Regulations for Property Developers
The ratio of 'green space' to 'concrete jungle' in Bangkok is one of the lowest in the world! Fortunately, once you go into some of the smaller sois (like the one we live in) there are still some 'rich' people living there, who own their own villas with gardens and trees, for everyone around to enjoy. But parks (Lumphini not withstanding) are few and between.
A prime example of construction without consideration for a green environment are the massive Siam Paragon and CentralWorld shopping complexes. Siam Paragon was built in the spot where the spacious Intercontinental Hotel with its great gardens was located. If you look carefully you will see about 10 palm trees in front of the shopping complex at present. CentralWorld uses a quite old building with recent renovations and extensions. Anyway, they did not see fit to include substantial greenery into their new shopping center.
It may be time to 'force' major developers to reserve a reasonable area of new developments for some greenery. After all there are other regulations, like they have to provide for sufficient parking space etc. Also in view of the still modest price of land around Bangkok (when compared to other megacities) it would certainly be not too much to ask property developers to set aside and maintain for the public good let's say about 20% of building areas for parks and trees, as a sign of taking social responsibility in keeping the city livable. Green space could also include enough space for small children to play and enjoy some exercise. If sometimes 6 or 7 floors are reserved for cars, why not have one or two floors for common use, and something more than the obiquitous swimming pools.
Update 2020. We are not speaking about property development from the year 2020, what with the Corona pandemic. However, the last few years have been good for property developers. They have further penetrated in most sois of Sukhumvit road, as far as we can judge. Nowadays, there are often traffic jams in the smaller sois, with drivers trying to avoid the main roads. The abundance of high-rises does not make traffic inside the sois any more easy. There are regulations, like the width of the street, has some influence on whether new buildings can be constructed. However, we have the strong impression, that these regulations are rather accommodating.