When mentioning “pleasant living”, most peoples may think of “place” like pleasant house or pleasant city, etc. However, when we have to imagine the picture of “pleasant living” that is the important element besides “place” (house and city), each person may imagine the picture of “pleasant living” differently, for example, when thinking of “pleasant house”, we may imagine the picture of a house with a happy family without any quarrel but with approximate area, green trees, and good atmosphere. When imagining the picture of “pleasant city”, we may imagine the picture of a city with convenient roads, safety, green areas, and ordered buildings for peaceful living of people in such city.
The above imagination is thinking and feeling of general people when thinking of “pleasant living”. However, there is a question, “How about cities in southern border provinces? Are they pleasant?” This question may make persons who are being asked to have no idea to give any answer. When thinking of southern border provinces, one thing that may be occurred in our thought is “violence”.
However, if we do not cling to negative news and consider on facts, we will find that “what we see may not be the truth”, do you believe that? It can be said that although there is any violence, southern border provinces are hidden with many pleasant things, for example, Yala City Municipality in Yala Province that won the Excellent Sustainably Living Municipality Award
Thailand Environment Institute (TEI), a private environmental development organization that has operated as a non-profit independent academic institute, defined the criteria of “Conceptual Framework on Sustainably Pleasant Municipality” with the following details:
Happy People: Local people must be healthy with appropriate and equal education, welfares, right protection, warm families, supportive community, socially creative activities, tradition, culture, and local wisdom.
Pleasant City: Lands are used properly with sufficient infrastructure for people in all groups, residential security, safety, and stable economy.
Sustainable Environment: There are plentiful of natural resources with sufficient green areas, beautiful landscape, appropriate waste or pollution disposal, and eco-friendly way of life of local people.
Good learning and management: There must be clear vision and action plan, personnel with knowledge and skills, consecutively developed operations, good management, and innovations on city development.
Department of Environmental Quality Promotion applied such criteria to judge the winner of the awards on innovations and sustainable environment consisted of 2 types of award including: 1) Sustainably Living Municipality Award; and 2) National Sustainable Environment Municipality.
In 2021, the municipality that won the Excellent Sustainably Living Municipality Award in national level was Yala City Municipality.
From evaluation of Department of Environmental Quality Promotion, it was found that the outstanding contribution of Yala City Municipality was cooperation of all sectors in the area, including government, private, and public sectors, to take actions with opportunities given to them to listen to problems and find solutions by analyzing on context and demands of the city leading to clear picture of problems. These things reflected efficiency of good learning and management.
The problems of Yala City Municipality found by all sectors were the problems on disorderliness of the city, invasion against pavements and public areas, increased quantity of wastes caused by urban development and expansion as well as immigration of outsiders for working and studying.
From those problems, there was the concept to develop connection of environmental conservation from local level to global level through City Branding by using existent local capital in order to manage city supporting living in 3 issues: 1) Friendly City; 2) Good Environmental City; and 3) Artistic City.
To change the above concept, the project originated by cooperation of all sectors would be operated by starting from establishing clear operational policies and guidelines. People would be publicized for acknowledgement and co-operation under such guidelines. The most important thing is consecutive following up.
From the concept on problems solving of Yala City Municipality that were driven to systematic actions under participation of all sectors, the problems of Yala City Municipality were resolved, for example:
Such operations enabled Yala City Municipality to become the municipality with good learning and management leading to become the “Pleasant City” with “Happy People” and “Sustainable Environment”. Therefore it could win the Excellent Sustainably Living Municipality Award in national level.
The conceptual framework on sustainably pleasant municipality applied by Yala City Municipality for developing Yala City Municipality is not limited to be applied in awards or in municipality level only but the actual subject matter of this conceptual framework is application in all levels including family, community, city, and national levels, especially in family and community levels in southern border provinces.
Why?...It is because every family and community needs “pleasant living” with “happiness”, “good environment”, and “good learning and management.”