On the drawing board the future of Müang Sing has already started. The development plan of 1991 is closely orientated at the original quadratic layout and keeps the delineation of the street system intact. The plan envisages a much higher population density than is the case at present. It depends obviously on the hope that the urban population will encrease steadily, at least by 2.6% per annum which was the average for the province of Luang Nam Tha in the late 1980s. The statistics for Müang Sing are different. During the 1988 - 1992 period the average increase of population was less than 1.5% per annum. It seems that both town and district of Müang Sing were net emigration areas during the last two or three decades. One has to wait and see whether the assumption of the district administration that this trend could be reverted in the future is realistic.
This is the development plan of 01/02/1991
The only remarkable difference to the town map of 1890 is that the centre of the town, i.e. the palace area, would move exactly one square closer to the main commercial road to China.
The total urban area of 83.3 ha, which includes roughly 20 ha outside the old town wall, would be used as follows:
|area in ha
|area in %
|business incl. housing
If this plan will ever be realized in full, the population of Müang Sing would increase drastically and the number of houses would almost be doubled. Furthermore, the population would become more evenly distributed. Two large park areas with extensive flower gardens and restaurants are planned, one in the northern corner (Siang In and Siang Lae) and the other outside the eastern corner near the district hospital.
This bold vision underlines that the district and provincial authorities envisage Müang Sing both a major attraction of tourists and a regional economic centre. For the time being, however, it seems too optimistic to see Müang Sing as the future hub of a so-called "economic quadrangle" linking trade routes between Burma, China, Laos and Thailand. But the combination of trade and "alternative tourism" - based on the ethnic diversity and cultural richness of the region - could appear attractive. In this respect, the re-discovery of Müang Sing as an historic township could become meaningful.