Bangkok’s Centennial Park fights flooding in a sinking metropolis


When Thai architect Kotchakorn Voraakhom was somewhat lady she used to play within the flood waters of Bangkok. Now, she’s serving to to scale back flooding within the metropolis along with her progressive city design.

Bangkok, a metropolis of greater than 8 million people, sits within the low-lying Chao Phraya River Delta and is on common simply 1.5 meters above sea degree. Heavy rainfall within the moist season makes it vulnerable to flooding.

To make issues worse, sea ranges are rising, and town is sinking — beneath the load of its buildings and since an excessive amount of water has been pumped from the aquifers beneath it.

However assistance is coming from an unlikely supply — a park within the coronary heart of town.

Centennial Park, constructed on the campus of Chulalongkorn College, is a lovely inexperienced house full with fountains, train bikes and a youngsters’s playground.

Designed by Voraakhom and her panorama structure agency Landprocess, there’s extra to this 11-acre (45,000 sq. meter) park than meets the attention.

“This park is not simply (about) beautification or recreation,” Voraakhom informed CNN. “It is serving to town take care of water.”

According to Landprocess, Centennial Park can hold up to one million gallons of water.

In line with Landprocess, Centennial Park can maintain as much as a million gallons of water. Credit score: Courtesy Landprocess

The way it works

Quite a few design options mix to assist the park retailer rainwater and save the encircling streets from flooding throughout heavy rains.

The park is constructed on an incline, and its slanted important garden and the angled roof of the park’s museum mix to funnel rain water into its sloped gardens.

Because it runs via the gardens, the water collects in synthetic wetlands. From there, the water flows right into a retention pond, which might maintain practically 480,000 gallons (1,800 cubic meters).

Beneath the porous floor is a water tank with a capability of practically 160,000 gallons (600 cubic meters). In all, the park can maintain as much as a million gallons (4,546 cubic meters) of water.

“We have to rethink our metropolis,” stated Voraakhom. “It is not about eliminating floods or engineering options of constructing an enormous dam, nevertheless it’s about how (we) can reside with water.”

Flood waters rush through a market near to the overflowing Chao Phraya River nearby on October 29, 2011 in Bangkok.

Flood waters rush via a market close to to the overflowing Chao Phraya River close by on October 29, 2011 in Bangkok. Credit score: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Photographs AsiaPac/Getty Photographs

Herbert Dreiseitl is a panorama and waterscape architect, and a visiting professor on the Nationwide College of Singapore. He informed CNN the mission is an effective instance of easy methods to creatively use the panorama for a multifunctional objective.

“This type of mission … begins the place the rain is touchdown on the floor — on open areas, on inexperienced parks, on rooftops — and it is delaying and dealing with the water the suitable means,” he stated.

Greening town

The park additionally gives inexperienced house in a closely developed metropolis, says Dreiseitl, making Bangkok extra engaging and folks pleasant.

In line with the Asian City Green Index, which compares 22 main Asian cities, Bangkok has simply three sq. meters of inexperienced house per individual, which is way beneath the index common of 39 sq. meters per individual.

The park, which was accomplished in March 2017, is just too small to have an effect past the speedy neighborhood, however Voraakhom desires it to behave as a case examine for different locations, displaying that cities will be re-engineered to mix panorama structure with inexperienced options.

“This can be a form of delicate revolution in metropolis planning,” stated Dreiseitl. “It would take a while, however these good options are convincing for different non-public traders and authorities buildings or municipalities to comply with this mannequin.”

He added that this type of park may work in different cities, however a scarcity of house and assets is likely to be a problem.

Centennial Park incorporates various anti-flooding features.

Centennial Park incorporates varied anti-flooding options. Credit score: Courtesy Landprocess

Landprocess is now engaged on a similar park at Thammasat University, in Pathum Thani province, a flood-prone space simply north of Bangkok.

In line with the corporate, the park will likely be thrice bigger than Centennial Park and have triple the water-storage capability. It’s set to open subsequent yr.

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