Bangkok’s Framework Project, Thailand

Honorable Mentioned in FuturArc Prize 2019

Growing Ecosystem: Biophilic Infill within the Hyper-dense City

The project manifest a process of rethinking the hyperdense urbanism of a metropolis accompanied with the concept of biophilia, which in our case, it is Bangkok, Thailand. As one of the infamous metropolis in Asia, the rapid urbanism of Bangkok in the past 30 years has developed into a hyperdense capital of Thailand. Denser population is always a product from urbanization, arguably where it actually raises space utilization and efficiency or it curtails living quality and induces socio-economic issues. Meanwhile, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has an ambitious vision to transform Bangkok into a healthier, greener, and more livable megacity with its masterplanning project- “Bangkok Green Network”, to confront the issue of green space of 3m2 per person when the minimum of a healthy city is 9m2.

Urban Symptoms:

1. Slums & Its Socio-economic: The community of slums in Bangkok usually consists from some low-income locals, and large groups of foreigner from Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. They made income through non-regulated, unlicensed and informal economic activities. They are underlying a high competitive market which cause their income relatively lower or even regional poverty. The worst situation may leads to the increase of criminal activities.

2. Limited Living Condition: Slums community lives in undesirable living condition, that is extremely compact (worst cases 12m2 for a family). These tight spaces cause them to expand their living spaces with informal settlements and illegal constructions, which in some cases are dangerously built. Also, those areas also facing the issue of lacking proper sanitation facilities, public infrastructure and communal spaces.

3. Deterioration & Environmental Crisis: The reservation of green areas does not keep up with Bangkok’s rapid development, causes Bangkok has the least amount of green space among major Asian cities (3m2 of green per capita, compared to Singapore’s 66m2). Not to forget the issue of urban heat island and serious traffic congestion. Even worse, Bangkok is forecast to be nearly 40% submerged by 2030, partially due to its geographical factor on a flat land which surrounded by system of rivers.

4. Underutilized of Canals: Bangkok is known as “Venice of Asia” due to its geographical system of canals branches out from the Chao Phraya River. However, as Bangkok growing into an international metropolis, the population, skyscrapers and motorized traffic has dominated the city over the rivers and canals. The wastage produced by slums which usually located along the canals, also sometimes causes water pollution.

Upon the rapid development of the city, Bangkok is suffering from several key symptoms namely: slums and its socio-economics, limited living conditions, deterioration and environmental crisis, underutilized of canal system. Therefore, the ideology of this project begins with a inclusive framework as a bottom up process- from reshaping the policies of development until the participative of different sectors which leads to a healthier urban environment. Therefore, the proposal intended to integrate back the slum community into the society, allowing the society to acknowledge their existence and coexists with them. The canal inside the proposed site will acts as a important media of goods transportation & main water source for the aquaponic home-farming. Added up these elements lead us to a vision- a future biophilic city of common goods for all!

One thought on “Bangkok’s Framework Project, Thailand

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