Chiang Mai is once again talking about how to make our city livable.  In the first week of February 2010 a one day meeting was held under the auspices of Tessaban Nakhorn Chiang Mai and the German consulting agency GTZ.

To the annoyance of some of the long time Chiang Mai activists GTZ organised speakers in the morning to tell us some facts we already knew and then insisted on spending the whole afternoon playing childish games to get us to decide on a “vision” for Chiang Mai.  Practical suggestions were vetoed by the strong-man “facilitator”, a consultant who had not heard about the message. The veto was on instructions from the organisers,he said in private, when asked to broaden the scope of the meeting.

Specifically the suggestion to “Make Chiang Mai a Bicycle City” was vetoed.  One of the participants suggested that the real agenda of GTZ was to sell German technology to Chiang Mai. Sounds like traditional foreign aid?

Meanwhile in China, one city, the lovely city of lakes Hang Zhou, opts for bikes as shown in this Al Jazeera video:

China city banking on bikes
2 min 39 sec – 4 days ago

If that is what GTZ wants to sell us let them say so up front? If not why are they wasting our time?

On Feb 15-16 th at the Chiang Mai Orchid Hotel in Huey Keow Rd the next stage in their community participation program continues.  If you are free to visit some time please do go and take your bicycle and enjoy a delicious hotel lunch.