Experts Reject Government’s Plan to Turn Pattaya Beach into a Miami Lookalike
Several landscape specialists and arborists have brainstormed about the development of Pattaya Beach after the city council announced it would replace indigenous Indian almond trees with palm trees.
Chorpaka Wiriyanon, the co-founder of the Thailand Urban Tree Network, said Pattaya Municipality should change its urban development plans because residents disagree.
“Urban development does not mean that you replace existing things with new things. It means evolving by using innovation and technology to keep up with new trends,” she said.
“We also need to understand how to coexist with native tree species.”
She also said that the Thai climate is not suitable for growing western trees.
Yossapon Boonsom, the founder of the City Cracker design firm, said Pattaya City Council should involve landscape architects, arborists, ecosystem specialists and citizens in its development projects.
“Maintaining things that are ruined or abandoned is not sustainable development. Development should benefit residents and the environment,” he said.
Professor Pranisa Boonkham, vice president of the Thai Association of Landscape Architect, also said that each destination has a unique feature that attracts tourists.
“Copying doesn’t give you real beauty. Foreign tourists visit Thailand because they don’t want to see beaches similar to those in Miami or in other countries,” she said.
She added that old buildings and trees should be preserved alongside new developments, as that increases the value of the city and makes it unique.
“If we keep the Indian almond trees for 10 to 20 years, visitors will be attracted by its unique and rare character,” she said.
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