City Brief - Udon Thani, Thailand

Authors: Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-International (ISET-International); Thailand Environment Institute (TEI); Vietnam National Institute for Science and Technology Policy and Strategy Studies (NISTPASS)

Udon Thani is emerging as a key commercial city in northeastern Thailand and the Greater Mekong Sub-region. Within only a decade, Udon Thani has shifted from a relatively poor and remote province to an economic, trading, and transportation hub serving as a link between Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and China. As Udon prepares for this future, the city center and neighboring local administrations have been urbanizing rapidly. Urbanization has brought significant changes to the local ecological landscape and natural hydrology, and a monsoonal climate and growing variability is further exacerbating pressures on water. Increasingly Udon Thani faces climate related problems from both water shortage and flooding. As a growing city, Udon Thani has many water needs, but management and planning processes are not yet able to accommodate the complexity of such rapid growth. Underpinning these are the needs for effective land use and water resource management. Recognizing that addressing these challenges will be critical to ensuring the kind of growth the city envisions—plans call for the population to double in a decade—Udon Thani has been working with the Mekong–Building Climate Resilience in Asian Cities (M-BRACE) initiative to better understand the impacts of urbanization and climate change and chart a path towards more resilient development.


Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-International, Thailand Environment Institute, Vietnam National Institute for Science and Technology Policy and Strategy Studies. (2014). Udon Thani, Thailand. Bangkok, Thailand: Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-International.

Funded by: 

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)


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