UN-Habitat works in close collaboration with the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda for achieving sustainable urbanization in Thailand. In this sense, there is also strong cooperation with the Regional Economic and Social Commission for Asia-Pacific (ESCAP) on localizing the SDGs in several countries of the region, including the pilot project in Nadee, Thailand.
Demonstrating sustained economic growth and impressive poverty reduction over the last four decades, Thailand is aligning its urban development plans with the New Urban Agenda, focused on creating livable cities and ensuring equal opportunities and equal access to government services for all. The 12th National Economic and Social Development Plan (2017-2021) is the first plan to have a specific strategy for urban development, setting priorities on integrated urban policy and planning, efficient land management, and decentralization.
With the Bangkok urban area accounting for nearly 80% of the total urban area in Thailand, urbanization is dominated by Bangkok, which is the fifth largest in East Asia in terms of area and the ninth largest in terms of the population approaching 10 million in 2010. Over 5.87 million households do not have home ownership and 2.72 million households continue to live in inferior housing conditions or informal settlements, leading to a 20-Year National Housing Development Master Plan being developed by the government to help overcome these prevailing challenges. Meanwhile, more than 60 percent of the land is owned by 10 percent of the population, leading Thailand to speed up the process of enacting laws to tackle the problems of land tenure, stimulate efficient land-use, and reduce disparity in land ownership. Finally, seasonal monsoon weather resulting in heavy rainfall experienced across Thailand and extensive waterways connecting with the Mekong River, have also made the country particularly susceptible to severe flooding.