Focusing on “people-centered performance” is important for increasing sustainability of the built environment. One of the five “target issues” created by the LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction is “PEOPLE”. The “target issues” are used in the LafargeHolcim Awards competition to evaluate and compare all entries. The human factor of sustainability is supported by projects that reflect a sensitive understanding of their unique social and political contexts, and generate the potential for long-lasting positive impacts on the local community.
Within the many facets of ethical standards and social inclusion that form the people “target issue”, the process of community consultation is crucial in many projects. By enabling the active participation of stakeholders in the design and implementation phases of a project – including users, clients, neighborhood affiliations, local authorities and non-governmental organizations – there is a significant opportunity for strengthening shared values and empowering communities.
Community consultation enhances the capacity of the design team to identify and more sufficiently understand locally significant factors, and encourages design solutions that address the distinctive elements of each specific context. The community-centered approach avoids designing from a “clean slate”, but uses its understanding of the well-established community social system to design and implement interventions that are intertwined with improving lives.
Going with the flow
An urban water transport system for Bangkok, Thailand by DI Designs proposes to revive the ancient canals of the city to create a modern network of waterways that will supplement the existing Metropolitan Rapid Transit system. After winning a LafargeHolcim Acknowledgement prize in 2014, the project authors are engaged in community consultation with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to ensure the waterways are part of a sustainable urban master plan for the city.
DI Designs were part of a team set the task of studying and finding ways to improve the housing of the many informal communities that live along Ladprao and Bang Sue canals. The process included many meetings and workshops with community leaders, government organizations, universities and private sector companies who were interested to be a part of the urban development along the canal. The objective of DI Designs is to work in detail with the related organizations so that their Resurrected Canals concept is included in the nation’s Thailand 4.0 smart city plan.
Read project overview: Resurrected Canals: Urban water transport system, Bangkok, Thailand
Information driven design
The Dryline (BIG U) addresses New York City’s vulnerability to coastal flooding with a protective ribbon in Southern Manhattan. The 12 km-long infrastructural barrier incorporates public space with the high-water barrier doubling as parks, seating, bicycle shelters or skateboard ramps. Through the greater understanding developed by consulting with the communities in lower Manhattan, the project not only looked at the water situation, but was also able to ask: What else do the local communities need? Can the design combine water management measures with solutions to other problems and deficiencies identified by the community?”
In partnership with LESReady! (a coalition of more than 25 community groups coordinating planning efforts for the Lower East Side neighborhood in Manhattan), a series of public outreach work sessions with community end-users were conducted. Residents were invited to build their own resilient waterfront through drawings and interactive models with an array of options for creating a collective vision for their waterfront.
The Dryline was created from the specific knowledge of external specialists, as well as the local community. The founder of BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) emphasized how the design work of his office is driven by information. “Our role was to take these inputs and synthesize a design solution that is informed by this wealth of knowledge,” explains Bjarke Ingels, winner of the Global Awards Bronze for 2015.
Read project overview: The Dryline: Urban flood protection infrastructure, New York, USA
What is the right question?
The Sustainable Post-tsunami Reconstruction Master Plan from Elemental led by Alejandro Aravena was developed after the 2010 earthquake and tsunami that struck Constitución, a city of 46,000 people in southern Chile. The masterplan responds with “geographical answers” to the “geographical threats” of the earthquake and tsunami risk.
By bringing the community into the process to understand the problems – the design process ensures that the “right questions” are the focus. Through community consultation, the design team broadened the scope of the project to address issues of seasonal flooding and public space: using a forest band between the city and the sea that would dissipate the force of future tsunami waves, but would also address the more immediate concerns of the community. Five years after implementation began, most elements of the project have been implemented to improve the quality of the city. The approach was able to negotiate private benefit with common good.See more
An urban water transport system for Bangkok by DI Designs proposes to revive the ancient canals of the city to create a modern network of waterways and supplement the existing Metropolitan Rapid Transit system. After winning a LafargeHolcim Acknowledgement prize in 2014, the project has been presented at the Thailand Urban Designer Association exhibition and DI Designs are engaged in community consultation with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to ensure the waterways are part of a sustainable urban master plan for the city.
The city’s department of drainage and sewerage aims to enhance drainage and prevent flooding using floodgates and construction of canal banks for the Ladprao and Bang Sue canals. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has established a collaborative team including government organizations, universities, community leaders, volunteer architects and the private sector. The team was set the task of studying and finding ways to improve the housing of the many informal communities that live along Ladprao and Bang Sue canals.
DI Designs led by Santi Sombatwichatorn and Pongporn Sudbanthad developed the Resurrected Canals concept further as volunteer architect and urban designer in the collaboration team. The project concept has been adopted as the urban development framework agreement for the city and communities in the canal area.
The process included many meetings and workshops with community leaders, government organizations, universities and private sector companies who were interested to be a part of the urban development along the canal. DI Designs delivered a preliminary master plan to BMA and the Ministry of Social Development & Human Security on September 21, 2016. Resurrected Canals was also part of the Thailand Urban Designer Association (TUDA) exhibition in Bangkok in August/September 2016.
The objective of DI Designs is to work in detail with the related organizations so that the Resurrected Canals concept is included in the nation’s Thailand 4.0 smart city plan.Lad Prao Canal Community Development Master Plan (in Thai and English) (PDF, 8.98 MB) »See more
The Resurrected Canals concept offers an answer to the notoriously congested traffic conditions in Bangkok. The project proposes to revive the ancient canals of the city to create a modern network of waterways and supplement the existing Metropolitan Rapid Transit systems.
A train-to-boat transfer station and pier will be built as a prototype, to be positioned along various intersections of canal lines and rail stations. The development of water transport will not only reduce commuting time for residents, but also provide social services at key locations. This major infrastructure project will also introduce flood control and pollution reduction measures.
D I Designs has released a 4-minute video presenting how Bangkok’s urban canal system can contribute to the city’s sustainable development. The Holcim Awards Acknowledgement project Resurrected Canals: Urban water transport system was praised for its aim to rehabilitate a historic city network to create a modern network of waterways and supplement existing Metropolitan Rapid Transit (MRT) systems.
The short video provides an explanation of the project’s context, the historic role of canals in the city, how the canal system could be integrated with other mass transit systems, and how the project addresses the “target issues” for sustainable construction.See more
Santi Sombatwichatorn of DI Designs views the strength of his project is to encourage inhabitants of Bangkok to use a wider range of transport options. “Resurrected Canals: Urban water transport system” in Bangkok, Thailand revives ancient canals of the city to create a modern network of waterways to supplement existing Metropolitan Rapid Transit.
An urban water transport system in Bangkok, Thailand by Santi Sombatwichatorn of D I Designs, Thailand that proposes to revive the ancient canals of the city to create a modern network of waterways and supplement the existing Metropolitan Rapid Transit systems won one of five equally-ranked Acknowledgement prizes.Read more » Baca lebih lanjut (Bahasa Indonesia) » อ่านเพิ่มเติม (Thai) »
The jury applauds the bold vision of the project, particularly its aim to rehabilitate a historic city network, which – though crucial for the definition of the urban fabric – was unfortunately compromised due to both formal and informal growth over time. Furthermore, the idea to combine technical exigencies with social needs is an excellent feature of the planning proposal, one that reclaims infrastructure as residing in the public domain and being truly important matter of concern for society at large.
แนวคิดเรื่องการฟื้นฟูคลองช่วยแก้ไขปัญหาการจราจรที่ขึ้นชื่อเรื่องความแออัดในกรุงเทพฯ โครงการนี้เป็นการวางแผนเพื่อฟื้นฟูคลองสายเก่าในเมือง เพื่อสร้างเครือข่ายเส้นทางสัญจรทางน้ำที่ทันสมัย และเพื่อเสริมระบบขนส่งมวลชนในเมืองที่มีอยู่ โดยจะสร้างต้นแบบสถานีขนถ่ายผู้โดยสารจากรถไฟลงเรือและท่าน้ำตามจุดตัดต่างๆ ระหว่างแนวคลองและสถานีรถไฟ การพัฒนาระบบขนส่งทางน้ำไม่เพียงแต่จะช่วยลดระยะเวลาในการเดินทางสำหรับผู้โดยสารที่อยู่ในเมืองเท่านั้น แต่ยังถือเป็นบริการทางสังคมตามจุดที่ตั้งสำคัญๆ โครงการนี้เป็นโครงสร้างพื้นฐานสำคัญที่ถือเป็นมาตรการควบคุมอุทกภัยและช่วยลดมลพิษด้วย
คณะกรรมการชื่นชมวิสัยทัศน์ที่ห้าวหาญของโครงการนี้ โดยเฉพาะอย่างยิ่งวัตถุประสงค์ของโครงการที่มุ่งฟื้นฟูเครือข่ายของนครที่มีประวัติอันยาวนาน ซึ่งแม้ว่าจะมีความสำคัญอย่างมากต่อการกำหนดโครงสร้างของเมืองใหญ่ แต่น่าเสียดายที่ไม่บรรลุผลเต็มที่เนื่องจากมีการเจริญเติบโตทั้งในระบบและนอกระบบตลอดมา นอกจากนั้นแนวคิดที่คำนึงถึงความจำเป็นทางด้านวิชาการควบคู่ไปกับความต้องการทางสังคมยังเป็นคุณสมบัติเด่นของข้อเสนอแผนงานนี้ ซึ่งเป็นการฟื้นฟูโครงสร้างพื้นฐานเนื่องจากตั้งอยู่ในพื้นที่สาธารณะ และเป็นเรื่องสำคัญที่สังคมโดยรวมให้ความสนใจสรุปภาพรวมโครงการโดยคณะกรรมการ (PDF, 248.68 KB) »See more
The Resurrected Canals concept offers an answer to the notoriously congested traffic conditions in Bangkok. The project proposes to revive the ancient canals of the city to create a modern network of waterways and supplement existing Metropolitan Rapid Transit (MRT) systems. A train-to-boat transfer station and pier will be built as a prototype, to be positioned along various intersections of canal lines and rail stations. The development of water transport will not only reduce commuting time for residents, but also provide social services at key locations. This major infrastructure project will also introduce flood control and pollution reduction measures.
Progress: The development of water transport system would be a lower-cost alternative (around 1/20 to 1/10 of the construction costs for the heavy railway underground project). The service route can also be multi-purpose by allocating a schedule that accommodates both public transportation and (off-peak) shipping. The prototype of transfer station or pier will be created by the concept of an “Architecture Manual” that can be applied elsewhere in the future.
People: Resurrected Canals is an opportunity to achieve an efficient transport system for all people from all areas, thus it promotes equal rights of access to public services. It also allows each person to choose a particular path in order to reach their destination and allows passengers or visitors to experience the diverse waterfront lifestyles of the city as well. The transfer stations would enable informal residents to gain faster access to healthcare facilities and services along rail lines that were previously out of their reach.
Planet: The main goal of the project is the development of efficient and affordable public transport to reduce private car use. Furthermore, solving the flood, waste water and water pollution is another intention of the project. Resurrected Canals also integrates various systems both active and passive within the water transit network. The main canals will be comprised of flood drainage channels that will connect to retention ponds. The secondary canals that connect to the side-canal community are comprised of a buffer zone for passive waste water treatment. The port area will include systems to observe and control the waste discharging into the water as well.
Prosperity: The water transit system will provide routes to many places. The main canals will connect to important business districts. The secondary canals will interconnect retail precincts of the city. The transfer stations could act as catalysts for regenerating much-needed economic activities and jobs, especially, for informal settlements along the canals.
Place: Over a hundred years ago, these canals were being used as trade and transit routes, and a lifestyle connected to the waterways was a Thai characteristic. Palaces, ancient temples and communities are also located on the waterfront. Resurrected Canals will enhance tourism promotion as well as contemporary development.Download project entry poster (PDF, 1.70 MB) »See more
Revitalizing Bangkok’s urban canal system for transportation could improve the quality of life in the city. A video …
Five equally-ranked Acknowledgement prizes were presented for the region Asia Pacific. The prizes winners: Madhusudhan …
Santi Sombatwichatorn of DI Designs views the strength of his project is to encourage inhabitants of Bangkok to use a …
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