Promoting Cycling with Help of Participatory Mapping on Samui Island, Thailand

By Supaporn K. Leopairojna, Bart Lambregts and Chaweewan Denpaiboon.

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

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: April 24, 2017 $US5.00

Rapid growth in population and visitor numbers in combination with strong dependency on individualized and motorized modes of transport fuel a variety of transport-related problems on Samui Island. The island, a popular tourist destination in the South of Thailand, desperately needs to “green” its transport system. Responding to this challenge, this paper explores pathways to the promotion of cycling on Samui Island. In 2013, the lead author engaged with the Wiriya community on the island and used the participatory mapping method (PMM) to identify both barriers to and opportunities for the introduction of pro-cycling measures. PMM encourages community participation and creates awareness among community members. It helps the researcher to gain a comprehensive understanding of the concerns and perceptions of a local population. The method, moreover, does not require advanced technology or expensive tools and hence is particularly suitable for data collection in developing countries. The study found that while many of the problems encountered are of a physical nature (e.g., lack of cycling space, unsafe road design), the barriers to improvement are mostly institutional (i.e., lack of resources, fragmented responsibilities) and behavioral (people being accustomed to motorized transport and perceiving cycling as unsafe). The paper presents recommendations as to how these barriers can be addressed.

Keywords: Sustainable Transport, Cycling, Participatory Mapping Method (PMM), Thailand

Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp.15-34. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: April 24, 2017 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.670MB)).

Dr. Supaporn K. Leopairojna

Lecturer, Department of Building Innovation, Faculty of Architecture, Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand

Dr. Bart Lambregts

Lecturer, Faculty of Architecture, Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand

Assoc. Prof. Chaweewan Denpaiboon

Lecturer, Division of Urban Planning, Faculty of Architecture and Planning, Thammasat University, Pathumthani, Thailand