport Architect, and
  • Ms. Marion Hoyez, Project Manager at CODATU, and

IMG_0032The presentations, discussions and interactive sessions (following the “Metropolitan Chessboard” approach, developed by Mr. Pedro Ortiz), helped the stakeholders and experts to prioritize the different projects, step back and think about the actual needs of the island. Among others emerged (i) the demand for an east-west connectivity from Phuket Old Town to Patong beach, (ii) the suggestion of an alternate alignment for the tram project, (iii) the suggestion to phase the tram project and start with a pilot project, (iv) the importance of having a “vision” for Phuket, and (v) the need for a good quality Public Transport System all around the island. Today, Public Transport in Phuket is mostly composed of tuk-tuk, Songtaew (blue open-air buses), Baht Bus (Pink trucks with bench seats) and air-conditioned micro-buses, but it is insufficient and quite costly, resulting in more and more private cars plying on the streets.