The grass is never greener: As Phnom Penh booms, green spaces are cut back

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The grass is never greener: As Phnom Penh booms, green spaces are cut back

Post by Kung-fu Hillbilly »

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Phnom Penh’s lack of green spaces is plainly evident through satellite imagery. Photo: Satellites.pro/Southeast Asia Globe

By
Southeast Asia Globe -
December 17, 2019


One participant, who requested anonymity, said that “instead of keeping land as public property and investing it into green space, this land is currently being sold to the highest private bidders.

If you study a satellite image of Phnom Penh closely, you will see a dizzying swirl of grey and brown blocks – a sign of the capital’s sprawling multi-billion dollar development boom industry. If you squint, you may also find a few scattered blocks of green, highlighting a critical gap in urban planning: Phnom Penh’s shrinking urban green spaces (UGS).

It’s not just about Phnom Penh growing rapidly – the city’s urbanisation is also largely unplanned and unregulated, resulting in dwindling green spaces, urban flooding, informal settlements, and neglect of the urban poor.

A 2016 study by digital journal publication MDPI on Cambodian youth perceptions of urban green spaces in Phnom Penh suggests widespread desire for more public green spaces. While 67.3% of respondents viewed UGS as a necessity, with 94.43% demanding more green spaces in the city.

In a 2017 study, researchers from Denmark’s University of Aarhus found that children with access to green space had a reduced risk of developing psychiatric disorders later in life. A research paper published the same year by journal publishers BMJ Open found similar findings on the benefits of green space for the elderly.

“It needs to be the government, particularly at the local level, and it needs to be done by the equivalent of a city council, or at the Sangkat level, with community-led initiatives. [However], it does seem that there is a lack of mechanisms currently for the community to interact with their local government.”

When assessing the effectiveness of the Master Plan, the World Bank has also highlighted glaring holes in its implimentation. In its 2017 report on urban development in Phnom Penh, it reveals how developments of less than 3,000 square metres need approval from the Phnom Penh Municipality, while larger developments are approved by the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction.

The Boeung Kak Lake case remains the most prominent example of this. The case shows what happens when there is no allocated investment in public green spaces, also illustrating the lack of transparency and scant regard for community participation in Cambodia’s construction sector.

full https://southeastasiaglobe.com/the-gras ... r-greener/
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Re: The grass is never greener: As Phnom Penh booms, green spaces are cut back

Post by AndyKK »

But! Building the city's new buildings is important to keep the investors interests. there is lots of green places nearby, and now bus services too.
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Re: The grass is never greener: As Phnom Penh booms, green spaces are cut back

Post by BklynBoy »

Saw this article on twitter the other day. Are there parks in PP?? like where kids/adults can play games.. Basketball ,football,handball ( yes, american sports). In NYC, if you go to any local school there is a yard where people can play
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Re: The grass is never greener: As Phnom Penh booms, green spaces are cut back

Post by Equinix »

It's unfortunate that HS didn't listen to Vann Molyvann when it came to city planning.

Phnom Penh has become an un-livable nightmare in the last 10yrs.

They​ should have, kept Boeung Kak lake and transform it in a "central park" kind of park with leisure space. Maybe some public BBQ places, a small zoo maybe with tropical birds or something. Etc etc.

The same goes for the Olympic stadium area. It's unfortunate that greedy idiots are running the place ...

Oh​ and maybe some parking garages so people can walk on the walkway

Obviously it will only get worse, but it's nice to dream =)
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Re: The grass is never greener: As Phnom Penh booms, green spaces are cut back

Post by Bitte_Kein_Lexus »

I think they also managed to keep the population ignorant. I routinely talk to Cambodian who assume that Sihanouk Boulevard and the Riverside are "parks". Only those who have studied abroad (or traveled a lot) realize how bad the situation is in Phnom Penh, from an urbanization and general planning standpoint. It's quite shocking really the way they messed up some great opportunities in the name of private interest.
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Re: The grass is never greener: As Phnom Penh booms, green spaces are cut back

Post by explorer »

It is sad. The focus is on getting money, not on making the place nice.

They can't see, if they made the place nice, they would get more tourists, who would bring in more money.
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Re: The grass is never greener: As Phnom Penh booms, green spaces are cut back

Post by shnoukieBRO »

None of this should surprise you in the least.
Look at Snooki and the rest.
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Re: The grass is never greener: As Phnom Penh booms, green spaces are cut back

Post by John Bingham »

BklynBoy wrote: Wed Dec 18, 2019 6:45 am Saw this article on twitter the other day. Are there parks in PP?? like where kids/adults can play games.. Basketball ,football,handball ( yes, american sports). In NYC, if you go to any local school there is a yard where people can play
There aren't any parks that would compare in any way with, say, Central Park, Lumbini Park, Regent's Park or Phoenix Park. There are just a few small ones like the one in front of Wat Botum, the verges between Independence Monument and Naga 1, the Riverside and around Wat Phnom.
It's terrible compared to other cities.
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Re: The grass is never greener: As Phnom Penh booms, green spaces are cut back

Post by Duncan »

Image


I don't know why this green space does not show on that google shot


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Re: The grass is never greener: As Phnom Penh booms, green spaces are cut back

Post by xandreu »

When I was a teacher we did a whole lesson vocabulary based on what you'd find in a typical town or city, and my students struggled to understand even what a park was.

I also struggled to think of an example in PP. Best I could come up with was Wat Botum park, down between Independence monument and the riverside, but that's hardly a great example.

I've never known a city as un-green as PP to be honest. Not only the lack of green spaces but just a general lack of vegetation in general. Trees are very sparse and I can't recall ever seeing a hedge anywhere.
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