Two SMMR experts visited Bangkok, Nong Khai and Vientiane for meetings last week. The Secretary-General of ISOCARP, the International Society of Regional and City Planner, Frank D’hondt and Dr Susanne Bohler, one of Europe’s leading experts for Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans. They discussed with the Governor of Nong Khai and representatives of the central governments and Vientiane the way forward for setting up an intermodal transport hub at the First Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge.
In Nong Khai, the Governor, Mr Ronnachai JITRAVISET, welcomed the SMMR approach and the concept of a Visioning Workshop. He suggested to base it on solid technical background work in view of reaching a consensus about priority actions.
In Vientiane, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and the Department of Transport of Vientiane Capital agreed that an intermodal transport hub at the bridge would be a great leap forward for the Vientiane-Nong Khai cooperation. They also emphasised the challenges and opportunities of the new Kunming-Vientiane-Bangkok railway link, which will reach Vientiane in 2021. In the near future, the rail link will be extended to Bangkok. The new railway bridge over the Mekong pronounces the momentum of development for the area.