Measuring Readiness for Sustainable Transformation: An Application of Integral Theory in the Suburbs of Bangkok

By Tanapon Panthasen, Araya Santisan and Bart Lambregts.

Published by Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper presents the results of a pilot study into the readiness of a local community to engage in an environmental transformation process. It uses elements of Integral Theory to assess to what extent a suburban Bangkok community is ready to adopt Biological Wastewater Treatment (BWT) as a way to reduce its environmental footprint. The larger aim is to gain an understanding of the conditions that must be met in order to successfully promote BWT in the wider society. The community’s ‘integral’ readiness is measured by looking at the four dimensions that, according to Integral Theory, represent reality, namely: consciousness, behaviour, culture, and the social and environment systems. Multiple methods were used, including a questionnaire, interviews and focus group meetings. The findings point at the existence of a high level of integral readiness for future participation in transformation processes in the community. The study also reveals that it is the project developer and not the (local) government, who plays the main role in fostering such readiness. A lesson learnt, therefore, is that the effectiveness of the Thai government’s environmental policy can be increased by directing incentives to private developers rather than to local governments.

Keywords: Community Readiness for Environmental, Transformation, Biological WasteWater Treatment, Integral Theory, Thailand

Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp.169-182. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.105MB).

Dr. Tanapon Panthasen

Deputy Dean for Research and Academic Services, Urban and Environmental Planning, Faculty of Architecture, Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand

Panthasen graduated with an honor degree from Faculty of Architecture, King Mongkut Institute of Technology, Ladkrabang, Thailand. He also got a Master of Sciences degree in Construction Management from Florida International University, USA. He worked in the local construction management and design firms before he was hired by Bechtel International, Inc. to be the main coordinator of construction management of Empire Tower, the largest steel structure building in Thailand. After the project’s completion, he became the facility management supervisor of the Stock Exchange of Thailand Building, head office. Gaining years of professional experiences in various fields, he continued study in higher education and received his Ph.D. in Integrated Sciences from Thammasat University, Thailand. His dissertation topic is The Transformation Process of Sustainable Real Estate Development: From an Egocentric into an Integral Paradigm (Sponsored by the Royal Golden Jubilee Ph.D. Program, the Thailand Research Fund). His Ph.D. research was conducted in the USA, The UK, the Netherlands, and Thailand under supervision of experts in each country. He was also trained in the ‘Spiral Dynamics integral’ transformational training course conducted by Dr. Don Beck, The National Values Center, USA. He was a founder of Master Program in Innovation Real Estate Development, Thammasat University.

Araya Santisan

Lecturer, Division of Urban and Environmental Planning, Kasetsart University, Thailand

Araya Santisan is a lecturer at Kasetsart University.

Dr. Bart Lambregts

Research Fellow, Division of Urban and Environmental Planning, Faculty of Architecture, Kasetsart University, Thailand

Bart Lambregts is a research fellow at Kasetsart University.