“Yannawa: Model of waterfront development in Thailand”
Development of the Yannawa riverside area is a collaboration between UddC and the Thai Health Promotion Foundation. Saphan Pla district is an area with potential for development and rehabilitation with seamless connections to the central business district of Bang Rak - Silom – Sathorn. There is direct access to the Chao Phraya River. Traveling to the area is convenient as a transfer point for the Skytrain system, express boat, ferry service, and motor vehicle. The land use regulations according to the BMA plan have allowed the development of high-density residences in this area.
However, one of the challenges in this area is negotiating the interests of land ownership in which more than 85 percent of the total area belongs to government agencies and religious places of worship. Although the Saphan Pla area has high potential, it has not developed to achieve its full potential. Many of the waterfront areas have become inert or abandoned due to sporadic an unlinked development efforts. Accordingly, UddC saw an opportunity to turn the waterfront area of Yannawa into a model of riverside development potential of Thailand.
A first step was to approach all the stakeholders in the area to explain the challenge and solicit cooperation. All sectors were encouraged to realize the importance and potential mutual benefit of development of neighborhood areas. UddC tapped into the opinions from all stakeholders and the general public is a formative stage of the project. Everyone was encouraged to help formulate guidelines for planning, design, and city management as a joint enterprise. In that way, the stakeholders could begin to feel a sense of ownership of this part of the city, instead of narrowly focusing on their own property or plot of land.
UddC has convened five forums for consideration of waterfront area design and, each time, the potential needs of the area, various possibilities, and limitations were discussed. This process led to establishment of the framework and criteria for planning and design, as embodied in the proposal of the Yannawa Riverside Area Master Plan, which has the following key design concepts:
1) Design a public waterfront area for everyone by allocating space to support public activities of the district that are flexible to use by all groups, including children, the disabled, and the elderly
2) Create connections taking into account the attributes of the city, including the connection of bike paths (along a length of 1.2 kilometers), allocation of entrances and exits along the waterfront to connect with communication networks and public roadways, as well as connection of activities to the area.
3) Stimulate awareness of sustainable well-being of both people and neighborhoods. The area is designed to promote exercise and health, along with allocating facilities which stimulate and revitalize the neighborhood.
4) Conduct problem solving with integrated design by identifying solutions based on how the original area used to function, such as the integration of the retainer wall system to protect the waterfront for year-round use, space allocation for wall maintenance, including the design, planning, management of public spaces and private areas, and to serve as a guideline to prevent problems that might occur in the future.
Project Name : Saphan Pla district rehabilitation through multisectoral development in collaboration with the Yannawa Riverside Restoration Development Project and Bangkok Healthy City initiative
Location : King Taksin Bridge to Khlong Krauy, Bangkok’s Bangrak district
Area : 230,000 sq.m.
Client : Thai Health Promotion Foundation
Year : 2013-2017
Status : Research and Study, Urban Design
Program / Role : Public riverfront design
Partners : Marine Department, Silpakorn University’s Faculty of Architecture, Shma Company Limited