YoU2 - Livable historical urban districts in Chiang Mai


Chiang Mai is the largest city in northern Thailand and a popular travel destination for around 3 million tourists (in 2017). The number of visitors almost doubled between 2008 and 2017. In response to the rising demand the tourist infrastructure is expanding constantly, putting pressure on city districts with a large proportion of architectural cultural heritage. The resulting dynamic in urban development has an impact on both the structural and the traditional socio-economic structures in these districts. At the same time, large sections of the local population and the city administration are unsure about how to deal with the effects of these developments regarding the material and immaterial cultural heritage on the affected neighborhoods.

Project description:

YoU2 senses, mobilizes and leverages knowledge to establish sustainable paths of development at the intersection of cultural heritage protection, energy management and development towards a “Smart City” in Chiang Mai. In doing so, YoU2 places particular value on the qualitative modeling of the local context, the identification of established solutions from other regions in Thailand and Germany, and the systematic adaptation and transfer of these solutions.

Our services:

The Fraunhofer IMW develops an understanding of the local problem’s context from the point of view of local interest groups. At the same time, the Fraunhofer IMW identifies approaches to sustainable urban development with high solution potential. The IMW focuses on social innovations with a bottom-up approach in the field of sustainable urban development. The adequacy of these solutions is investigated systematically in regard to the problem context, which supports the preparation of an adapted solution transfer. Particular focus lies on the evaluation of how acceptable certain types of solutions will be from the perspective of the local population. Finally, the Fraunhofer IMW is responsible for the development of an effectiveness barometer to critically analyze the success of the project.


Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Economics and Energy System Technology IEE
University of Chiang Mai – School of Public Policy SPP

Project Duration:


Further information


Kick-Off Project YoU2


Sustainable urban development in Northern Thailand

Report: Heritage in Thailand