Bangkok Under-Utilized Space
“Regenerating abandoned areas in the city: Turning crisis into opportunity through design”
The phenomenon of the expansion of the city over the past 20 years has led to the construction of many elevated transportation systems in Bangkok and its suburbs. These include elevated expressways, the BTS Sky Train, overpasses, and river bridges. While these infrastructure development projects helped to improve traffic flow for the city, there also created barriers between neighborhoods. That phenomenon is a product of how these superstructures overlaid parts of the city that were once meeting points and pedestrian pathways. As a result, many of the areas below those structures have become derelict and isolated, which makes them breeding grounds for crime, while also degrading the surrounding environment, both at the community and city levels.
Staff of the UddC have calculated the area under the elevated expressways in Bangkok and found that this area comprises approximately 1,577 rai, with portions that are derelict or unused accounting for 666 rai (42%). UddC sees the potential to revitalize these areas by using innovative design. The vision is of making the most effective and efficient utilization of areas of the city in ways that are consistent with the surrounding communities and passers-by. This project is being implemented in accordance with the following three over-arching concepts:
1) Linking areas under the expressway to be a part of the city and also promoting the creation of alternatives to accessing downtown areas using bicycle and walking;
2) Adding green areas to the city to help modify adverse weather conditions, reduce the temperature of the area, reduce traffic pollution, and connect with the original green areas of the city to create networks of verdure.
3) Creating a space to support a variety of different activity groups based on location, taking into account the walking distance (400 meters) between the project area and the surrounding locations to promote the community economy and social activities.
As an initial step, the UddC has selected a pilot area along the Petchburi-Sathorn Road section of the Srirat elevated expressway. This is an area of businesses and residences with high density and high potential. Revitalizing the derelict sections of this abandoned area will create value for the use of the surrounding land and create benefits for the wider society. At the same time, the lessons from addressing the socio-economic challenges of pilot site area will help inform the analysis and expansion of the project results.
Project Name : Area Development Project under the Srirat Expressway: Phetchaburi-Sathorn Roads Section
Location : Area along the Petchburi-Sathorn Road section of the Srirat elevated expressway
Area : 67,410 Square Meter
Client : The BMA Office of Town Planning
Year : 2019
Status : Research and Study, Urban Design
Program / Role : Public Space Design
Partners : -