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The Value of Collective and Individual Assets in Building Urban Community Resilience
* 1 , 2 , 1 , 1
1  Faculty of Architecture and Planning, Thammasat University
2  International Institute for Environment and Development


Bangkok, Thailand’s capital, has experienced disruptive flood events and remains vulnerable to sea level rise and subsidence. Those living in low-income communities are often most exposed to climate risk, living along canals, in housing and with infrastructure that is not adapted to climate change. Ensuring that Thai cities plan for resilient and inclusive growth is therefore important for achieving a sustainable urban future. Urban resilience here encompasses not only physical resilience to climate change impacts and other shocks, but also socioeconomic resilience, such that vulnerable population groups are not left behind.

This paper aims to foster inclusive urban governance which integrates communities’ well-being along with considerations of physical environment – including systems of land use, water and solid waste management. The findings highlight how low-income communities prepare for a potential shock for example flooding, drought or an economic crisis. Which individual and collective assets– internal and external – are at risk, and which can be used to overcome those risks? Do residents apply mechanisms of coping, adapting, or something new, and is collective action applied? The data draws from a household survey and interviews across three communities, and an innovative resilience toolkit developed in order to foster community dialogue around what is required to achieve community-based resilience strategies. Known as ‘Kin dee you dee’ (live well, eat well), the interactive community-level toolkit focuses on 7 types of assets used by community residents and their potential for building resilience: water, food, shelter and people, economic resources, community assets, and new resources made from old.

Our findings highlight different approaches to achieving inclusive planning approaches which support climate resilient and sustainable development pathways at community and city scale - including the potential offered by multisectoral, multiactor responses drawing on private, public and civil society actors and assets.

(This paper is part of the research supported by the funding from the UK Government’s Newton Fund, the collaborative PEACE-BMR project of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the Urban Futures Research Unit of the Faculty of Architecture and Planning at Thammasat University in Bangkok)

Keywords: urban resilience, low-income community, asset planning, Bangkok