Public Green Space GIS in Hat Yai Municipality


Hat Yai Municipality
Thammasat University
Research Unit in Urban Futures and Policy
Case Type
Partnership Stories
Asia, Global, Thailand
Sustainable Development Goals
1 No Poverty, 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities, 13 Climate Action, 15 Life on Land, 7 Affordable and Clean Energy, 9 Industry Innovation and Infrastructure

Hat Yai Municipality plans to transform itself into a “Green City” while developing protocols to deal with its vulnerabilities. Even before COVID-19 impacted the municipality, it was already facing extensive challenges due to climate change and its location and elevation. The municipality plans to embrace flexibility in future urban design, taking potential disruptions into account. More specifically, Hat Yai intends to:

  1. Increase green public space in the city from 36 percent to 40 percent by 2027.
  2. Reduce the urban greenhouse gases emission by 10 percent as compared to the level of emission from normal operations (Business As Usual: BAU) in 2020
  3. Reduce energy consumption by at least 10 percent in 2027 and increase the use of renewable energy by at least 10 megawatts from 2020.
  4. Eliminate deaths from flooding events.

Hat Yai Municipality lacks Geographic Information System (GIS) data on existing green public space. A GIS database could visualize the area’s current conditions to assist the municipality and its formulation of future development plans. To help gather GIS data for this reason, Hat Yai Municipality collaborated with the academic sector by adopting the EPIC Model, partnering with Thammasat University, to actively enable students to participate in real-world learning while assisting the municipality. Under the guidance of their lecturers from the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, and experienced urban planners employed by the municipality, students collected information to benefit the city in achieving its vision.

Between 2021 and 2022, several courses at the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning were identified for this collaboration, but students and lecturers from two courses have already engaged during this first pilot stage. The courses are the Dissertation Course in the Master of Urban Environmental Planning and Development Program and the Dissertation Course in the Ph.D. Program on Integrated Science of Built Environment.

Using the knowledge and skills they have trained in their classes, the students conducted several meetings with important stakeholders, including the municipality head of urban planning and town planners, from October 2021 to February 2022. The students assisted in the classification of data by identifying the definition of public green space that best fits the local context. The students also conducted knowledge exchange workshops with students from the Rajamangala University of Technology Srivijaya, a local university based in Songkhla, before the site survey. The students conducted three days of site visits in February. Aerial photo, together with the information from the site survey, was used to digitalize the data. To complete the Public Green Space GIS, overlay and spatial analysis techniques with other vital data were curated from relevant national-level departments, including the Department of Lands, Land Development Department, and the Treasury Department.

While more time and input will be needed to complete the Public Green Space GIS, the Hat Yai municipality was impressed with what was accomplished by the first two courses between October 2021 and February 2022. The students involved in this project were glad to know that their work can spur the sustainable development of the city.

Hat Yai City is my home, and I am glad that my work, even though minimal, can make the city more sustainable and resilience.” — Nontarit B., a Ph.D. student at Thammasat University

I like the EPIC Model! It allows me to work with officials solving real-world problems while I am completing my program.” — Pachara M., a Master’s student at Thammasat University

Partnership Contact Information

Hat Yai Municipality Contact
Peerawan Pongpaibool
Town Planner
Hat Yai Municipality

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