GSP Conference 2016: Chiang Mai’s Future: Policy Ideas for a World-Class Secondary City in Asia


For the GSP 2016, the students visited Chiang Mai, to study and research on Chiang Mai’s Future: Policy Ideas for a World-Class Secondary City in Asia. There will be a conference to showcase the findings from the project and students will be sharing recommendations to the various stakeholders. The GSP Conference 2016 will take place on 4th July at the LKY School.

The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) was officially launched in January 2016. This is expected to bring an unprecedented pace of economic integration and development in the region. Taking advantage of this opportunity, secondary cities in Asia are pivoting their direction to gain most from the integration and the rapid urbanization trend. What are the opportunities for secondary cities in Asia? How can cities in this region grow sustainably and continue to be livable cities for their residents and visitors? Aiming to contribute to this body of knowledge, this year’s Governance Study Project (GSP), conducted by our Master of Public Administration (MPA) students, focuses on one of the region’s most important cities – Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai is the second largest city in Thailand with a population of over one million. Once an important hub for the old Lanna Kingdom, the city celebrates its 720th year anniversary this year. Amidst rapid urbanization, aging population, growing expat communities, and regional and inter-city competition, Chiang Mai is going through transformational change. It is striving to protect its heritage and culture while at same time embracing new technologies, new residents, and new ways of life.

Currently, Chiang Mai is designated to be a Smart City where citizens enjoy a full range of digital public services. Furthermore with its rich social, cultural, and heritage assets, the city also aims to drive its development sustainably by fostering a creative economy via start-ups, various types of tourism, and the MICE industry. It is also on the tentative list to become UNESCO’s World Heritage City. While there are numerous opportunities ahead, there are also remaining challenges. They include the need to set a clear vision for the city, to engage citizens meaningfully and to collaborate across all sectors.

In alignment with the LKY School’s mission to raise governance standards and improve lives in Asia, the GSP Conference on July 4th, 2016 aims to provide innovative policy ideas for Chiang Mai. We hope to contribute to the city’s positive transformational growth and help enable it to continue to be one of the most attractive and livable cities in Asia.

Conference Schedule


Session 1: Economic Opportunities

Venue: Lobby, OTH Building
Time: 08:45 a.m. – 10:35 a.m.

Session 2: Varieties of Tourism

Venue: Lobby, OTH Building
Time: 10:55 a.m. – 12:45 a.m.

Session 3: Good Governance

Venue: Lobby, OTH Building
Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m

Session 4: Remaining Challenges

Venue: Lobby, OTH Building
Time: 3:50 p.m. – 5:20 p.m.