A Case Study of The Contention Between Government and Community in “Mahakarn Fort” Conservation Project for Tourism
This study aim to work out on the best solution of “Mahakarn Fort” Conservation and Public park project to
provide green area and historical attraction for sustainable tourism in Ratanakosin Island. Bangkok’s oldest fortress may
soon be confined to the history books. Remaining residents of Mahakan Fort, whose community dates back to the 1800s,
have been told by the city to move out for the public park project.
The 6,400 sqm.of this area will be turned into a public park intended to be a tourist attraction. The whitewashed Mahakan
Fort is one of two from 14 Forts surviving citadels that defended the old walled city. The octagonal fort is a picturesque, but
the neighbor in village is more interesting. This small community of wooden houses has been here for more than 100 years,
but since the mid-1990s it has fought the Bangkok municipal government’s plan to demolish it and create a ‘tourist’ park.
The community blocked progress and even proposed the development of another tourist attraction: a lí•gair (bawdy dance-
drama) museum honouring the dance tradition that traces its creation to a school located here in 1897. Some of the homes
were eventually demolished, resulting in the park you see today. But behind the fort many others remain.
For 24 years, residents in Mahakan Fort have been living with an uncertain future as governor after governor tried to proceed
with the park project. Last month, however, an eviction notice was put up a final call for the remaining 57 families living
Keywords: Mahakarn Fort, Public Park, Mahakarn Community, Living Museum, conservation, Sustainable tourism.