Leaders from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration teamed up with Melbourne-based academics and three other partner organizations to develop a liveability monitoring system aligned to the SDGs

For the attention of: Urban planners, spatial data analysts, city governments

The problem: Globally there is a major push to make cities more liveable for all, in recognition that cities are a key setting for achieving progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. 

However, most existing tools to track progress towards more liveable cities have been developed for cities in high-income countries in North America and Europe.

What we did: We created a city-wide system for tracking liveability in Bangkok using local and open source spatial data. Liveability indicators were based on local knowledge of the city of Bangkok as well as international research on the health impacts of cities. The indicators are designed to track how liveability varies within the city of Bangkok to guide equitable delivery of liveability infrastructure.

What our study adds: 

  • Proof of concept for developing a city-wide liveability indicator system that is relevant to cities in low-to-middle income countries
  • Partnership has led to the development of an international liveability network and a deeper understanding of shared and unique challenges
  • Reflections on opportunities for future capacity building within our organisations and ways that diverse cities can learn from each other

Implications for city policy and practice: This proof of concept for tracking liveability in Bangkok has provided:

  • Tools for tracking progress towards liveability that may be adapted and applied to other cities globally
  • Broader lessons about working collaboratively across diverse cities and organisations
  • An example of a partnership model that can be used to guide partnerships in other cities

Project partners: 

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) (http://www.bangkok.go.th/)

UN Global Compact – Cities Programme (https://citiesprogramme.org/)

Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (Australia; https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/)

RMIT University (Centre for Urban Research; https://cur.org.au/@RMIT_CUR

Funded by the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth; Australia; https://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/).

Full research article: Measuring and monitoring liveability in a low-to-middle income country: A proof-of-concept for Bangkok, Thailand and learnings from an international partnership.

Authors: Amanda Alderton, Carl Higgs, Melanie Davern (@mtdavern), Iain Butterworth (@imbutterworth), Joana Correia, Kornsupha Nitvimol, Hannah Badland. 

Editor: Marcus Grant