This CDKN case study – Catalysing sustainable tourism: The case of Chiang Mai, Thailand – looks at how the non-motorised transport (NMT) plan was developed, what characteristics of the planning process influenced its outcome, and what lessons the City of Chiang Mai has learned about climate compatible development planning as a result.
- Increasing greenhouse gas emissions from transport threaten the growing tourism industry in Chiang Mai. To address both climate and development concerns, the city government has advocated the use of non-motorised transport (NMT).
- Climate mitigation comes with co-benefits for local development. In addition to its potential to reduce greenhouse emissions, the NMT initiative addresses other issues such as traffic congestion, air quality, income generation for the poor and the long-term viability of the tourism industry.
- Small but concrete steps toward climate mitigation can create?good examples. The project on sustainable urban tourism catalysed planning for a more ambitious expansion of NMT in the city, as well as the adoption of more sustainable land-use practices and low-carbon action in other sectors.
- This very positive local story nonetheless highlights some of?the tensions and trade-offs around green tourism: namely, that local initiatives may address emissions in situ, but not the emissions produced by tourists as they travel to the locality.