Local tree huggers gave their stamps of approval to the Pattaya Beach facelift after the city invited feedback from the arborist groups.
Representatives from Big Trees, the Trees in the City Network and Thai Association of Landscape Architects met with Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome Sept. 6 to review plans for the 160-milllion-baht renovation and offer their landscaping suggestions.
The meeting came after an online furor over the cutting of sea almond trees, with online users falsely claiming Pattaya was cutting down all the trees and posting fake or incomplete images of what the beachfront will look like when the project completes in 2023.
Sonthaya explained to the environmentalists that 75 percent of the original trees will be retained and only soft woods susceptible to breakage will be replaced.
Santi Opatpakornkit, representative of the Big Trees group, said they have experience in large-tree care in many areas and in cooperation with international clients. He said Big Trees stands ready to support Pattaya with training and education on arboriculture and landscape architecture.
Chorpaka Wiriyanon of Trees in the City said that, after the briefing, she now is pleased to know that Pattaya is prioritizing a design with awareness of the importance of the original trees.
Numchai Sansupa, prescient of the TALA, said he would like to see Pattaya City become a sustainable world-class tourist city.
Previously, he saw only one view of the project. But, now, he understands designers will use big and local trees and he’s confident Pattaya Beach will look as good as it does in Jomtien Beach following its similar facelift.
Orawan Sukananwong, president of the Muang Pattaya Community Association, said 60-70 percent of Pattaya residents agree with the improvement project because it will increase income from tourism and promote people’s career paths, especially after COVID-19 crisis.