My Urban Challenge: Mayor of Siem Reap

By Apala Bhattacharya

Collecting data on tourist experiences to improve services.

An ever growing pile of trash is making its home in the ancient city of Siem Reap and the site of Angkor Wat. Every day, 20 tonnes of garbage is cleaned up from Angkor Wat alone. As tourism flourishes and the city experiences rapid growth, the Mayor of Siem Reap is trying to carefully balance the tight rope between tourism and conservation.

As the mayor of a major tourist hub, So Platong plans for both tourists and residents alike. “We still need to educate because it’s very important for us as Cambodia that we need to be informed. It depends on all sectors to be involved in this process,” the Mayor says. The Mayor’s office has several initiatives in place to provide information on various policies and campaigns on a regular basis to schools, pagodas and the private sector.

The problem of waste management is also being tackled. For the first time, the local government is setting up a schedule to collect garbage across the city. “We will also enforce the regulation to stop the people from polluting the riverside,” the Mayor adds.

How is the city innovating to meet its people's needs? Read more below: