A Land Use Approach to Promote Charoenkrung District as a Creative Industry Hub - Possibilities under the Bangkok Comprehensive Plan

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Benjamin Punson
Jaturong Pokharatsiri


TheBangkokComprehensivePlanDraft(4 Revision,draftedin2019)hasproposedBangkok’sdevelopment

and management scheme for the next 20 years. In this 4th revision, “Creative Commercial”, has been established for the first time under the category of C6 (Commercial Land Use type 6). However, the C6 land use is designated only for the Klongsan and Samyan areas. The Charoenkrung area in Bangrak District, officially approved as the first Creative Industry Hub (CIH) in Thailand, was not under the C6 category, but instead remains as C8 (Commercial Land Use type 8). This article aims to compare the differences and benefits of C6 and C8 land use designations through textual analysis of the pertinent urban planning policies and regulations. The textual analysis was then discussed with three creative entrepreneurs who represent the design, crafting, and selling of jewelry and accessories in Charoenkrung, to understand their impressions of land use requirements and the potential that policies and regulations can successfully support establishment of creative entrepreneurships in the area. Through Snowball Sampling, the the textual analysis and recommendations from the three representatives of the jewelry and accessories business were then further reviewed with two eminent experts who were highly experienced in this industry as a creative space developer and vice president of Thai Gems & Jewelry Traders Association.

The results of the interviews show that the creative entrepreneurs in Charoenkrung were not convinced of the benefits in the land use regulations for either of the commercial land use types within the Bangkok Comprehensive Plan. The C8 has higher flexibility in terms of conditional usages as compared to C6. The C6 did not stipulate any special benefits that might be lucrative enough to promote creative business development. Thus, the Bangkok Comprehensive Plan should revisit the regulations and revise theC6 designation to have a clearer effect on promotion of the creative economy. Specifically, we propose three recommendations related to land use policy that would promote Charoenkrung as a creative district: 1) The Government should create Investment Promotion Zones for the creative industry. These zones might include tax waiver benefits for creative entrepreneurs and provide planning incentives for renewal of abandoned buildings into incubator spaces associated with new creative businesses; 2) Events and exhibitions at a national scale should be organized in Charoenkrung, utilizing soft infrastructure to promote city branding and marketing strategies; and 3) In connecting with the Thai word for love, (rak), “Love Marketing” should be used as a promotional opportunity for the Bangrak District to attract tourists and investors into Charoenkrung.


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