Page 1

Bridging

the gap

Finding small scale interventions along the Bangkok canals to contribute to the larger system of flood defence whilst preserving the informal communities on site and improving the quality of life of the inhabitants

Nirul Ramkisor

Master Thesis June 2016 | TU Delft


“The delta and the city will continue to present threats to each other due to a lack of both recognition of natural hydrological processes and the indigenous and traditional knowledge of living in concert with natural cycles of wet and dry seasons.� (Thaitakoo & McGrath, 2010, p. 48)


Colophon Bridging the gap Finding small scale interventions along the Bangkok canals to contribute to the larger system of flood defence whilst preserving the informal communities on site and improving the quality of life of the inhabitants

June 2016 Nirul Ramkisor 4006941 Delta Urbanism MSc Architecture, Urbanism and Building Sciences Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment TU Delft Graduation Mentors Fransje Hooimeijer Roberto Rocco Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin External Examinator Willemijn Wilms Floet Key Words Bangkok, climate change adaption, community upgrading, flood defence, urban informality, watersensitive urban design, participatory upgrading, Baan Mankong, Dutch Layers Approach

Photo by Gideon Mendel: the social resilience during the 2011 floods in Bangkok.


Personal motivation

Preface In front of you is the thesis report for the graduation research for the Master of Science degree for the speciality of Urbanism within the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at the TU Delft. The graduation research contains two semesters and five moments of assessment. This report is submitted for the final assessment of graduation, which concludes the second semester. Part A of the report lays the foundation of the research. It addresses the social and scientific relevance, the problem field, the problem statement, the objective and the design goals, the methodology, and the theoretical framework. Part B contains the elaboration of the case study that builds on the research foundation. The case study leads towards a project proposal for the city of Bangkok. In this part we look further into the imagined vision for 2040, the proposed strategy, the spatial requirements and the pilot project. Part C contains the conclusions drawn from the case study and it answers the research questions that were formulated in part A. It also draws a reflection on the process and recommendations for research and for practice. I hope this research will interest you as a reader and that it will instigate your motivation to change our cities of today into the adaptive and resilient cities of tomorrow. Please feel free to contact me for any questions regarding the topic of this thesis!

Nirul Ramkisor nirulr@gmail.com

Water has always been an element that drew my fascination and with which I wanted to design. When I look back at my Bachelor and Master projects, water has always been a significant part of the design or the concept. Over the years that fascination grew from the aesthetics and appealing qualities of (living near) water, to understanding the water system on a larger scale, understanding the system on the smaller scale (especially in the Dutch context) and eventually to the realisation of the threat it also poses to society. In this I also see opportunities to contribute to a cultural paradigm shift that enables cities and its societies to adapt to changing water dynamics. Over time inequality has grown to become another subject which interests me a lot. The link between inequality and water management was triggered during a project about the city of Sao Paulo in Brazil. There it became apparent to me how people who have little means end up in vacant spaces of the urban fabric, like floodplains, and are first affected during flood events. But their settlements can also limit the space of the river and therefore be a part of the flooding problem. How can we improve conditions for these people, who chose a very unfortunate place to settle, both for themselves and the larger area of the city surrounding them? Travelling is one of my favourite things to do and Thailand is one of my favourite destinations. But behind all the beauty the country has to offer there are many challenges for the future including water safety. Bangkok is one of the cities in the world that faces major flood risk and is in the process of further urbanisation. Informal communities along the city’s canals are a good example of inequality and flood risk, the two topics that personally interest me and which I wanted to relate in this research.


APPENDICES

Contents Introduction

08

Abbreviations & Acronyms

10

Definitions

10

A. Contacts & Interviews

156

B. Additional Maps & Figures

164

C. Workshops ICAADE & Design

176

PART A Research foundation 1. Relevance & Problem Field

16

2. Problem Statement, Objective & Goals

34

3. Research Questions

40

4. Theoretical Framework

42

5. Methodology

54

PART B Case elaboration 6. Introduction & Overview

60

7. Vision

66

8. Strategy

72

9. Spatial Requirements

88

10. Pilot Project

114

PART C Synthesis 11. Conclusion

138

12. Reflection & Recommendation

144

References

146

Acknowledgements

150 Right page

6

A view of Bangkok seen from the south. The King Bhumibol the 1st Bridge is the only indication of the presence of the Chao Phraya River. (Source: Author)


7


Introduction This thesis aims to research how the city of Bangkok can deal with flooding and preserve the socio-economic context of informal settlements along the city’s canals by using spatial and non-spatial measures. Integrated planning in Thai context is lacking, e.g. cooperation between different government agencies and other stakeholders is missing, resulting in underperformance of critical flood defence infrastructure (Shinawatra, 2014). This research tries to find ways how and if small scale interventions are capable of contributing to the system of flood defence on the city scale. Thailand has major flooding problems caused by heavy rainfall during the monsoon season upstream. This water is drained by the main rivers of the Chao Phraya river system and accumulates in the central plain, where also the prime city of Bangkok is located. In order to cope with this problem the government has, in addition to other large scale measures, drawn a plan to clear the city’s canals of obstructions in order to increase discharge capacity. Inhabitants of informal communities along these canals therefore face eviction (Vongkiatkajorn, 2015). They are a part of the city’s labour force and evicting them would have consequences for the urban economy. In Thailand there is an existing programme for informal settlement upgrading by community participation, called Baan Mankong (Boonyabancha, 2005). This research describes how this process is intended to work and what the results are of executed plans. It also explores the balance between top-down and bottomup plans. The Bang Bua community upgrading is an example of a redevelopment project within the Baan Mankong programme along one of the city’s canals. It shows how the communities were kept on-site, but also how a floodwall was built to protect the surrounded area from flooding. In order to ensure that people in a larger part of the canals’ vicinity are protected from flooding, a more resilient water management approach needs to be introduced in the existing clearance plans for the canals. This new approach should integrate 8

storage and retention and facilitating dynamic water levels. There is a need for a city-wide strategy to make sure that all separate canal widenings and community upgrades are not counteractive concerning water management. Is planning this top-down framework a task for the (local) government? How can these plans be drawn using adaptive management? Can the upgrading of the communities still occur according to the bottom-up planning approach of the Baan Mankong programme but in compliance with the criteria from the framework? Thailand has a rich history of living with water, and a large ability of society to cope with flooding. How can we create a resilient city, looking at the physical system of lacking infrastructure and the societal system of the ability of people to cope with flooding? Vernacular Thai water communities are an example of resilient people with no to little infrastructure whereas the Netherlands are an example of a case with good flood defence infrastructure but little ability of society to cope with flooding. To conclude, this thesis tries to answer how the city of Bangkok can deal with flooding and preserve the socioeconomic context of informal settlements along the city’s canals by using spatial and non-spatial measures. Can small scale interventions of community scale contribute to this? What is the balance between topdown and bottom-up plans, and who are responsible for those? Is the Baan Mankong programme a good way to manage bottom-up planning of community upgrades? Can a city-wide framework guide these upgrades regarding resilient water management? What is the balance of the interventions, between the physical system of lacking infrastructure and the societal system of the ability of people to cope with flooding?


climate change:

Urbanization:

Flood Risk

Informality

Opposite interests

Dutch layers approach

River flooding

Klong settlements

eVICTION

Adapve management Urban & Social Resilience

Flood safety

Parcipatory Slum Upgrading Liquid Percepon

Integration

community Upgrading

Resilient klong communities

Figure I. An overview of the problem field in which the research is embedded and of the theories that support the direction of the exploration of the proposed solution. (Source: Author) 9


Abbreviations & Acronyms ACCA

Asian Coalition for Community Action, founded by ACHR ACHR Asian Coalition for Housing Rights BMA Bangkok Metropolitan Administration BMK Baan Mankong Programme, carried out by CODI BMR

Bangkok Metropolitan Region, BMA plus 5 adjacent provinces

CODI

Community Organization Development Institute, successor of UCDO, carrying out the Baan Mankong programme

DDS

Bangkok Department of Drainage and Sewerage

NHA PSU SLR TRD UCDO

National Housing Authority

UddC

Urban Design & Development Center

Participatory Slum Upgrading Sea-level rise Treasury Department Urban Community Development Office, predecessor of CODI, founded in 1992 by the Thai government to address urban poverty

Definitions Baan Mankong “Secure housing” programme, Thai nationwide “slum” upgrading programme carried out by CODI (Boonyabancha, 2005) Baan Ua Arthorn “We care” programme, through which the NHA designs, constructs and sells ready-to-occupy flats and houses at subsidized rates to lower-income households (Boonyabancha, 2005) Governance The outcome of the interaction of government, the public service, and citizens throughout the political process, policy development, program design, and service delivery (Deltares, 2009, p.70) Informality Urban informality. Settlements or other spatial elements that have been built outside of the law, they are unplanned and illegally built. Klong Canal Mitigation The action of reducing the severity, seriousness, or painfulness of something (Oxford Dictionary) Resilience Urban and social resilience. The ability of a system to withstand a major shock and maintain or quickly return to normal function (Leichenko, 2011, p.164) Risk Probability x consequence Slum An overcrowded, dilapidated and densely-built community, with a minimum of 15 housing units per 1600 m2 (NHA) Thanon Road

10


11


Research Foundation

PART A


Relevance & Problem Field

1

In 2011 there was a long period of heavy floods in Thailand. Several areas of the capitol city were inundated for one to two meters for over a month. The estimated damage: one of the costliest natural disasters of all time (Nyback, 2015). Since then there have been many plans made to prevent a situation like this like this from occurring ever again. The primary motivator for this is the severe economic damage. One of the measures to be taken is to work on the existing canals that run north to south through the city. If they can discharge more water the chances of flooding within the immediate vicinity decrease. In September 2015 the Bangkok Post wrote about the plans of the local authorities to clear the canals and, in order to do so, evicting the communities who illegally live along those canals (Vongkiatkajorn, 2015). After that article there was little known about the project with the general public and even hydrologists estimated that the government would not go through with such a plan since it would be far too costly to evict the communities and acquire more land around the canal. But for the informal communities the threat of eviction remained nevertheless. Threats of eviction have been there for a very long time, already in the 80’s and repeatedly ever since, due to multiple reasons, e.g. building roads

for transportation, improving drainage and securing access to the canal for maintenance. But in March 2016 it became clear that there are concrete plans of improving discharge capacity of the canals, by building concrete walls at the embankment and clearing a strip of land between 25 and 32 meters on both sides on which the informal communities now live (Mokkhasen, 2015). There were plans made to reposition some of the communities further back from the canal, in shared town-houses, but now, according to new developments, it remains unclear whether the BMA (Bangkok Metropolitan Administration) will continue with those plans. There is a large chance that 7000 families will be on the streets within the coming four years if the plans continue the way they are developing now. The coming chapter will look into the problem field from both the side of flood defence as from the side of informal communities. The following chapters will explore a theoretical basis for finding another way of dealing with this conflict of interests: of the people of the informal communities and their need to live somewhere, and the government and the need to prevent flooding for economic reasons as for civil society. Scientific relevance Frits Palmboom (2014, pp. 30-31) describes urbanisation in delta areas as the “Delta Paradox”. On the one hand there is the natural system that is flexible, unpredictable and has endless gradients. On the other hand there is urbanisation that needs control, safety and the minimising of risk. Another apparent paradox

Figure 1.1 The “Delta Paradox” as described by Frits Palmboom. The water that brings advantages to the settlement also causes a potentially dangerous environment for the people living there. (Source: Author)


is that of benefit and risk. Water provides endless benefits to society: as drinking water, as a source of power, as a resource for production, as a source of food and as a way of transport. But that same water also poses a threat to the settlements that so eagerly use it for their advantage, the most apparent one is that of flooding. This was not always the case, history shows us that people used to live in harmony with the natural dynamics of the water system. Over time society has shifted in perspective, thanks to technological advantages, to controlling the water and limiting the natural dynamics. These limits cause friction with the natural dynamics and whenever this friction is too much flooding occurs. If we continue to urbanise further in the current trend the natural system will only become more limited and flooding will occur more often. Finding ways of urbanising in balance with natural dynamics is difficult, because current urban structures often leave little space for recreating room for the water. This research is based on the strong believe that this is an urgent and major challenge, as supported by literature (Jha, Bloch, & Lamond, 2012, p. 16). Meyer and Nijhuis (2014, p. 9) state that “there is not yet a single approach for making urbanized deltas more sustainable, resilient and adaptive; we are still in a process of experimenting, searching and finding”. This thesis aims to contribute to a small part of this exploration of how to make deltas more adaptive and sustainable regarding water management. Societal relevance Making the delta more sustainable, resilient and adaptive can also have many difficulties within society. In the case of Bangkok and its canals, there is a clash of interests between informal communities and civil society (Vongkiatkajorn, 2015). The government, that also wants to reduce flood risk due to the negative economic consequences of flood events, has the responsibility to protect its citizens and act in their interest. Working on the canals in the city to decrease flood risk is also to keep the inhabitants of Bangkok safe. From this perspective one could argue that evicting the communities along the canals is justified in order to keep the city’s citizens safe. But the people in the informal communities are also citizens that have a right to be protected, though it might not seem that way on paper. Since they live illegally on squatted land they have no formal address and are not able to register for an ID card and all benefits that come with it (Boonyabancha, 2005). Therefore it is also relatively easy

for the government to evict them, without providing proper care. Within the hierarchical Thai society the urban poor of the informal canal communities are already generally looked down on, but them being a part of the problem (since their homes encroach onto the canals and disturb and decrease water flows) only makes the situation worse. But these urban poor are also a vital part of Bangkok’s labour force and urban economy, and of everyday urban life. They are the tuk tuk drivers who drive people to their work, the noodles vendors that feeds the busy office workers on their way to work or the construction workers that build the next addition to the impressive skyline. The discussion about the rights of these people in modern-day society is very important now that the government plans to destroy their homes, leaving them with no alternatives (Mokkhasen, 2015).

Government acts in interest of civil society

Civil Society

should protect all cizens

perceives them as illegal with no right to live there

are a vital part of the urban economy

Informal Canal Communities

provide everyday services

form part of the flooding problem by obstrucng the water flow

let them form part of the soluon!

Figure 1.2 The position of the informal canal communities in modern-day society. (Source: Author)

Page 18 - 19 A partial view of the Bangkok skyline seen from the river. This is an example of one of the many major delta cities around the world facing climate change related challenges. (Source: Author) 17


Problem field

Brief history of the Thai relation to water

This thesis focusses on two main topics, flood risk and urban informality, within the specific context of Bangkok, Thailand. First the history of the Thai relation to water will shortly be introduced, followed by an explanation of the field of flood risk and the field of urban informality within the context of the location. After this the focus will be on where these two fields meet: the informal settlements along the city’s canals.

Bangkok is the capital of Thailand, and has been since 1782. It is situated in the banks of the Chao Phraya River, approximately thirty kilometres north of the Gulf of Thailand. Prior to the reign of Bangkok as capital city, Sukhothai and Ayutthaya respectively were the capital of the Siamese Kingdom. In all three of these cities we can see that water is a dominant factor in the urban form. The example of Ayutthaya shows how the river was used as a source of water for drinking, as a source of food by fishing, as a means of transportation, as a way to defend the city and as a source for water for agricultural purposes (Hooimeijer, Lambregts, Jonkman, & Vardhanabuti, 2013). Bangkok started on the banks of the river south of Ayutthaya. Canals were dug to create an island that could be defended like a fortress from outside attacks. With expansions of the city, also more canals were dug. The function of the waterways shifted from defence towards providing water for agriculture in the former marshland (Hooimeijer et al., 2013). The waterways slowly expanded into a great network of water used for food, irrigation, drinking water and transportation. Early urbanisation was also in harmony with the natural cycles and dynamics of the water (Thaitakoo & McGrath, 2010, p. 41). The modernisation of the 20th century under the influence of the Western world led to a more road based focus, rather than further expanding and improving the water network. Since then, modernisation and rapid urbanisation led to a negligence of water. This cultural shift led to a different perception of the water system (Thaitakoo & McGrath, 2010, p. 48) which now causes friction between the man-made system that is in need of control and the natural system that needs space. Thaitakoo and McGrath (2010, p. 37) still see opportunity to use this long history of the symbiosis with water as a way to reach a more resilient and adaptive urban Bangkok: “…it [Bangkok] also presents a degraded, but still vibrant indigenous water-based urbanism that remains a model of resilience and adaptability developed in concert with the more predictable historical cycles of monsoon rains and wet rice cultivation.”

18

Figures 1.3 & 1.4 The building of roads outpaced the digging of canals since 1950. There is now a two-layered infrastructure network, where the land-based network is dominant and comprises the water-based network. During monsoon season this relation reverses. (Source: Wikipedia & Thaitakoo & McGrath, 2010, p. 44)

Right page Figure 1.5 The problem field in which this research is situated. (Source: Author)


Urban informality

Annual flooding of parts of the lower delta

Substandard living condions

Natural system

Man-made system

Increase in river water discharge

Insuffienctly working flood defence system

climate change

Substratum

Increase in local rainfall

Infrastructure

Inability of urban poor to access formal housing

Lack of effecve planning

No or limited access to public services Insecure tenure, threat of evicon

Delta scale

City scale

Strengthen cascade model

Improve discharge through the city

Community upgrading

Monkey cheeks

Improve canal system

Baan Mankong: Possibly in situ

Bypasses

Improve conduit system

Baan Ua-Arthorn: Social housing

Improve dike ring

Community scale

Limited space Lack of social acceptance by civil society

Uncertainty of added value of widening canals for discharge Loss of community

Forced evicons Loss of proximity to place of work Loss for urban economy

Integraon of community upgrading and water management Resilient klong communies

Socio-economic consequences

OPPOSITE INTERESTS

Limits investment in housing improvement

Subsidence

PROBLEM FIELD

CURRENT POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

anthropogenic

High de from the sea blocking discharge

OPPORTUNITY

Planning context

CAUSES

PROBLEMS

Flood risk

19


Figure 1.5 illustrates the schematised problem field of this research. The scheme shows that the problem of flooding is mostly due to heavy rainfall, either locally or upstream. On the side of urbanisation, informality is a large part of the problem. An estimated two-third of the urban population of Bangkok was informal in 2005 (Tovivich, 2013). There is a gradient of informality and of course not all informality equals poverty, but the fact that there is so much informality indicates that the planning practice is failing in sufficiently planning the city. Nair, Wen and Ling (2014, pp. 9497) mention urbanisation and rainfall as the two most important factors for flooding, regarding uncertainty and importance. They discuss multiple scenarios for the future of Bangkok depending on the increase of heavy precipitation and the rate of urbanisation. In the baseline scenario, which assumes that current rainfall patterns and urbanisation will not change, possible mentioned solutions are dikes, retention ponds and an increased river capacity. Critisism of the authors on these measures are that they do not take into account the uneven impact of flooding on different stakeholders and especially the urban poor whom are often hit hardest. Flood risk Thailand has major flooding problems in the Chao Phraya river basin (figure 1.7). This is mainly caused by heavy rainfall during the monsoon season in the northern parts of the country. Water accumulates in the different river branches of the Chao Phraya river system and then flows down from the mountainous areas towards the central plain in which the cities Ayutthaya and Bangkok are situated. Flooding is an

annual event which is more severe in some years than others, depending on the amount of rainfall during the monsoon season. In 2011 there was almost 3 ½ times more precipitation than the mean, resulting in the catastrophic floods. There are multiple dams along the rivers in the Chao Phraya catchment area where water can be stored for flood safety reasons as well for agricultural purposes. During the 2011 monsoon the capacity of the basins behind the dams turned out to be insufficient and water had to be released towards the south, causing inundation in the central plain. In the city of Bangkok, the amount of water coming from the north was larger than the discharge capacity of the river, causing an overflow from the river bank. The high tide from the gulf in the south also blocked the water from being discharged into the sea, causing an accumulation of water. Local heavy rainfall added local floods to the already severe floods due to the discharge from the north. Bangkok is one of the most vulnerable and at risk cities in the world in terms of flood risk (Thaitakoo & McGrath, 2010, p. 37). Flooding events occur every year, as shown in figure 1.8. In order to give water in the city more space, rivers, canals and other waterways need more room to expand during high peak loads. These waterways were often closed and clogged over time and now there is the realisation that this process needs to be reversed.

Rainfall

Uncertainty

Populaď żon density

Urbanisaď żon

Sea level rise

Figure 1.8 Flooding as an annual event with the location of Bangkok indicated in grey. (Source: Google Earth)

Land subsidence Drainage

Right page Importance

Figures 1.6 Urbanisation and rainfall as two most important factors for flooding, regarding uncertainty and importance. (Source: Nair et al., 2014, p. 92) 20

Figure 1.7 The catchment area of the Chao Phraya river system. Multiple dams have to manage discharge towards the south and the provision of fresh water for irrigation. (Source: Author)


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A brief history of Thai planning regarding water management The early trade with Western countries gradually led to a change in the economy and the planning structure which ultimately had its effect in the spatial form of the city. At the end of the 19th century land used to be a factor of production, but due to changes in land policies, land itself became a valuable trading good and land-reclamation increased. This led to urban expansions into unattended areas already in the 1880s (Rongwinriyaphanich, 2010, pp. 9-10). In the 1950s there was the tilting point where road-based infrastructures became more important than waterbased infrastructures (Thaitakoo & McGrath, 2010, p. 44), which illustrates the fading relation between man and water. The shift towards an export-oriented economy led to immense expansion of manufacturing facilities in the vicinity of the city, into swampy lands with a high flood risk. This came with large suburban expansion into flood prone areas, rapidly increasing the amount of high floodprone areas. These economically valuable areas where then protected with hard infrastructures, like dikes. This shows the further changing relation between man and water, from a situation where man relied on water in the indigenous Thai settlements towards a situation where modernisation resulted in control of water. By building dikes around economically valuable areas which were originally highly flood prone, problems were created in other areas which were originally less a risk. These areas were still active agricultural areas, which had less economic value in the eyes of the government (Rongwinriyaphanich, 2010, p. 12). The changing land use of a global productive metropolis led to the expansion of the city into high flood prone areas and at the same time it left less space for the water in times of high discharge, forcing the water towards other, less protected areas of the city, which were originally not high flood prone areas. This suggests that there has been no coherent planning regarding water safety until the economic consequences of major floods immensely increased in the past decades. Also new agricultural lands and industrial estates outside the protected areas of the city are more vulnerable. The economic loss for companies that own the industrial estates is so severe that they take their own measures to protect themselves against flooding, which is not part of a larger plan and could further interfere with the flood defence process on the larger scale. The country is now at a point where it steers towards total control 22

of the water to manage flood risk, a point that other countries, like the Netherlands, have passed and which are now steering towards a more adaptive approach (Rijke, van Herk, Zevenbergen, & Ashley, 2012). Figure 1.9 shows the EKC, or the environmental Kuznets curve. The image shows the relation between pollution and GDP, but we can also see it as adaptive measures related to GDP. The lighter curve shows the path of more developed nations, which are currently over the top of the curve, moving towards more adaptive measures (and thus less static measures). Developing nations are still before the top of the curve and want to follow the same path as their predecessors, but in a fraction of the time. The challenge is to steer the flood defence development in the developing countries towards adaptive measures earlier on. In the Thai case the government is insisting on static large scale infrastructure rather than steering towards adaptive measures. That can be explained by the urban and economic growth the region is going through. The unprecedented flood of 2011 damaged a lot of factories and other economically valuable areas, not only resulting in direct damage, but also in potential losses. The government wants to prevent a situation like this from occurring again. A resistant system is relatively cheap and fast to implement compared to a more adaptive system, which takes time and is much more expensive (Sijmons et. al., 2002, p. 120). The space required for an adaptive system makes it also hard in a city like Bangkok. The space required would drive the costs up high (interview dr. Barames Vardhanabhuti, appendix A, p. 161) as more land needs to be acquired. Thai planning context 1) Thailand is, just like the Netherlands, a kingdom with a constitutional monarchy. The parliamentary democracy was established in 1932. However, since the military coup since 2014, democracy is currently absent. Since the 18th century the state has been highly centralised in order to consolidate Thailand’s influence in Southeast Asia. Decentralisation has been introduced in the 1980s and implemented in 1997 through a new constitution, by putting more responsibility at the level of local governments. After this, the amount of municipalities 1) The following paragraph is based on the international manual on planning practice (Ryser & Franchini, 2015).


in the country grew from 60 to 120 in the situation prior to 1997 to about 1,200 after that. Most of the local governments are not able to fully meet their urban planning tasks due to a lack of knowledge and manpower. The large amount of government bodies with not enough resources to fulfil their tasks makes it hard for an effective planning cooperation between different bodies. Administrative responsibilities are assigned according to the constitution, but since the first constitution in 1932 there have already been 19 others. This makes it difficult to realize long-term planning and this explains the trend from a centralised government towards a decentralised empowerment of local authorities. Another difficult issue in planning is the business-friendly attitude of the government, which results in the sharing of development responsibilities between public and private parties. In such a construction the public needs can be overruled by market thinking. Other typical problems with general planning in Thailand are: the fact that the scale of the plans is not detailed enough (1:10,000 to 1:20,000) to control development (fig. B.2, pp. 166-167), that plans are only valid for a limited time of five years and that most plans assign a too large area as buildable land within the limited time of the validity of the plan which

means that the authorities cannot steer development in a certain direction. The lack of cooperation between adjacent regions and the lack of knowledge of certain public authorities is exemplified in the zoning plans of the BMA and the wider Bangkok Metropolitan Region (BMR). Zoning plans “Bangkok was not designed to be a city that accepted water from other provinces. The klongs are vital passageways for drainage. They’re like Bangkok’s blood vessels and we need them to be clear for drainage.” Kangwan Deesuwan, director-general of the Bangkok Drainage and Sewerage Department, in: (Vongkiatkajorn, 2015) Bangkok was not designed to drain water from the north and current urban planning is only adding to that fact. The effects of changing land-use and perception of water is also still visible in the current comprehensive city plan of Bangkok (fig. B.2, pp. 166167) and the zoning plans of adjacent areas. Zoning

Figure 1.9 The environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) showing the relation between the stage of development of a country (measured here in GDP) and environmental degradation (here mentioned as pollution). The y-axis can also be interpreted as adaptive measures in the case of flooding. (Source: Kahn, 2006) 23


plans are not conform flooding anymore (Shinawatra, 2014). Shinawatra explains this by putting the zoning plans of the adjacent areas around the municipality of Bangkok into one overview, the conclusion of this can be seen in figure 1.10 on the next pages. The two large areas for water retention within the municipality of the city are blocked both to the north and to the south by urban expansion, preventing water from flowing towards the sea in the south. The scale of the Bangkok city plan is also so large that it does not show detail in the urban context and no specificities are given regarding flood defence and water management. The ongoing urban expansion around the city also makes it seemingly impossible to redirect water around the city on this scale. The current development is also not conform flooding which only increases the total risk of the city, by both creating more economic value in the flood-prone area and by forcing water into surrounding urban context (Shinawatra, 2014). Current measures regarding flooding There are many measures being taken or considered regarding flood safety throughout the Chao Phraya river basin. An overview of these measures can be seen in figure 1.11 on pages 28-29. One way to prevent flooding in the lower plain is to create cascades over the entire river system area, retaining water upstream behind dams (by using the natural height differences) and retaining water downstream in retention areas (by using lower lying fields or polder systems). The map on the right shows fully circled dams along the tributaries of the river system upstream. These dams are already constructed and retain water in major lakes to both control the amount of water flowing downstream and to supply agricultural fields in the vicinity with water throughout the year, as well as to generate electricity through hydropower. The dotted circles are

planned additional dams to be able to regulate water along the other tributaries (Vongvisessomjai, 2007, p. 4). Whilst these constructions have a fairly well-planned control over water flows, they can also highlight the factor of human error within the Thai flood defence system (interview dr. ir. Bart Lambregts, appendix A, pp. 157-159). During the 2011 flood one of the dams was supposed to gradually release water according to protocol. There was however an influential person with agricultural fields downstream of the dam and releasing water would make him lose his entire yield. Concerned with the economic loss he would suffer, he was able to postpone the release of the water until after he harvested his crops, resulting in a high peek discharge of the water, with large consequences downstream. The blue circles on both maps all indicate newly planned retention areas (Vongvisessomjai, 2007, p. 4) to retain water mostly in the central plain, downstream of the last dams. In case water flows exceed the upstream reservoir capacity, these areas would supposedly retain excess water before it can lead to floods further south in the urban areas of Ayutthaya and Bangkok. A second way to protect the lower plain from flooding is by redirecting water around it by digging new connections and bypasses. The map of the central plain on page 26 shows two proposed new discharge canals around the highly dense Bangkok metropolitan area. These proposed connections are on the western and eastern edge of the Chao Phraya catchment area. On the west side there is also a connection proposed with the Ta Chin river, but in order to secure a constant discharge, the southern part of this river need to be straightened out, just like the Chao Phraya river course has been modified over the last centuries (fig. 1.3). However, the most southern areas are low lying and subsiding even further, making discharging extremely

Page 28 - 29 Page 26 - 27 Figure 1.10 The problems of urban expansion blocking the flow of water around the municipality of Bangkok. This is a result of inefficient planning where the zoning plans of neighbouring municipalities do not complement each other. (Source: Author; based on Shinawatra, 2014; scheme of orchards from Danai Thaitakoo) 24

Figure 1.11 Current plans that are being developed, studied or suggested to increase flood defence for the lower plain and the city of Bangkok. Most plans focus on retaining water for a longer period of time or diverting water around the capitol city, since the Bangkok water system was never designed to drain water from the northern provinces. (Source: Author; based on Shinawatra, 2014 and Vongvisessomjai, 2007, pp. 2-4-7)


high peak loads during high tide impossible. The high tide pushes water upstream which prevents discharge into the sea, resulting in the accumulation of water in the southern strip of land. The ‘Monkey Cheek’ project is a study that resulted from the 5th International Conference on Sustainable Energy and Environment 2014 (Shinawatra, 2014). It proposes the creation of new lagoons in the Gulf of Thailand, which can accumulate water from the rivers even during high tide. During low tide the basin can gradually be emptied into the sea. The ecological consequences of a project like this need to be researched in order to assess whether this is a viable and sustainable approach.

Potential economic damage vs. needs of urban poor

Water quality

With floods occurring more frequently and causing more economic damage, the necessity for action grows. The 2011 flood was one of the most costly natural disaster of all time (Nyback, 2015). The prime concern for the government seems to be to prevent economic damage, because that could damage the economic position of the country within the global economy. But when looking at the impact of climate change on the world economy, which the Shock Waves report did according to reports of IPCC, it is noticeable that this will only be a few percent of global GDP (Fay et al., 2015). That may not seem like a lot, but that few percent represents the entire GDP of sub-Saharan Africa. This illustrates that the consequences will not be equally distrubuted amongst countries and, within those countries, amongst peoples. The Shock Waves report (Fay et al., 2015) therefore urges to look at the impacts of climate change on poverty rather than on GDP.

In Thai history, living on or near the water used to be a very common thing. However, in urban life in the city of Bangkok this has changed and living along the water is currently a negative quality. One of the major issues today is the quality of the urban water. A lot of waste is dumped into the river and into the canals, by both industries as individual homes. Many informal settlements do not have a connection to the sewer system and therefore dispose their waste into the water. The result is a bad water quality with water that stinks and is a source of vermin and diseases (interview dr. ir. Bart Lambregts, appendix A, p.X). When walking around the city it is clearly visible that waste clogs drainage points of canals, which causes a decreased discharge capacity.

Within the city of Bangkok, there is now a plan developed by the Bangkok Department of Drainage and Sewerage (DDS) to clear and possibly widen a number of canals to increase the discharge capacity (Vongkiatkajorn, 2015). Along most of the canals there are communities of mostly low-income families which survive on little over 300 Baht a day (â‚Ź7,50) and which have settled there illegally over time, and stayed there without ever paying rent. There are approximately 94.000 people living along the klongs in 23.500 households throughout the city (Vongkiatkajorn, 2015). More than half of these people, 59.000, face eviction in order to clear or even widen the canals and guarantee more safety for the rest of the city, the end justifies the means.

Within the city of Bangkok the Chao Phraya River is the only line that can discharge water from the north towards the sea. Current plans are to clear the canals in the city to create more lines of discharge through the city towards the south.

25


river/canals flooded area 2011 Bangkok municipality airport flood retenon King’s dike

Urban expansion: replacing orchards leaving less room for water

Urban expansion: replacing rice culvaon fields leaving room for water


No zoning plan: allows urban expansion causing missing link for water ow north - south Gaps in dike

g wet g less

Suvarnabhumi Airport: blockage water ow north - south

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GUlf GUlfof ofThailand Thailand 0km 0km

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river city

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dam exisng reservoir new reservoir new retenon areas

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new monkey cheeks lagoon Gulf of Thailand new river bypass

Chiang Mai Wa n Dam g

improved canals new sea barrier

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Informality and poverty in the Global South 2) Modern-day mega metropolises are mostly in the Global South and face major problems concerning housing for the very poor. The Western World faced similar problems in the past, though on a much smaller scale (Davis, 2006, pp. 2-7). Desai and Pillai (1990, pp. 2-3) describe the process of urbanization and the formation of informal settlements in the Global South, which are often slums. The cities are overcrowded, not as much due to natural population growth, but more due to migration. People from rural areas and small towns who don’t have a chance to maintain themselves and their families move to urban areas in hope for economical improvement. They often have no financial means and can’t afford proper housing, since the housing system is subject to the market mechanism. Housing is treated as a commodity to make a profit. The immigrants have no other choice than live on the streets or in the informal settlements or slums. Desai and Pillai (1990) state that since housing is treated as a commodity, clearing slums or repair some shaky buildings is just treating the symptoms and not the actual cause. Nations of the Global South try to improve their economic situation and generate economic growth to climb on the global economic ladder. This leads to significant contradictions, since economic growth is generated by a free and competitive market which does not spend money on the poor. Desai and Pillai (1990, p. 2) illustrate this by naming the enormous amounts of money Mexico City spends to tourism while a large part of the population lives in slums, and by mentioning Mumbai, a city where the worst slums in the world can be found, now more and more characterized by its world class skyline. As mentioned before, the Western World faced similar problems in the past regarding urbanization, poverty and slums. The European slums occurred during and after the Industrial Revolution, when new manufacturing technologies needed large amounts of workers (Mumford, 1961, pp. 16-21). People from rural areas migrated to the city where they often had to work and live in terrible conditions. The most obvious

2) The following paragraph contains passages from an unpublished paper by the same author as this thesis (Ramkisor, 2015).

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difference between the situation in Europe then and the one in the Global South now, is the immense scale difference. The megacities of the developing world are unprecedented by the Western World. It is also due to the size of the task that cities facing major concentrations of poverty nowadays are not capable of dealing with the problems. A similarity between Industrial Europe and the developing world was that the free market, production and economic growth, was dominant at the cost of the labourers. But after a while the situation in the West changed due to a different view of society on society. This led to changes in governance and a more active voice for the poor (Woud, 2010). This also happened in cities like Hong Kong, but is still an exception in the Global South. Thailand however is already well on its way to deal with urban informality and urban poverty on a large scale. Baan Mankong Programme “The 2011 flooding, which the World Bank estimates cost 1.43 trillion baht [€35,8 billion] in damage and economic losses, is one of the main reasons the government is so insistent on clearing the klongs.” (Vongkiatkajorn, 2015) In Thailand there is already a national programme for large scale upgrading of Thai “slums”, called Baan Mankong. This programme was started by the government in 2003 and is carried out by CODI (Community Organization Development Institute), which stimulates communities to form their own governing bodies to come up with and steer upgrading initiatives for which, if approved, they can get loans from the Baan Mankong programme. In order to preserve the social and economic structure of the community, the programme encourages on site upgrading if possible. In case this is not possible and relocation is necessary, it states that a new location should be found as close as possible to the original settlement. The Baan Ua Arthorn programme builds and sells ready-to-occupy flats and houses at subsidized rates to lower-income households (Boonyabancha, 2005). Even though this programme is in action, past efforts by the NHA (National Housing Association) were unsuccessful and people in some communities still feel that they are left to themselves (Vongkiatkajorn, 2015). According to the government the upgrading of the Bang Bua community is an example of a successful case of how the Baan Mankong programme can


transform informal settlements for the better, for both the residents and themselves. But there are also less successful examples (interview B. Lambregts, appendix A, pp. 157-159). Improvements on site are not always possible, especially in the case of settlements along canals, but relocation projects are often not beneficent for the people involved. The programme is further described in chapters 4 (pp. 46-49) and 8 (pp. 72-74). The klong communities In Bangkok there are a lot of communities along the klongs that face eviction now that the government wants to implement the plan drawn by the DDS to clear and potentially widen the canals to improve discharge of excess water (Vongkiatkajorn, 2015). These people have been living here illegally for a long time. Even though they are not allowed to live there, the system has let them remain there for a certain period of time. They have a community and a way of life, both culturally and economically. Eviction will disrupt their entire socio-economic context. The BMA (Bangkok Metropolitan Administration) believes that these people have no place along the klongs: “These are illegal communities which have used and polluted the lands for decades,” Mr. Kangwan of the department said. “Have you ever asked them if they’ve helped society? They don’t deserve to be there.” (Vongkiatkajorn, 2015) But there are also people who believe that eviction might cause more harm than good. Wijitbutsaba Marome, a lecturer at the Faculty of Architecture and Planning at Thammasat University, said: “expanding the klongs would help improve the city’s water flow, but we also want to point out how significant the consequences are” (Vongkiatkajorn, 2015). She estimated that the plan would only improve the drainage capacity by a small amount, and not enough to prevent flooding on the long term. “Removing the illegal settlements, on the other hand, could create an indirect socio-economic loss of five million baht [€1,3 million], not only for the community members themselves but also for the industries in which they work”, she said. “Bangkok would lose a huge part of its labour force and service industry if people were to move.” (Vongkiatkajorn, 2015)

Page 32 - 33 Figure 1.12 The Bangkok municipality with the water system. The klongs where informal communities are settled are coloured green on the map. (Source: Author, based on Vongkiatkajorn, 2015) 31


river/canals klong communies Bangkok municipality airport

Klong Bang Khen & Bang Bua

Klong Song & Lat Phrao

Klong Bang Sue Klong Prem Prachakon

Klong Phra Kha Klong Ratcha Montri


No zoning plan: allows urban expansion causing missing link for water ow north - south Gaps in dike

Klong Sam Wa

Klong Lat Bua Khao

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anong

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Problem Statement

Problem Statement, Objective & Goals

2

The previous chapter described a rather broad problem field. This chapter defines the problem statement that narrows down the context of the problem towards a manageable context to research within this thesis. Within this delineated context the objective steers the direction of the research and leads towards the design goals and the intended output.

During monsoon seasons and during tropical storms, precipitation in the northern part of the river catchments area can lead to a larger flow of water in the rivers to the point that it becomes more than the system of dams and storage lakes can assimilate. In that case water flows to the central plain where the city of Bangkok is situated, just before the river reaches the Gulf of Thailand. During events of an (extreme) increased water discharge from the north, like in 2011, the flood defence mechanisms that protect the city proved to be insufficient. During the 2011 floods about 56.700km2 of land was inundated throughout the country (Setboonsarng, 2011). The network of canals in the city is incapable of processing a large amount of water and discharging it southward before it overflows the canals. In order to cope with larger amounts of water coming down from the north, many measures are planned or in effect (fig. 1.11). In the case of the cities canals, the Department of Drainage and Sewerage (DDS) has plans to clear and possibly widen them. But people living in informal settlements along these canals will then have to be evicted, which would affect the lives and the socio-economic state of the inhabitants but also the urban economy, since they are a part of the cities labour force (Vongkiatkajorn, 2015). Around these klong communities opposite interests are present, those of civil society (flood risk protection for the city) versus those of the inhabitants of the informal settlements (preserving their socio-economic state and community).

Right page

34

Figure 2.1 Problem statement on three scales: the river catchment, the city and the individual klong. Water of the river catchment flows to Bangkok which the city is incapable of discharging through its water network. One measure to deal with this is to increase the discharge capacity of the canal system. In order to achieve this the canals have to be cleared or even widened and residents of illegal settlements along these klongs face eviction. (Source: Author)


Objectives Large scale planning in the Thai context is, in the current state, not an effective way of dealing with flood risk in an integrated way. There is a lack of cooperation between different government institutions and agencies and communities and companies take their own measures to ensure flood protection (Ryser & Franchini, 2015). Looking from the current situation, it would be beneficial for the city of Bangkok to, besides current large scale measures, stimulate the private sector and civil society to try to realize small scale interventions that together can contribute to the flood protection of a large part of the city. An example of this is illustrated in figure 2.2. A lot of villages along tributaries are building floodwalls to keep water out of their town. But if all villages along the river system would do this, the storage capacity along the line of the river decreases dramatically, causing a larger flow of water towards southern urban areas like Bangkok. If villages would find solutions on a local scale to store water, this would benefit the system on a larger scale. These villages have a long history of living with water and a traditional lifestyle which is adapted to the water. In Bangkok large parts of the old canal network is filled up and replaced by roads, or thanons, which now results in an insufficient discharge capacity. The trend of modernisation in urban Bangkok is also spreading to more rural areas like the villages in Ayutthaya. Rather than continuing living in harmony with the cycles of dry and wet seasons, people desire a lifestyle in which the former has no part. With the long history of tradition of living with water there must be ways to clear or widen these canals and keep people living along these waters. Instead of perceiving the solution to the problem from the large scale to the smaller scale, the objective is to find a way to intervene on the small scale in such a way

Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya

Bangkok

Bangkok

Figure 2.2 Principal conclusion of the workshop of the ICAADE 2015, about water management in rural areas in Ayutthaya province. If cities and villages along the rivers build floodwalls, the amount of water and the velocity of that water that flows to Bangkok increases. If water is stored along the entire line of the rivers, the discharge and threat towards Bangkok might decrease. (Source: Author)

that it provides added value for the larger scale. This is aimed to be done by taken the tradition of living with water into account and to find ways to learn from this and apply it in a way that is conform the demands of modern-day society. Main objective The main objective of the research is to find ways to create small scale interventions that benefit the flood defence system on the city scale and that ensure socio-economic stability for residents of informal klong communities that will be part of the small scale interventions. For this the tension between water management measures and informal settlements is studied. Instead of eviction is there a way to increase the discharge capacity of the canals whilst upgrade the existing settlements on-site? Can this mixed-

35


use of space result in public space that is sufficiently functional in the hydrological cycle and can improve the spatial quality of the area? If so, can this increased spatial quality lead to a reappreciation of water in the city, stimulating further development to tilt the scale from thanon based planning to klong based planning? Sub objective The sub objective of this research is to create a design and a strategy for the city of Bangkok and in the Thai context by looking from the Dutch perspective. In the Dutch context there is the shift from total control towards adaptation. Thailand however is, after the major floods of 2011, heading towards more large scale static infrastructures. Intended output The intended output contains a strategy and a design exploration that integrates the social infrastructure of informal communities and the improvement of the inhabitants’ situation by upgrading on-site and measures to improve water management and flood risk reduction on the scale of the canal system. The community upgrading will be based on the results of former projects within the Baan Mankong programme. The design should benefit a larger part of the city by reducing flood risk and benefit the inhabitants of the community. This will be the suggestion of a participatory process that will result in an exemplary plan. It is just one option of what could happen. The design proposal serves as a test case for the upgrading of other klong communities. Perhaps certain principles, interventions or techniques can be adapted into a framework for the upgrading of other communities. This framework needs to steer the intervention within the greater structure of the canal sub-system, so that it can benefit to flood risk reduction on a larger scale. A next step could be using the outcome of this theoretical and imaginative upgrading exploration to stimulate more integrated community upgrading projects in Bangkok regarding flood defence.

Design goals & criteria The design project should comply with the following criteria: (1) Reduce flood risk for the larger area by clearing (and widening) the canals and by creating flood protection. Through a multiple of these projects flood risk reduction might be achieved for larger parts of the entire city. (2) Try to preserve the community in order for these people to continue being a part of (and contributing to) the urban economy and improve their quality of life by improving physical living conditions and improving mental conditions by, for example, provide secure housing. (3) Improve quality of public space along the canals, giving a positive impulse to the appreciation of water in the city. This can be an instigator for change for civil society, towards a more adaptive city. (4) Find alternative ways of multifunctional use of space along the canals in a growing city (using space more efficiently). Preventing the relocation of the informal settlements also prevents pressure on available space elsewhere. (5) Contribute to keeping the Thai heritage of living with water alive by learning from it and modernising it. In order to fulfil these criteria the following set of questions needs to be answered: (1) What are the predictions concerning water discharge and what are the spatial requirements to the canals? (2) What aspects make and define the community? Is it location bound? Can they be relocated whilst preserving their community? How can we improve the physical living conditions and how can we provide secure housing? (3) What is good public space in the Thai context and what is the current cultural relation with water? (4) What are necessary functions in the nearby area that could be situated along the klongs and what are possible functions that could attract civil society to the area? What are available spaces along the klongs to house these functions?

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Problem Field

Climate change:

Urbanization:

Flood risk

Informality

Theoretical framework

Research question: “Can small scale intervenons contribute to the larger system of flood defence and at the same me preserve and improve the socio-economic context of the site?”

Adaptive Management

Urban and Social resilience

Participatory slum upgrading

Dutch layers approach

liquid perception

Output: Spaal Intervenon Strategy Knowledge Transferability Klong scale

City scale

Delta scale

International scale

Figure 2.3 An overview of the problem field, the research question, the theoretical framework and the intended output. (Source: Author)

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Flood risk

Informality

Canal embankments DDS

Create liveable floodplains and local retenon areas

Access to urban water sensive space and social inclusion

City scale

City scale

-

Upgrading of community

Klong scale

Improved discharge capacity

Klong scale

Goals

Urbanization:

Existing Plans

Climate change:

Bangkok Green Network

Baan Mankong

2016

Figure 2.4 The goals of the project organized per subject and per scale. It also shows the current plans on these topics on which this research can build or to which this research will offer an alternative. (Source: Author)

Larger scale

2040 ADAPTIVE BKK

City scale

Klong scale

Intervenon: Upstream bypass

Intervenon: City cascade

Crucial intervenon: Upstream cascade

Crucial intervenon: Trigger project redevelopment

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Intervenon: Redevelopment

Crucial intervenon: x

Intervenon: Redevelopment

Intervenon: Redevelopment

Intervenon: Redevelopment

Figure 2.5 An overview of the interventions to reduce flood risk on different scales. This research only focusses on the klong scale. (Source: Author)


The existing Baan Mankong upgrading programme, which consists of a participatory process, offers a realistic working framework for this research. Within the participatory process it is the role of the planner or designer to provide good governance (Deltares, 2009, p. 70) and to find a balance between steering top-down, but leaving bottom-up take the lead in the upgrading (Tunas, 2008, p. 55).

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Main research question

Research Questions

3

The problem statement in the previous chapter explained the problem context from the large scale to the small scale. The monsoon on the larger scale leads to water in the vicinity of Bangkok, which in extreme situations is not capable of discharging this water, leading to overflowing canals on the small scale. For this research the objective is to find a way to intervene on the small scale in such a way that it provides added value for the larger scale, which results in the following research questions.

“How can small scale interventions contribute to the larger system of flood defence (in a context where large scale planning is not integrated) and at the same time preserve the community on site and improve the quality of life of the inhabitants?” Sub research questions (1) “To what extent can the larger system of flood defence be divided into smaller elements?” (2) “How are small scale interventions able to contribute to the large scale concerning water management and flood defence?” (3) “How is preservation of the community and improvement of the quality of life of the inhabitants possible?” (4) “In what way are effective strategies, policies and projects of informal settlements upgrading (local demand/governance responses) related to water safety?”

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Operational questions Following the research questions, there are multiple operational questions that need to be answered in order to further develop a case study within the city of Bangkok. This will provide means to contribute to answering the research questions. The questions are categorized according to the different subjects related to this research. Water management There is very limited space available along the canals in the highly populated city of Bangkok. Trying to both upgrade the informal settlements and keep them on site and improving the conditions for the water management system within this space asks an understanding of the demands of both sides as clearly as possible. For the water management side that leads to questions as: What are the required dimensions and spatial requirements of interventions that can improve the discharge capacity? Is it possible to increase the discharge capacity of the canals without using the available space entirely? Do the possible solutions leave space for other functions along the canal? Urban informality In order to try to make a redevelopment plan for the informal settlements, a clear understanding of what they are and how they work. Interviews with residents by the Bangkok Post showed that living in their community is the most essential aspect of sustaining their way of life (Vongkiatkajorn, 2015). Questions that arise on this topic are:

according to the bottom-up planning approach of the Baan Mankong programme but in compliance with the criteria from the water management side? What is the balance between top-down and bottom-up plans, and who are responsible for those? Design/Pilot project The proposal for redevelopments within the Baan Mankong Programme will lead to an example of a design along one of the canals. In order to come to a spatial intervention, a further understanding is needed of the spatial dimensions of the demands of both community upgrading and water management, as the existing context (e.g. flood defence infrastructure and cultural influences). What are spatial elements that can help to create a resilient community, looking at the physical system of lacking infrastructure and the societal system of the ability of people to cope with flooding? What are necessary functions in the nearby area that could be situated along the klongs and what are possible functions that could attract civil society to the area? What are available spaces along the klongs to house these functions? What is good public space in the Thai context and what is the current cultural relation with water? Can a mixed-use of space result in attractive public space that is sufficiently functional in the hydrological cycle and improve the spatial quality of the area? If so, can this increased spatial quality lead to a reappreciation of water in the city, stimulating further development to tilt the scale from thanon based planning to klong based planning? Can small scale interventions of community scale contribute to the creation of the resilient city?

What aspects make and define the community? Is it location bound? If not, can they be relocated whilst preserving their community? Planning/Baan Mankong programme In order to make a sound proposal for a planning framework, or a spatial strategy, the Baan Mankong programme is taken as the main source. Is the Baan Mankong programme a good way to manage bottom-up planning of community upgrades? Can the upgrading of the communities still occur 41


The Dutch layers approach

Theoretical Framework

4

The integration of water management interventions along the Bangkok canals (klongs) to improve flood safety in the city and the preservation and upgrading of informal communities in the same space along those klongs is a complex and seemingly unrealistic endeavour. As a result of a weak planning system there is a lack of co-operation and understanding between the different actors involved. This can be illustrated by the fact that the Department of Drainage and Sewerage (DDS) would supposedly want to clear the klongs to increase discharge capacity and in order to do so evict the inhabitants of the informal settlements since they have no right of living there anyway (Vongkiatkajorn, 2015). There is an absence of social manegement that should look out for the rights of those who cannot do that for themselves. But also between the public bodies there are no effective mechanisms to coordinate and align plans, both horizontally between similar plans as vertically between different spatial levels (Hooimeijer, Lambregts, Jonkman, & Vardhanabuti, 2013, p. 9). If the goal of realizing community upgrading in the same limited space as creating flood defence measures wants to be achieved, there is a need of clear steering of responsibilities, interests, financing etc. in a context where integrated planning is not effective. The theoretical part of this thesis examines whether the Dutch layers approach can provide means to steer upgrading projects of informal communities along the canals of Bangkok that also incorporate flood safety measures. First the Dutch layers approach will be introduced and explained, then how synergy through common goals can tried to be found between the different layers through the concept of ‘liquid perception’ (Thaitakoo and McGrath, 2010, p.37) and how these common goals can be realized in every layer. In order to do this the concepts of participatory slum upgrading (PSU) (Boonyabancha, 2005), adaptive management (Pahl-Wostl, 2008) and resilience (Leichenko, 2011) will be addressed.

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The Dutch layers approach is a model that structures spatial planning tasks by organizing reality in an abstract way in three different layers. These layers stand for relevant aspects to the planning domain. It was constructed by De Hoog, Sijmons and Verschuuren between 1996 and 1998 as a base for strategic choices that had to be made concerning future spatial development in the Netherlands, regarding a lot of topics including water management, climate change and the need for integrated planning (van Schaick & Klaasen, 2011, pp. 1-2). Van Schaick and Klaasen (2011, p. 2) explain how De Hoog, Sijmons and Verschuuren based the model on their criticism on blueprint plans, that are static and are not able to adapt to a changing reality. The stratified model they created connects planning tasks to the different time scales that different spatial dynamics have. It is therefore more sensitive for the uncertain future. The layers are based on the spatial dynamics of (1) substratum, (2) networks and (3) occupation patterns (De Hoog, Sijmons & Verschuuren, 1998, p.78). The order of these layers is hierarchical with the first layers as the foundation of the layers above. This hierarchy logically follows the “power” and impact each layer has (Sijmons, Feddes, & Rotterdam-Maaskant, 2002, p. 117). This can also be explained by the different time scales: the first layer has the slowest rate of change, whilst the third layer has the fastest rate of change. It is therefore logical to take the first layer as the base. It is important to note that the layers enable or restrain activities on the other layers (Deltares, 2009, p. 19). The substratum layer is described by Sijmons et. al. (2002, p. 118) as the foundation and the most important layer in a urban delta, where water management is a primairy condition for modern existence. He states that decisions on this layer have priority over decisions on other layers, but also warns that this layer is so basal that it tends to be overlooked or taken for granted. The networks layer is that of infrastructure planning. Sijmons et. al. explain that the decisions about road, rail and water infrastructure have immense influence on the socio-spatial processes of the occupation layer. Sijmons et. al. (2002, p. 118) note that discussions in spatial planning are often triggered from the perspective of the occupation layer. If the discussion from this perspective leads to certain decisions, it can have a lot of consequences on the other two layers.


These have slower time scales and to adjust the infrastructure and possibly substratum layer is a very costly intervention. In this case, short term changes need adjustments from the other two layers, which will take a lot of time. As Sijmons et. al. (2002, p. 118) summarized it: discussion starting from the perspective of the occupation layer put the logical hierarchical order upside down. Van Schaick and Klaasen (2011, p. 4) state that the “layers from bottom to top set priorities and conditions for spatial planning tasks on the other layers.”

Layers Approach, which is obvious since half of the Netherlands lies beneath sea level and needs constant protection to ensure it can continue to exist. From this perspective the Thai context could draw lessons from the Netherlands on how to deal such an approach, whilst the Dutch context could learn on how to be less dependent on large scale cen-tralised flood defence infrastructures by looking at the positive examples on the smaller scale regarding flood defence of the liberal planning system of Thailand.

Another layer based approach is that of the network city by Dupuy (van Schaick & Klaasen, 2011, p. 7). In the original model, he distinguished three layers, that of infrastructure (which we can relate to the network layer) and the layers of production/consumption and households. The latter two can be related to the occupation layer. In a revised version, he adds a layer at the bottom, the geography or first nature. This is a layer where mankind does not interfere, all interventions are made in the three layers above. These layers together he calls the second nature, that what mankind has created on top of the geography. The interchange between the first and the second nature is the role of planning, or governanace (van Schaick & Klaasen, 2011, p. 7).

The way the layers approach is interpreted for this research is illustrated in figure 4.1. The substratum represents the natural system and its water dynamics. The middle layer, the infrastructure, describes how we try to deal with those dynamics. The occupation layer stands for the functions in the city, which mostly rely on the infrastructure to protect them from flooding. We state that the dynamics of the substratum are changing, partially due to climate change. The infrastructure layer in Bangkok mostly consists of static systems, and are therefore not sufficiently able to cope with the changing dynamics of the bottom layer. As mentioned before, there is a lack of effectiveness in integrated spatial planning in Thailand, also concerning water management. We could therefore state that the infrastructure layer is, besides partly ineffective The Thai liberal planning system has proved to result or partly missing, difficult to mend. In that case, the in problems when it comes to topics such as water functions on the occupation layer are directly in contact management and flood defence, which is a cross-scales with the substratum. If dynamics in that layer change domain. Water management is mentioned be-fore as and the function aren’t capable of dealing with that one of the important topics to address with the DutchDutch Layers Approach change themselves, there is a situation of flooding. Responsibility

Speed of change

Speed of change Fast

Responsibility

Dutch Layers Approach Occupation

Participatory slum upgrading

Occupation

Opposite Interests Medium

Opposite Interests Medium

Adaptive Management + Resilience

Private parties

Public parties

Infrastructure Infrastructure Substratum

solid/liquid perception

Synergy

Adaptive Management + Resilience

Synergy

Private parties Participatory slum upgrading

Fast

solid/liquid perception

Public parties

Slow

Substratum Slow

Figure 4.1 The Dutch layers approach showing the three different layers according to scales of time. Ways to deal with community upgrading and flood risk reduction measures are shown left of the respective layers. (Source: Author, based on De Hoog, Sijmons & Verschuuren, 1998, p.78 and Thaitakoo and McGrath, 2010, p.37) 43


Finding synergy As mentioned before, the integration of community upgrading and the implementation of flood risk reduction measures in Bangkok is a complex situation, especially when the different actors can only look at the problem from their own perspective and if they base their decisions solely on their own interests. Luuk Sijmons et. al. (2002, p. 116) compare the situation to adding furniture to an already furnished house: we can look at what furniture we’d like to have, or at what is needed in the house. He states that we can never reach true satisfaction though until we consider both. And then there is always the chance that the other inhabitants of the house might dislike the new addition. Looking at the situation from all perspectives, or finding synergy between the different layers, is the domain of spatial planning: “Here we shoot an arrow through the strongly sectorialcoloured problem definition on the distinguished layers.” (De Hoog, Sijmons, & Verschuuren, 1998, p. 78) In order to get closer to a finding a way to integrate community upgrading and water management, we need to find synergy between the different layers. As starting point we try to identify the different actors that have different perspectives and perceive the problem by looking from different layers. The most basic distinction we can make is that between public and private parties. The occupation layer belongs much more to that of

Common goals in balance with natural system

Firstly the connection between the layers will be explained by introducing the concept of liquid perception (Thaitakoo & McGrath, 2010, p. 37). After that we will continue by looking at the basketry and how goals can be achieved on the different layers. We will do this by briefly looking at particapatory slum upgrading (Boonyabancha, 2005), adaptive management (Pahl-Wostl, 2008, p. 12) and resilience (Leichenko, 2011, p. 164).

Goals (+ addional goals) realized through PSU

Figure 4.2 Finding synergy by finding common goals between the different layers. The connections between the layers is also used to realize other added values, as illustrated in the Goals realized through top layer. (Source: Author) adapve management

The infrastructure layer in Thailand is to certain extent ineffective or partially missing, as explained in the problem field. Mending this layer is also difficult due to the complex spatial planning context. That means that the occupation layer is partly directly connected to the substratum layer and not able to deal with changes in the bottom layer, which leads to flooding events. Because the upgrading Common goalsof in klong communities is a relatively small balance with natural system scale project if we look at one community, it seems beneficial to make the occupation layer flexible so that it can deal with changes in the bottom layer, just like in indigenous Thai settlements along the water do. This way the community is less reliable of the middle layer of flood defence infrastructure. Synergy through liquid percepon

Goals realized through adapve management

44

The different layers are also connected to different layers of government; so is the fast changing layer the domain of more local goverments and the slower changing layer the domain of the central government.

Liquid perception

Synergy through liquid percepon

Goals (+ addional goals) realized through PSU

the market and private parties are therefore mostly responsible and they also have the most interests, the role of the government in this layer is more restricted (Deltares, 2009, p. 19). The infrastructure layer is the domain of the public parties, or the government. On this layer networks are created that, in the case of water mangement, have to protect the citizens from flooding. The best way to achieve this would be to base the infrastructure on the large adaptive capacities of the natural system (Deltares, 2009, p. 19). By trying to find an approach to deal with the problem, the suggestion is to start by finding common goals between the layers, as illustrated in figure 4.2. Sijmons et. al. (2002, p. 122) state that not only the connections between layers are important, but that the entire basketry should result into a interesting, characteristic network: a neccesary intervention, like that of flood defence, can also have added value on other topics, such as community upgrading, public space and ecology.


The coherent connection between the top and the bottom layer is what Thaitakoo and McGrath (2010, p. 37) call liquid perception: “Instead of the design of cities thought of as permanent, static, solid land-based environments, liquid perception is based on change, adaptation and the continuous reproduction of locality as an embedded and evolving cultural practice.” Solid perception is the opposite of liquid perception, as mentioned above. We can also state that solid perception is the disconnection between the top and the middle layer with the bottom layer. Figure 4.3 lists the differences between solid and liquid perception and figure 4.4 shows these concepts in practice. In the past people in Bangkok were adapted to the natural system, something that is still seen in rural areas surrounding the city. Settlements along rivers and canals directly had to deal with the dynamics of the natural system: a surplus of water during the monsoon season and a deficit of water during the dry season (Thaitakoo & McGrath, 2010, p. 41). The excess water, what we now call flooding, was considered as a form of wealth, since it brought the settlement more fish, more water for crops and nutrients for a fertile soil. People adapted to the water fluctuations by digging small canals for irrigating orchards and inundated rice fields could serve as retention basins (Thaitakoo & McGrath, 2010, p. 41). The close relation to the water led to an enormous waterscape, which unfortunately has been neglected since road development started to become more dominant since the 1950’s under the influence of the West (Thaitakoo & McGrath, 2010, p. 44). As the trend of the vanishing waterscape continues and the perception of the urban and the landscape is

dominated by modern Westernized images, the role and the function of the natural system is perceived different than in the past (Thaitakoo & McGrath, 2010, p. 48). Thaitakoo and McGrath state that these different perceptions have a big influence in how people deal with the land- and waterscape and with land and water use. This is reflected in the wish of the, generally poor, inhabitants of informal settlements to own a stone house with a front lawn, just as wealthier classes and popular culture carries out. Inconveniently a large part of these settlements are situated along the canals where there is no space for common (sub) urban building blocks without engaging in solid perception. An example of this is the upgrading of settlement along Bang Bua canal. The old informal settlement was rebuilt into tidy row houses behind a concrete floodwall. This example of new solid perception is not one we would like to see as an example for future redevelopments. Thaitakoo and McGrath (2010, p. 48) mention that “places along the existing canal network that are already in direct relation to the water need to be able to maintain or to restore their waterscape urbanism to provide necessary space for water during wet season and become water storage during dry season.”

Figure 4.3 The difference between solid and liquid perception. (Source: Thaitakoo & McGrath, 2010, p. 46)

Figure 4.4 Solid and liquid perception as seen in practice. (Source: Danai Thaitakoo) 45


There is much knowledge in how to live with water in vernacular architecture (Thaitakoo & McGrath, 2010). However, in order to reach liquid perception in a limited space where a certain amount of people need to be housed, a new way of dealing with both modern wishes and older knowledge of living with water is needed. Thaitakoo and McGrath (2010, p. 49) suggest waterscape urbanism as a new model for urban design, which would fit very well for the described problem of redevelopment along the klongs. “Waterscape urbanism is inspired by the philosophical concept of liquid perception, indigenous waterbased cultural practices as well as emerging scientific techniques of monitoring urban systems through watershed frameworks and networked technologies.” (Thaitakoo & McGrath, 2010, p. 37) So it is not about totally returning to the situation where every indivual house was adapted to the natural system, which is impossible in a highly dense populated urban network like that of Bangkok. Thaitakoo and McGrath state that waterscape urbanism will provide a good basis for resilience and adaptation, rather than hard infrastructures that cannot adapt to changing dynamics. They furthermore note that filling up the land and fighting against the water dynamics is futile (Thaitakoo & McGrath, 2010, p. 46). Sijmons et. al. (2002, p. 120) mention that the choice for hard solutions over soft or liquid solutions sometimes seems to be the best from an economic perspective. He explains that the hard solution needs relatively little space and might therefore seem less costly upfront, but will always have a pricetag for maintenance and improvement (e.g. heightening of dikes or new pumps to increase capacity). Soft solutions need much more space but are far less costly in maintenance. Changing the entire flood defence system into an adaptive system overnight is impossible, so there is a need to find the best balance between (existing) hard and (new) soft solutions. This can be a point of debate, as is the case now in Houston and Rotterdam (DIMI, 2016), but Sijmons et. al. (2002, p. 120) warn that delaying the choice will created a large chance that we will need the hard solutions. By acting now on the Bangkok klongs we can try to create an urban waterscape that will not only protect the city from flooding (as hard solutions would do as well) but also provide added value on other topics, such as reconnection to the water, public space, new examplary housing and opportunities for tourism. 46

The occupation layer Participatory slum upgrading For creating water communities, Thaitakoo and McGrath (2010, p. 48) suggest the possibility for a bottom-up approach for sustainable development. Most people agree that making decisions on the lowest possible level is a good thing, but this is not always the case (Deltares, 2009, p. 20). In the case of community upgrading the inhabitants are able to make decisions on housing and public space, since they know the environment and their own requirements best. But especially things that transcend the community, like flood defence, need to be directed by the government (Tunas, 2008, p. 55). For the redevelopment of klong communities a participatory process therefore seems beneficial. Das and Takahashi (2009, pp. 213-214) describe, based on other literature, how neoliberal development policies have changed urban development and planning in developing countries. Community participation and public-private partnerships have increased leading to a higher involvement of (very-low-income) citizens, civil society and the private sector in local urban planning projects: “In particular, slum upgrading has evolved into a collaborative urban service provision and development approach that seeks participation by local government, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and citizens” (Das & Takahashi, 2009, p. 213). They further note that shortcomings in the effort of slum upgrading, together with centralized planning and topdown execution in the past forty years are the cause of the failure of successfully upscaling pilot projects and the therefore also of the failure of reaching a promising scaled-up upgrading strategy. The main barrier they found for the successful upgrading is the lack of funds. For community-driven upgrading they also note that the lack of enabling institutional frameworks are causing limitations for upscaling. In Thailand there is a nation-wide programme that aims at the upgrading of informal settlements on the large scale, called Baan Mankong. The ambitious target was to reach cities without slums within five years (Archer, 2010, p. 1; Boonyabancha, 2005, p. 24). This programme has received praise for the implementation of this innovative participatory upgrading programme (Archer, 2010, p. 1). It was launched in 2003 and is based on participation and collective decision-making of all stakeholders (Tovivich, 2013, p. 79). It’s a people


Figure 4.5 The participatory process of the Baan Mankong upgrading programme where communities themselves are responsible for making redevelopment plans. (Source: Usavagovitwong, N., & Posriprasert, P., 2006b, p.532)

Figure 4.6 The linkages for a local housing development partnership by city-wide networks with communities and local authorities. (Source: Boonyabancha, 2005, p. 26) 47


driven approach that puts the residents central in the process (Archer, 2012, p. 178). Boonyabancha (2005, p. 21) adds to that that the programme from the perspective of the government centres on providing infrastructure subsidies and housing loans to the informal communities which have the lead in planning the upgrading. The programme does not dictate solutions but stimulates communities to develop solutions tailor-made to their situation, their needs and their possibilities (Yap & De Wandeler, 2010, pp. 337-338). In short, representative boards within the communities make plans for upgrading and then, if the plans are approved, receive loans and subsidies to carry them out. According to Boonyabancha the upgrading happens in situ wherever possible and otherwise a location close to the settlement is searched. She then explains more in detail how the programme works (2005, pp. 25-26, 35-36). The programme looks at an entire city at the time, except for Bangkok, where the city is divided up into districts. Firstly all the actors are identified and the programme is explained to all of them. The different communities are encouraged to form horizontal linkage within the city by connecting with peer groups. This way they can approach the challenge of redevelopment together, they can learn from each other and see that they are not alone. A series of meetings is planned, both on the scale of the individual communities as on the scale of the city (or district), with representatives from the communities, the municipality, local academics and NGOs. From this a joint committee is formed, to search for solutions and oversee implementation. This committee also has to integrate urban poor housing into the overall development programme of the city or the district. The committee than meets with the communities to inform them on the proceedings and to take surveys to gather information on housing security, land ownership, infrastructure problems, savings and existing development initiatives. After processing all the data a plan is made that covers all communities, but a pilot project needs to be chosen. After this the work extends to the other communities. Also after completion a constant exchange between projects, cities and regions is supported to keep exchanging knowledge and experiences. The scaling up of the upgrading is based on this exchange of knowledge and also on learningby-doing and therefore satisfaction and in the process and outcome is necessary (Archer, 2012, p. 183).

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After the implementation the informal communities have become part of the formal city (Tovivich, 2013, p. 80). The available infrastructure subsidies are 25,000 baht (630 euro) for per family for in situ upgrading, 45,000 baht (1,140 euro) for re-blocking and 65,000 baht (1,650 euro) for relocation. For housing, lowinterest loans can be drawn on from CODI or banks for housing (Boonyabancha, 2005, p. 26). From different projects mentioned, households seem to repay 5 to 50 USD per month (Boonyabancha, 2005, pp. 2831). In the pre-process each household is assessed to whether they can afford it to pay monthly payments for the housing debt, so the general idea is that every household gets an appropriate loan size (Archer, 2012, p. 183). One of the key problems for inhabitants of informal settlements in Bangkok is tenure insecurity (Archer, 2012, p. 178). Arches notes that besides that people in informal settlements are excluded from services like formal infrastructure, the right to vote or access to public schooling. They are also less accepted by civil society, since the Thai society is based on hierarchy (Anderson, 2012). Upgrading of the informal settlements is important for the inhabitants for multiple reasons, like the ones just mentioned. The Baan Mankong programme has received much praise, from e.g. UN HABITAT, but Archer (2012, p. 178) notes, as mentioned before, that personal satisfaction is the key to assess whether the Baan Mankong programme is functioning as it should. She studied what participants of the programme judge their state before and after implementation of upgrading, which we will now briefly summarize (Archer, 2012, p. 183). Participating in the programme led to improved housing conditions. Inhabitants accepted the increase in monthly financial expenses to be able to remain in their community. Even the residents who saw their plot size grow smaller found this acceptable to reach a more equal upgrading amongst the community members and the majority of the people feels that tenure security has improved and they would recommend others to participate in the programme. Notes to take into account are that tenure security is not only depends on the paperwork, but also on confidence in community leadership, the household’s financial security and the long-term plans of the landowner. This, together with the fact that participants are not allowed to sell their houses for profit, can prevent people from investing too much in their home.


“The implication of continued collective action is that community members are satisfied with the product of the participatory process, and are willing to take it further for the benefit of their communities.” (Archer, 2012, p. 183) The infrastructure layer Adaptive management and resilience Historical analyses of delta areas around the world show that change is a constant factor in these areas (Bregt, Broesi, Dammers, Edelenbos, & Meyer, 2014, p. 217). The course of this change towards the future cannot be predicted (but only estimated), which gives lots of uncertainties. Bregt et al. (2014) state that the combination of high dynamics and the strong interaction between the substratum and human intervention in urbanized deltas asks for a constant interference through planning and design. This indicates that there is a need for a transition from current management regimes towards a more adaptive planning approach (Pahl-Wostl, 2007, p. 49). “Adaptive management may be defined as an iterative process of optimal decision making under uncertainty. It has the aim of reducing uncertainty over time via system monitoring. Adaptive management is often characterized as “learning by doing” although it is more about deliberate experimentation.” (Deltares, 2009, p. 84) Pahl-Wostl (2008, p. 12) describes adaptive management as “a systematic process for improving management policies and practices by learning from the outcomes of implemented management strategies”. The transition to adaptive management could be defined as “learning to manage by managing to learn” (PahlWostl, 2007, p. 49). In order for Thailand to transition towards adaptive management, there is a need for a well-functioning planning context. Even with full

Physical System

Insufficient performance of infrastructural system (flood defence)

knowledge of the Thai planning context and the complex hydrological system of the Chao Phraya River delta, finding ways towards a more adaptive delta is difficult. That is why this research focusses on the relations at the smaller scale: that of the klong communities. Bregt et al. (2014, pp. 216-217) explain that there are always multiple subsystems at work in delta areas. They further state that within complex urbanized deltas, it is better to find clever tuning between the different subsystems rather than achieving full integration. Perhaps we can see the klongs and their informal settlements as an opportunity to create an enhanced subsystem, an adaptive canal system with local buffering capacity rather than the existing situation of canals with hard edges that try to discharge the water as fast as possible, which can lead to problems downstream. By starting with a pilot project the workings can be assessed and learned from for future redevelopments. This can hopefully lead to a situation where the klongs are long lines of buffering capacity throughout the city. In literature there is no clear consensus of a definition of resilience. Leichenko (2011, p. 164) found that resilience is typically understood as “the ability of a system to withstand a major shock and maintain or quickly return to normal function”. Resilience is not only found in the physical system, but also in the ability of people to cope with major shocks – in this case flooding. This is exemplified by Tovivich (2013, p. 81). She describes how people managed to carry on with daily life during the 2011 floods by making boats out of plastic bottles, lifted walking devices and elevated tuk tuks. She further states that the coping capacity of the people was not only on a physical level but also on an emotional level. People tried to adapt emotionally by playing in the water in an attempt to ease their mind. She also notes that some people who participated in the

Resilience

Societal System

Ability of people to cope with sudden changes (flooding)

Figure 4.7 The gradient of resilience, between the physical and the societal system. (Source: Author) 49


Baan Mankong programme coped relatively well, since they chose to deal with the situation as a collective. Resilient klong communities can withstand higher amounts of discharge water through local storage and other measures. One of these measures can be to design buildings according to liquid perception (e.g. amphibious, floating or raised). The buffer capacity of these communities can contribute to the flood risk reduction for the surrounding urban area. This means that the communities and the surrounding urban areas are not solely dependent on the system on the larger scale, which does not always function properly, but also have a flood defence system on their own. But ideally the city would be largely protected from flooding by interventions on the larger scale (for river water discharge) and the communities can deal with more local problems like local rainfall and partially cope with surplus the larger scale system cannot handle in the case of extreme weather events. Figure 4.8 shows an exemplary approach of how to adapt to flood events according to flood frequency and inundation depth. Opposite interests The role of the planner, according to De Hoog, Sijmons and Verschuuren (1998, p. 78), was reaching coherence between the different layers, and since different public and private actors are responsible for these, we can state that the role of the planner is also that of finding a balance between top-down and bottomup approaches (see figure 4.9). This is the case for the connection between layers, but also for interventions in a single layer. Also within the participatory process the planner has a mediating role between perspectives from different actors and their interests, goals and responsibilities (Deltares, 2009, p. 70). Within the case of redevelopment of the klong communities there is an opposite of interests. The local inhabitants wish to remain with their community, whilst the Department of Drainage and Sewerage wishes to widen the klongs in order to provide more safety for the rest of the city against flooding events (Vongkiatkajorn, 2015). We can define community as “a unity, a feeling of being a cohesive collection of people, distinct from others� (Rabibhadana, 1975, p. 146). In order to make sure how to successfully redesign a community, there is need for further elaboration on what the inhabitants mean by community. It is important to find the right balance between the interests of all people involved. 50

As mentioned before people from informal communities have no access to many of the facilities. A formal address can provide access to these services. We also mentioned before that resilient klong communities can not only decrease flood risk for themselves, but also for the surrounding urban fabric. This might be a start for civil society to appreciate the settlements more. It can also be a step towards integrating them in the city more, not just physically, but also socially, by adding valuable public space along the water, where both people from the community and from the rest of the city can come together.


High

Raised foundaon

Flood frequency

Dry proofing

Physical System

Resilience

Physical InsufficientSystem performance of

Resilience

Societal System

Wet proofing

infrastructural system (flood defence)

Inundation depth

0,6 - 0,8 m

Amphibious

Ability of people toSocietal cope withSystem sudden changes (flooding)

1,0 - 1,5 m

Insufficient performance of

Ability of people to cope with sudden

infrastructural system (flood changes (flooding) Figure 4.8 Different ways of defence) adapting to flood events according to flood frequency and inundation depth. (Source: Author, adopted from Chris Zevenbergen)

Urban Scale Needs

Measures

Community Scale Needs

Urban Scale Needs Widening of canals to increase

Measures

discharge capacity will benefit larger parts of the city

Community Needs Communies along Scale the canals are place-bound and have a need to stay in order to sustain their way of life

Widening of canals to increase discharge capacity will benefit larger parts of the city

Communies along the canals are place-bound and have a need to stay in order to sustain their way of life

Top-Down

Role of Designer

Top-Down City scale framework to guide

Role of Designer

intervenons considering water management City scale framework to guide

Bottom-Up

Bottom-Up Community scale design intervenons to upgrade selement (on-site)

Community scale design intervenons

intervenons to upgrade selement (on-site) Figure 4.9 The considering role of the water planner or designer to find balance between interests and top-down and bottom-up approaches. (Source: management Author)

51


Conclusion This research started by stating that the goal is to realise community upgrading in the same limited space as creating flood defence measures, in a context where integrated planning is not effective. This can only be achieved when there is clear steering of responsibilities, interests, financing etc. This theoretical framework explored whether the Dutch layers approach can provide means to steer upgrading projects of informal communities along the canals of Bangkok and incorporate flood safety measures. Abstracting the Thai planning context into the layer approach resulted in the notion that the layer of infrastructure is insufficient and not connected to the substratum. This results in the fact that the occupation layer is closer to the changing dynamics of the natural water system. Finding synergy between the layers is the domain of spatial planning. The best way to achieve this would be to base the top layers on the large adaptive capacities of the natural system. Traditionally the occupation layer was flexible so that it could deal with changes in the bottom layer and it seems beneficial to build on that indigenous knowledge. This way the community will not be reliant on the middle layer of flood defence infrastructure. Making the community less reliant on flood defence infrastructure does not mean that it is not the task of the government to provide safety for the inhabitants, but this is unfortunately the case at the moment. The coherent connection between the top and the bottom layer is called liquid perception. Settlements along the water in the past were able to adapt to the dynamics of the water. To achieve new adaptive systems, we can learn much from indigenous water-based cultural practices. There is a necessity to identify the role of the infrastructure layer in relation to the occupation layer and the substratum. Action on this needs to be taken on the short term, since flooding is occurring more often and heavier in Thailand. Postponing further research will leave no other option than the use of hard measures. On the layer of occupation, redevelopment can be achieved through participatory slum upgrading. Baan Mankong is a programme in Thailand that aims to upgrade informal settlements. It has gained a lot of praise and seems like an effective way of dealing with upgrading by putting the inhabitants of the communities at the core of the project. There is also a stimulation of the forming of networks between different communities and a constant exchange of knowledge between different parties, cities and regions. 52

Also a review on participant satisfactory is positive and thus this seems a good way to redevelop the klong communities based on the perspective of upgrading. In a former upgrading project a floodwall was built to deal with flood safety, which is an example of hard infrastructures that might cause problems in the future. The weak infrastructure layer can be an opportunity to transition towards adaptive management, although this is a difficult task within the given context. The relation between the occupation and the substratum is very strong in Thai tradition, unline the relation between the infrastructure layer and the substratum, which became important after the modernisation of the 1950s. The redevelopment of the klong communities can build on the knowledge of this strong relation, and provide means to improve the infrastructure layer on a local scale. This is a big difference compared to the Dutch water management tradition and therefore highly interesting. It is also noted that deltas always consist of subsystems. The klongs and their informal settlements can be seen as an opportunity to enhance the flood defence within this subsystem, so it can deal, to some extent, with uncertainties regarding the output of excess water of prior subsystems. By rethinking the relation between the different layers, an adaptive canal system with local buffering capacity can be created. Resilient klong communities can withstand higher amounts of discharge water through local storage and other measures. The buffer capacity of these communities will also contribute to the flood risk reduction for the surrounding urban area. In order to upgrade the klong communities on site, the clash of interests between the local inhabitants and civil society needs to be solved.

Right page An example of traditional riverside housing in the village of Lad Chado, roughly 80km north of Bangkok historic city centre. (Source: Author)


53


Methodology

5

The aim of this research thesis is to find a way to integrate community upgrading and flood risk reduction through water management. In the previous chapter handles to guide the process towards this aim were sought in theory. The conclusion to that exploration is at the base of the methodology as shown in figure 5.1. This chapter also explains the intended approach to find an answer to the research questions posed in the previous chapter.

The theoretical framework (the left side of fig. 5.1) shows the Dutch layers approach that serves as a guide to arrange actors and their responsibilities and interests. A stakeholder analysis can reveal the force field in which the project is situated. On the right side of figure 5.1 the site specific context of the city of Bangkok can be seen. The bottom layer is that of the natural system. Changes in climate leads to different dynamics in the water system. This has a great influence on the requirements for discharge improvements through the canals in the infrastructure layer. These requirements can be investigated mostly through expert interviews and additionally through data analysis. The reason for this is the language barrier, since a lot of documents are in the Thai alphabet. The theoretical framework explained that a delta consists out of a collection of sub-systems. This is related to the first and the second subresearch questions. The project location is along one of the canals in the city, which is a part of the canal sub-system. The focus will be on this smaller scale within the delta and on how this sub-system relates to the delta as a whole. In order to create a more resilient system, rather than canals with hard edges, a research-by-design approach will be used. This way the possibilities in the limited space can be explored. The top layer is the occupation layer. To simulate participatory slum upgrading, the Baan Mankong programme is used. The programme is described in literature and already executed redevelopments can serve as reference projects to find positive and negative aspects of the PSU process. Literature on housing preferences and interviews with inhabitants of other communities who participated in the Baan Mankong programme can be reviewed to generate assumptions on the preferences of the community. This can be complimented by expert interviews. The Baan Mankong process and the demands and preferences of the communities on upgrading and housing is related to sub-research question 3. The example projects of executed projects within Baan Mankong can illustrate the current relation of the programme and water management, which relates to sub-research question 4.

54

The concept of liquid perception (Thaitakoo and McGrath, 2010, p. 37) can be interpreted as an argument to state that both occupation and water management measures can be implemented in the


same limited space. Analysis about indigenous water settlements can provide knowledge on this topic. All these steps provide input for the design proposal. The design proposal can serve as a test case for upgrading of other klong communities. General principles, interventions or techniques can be adapted into a framework ormeans strategy provides for upgrading for the upgrading of other communities. This strategy needs to steer the interventions within the greater structure of the canal sub-system.

through literature and imagination (and maybe expert interviews): assumptions

community wishes

PSU BMK

Access to data and information structures actors

The project location is in Bangkok, Thailand. There is responsibilities & interests: substakeholder analysis liquid perception no easy access to the location within the working time system of this project. Therefore most of the data required for find common goalsthe internet intervention based research this project has to be retrieved from and towards more resilient sub-system: from literature, as well as from written interviews. Aresearch list by design of contacts can be found in Appendix A.

DESIGN PROPOSAL

requirements to sub system

through expert interviews and data

THEORY

allows occupation in same space as water; doesn’t need to be protected, protects itself

PSU: Baan Mankong

arrange actors: responsibilies & interests

Dutch layers approach

lit. review & reference project

Framework Proposal

literature review & expert interviews

community requirements to upgrading

stakeholder analysis Delta as sub-systems

Liquid percepon

research resilient sub-system

research-by-design

indigenous water selements analysis

allows occupaon and water management in same limited space

THEORY

Design Proposal

data analysis & expert interviews

requirements for discharge improvement

projected increase in rainfall

PRACTICE

Figure 5.1 Methodology towards design proposal based on the theoretical framework and on the analysis of current context. (Source: Author) 55


Case Elaboration

PART B


Introduction & Overview

6

The incremental transformation strategy will start with the Lat Phrao canal, the most densely populated canal, which has a good orientation for a newly projected bypass. The redevelopment of this 29 kilometres long canal will be done in different phases and projects. Within every project, more communities will be redeveloped and reach an improved living situation, but the strategy will also make sure that with every phase the water discharge will improve.

In part A the practical and the theoretical context of the research project has been built and the objective and goal for the project has been set out within the defined limits of the research context. In this part the elaboration of the case study location in Bangkok will be described. In the next chapters the vision and further development of the project follows. An overview of this is illustrated in figure 6.1.

Three typologies that occur along the canal are assessed and offer input for a general framework of redevelopment rules to steer the projects.

In 2040 the urban poor are no longer suffering from the negative impacts of climate change and the consequences of the lack of action in order to provide them with sufficient protection, but they have adapted to the changing circumstances and they are an example of the transformation towards a water adaptive Bangkok, like it was in the traditional culture of living in harmony with the different cycles of water.

The role of this pilot within the strategy is to be a trigger project to generate more demand. This way the project will hopefully generate enough momentum to continue the process of executing and refining the strategy in order to get a step closer to a more resilient and adaptive urban environment. This is however outside of the scope of this research.

To assess the process and the feasibility of the strategy and whether there is enough demand for an approach that integrates flood defence and community upgrading, a examplary pilot project will be developed.

This transformation will be framed within Thailand’s nation-wide slum upgrading Baan Mankong, which will provide the means for canal community upgrading, and the incorporation of water management measures, as well as the modernisation of the living-with-water tradition will ensure desired improvements to the water discharge. Not only will this lead to a more resilient and climate adaptive water system and urban space, but it will also provide civil society with public space in this adaptive environment. Page 58 - 59 An evening view of Klong Saen Saep, the canal that connects the CBD with the historic city centre. (Source: Author)

Right page Figure 6.1 An overview of the case elaboration ranging from the vision towards the strategy, spatial requirements and the pilot project. The vision comes from a very broad perspective and narrows down to the boundaries of the research project, in order to get to a delineated strategy etc. (Source: Author) 60


We imagine that in the year 2040 the urban poor are no longer suffering from the negative impacts of climate

Vision

change and the consequences of the lack of action in order to provide them with sufficient protection, but that they have adapted to the changing circumstances and that they are an example of the transformation towards a water adaptive Bangkok, like it once was. By adding public space at the waterfront the transformation efforts by the formalized communities can be experienced by the general public. The city will also be able to experience the

Trigger Project

Spatial Requirements

Other Klongs Phase 5

 

Vision 2040

   

           



      

 

     



     

 

 

   

     



 

  



      





 

 

  

2038

2040

2036

2032

2034

2028

2030

2026

2022

2024

2018

2016

 

2020

Phase 2

Phase 3

Phase 4

  

Phase 1

The strategy aims at incremental change. The transformation will start with one canal and the projects will take place in different phases. Each phase will have a small but direct contribution to an improved water discharge. These projects will be framed within and (partly) facilitated by the Baan Mankong national slum upgrading programme. Each project will formalize the canal communities living along that specific part of the canal. With every phase the water discharge capacity will increase further, more informal settlements will be formalized and gain improved living environments and more public space in the new adaptive environment will grant public access to civil society.

Phase 0

Strategy

adaptive environment in this expanded public domain.

Added value

The spatial requirements can be translated into generic requirements for the entire length of the canal. For securing an optimal waterflow the embankments will be denaturalized and must be at least 25-30 metres apart from each other.

 







 

This main part of the canal must be unobstructed for the sake of water discharge. The zone next to the embankment will be developed as floodplain to facilitate higher amounts of water. The floodplain will be created by dikes between the floodplain and the urban fabric. Within this floodplain the informal settlement can redevelop their communities in

  

 

 

an adaptive way.  

To assess the process and the feasibility of the strategy and whether there is demand for an approach that integrates flood defence and community upgrading a pilot project will be developed. In this pilot all relevant aspect will be present in order kick-start the transformation process: not only community upgrading and optimizing the section of the canal, but also extra room for water in an enlarged floodplain, new water adaptive housing in the middle segment and public facilities at the waterfront to generate a flow of people towards the area. If the results are positive this might generate momentum to continue the process of executing and refining the strategy in order to get a step closer towards a more resilient city.

61


CENTRAL PLAIN

Nakhon Sawan

Current main water course

Anusatsananan

RETAIN Pa Sak

Makham Tao U-Thong

Ayutthaya Chao Phraya

Tha Chin

Rural

Slow-down

URBAN

Bangkok

DISCHARGE

DIVERT 2011 flood line

Bang Pakong Mae Klong

GUlf of Thailand 0km

5km

10km


river river

UPSTREAM UPSTREAM

city city dam dam exisng exisngreservoir reservoir new newreservoir reservoir

RETAIN RETAIN

new newretenon retenonareas areas

. .N M.N.m MDam Da

new newmonkey monkeycheeks cheekslagoon lagoon Gulf GulfofofThailand Thailand new newriver riverbypass bypass

Chiang Chiang ang angMai Mai Wa Wa ngng DaDm am

improved improvedcanals canals new newsea seabarrier barrier

m Lom w Lo Kewam KeDam D

King’s King’sdike dike

Sirikit Sirikit kit kit Dam Dam

l l oo i Bi B m m M M DaDa uu BhBh

Phitsanulok Phitsanulok

Myanmar Myanmar

Phetchabun Phetchabun

Thailand Thailand

Nakhon NakhonSawan Sawan

ayaaya PhPrhr aoao ChCh am DaDm

Pasak Pasak Chonl Chonl asit asit Dam Dam

Ayutthaya Ayutthaya

Bangkok Bangkok

Cambodia Cambodia Andaman Andaman Sea Sea

Gulf Gulfof of Thailand Thailand

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Relation to larger scale infrastructural measures This canal intervention will evidently not solve a flood event like that of 2011. That was also due to the fact that the infrastructure on the larger scale was partly missing and partly failed. Figure 6.2 illustrates current plans that are either being developed, planned or considered for flood defence on the larger scale. The position of Bangkok is at the very end of the Chao Phraya River system as the last part the water runs through before being discharged into the sea. Different types of measures can be used in the different sub-systems of the entire Chao Phraya course. A schematised overview can be seen in figure 6.3. Retain When we look at the topography it is clear to use natural height differences to retain water upstream. The entire central plain, as can be seen on the map on page 62, is relatively flat and therefore prone to flooding. In the case that large amounts of water reach this area, lower lying areas where water can accumulate can be designed as retention areas to retain water before it flows to other (unprotected) urban areas (Vongvisessomjai, 2007).

infrastructure fails (possibly due to human error). In order to cope with excess water reaching Bangkok, there needs to be a system to discharge the water before it can cause flooding within the city. The existing network of canals can be optimized for this purpose. Due to the measures upstream space and time is created to experiment with adaptive measures in the city. The northern part of the canal runs through rural lands before it enters the city. This space can be used as a (small) buffer to retain and slow down water before it runs through the urban fabric. Right page The boat service on Klong Saen Saep, connecting the historic city centre with the east of Bangkok. (Source: Suzanne Glas)

Page 62 - 63 Figure 6.2 An overview of the strategy, as a sub-system on the scale of the city of Bangkok, framed within and dependent on the sub-systems on the scale of the central plain and the upstream areas. (Source: Author)

Divert Before reaching the most flood prone and populated areas of the central plain, the water can also be diverted around the area with bypasses (Vongvisessomjai, 2007). RETAIN

Discharge

64

But there are many scenarios in which excess water that is more than the current system can handle will reach Bangkok, e.g. when not all upstream projects are executed, when there is an extreme monsoon period with extreme rainfall events or when upstream

ce nt ra l n ai pl

Given the position of Bangkok in the river system and the limited space that is available along the city’s canals, it seems logical to create a discharge capacity that is as large as possible in order to prevent flooding in the highly densely populated city. Assuming that current ongoing plans and projects will restore and improve the working of the larger scale flood defence, the system of retaining and diverting water upstream will prevent large amounts of excess water, like in 2011, flowing towards Bangkok.

DIVERT DIscharge Bangkok

Figure 6.3 An schematised overview of the proposed delta system of retaining, diverting and discharging. (Source: Author)


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Vision

7

A climate change impact study for Bangkok by Panya Consultants (World Bank, 2009) has assessed the possible futures for the city depending on climate change scenarios and possible adaptation strategies. The report states that the basin mean precipitation will increase by 2 to 3 percent by 2050 (World Bank, 2009, p. X) and looking at the trend of population growth we can expect further growth of the Bangkok urban population. Precipitation and urbanization are the two most important factors that influence flooding, as stated by Nair, Wen and Ling (2014, p. 92), illustrated in figure 1.6 on page 16. The consequences of the estimated increase in rainfall can be severe. The report (World Bank, 2009, p. XI) states that the flood prone area will expand in the future and that the flood volume will increase accordingly to the percentage of precipitation. The expanded flood prone area is projected to be around 180 km2 and that about 7 percent of the total flood prone area might be inundated for over a month. The increase in flood volume will be linear with the increase in precipitation, but the flood peak discharge will increase more, due to uneven travel times of the water from upstream towards the Bangkok area. We have seen an event like this in 2011, two years after the climate change impact report was published, where the flood peak discharge was exceptionally high and where parts of the city were inundated for over a month.

The impacts to be considered are both economic and social (World Bank, 2009, p. XI). The report states that the commercial and industrial sectors will suffer substantially, as we have seen in 2011, and that the economic damage of flooding will rise four-fold by 2050. The economic damage of the 2011 flood, which is one of costliest disasters of all time, was so severe that the Thai government is keen on preventing an event like that from occurring again. The incentive for action is there and plans for improved flood defence are being drawn and planned. But beside the economic consequences there are also social consequences. The estimation of Panya Consultants is that about one million inhabitants of Bangkok and the vicinity will be affected by climate change impacts in 2050. About 13 percent of those people will be from condensed housing, of which most are living below the poverty line. Additionally, about one million buildings will be impacted by flooding in 2050. And the housing of the urban poor is often not the most stable or reliable nor do the urban poor have the most means to recover from the impacts of the projected floods (Fay et al., 2015).

We imagine that in the year 2040 the urban poor are no longer suffering from the negative impacts of climate change and the consequences of the lack of action in order to provide them with sufficient protection, but that they have adapted to the changing circumstances and that they are an example of the transformation towards a water adaptive Bangkok, like it once was. The road towards this idea starts at the point where informality and urban poverty meet flood risk in the current day situation: the city’s klongs.

Right page

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Figure 7.1 An image showing the desired future by 2040 as described by the vision in which informal urban poor communities have adapted to the changing climate circumstances and pose an example for the rest of the city for the transformation towards a more resilient city. (Source: Author, with images of: Kasemsook, Tovivich, Van Bergen, & Moerel, 2013, p. 23; Asian Coalition for Housing Rights, 2008; wolrd-vists.blogspot.nl)


river/canals klong communies river/canals

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Klong Lat Bua Khao Klong Klong Lat Bua Khao Bang Sue

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Suitability of the different klongs as case study By clearing the informal communities along the water in their current form, the vital canal passages through the city can aid to discharge through the city and lower the risk of flooding in the vicinity. Evidently this idea is only viable if other flood defence projects on the larger scale – e.g. as described in chapter 1 – will be realized. The clearing of the canals is only a small sprocket in a large chain. Figure 7.2 shows the larger canals of the city where informal communities reside. Currently the Chao Phraya River is the only large discharge passage from water coming from the north. In order to create more discharge through the city, only the canals running north to south are relevant for the research. The five canals that have the right orientation will need new direct waterway connections to the river up north and the sea in the south in order to sufficiently discharge water. Klong Sam Wa and Klong Lat Bua Khao are more or less in one line, resulting in four possible new discharge bypasses through the city. Figure 7.3 lists the amount of households and the population along each of the mentioned canals. Looking at these numbers,

Klong Lat Phrao has the most households and the largest population, not only in absolute numbers but also relatively (390 households and 1,532 inhabitants per kilometre). Second is Klong Prem Prachakon (263 households and 1,034 inhabitants per kilometre), followed by Klong Bang Sue (61 households and 320 inhabitants per kilometre). Klong Lat Phrao and Klong Prem Prachakon are both densely populated and have a similar orientation. The second however, flows south towards the historical city centre, which poses many obstacles to finding a clear passage for the water to run through. The better orientation and the higher population density make Klong Lat Phrao the more suitable case for further elaboration.

Left page Figure 7.2 A map of the city showing the city’s larger canals where informal communities reside. Looking at water discharge, the north/south oriented canals are eligible for redevelopment. In order to do so, new connections between the river and the sea will have to be created. (Source: Author, based on Vongkiatkajorn, 2015)

Figure 7.3 A table showing the amount of households along the canals pictured in figure 7.2. (Source: Chantarangkul & Wungpatcharapon, 2016)

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An example of adaptation – public space Within Thai society, the inhabitants of informal klong settlements are perceived as a nuisance: they have illegally squatted public land and are now causing water management problems. The construction of their houses on the canal obstruct the flow of water which can result in flood problems. As mentioned before, the current approach of the government would evict these people and relocate them far away from their livelihood or leave them without a place to live altogether. It might be hard to justify a project that keeps these people who once settled illegally along the water in place. Therefore it would be beneficial to assign the redevelopment plans with an exemplary function as well that can show civil society how the project contributes to a saver city, regarding flooding. In order to steer towards this, civil society will need the

ability and an incentive to witness the transformation. Access to the area can be created through public space. Bangkok Green Network The Bangkok municipality recently published plans to turn Bangkok into a green city through the Bangkok Green Network project (Wancharoen, 2016). In his article, Wancharoen describes that the project is supposed to focus on ecological restoration, decreasing air pollution and urban open spaces, mainly for pedestrians and cyclists. It also aims to bring more awareness for the environment to civil society. The pilot project runs through the central business district and connects the historical city centre in the west with the east. The plan for this pilot is being drawn by a team from Chulalongkorn University and has received no opposition from inhabitants (Wancharoen, 2016).

Figure 7.4 The projected Bangkok Green Network. The project aims to restore ecological connections in the city, reduce air pollution and provide more and more appealing space for cyclists and pedestrians. The white dotted lined indicates the Lat Phrao canal which is not part of the proposed network, but could be a good addition to the network of green public space. (Source: Bangkok Green Network Planning 2558, Facebook page) 70


It will transform a major traffic artery into a greener and more pedestrian and cyclist friendly area, in which people are also more likely to spend time for recreational purposes, rather than passing as fast as possible through the busy street an its bad air quality in the current situation. By embedding the Lat Phrao canal in the Bangkok Green Network, the new public space along the water will be better accessible and civil society will have more incentive to visit it. It will therefore better contribute to the described vision. Other ways to start the transformation towards a more adaptive city is by also planning new water adaptive middle class houses near the canal and plan facilities along it to provide even more incentive for people to visit.

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Baan Mankong process: Bang Bua case

Strategy

8

The informal klong communities can be an example of an adaptive living style by transforming their communities into resilient environments that no longer form an obstruction to the water discharge system, but that clear and improve the system. To realize a change like this, the redevelopment projects will be framed within the Baan Mankong programme, Thailand’s national slum upgrading programme (Boonyabancha, 2005). In this chapter the previously found notions on the programme will be reviewed and the most important reference case, Bang Bua, will be evaluated. Lessons learned from this can form the basic framework of this project. After the upgrading process itself this chapter explores the water management demands to the Lat Phrao case study canal. These demands will be compared to the current day situation, after which the results will be translated into a phased development plan. The conclusion of this chapter will briefly go into the role of the surrounding urban fabric and the public space within the project.

The Baan Mankong programme was founded to realize large-scale upgrading of informal settlements (Boonyabancha, 2005). The key factor of this participatory approach is that it centres around the communities that make their own upgrading plans (see pages 30 and 46-48). The most relevant reference case for the Lat Phrao case study is that of the Bang Bua groups of communities. There are 12 communities over 13 kilometre length of the canal, as can be seen in figure 8.11 (Asian Coalition for Housing Rights, 2008, p. 1). There are 2881 households, with an average of 100 to 500 households per community. The communities are clustered on public land, with an average width of twenty meters and five kilometres length, along both sides of the canal which originally served as maintenance strips. Many of the houses were constructed onto the surface of stagnant water polluted by discharged domestic and industrial waste. Most people in the neighbourhoods are working in the informal economic sector, such as hawkers, construction workers, taxi drivers, selfeconomic activities, etc. Some of the residents have been living in this area for two generations (Usavagovitwong & Posriprasert, 2006a, p. 55). The Bang Bua community is one of the twelve communities that has been upgraded over the past years. The Bang Bua community is situated along the Lat Phrao canal and is also the showpiece example of the Baan Mankong programme. It is a community that has been redeveloped in the limited space adjacent to the canal and therefore interesting to assess. The upgrading plans of the community started in 2004, when the community faced eviction due to the proposed construction of a new road along the canal (Archer, 2012, p. 180) and were completed somewhere between 2008 and 2009. The simplified scheme on the right page shows the upgrading process during the four years of upgrading.

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Figure 8.1 A simplified scheme of the redevelopment process during the Bang Bua upgrading. (Source: Wungpatcharapon & Tovivich, 2012, p. 31)


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The process: key steps Wungpatcharapon and Tovivich (2012, p.24-26) explain the key steps in the process. In order to achieve upgrading within the programme communities need to work together and form networks, because one community on its own has no bargaining power (Asian Coalition for Housing Rights, 2008, p. 2). Firstly, multiple communities need to decide to join hands and to participate in the programme. Once they have done that they form a network of multiple communities. The first step to be taken after that is to identify the stakeholders and explain the programme to them. Network meetings including from other community networks can help to guide the process in the initial stages. Then meetings need to be organized in each informal community participating explain the progress and the coming steps. A joint committee needs to be established to manage and oversee the redevelopment process and includes representatives from the communities and the local authorities, as local academics and NGO’s. This committee will also keep contact with the inhabitants of the participating communities and negotiate land tenure with the landowner. Surveys will be carried out to collect information about the households involved. This data is necessary to determine the housing loans, but also to identify the wishes of the community members and it will identify current problems, for example regarding infrastructure. From these outcomes plans can be drawn for the redevelopment of the communities, of which one will be chosen as a pilot project, based on need and willingness of the inhabitants. The pilot serves as a test case and a learning process for the other communities: after completion a reflection process will steer the upcoming redevelopments. Within the Lat Phrao case, the pilot will additionally serve to research the potential of small scale ‘informal’ flood proof interventions.

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own plans, guided by NGOs and local academics. The authorities always keep their power because they have to approve the plans. But in this case there was little reason to object the plans of the community. CODI, as a part of the national government, has a high interest since it founded the Baan Mankong project and wants to redevelop as much informal settlements as possible. Civil society has little interest in the project since the plans do not affect them. As mentioned before, a single community has no bargaining power and has therefore hardly any power. A brief description of the roles of different stakehoders in the Baan Mankong mechanism can be found in appendix B, figure B.5, p. 172. In the case of the entire Lat Phrao canal the force field is very different, mainly due to one thing: the 2011 floods. Now that the government sees the canal system as a vital element of flood reduction, they see the informal settlements as a threat to water safety and they no longer allow the communities to upgrade onsite. CODI, who wants to contribute to the upgrading process, is a part of the government and cannot allow upgrading projects. The Department of Drainage and Sewerage (DDS) is the responsible department for the canal infrastructure and now has reason to interfere in the process, opposite to the Bang Bua case where they were cooperating. The authorities have a reason to side-line the actors whom are in favour of the Baan Mankong programme. As illustrated in figures 8.2 and Right page, top Figure 8.2 A stakeholder analysis identifying the force field in the process of the Bang Bua community upgrading. In this case the joint committee was able to convince the authorities to let the community stay along the canal. (Source: Author, based on Usavagovitwong & Posriprasert, 2006b)

Stakeholders

Right page, bottom

In the case of the Bang Bua community upgrading the majority of the communities voiced that they wanted to remain on site during preliminary discussions. The joint committee was able to convince the authorities to let the community stay along the canal and they negotiated a thirty year lease with the Treasury Department, providing secure tenure for three decades (Usavagovitwong & Posriprasert, 2006a, p. 56). By allowing the project on-site, the authorities granted the community network and the community to make their

Figure 8.3 A stakeholder analysis identifying the force field within the Lat Phrao case in the research project. In this case the authorities want to evict the communities for the sake of an improved water safety. Since they have to approve the plans of the Baan Mankong programme, they possess all the power to side-line the actors that are in favour of redevelopment on site. The purpose of this project is to make a proposal that would convince the authorities of integrating water safety and community upgrading. (Source: Author, based on Usavagovitwong & Posriprasert, 2006b)


High

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75 High


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8.3, the coalition of the community network, NGOs, and local academics loses power in comparison to the Bang Bua process. Civil society now has more interest in the matter, since it concerns water safety for larger parts of the city. With this vision, strategy, spatial requirements and pilot project an alternative plan is proposed, that shows the potential of realising flood proof slum upgrading, to convince the authorities that another course of action is also possible and might be a better solution. Main conclusions from Bang Bua Figure 8.4 provides an overview of the main conclusions drawn from the Bang Bua community upgrading and the main pitfalls for the Lat Phrao case study. The conclusions are divided in three categories: process related, spatially related and water management related. For the process, the main findings are that all households participated in the upgrading process, that local knowledge was used for the implementation and, most importantly, that there was a close collaboration with the authorities (Usavagovitwong & Posriprasert, 2006a). The process of getting all inhabitants on board with the redevelopment plans was a struggle, since there were households that were not willing to cooperate and join the Baan Mankong programme (Usavagovitwong & Posriprasert, 2006a, p. 67). This delayed the process but eventually did not stop the upgrading. Usavagovitwong & Posriprasert (2006a) state that the unwillingness to join and the conflicts that resulted from that arose mostly from misunderstandings that could easily be reconciled by clear, direct and responsive communication. The reasons for most conflicts they mention are: loss of land due to the redistribution of land amongst plots, doubts about reconstructing their homes and concerns on the debts that would arise from the housing loans needed for the reconstructions. Clear communication is needed to prevent delays like this that are based on misunderstandings.

Left page Figure 8.4 Conclusions from the Bang Bua reference upgrading case and pitfalls for the Lat Phrao case study. (Source: Author)

Local knowledge was used for the implementation of the redevelopment, mostly for the construction of the houses. With a more adaptive approach there are also important infrastructural elements that need to be build by the government, since these have strict safety demands. Good coordination will be needed to ensure that those demands are not compromised when the community builds there houses next to or in these infrastructural elements. As mentioned earlier, a good cooperation with the authorities is vital for projects like this to succeed. Figures 8.2 and 8.3 on page 75 already showed the difficulties for the Lat Phrao case study. For the spatial elements that main findings are that there is an access road along the water and that the plots are readjusted and are all equally sized. The land the communities were occupying illegally were originally planned as maintenance strips, therefore the DDS demanded a road along the canal so they can access it with their maintenance vehicles. This road is also the main access point to the community. Not only is it more efficient, but it would also be more difficult to create access roads through the adjacent urban fabric. The houses that were built over the canal were removed and the same amount of houses had to be rebuild in less space; the area behind the line of the embankment. In order to do this as efficiently as possible, the plot sizes were readjusted to create perpendicular blocks so that there would be room for all households in low-rise buildings, as the community preferred (Usavagovitwong & Posriprasert, 2006a, p. 62). The challenge for the Lat Phrao case is to fit water adaptive housing in the same limited space. Water adaptive housing can take up more space than regular housing, and the access road along the canal will also need to be adaptive. This could mean that houses will be smaller than in the redevelopment of the Bang Bua community, where houses already were smaller than the original informal settlement (Wungpatcharapon & Tovivich, 2012). For the water management the main findings are that the houses on the water were removed and rebuild behind a concrete embankment, and that the redevelopment cannot deal with dynamic water levels, thus is a bad example regarding water management. The main goal for the Lat Phrao case study is to be able to create a living and public environment that can facilitate dynamic water levels. 77


Financing The construction of the houses during the redevelopment is done by local workforce and they reuse materials of the old houses as much as possible (Archer, 2012, p. 180). Based on their income, every household gets a personalized housing loan, but an inhabitant satisfaction review by Archer (2012, p.180) revealed that the loan is just enough for the structure of the house. She explains that households without access to extra money (e.g. from savings, borrowing from family or friends, commercial loans) will have to live in an unfinished house. That is why the community bonds are so important: the community can act as one and provide housing for those who might not be able to make it on their own (Asian Coalition for Housing Rights, 2008, p. 8). Inhabitants are also confident making personal investments in their homes if they have secure tenure for a long period and do not face eviction at any moment with the risk of losing all they invested. Beside housing loans the communities receive an infrastructure subsidy to realize formal electricity, sewerage, telecom and drinking water. The subsidy is 25,000 baht (630 euro) per family (Boonyabancha, 2005, pp. 26). Since we aim at combining water management measures and community redevelopment the housing loans nor the infrastructure subsidies will most likely be insufficient to accomplish these goals. The government has limited the housing loans to a maximum of 150,000 baht (3,780 euro) per house, but according to Archer (2012, p. 180) inhabitants of finished projects this is by far not enough to construct a completed house. As mentioned before people will have to invest own means and re-use materials of the old building in the community. Archer explains that the calculations encourage people to live within their means and are according to the “sufficiency economy� principle. If new calculations can be made for the Lat Phrao canal project, there can be aimed at a higher limit of the housing loans (if it proves that the basis structure for an adaptive house will cost more than a regular redevelopment house) and a higher infrastructure subsidy. The Department of Drainage and Sewerage (DDS) is planning on investing in the eviction of the communities and building concrete edges and access roads along the canal. If the DDS would agree to incorporate their goals within the redevelopments, they could subtract the costs of eviction and demolition and the total amount of infrastructure subsidies that 78

the communities themselves will be able to contribute (that what they do not have to spent on electricity, telecom etc.). It is not possible to quantify this without the relevant data, but it shows that the costs for the DDS could possibly decrease (if only slightly) by engaging in this project. The higher government body, the Bangkok municipality (BMA) will have added value in the form of public space and reviving canal waterfronts, as a step towards a more adaptive and resilient city. The construction of houses is done by local labour forces, but for the canal infrastructure it is in the interest of the general public to let this be done by professionals. An example of community and authorities building together can be found in Bang Bua, where two metres of a three metre wide concrete pathway along the canal was built by the community and the other metre was built by the local authorities (Asian Coalition for Housing Rights, 2008). Lat Phrao canal water management The plans of the DDS (Department of Drainage and Sewerage) are taken to determine the spatial demands of the water management measures. As a key actor it is important to hear their demands, and as a civil engineering department of the municipality they have the necessary data and knowledge to propose a viable plan. Their proposal (Vongkiatkajorn, 2015) entails clearing the klongs, which would clear the obstructing objects, like the poles of the houses and the floating rafts, from the water, which would lead to a free flow of water. The edge itself would be the barrier between the water and the vicinity. The area is relatively flat with hardly any height differences: the large majority of the vicinity of the canal is situated between one and two metres above sea level (see elevation map, figure B.3 in appendix B, pp. 168-169). The discharge capacity would be constant without any obstructions, but it would not be able to deal with a higher amount of water discharge than the capacity, meaning that there is no room for dynamic water levels. As explained in the theoretical framework in chapter 4, dynamics and adaptive capacities are a crucial factor in the search for more resilient environments. This is also a point the Netherlands have encountered and surpassed (Rijke, van Herk, Zevenbergen, & Ashley, 2012). After a very long tradition of full control over the water, a series of near flooding disasters in the 90s initiated the new approach of giving the natural system more space, rather than trying to fully control it. We can relate this


back to the theory of the Dutch layers approach (De Hoog, Sijmons & Verschuuren, 1998), which builds on the fact that we take the natural system as a base for the layers we plan and build on top of it. Coming from this point of view, it would be not logical to make new investments in a delicate environment that depend on static situations, since recent events like the 2011 floods have shown more than ever that the natural system is not a static but a dynamic system. By trying to constrain it, at some point the static approach could fail, with all the consequences of that. If we look at it like two lines close enough to each other, one fluent and curling whilst the other one is straight, they will intersect at some point. A more adaptive approach can deal with a more dynamic situation.

river/canals proposed new waterway Bangkok municipality airport

According to dr. Barames Vardhanabhuti (appendix A, p. 161), a civil engineer from Bangkok’s Kasetsart University, a pilot project for Klong Lat Phrao where the canal width is increased would not increase the discharge capacity of the entire canal. He explained that the discharge capacity is only as good as the smallest cross section of the canal. The assumption is that the depth is equal along the entire length of the canal, and therefore it can be stated that the cross section is linear with the width of canal sections. depth x (m) * width (m) = cross section (m2) cross section (m2) * velocity (m/s) = discharge capacity (m3/s)

Looking from this assumption, it would mean that the narrowest part of the canal determines the maximum discharge capacity of the canal as whole (fig. 8.5). Therefore the width of the canal has been analysed. Obstructions in and on the water interfere with the flow of water, therefore only the width of the unobstructed water has been taken into consideration, or the normative width (fig. 8.5).

normaď żve width

depth x

Figure 8.5 Objects in, or floating on the water obstruct the flow of water. Therefore we only take the unobstructed water as the normative width. (Source: Author)

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Figure 8.6 Digging new waterways north and south of Klong Lat Phrao, to ensure an additional passage for the water and for the supply of fresh water. (Source: Author) 79


Project phasing - hydrology

In order reach benefits with every stage of the project consecutive phases are planned according to the current normative width. By starting with clearing all the strips of the canal that are under 10 metres wide, the maximum discharge capacity will increase since the determining narrowest point will no longer be the narrowest point. In the next phase all strips with widths narrower than 15 metres will be redeveloped and so on. This incremental approach can be applied until finally the entire canal has a normative width of 30 metres, and in case it doesn’t happen, all previous phases will have increased the discharge capacity step-by-step. Figure 8.8 shows the different phases of intervention according to the measuring point of normative widths.

The graph in figure 8.7 shows the normative width (unobstructed water) over the full length of the canal. A map indicating these measuring points and their values can be found in appendix B (map B.1, pp. 164165). To achieve an improved discharge, the normative width should be equal over the full length of the canal. Looking at the plans of the DDS, describes in numerous newspaper articles, this width is the around the original width of the canal, which is estimated to be 30 to, in some sections, 45 metres. Since the discharge is determined by the narrowest point, we set the normative width to be reached at 30 metres. But reaching this objective over the full length of the more than 29 kilometre long canal means it will either take a long time, given the complexity of the community upgrading process, or the objective will not be reached. An example of implementing large infrastructure projects in dense urban fabric is the super levee in Japan, which will be addressed on page 94.

A large problem with living along the water is water quality, which currently is, depending on how far south, equal to sewage (interview dr. ir. Bart Lambregts, appendix A, pp. 157-159). In order to improve the water quality, the discharge of waste and waste water

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needs to stop, and the water flow around and through the city needs to be improved. This can go hand in hand with the redevelopments. a In order to make Lat Phrao canal a bypass to offer a second discharge route, besides the Chao Phraya River, new water connections are needed (fig. 8.6). That is why about 20 kilometres north of the canal a new connection to the Chao Phraya River will be dug, in order to secure a constant water flow through the canal, providing a passage for water from the north and, additionally, providing fresh water. A shorter new connection in the south has to make sure the water can be sufficiently discharged towards the southern part of the river, without causing any problem within the urban tissue.

Top Figure 8.7 A graph showing the normative width, as defined in figure 8.4, along the full length of Klong Lat Phrao. There are two strips that are particularly narrow. The location of the community of the pilot project is indicated. (Source: Author) Bottom Figure 8.8 The same graph showing the phases in which the redevelopment will take place, starting at the narrowest points, on to the second narrowest points and so on. (Source: Author)

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Project phasing - societal urban transformation

Project phasing - timeline and added value

Figure 8.9 shows the current available spaces along the Lat Phrao canal, like vacant plots and green spaces, and recently (re)developed areas and points of interest, like sports fields and temple complexes. The general strategy looks at the canal and the immediate narrow strips of land along each embankment (this will be further elaborated in chapter 9), but there are certain locations where additional space is available. Involving these spaces to the canal will have no direct impact on the water discharge capacity, but it offers space to other adaptive developments near the water than the upgrading of the communities. When filled in with public functions these areas can attract the general public to the waterfront area of the canal to experience the positive effects of urban water and the positive effects of the redevelopments by the klong communities for water safety, as described in chapter 7. Besides public functions these spaces also offer room for housing development for the general public. When looking at the satellite images of the past few years, we can see that there are many areas along the canal that have been recently (re)developed with middle segment housing (row-houses). Some vacant plots are also being made ready for development. The demand for housing puts pressure on the empty spaces along klong Lat Phrao. Involving these spaces early on in the strategy can ensure that, regardless whether it is for housing or public functions, these spaces will develop in a water-sensitive way. If these types of development are received positively more areas that will become vacant along the canal can follow the same principles. If eventually spaces along the full length of the canal will be adaptive and able to facilitate more water, there will be a large contribution to the water management system, but it will take a long time to get to this point and it is highly uncertain if this point will ever be reached.

Figure 8.10 shows the different phases of the project on a timeline. Within every phase, the order of the project is based on the percentage of narrow points along the strip. The column on the far right indicates the added value of every phase on its own. The added value of every phase will stack up onto that of the previous phase(s) and until eventually a point will be reached that suffices for the objectives of the vision as described in chapter 7. In every phase the discharge capacity will increase and in every phase a lot of communities will be redeveloped, improving the living conditions of thousands of people in each phase. On top of that more public space along the waterfront of the canal will be added in each phase and houses in the middle segment can be combined with retention lakes wherever there is space to promote the transformation towards a more adaptive city. An example of the retention lakes can be seen on the several University campuses throughout the city, where these lakes are there to accumulate rain water in times of above average precipitation and prevent the campus from being submerged (interview dr. Barames Vardhanabhuti, appendix A, p. 161). If the transformation of Klong Lat Phrao proves to be successful, other canals might follow suit in the ongoing transformation. When looking back at figure 7.3, the other relevant canal for redevelopment was Klong Prem Prachakon. The redevelopment of this canal would be the obvious next step, if a good solution for the southern connection to the river can be found, without bringing water nuisance to the historical city centre. The timescale is an ambitious part of the strategy given the complexity of the overall project. When we look at the Baan Mankong programme and the Bang Bua reference case, we see that the redevelopment process is relatively time-consuming. In the Bang Bua case it took about 4 years for the entire redevelopment, including the preparation phase in which the community starts saving groups and applies for the programme. The process included 12 communities of which only one was redeveloped within this time, though others followed afterwards. If we consider the

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Figure 8.9 Current available spaces along Lat Phrao canal. (Source: Author)


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Figure 8.10 This scheme shows the different phases of the strategy in order to achieve the vision as described in chapter 7. However given the long and complicated process each phase will have added value in case the next phase will not be realized. With every next step the added value stacks up, until ultimately a point is reached that suffice for the objectives of the vision. (Source: Author) 85


Bang Bua community upgrading as one project, the upgrading process needs to be scaled-up in order to realize the posed goals. Figure 8.11 shows the involved communities of the Bang Bua Network. The strip is divided into three projects within the strategy of this research, meaning that an average of 4 communities need to be upgraded in the same time it took the bang Bua network to upgrade just one (although following upgrading projects needed less time because of the shared preparation phase). This is why the pilot project is not along the narrowest parts of the canal, but in a location where there is more space and there are only three communities involved, of which there is only one on the western bank. In this location with a lot of space next to the single community on the western bank there is space to explore the possibilities and the restrictions of the strategy and form an example project, which results in lessons learned and contributes to general spatial requirements for the other projects along the canal ensuring that multiple projects can be, overtime, realized simultaneously. It is crucial that all communities within a project will be redeveloped at the same time so that the infrastructure for flood defence can be built at once. Figure 8.10 shows that the projects in the first phases are longer compared to those in the later phases, since lessons learned in earlier projects project 4.4 will contribute to the higher speed of the projects in later phases.

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Figure 8.11 The different communities in the Bang Bua upgrading network along Lat Phrao canal. (Source: Author, based on Wungpatcharapon & Tovivich, 2012, p. 31)

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Accessibility and programming

Spatial Requirements

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This chapter elaborates the spatial implications of the strategy as proposed. It will firstly discuss the embedment of the Lat Phrao canal within the (future network of) public space of the city and the functions and facilities that could be attractors to the general public. After that the housing typologies will be discussed that are capable of dealing with dynamic water levels and therefore eligible to be placed in the adaptive environment that can be created as a floodplain. A generic section of the strategy for the canal will explain how to deal with dynamic water levels according to the four domains of rainfall events. After this generic requirements will be drawn. These generic principles are not one-on-one transferable to the entire path of the canal. Therefore multiple typologies are identified and sections of these show how the generic principles could function in different circumstances. The chapter concludes with an overview of one of the sections of a part of the canal and the responsibilities of different parties as described by the Dutch Layers Approach in part A.

The Bangkok Green network has been introduced in chapter 7. If the Lat Phrao canal is included in this strategy, the network provides a structure for pedestrians and cyclist coming from the entire city to reach the canal in an easier way than is currently possible. However, the proposal for a city-wide green slow-traffic network has only recently been introduced (Wancharoen, 2016) and it could take many years before it gets implemented and reaches a certain size that would benefit the plans of the Lat Phrao redevelopment, if it even gets implemented at all. Therefore the programming of the area next to the canal should offer the general public enough incentive to visit the waterfront, which later on will become easier through embedment in the Green Network. An alternative way of access could be from the water. There is an existing boat service on klong Saen Saep (consisting of two lines), running west to east and passing the historic centre and the main commercial district, which can be seen in figure 9.1. The eastern line passes the Lat Phrao canal at the southern point where a transit spot could connect a possible new line going north over Lat Phrao canal and possibly reach Don Mueang Airport further north. The current lines on klong Saen Saep are currently not used by higher classes of society, but if the quality of service improves with the addition of the new line, this might change this slowly overtime. The programming of the spaces next to the canal that are aimed at the general public could be positioned on nodes where the Green Network overlaps with boat stops of the Lat Phrao line and possible points of interest adjacent to the canal (like larger temples, sports facilities, schools and universities, and even Don Mueang Airport).

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Figure 9.1 A map showing an abstract version of the Bangkok Green Network, the potential locations of public facility centres to generate incentive to visit the area near to nodes of the Green Network and points of interest, the local community centres that will be in between the larger public centres and the klong Saen Saep boat service that could be extended with an additional line on klong Lat Phrao. (Source: Author)


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Facilities and community centres One of the incentives of this project is to improve the situation of the inhabitants of the informal communities, both physical and non-physical. This can be done through interventions that stimulate community empowerment by focussing on education and mobility. The latter can be done through the previously mentioned water connection. The focus on education can be done through the addition of schools that are freely accessible to the community. An example of this are the CEU (Centros Educacionais Unificados) in Sao Paulo. They are positioned on the border between favelas, which consists mostly of people of the working class, and the formal city, with the aim to fully develop the capacities of children and adolescents, reach community empowerment through community development centres and provide innovative educational experiences (Wikipedia, 2016). It contains an early education centre, a municipal preschool, a municipal elementary school, a theatre, a library, a telecentre and sports and cultural facilities (Sanches, 2014). More research is needed to determine the amount of centres and the size of them. What is the maximum distance to travel from a community to one of the centres and at what amount and size do they become economically viable? In between the larger centres, smaller community centres can be added with more local facilities “Local Educational Centres for Community Empowerment”:

Another incentive is to stimulate community acceptance by civil society, which could be done by bringing these groups together in a positive and stimulating environment. A good way to do this and to show the effort the communities are undertaking to improve the city’s water management would be to add commercial functions to the larger community centres to create “Centres for Integration and Sustainable Awareness”:

In the vision it is explained that the inhabitants of the klong communities would set the example for the transformation towards an adaptive city. Public space allows the general public to witness and experience this, but the addition of new middle-class housing is another first step of urban transformation. Public waterfront For designing public access to the waterfront we can get inspired by looking at examples of Dutch urban canals, since those are, at least in their cultural context, an example of an urban instigator of livelihood and quality of space. The first example is de Oude Gracht in the city of Utrecht (fig. 9.2). This situation is an exceptional case in the Dutch context, since the section of this canal and the adjacent street has two separate levels. There is a lower level close to the water which is mainly used for recreational purposes, such as restaurant terraces and access to boats. The higher level is the transportation level where slow-traffic (and in some parts car traffic) connect the buildings with other streets in the urban fabric. The two levels are not in place to adapt to a higher water level, since water levels in Dutch cities are strongly regulated. The lower level used to be for transportation purposes, since it offers a connection between the canal and the cellars of the buildings. The cellar is connected to the building under the road of the higher level. A section like this could offer a way to deal with high water in the Thai context, but also provide public access to the water and public space in times of lower water levels. Trees are not able to be planted on the higher level, since that is on top of the cellars, but on the lower level trees can be planted in order to provide shading from the sun. The second example is a canal in the city of Delft. Where the first example has a relatively wide section and would therefore be not applicable along the entire Lat Phrao canal, this example offers access to the water by using minimal space (figure 9.3). Section: hard vs. soft embankment and floodplain

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This way profits from the commercial functions can help sustain the educational aspects. It also provides a platform for the communities to sell crafts, food and other items. This could possibly be done in the form of markets that could be floating in a side canal of the main waterway, in order to attract some of the many tourists that visit Bangkok.

In figure 8.4 we concluded that from the water management point of view, the Bang Bua reference case had concrete embankments for an optimal water flow, but was not able to deal with dynamic water levels.


Figure 9.2 A section of the Oude Gracht (canal) in the Dutch city of Utrecht. There is a lower level near the water and a higher level where the street is located. The lower level is connected with the buildings through a cellar under the road. (Source: Author, photo from utrechttoolkit.nl)

Figure 9.3 A section of a canal in the Dutch city of Delft. There are multiple spots where there is a lower level close to the water which people can access and where they can reside. (Source: Author, photo from vandaalmakelaardij.nl)

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For a fully adaptive approach the best option would be to design natural embankments along the canal. A soft embankment results in more drag force on the water, which decreases the velocity of the water flow. Slowing down the water is much better, since it delays the discharge downstream and, in case of an overflow, the water is gradually slowed down even further because the depth of the canal decreases slowly towards the edge. The result for the vicinity is a slowly rising water level rather than a big impact when the water overflows. However, implementing a natural embankment decreases the cross section of the canal compared to a straight embankment, as illustrated in figure 9.4. As mentioned before, the smallest area of the cross section determined the maximum discharge capacity of the entire canal. If we want to create and the same area in the cross section with a natural embankment compared to one with a straight embankment, the waterline moves further outwards. This would decrease the available space next to the canal, which could result in not enough space for housing of the klong communities, since one of the main principles is to not obstruct the water by placing elements in it.

A smaller cross section of the canal plus a lower velocity means the discharge capacity would decrease compared to a situation with straight embankments. The entire river drainage area is a system of cascading with retaining upstream and diverting downstream. Since this is the last section of the river system before ending in the Gulf of Thailand (see fig. 6.2), and the very limited amount of space, the main focus of the canal will be at this point in this research put on discharging the water. The vicinity of the canal is relatively flat (see elevation map, figure B.3 in appendix B, pp. 168-169). In order to be able to deal with dynamic water levels a level of protection is needed to prevent a higher water level to flood the areas adjacent to the canal. Creating dikes or dike-like elements would offer the difference in elevation to contain the water and at the same time a floodplain can be created which can inundate and be an addition to the discharge capacity. By making these dikes part of the housing solution (multifunctional dike) a part of the occupation layer (the communities) creates an infrastructure layer for the rest of the occupation layer (the vicinity behind the dike). The amount of water coming from the north, like in 2011, can evidently not be contained within an area of about 80 metres (dike-to-dike), but this goes hand-in-hand with cascading measures of retention and diverting measures upstream. 4 domains appraoch The 4 domains approach categorizes rainfall events according to return-period and shows the size of the impact as a result of that (Kuzniecow Bacchin, 2015, p. 145). A scheme of this can be seen in figure 9.5 and a spatial example on how this works on an exemplary section for the Lat Phrao canal (with dikes and floodplains) can be seen in figure 9.6. In this case we do not discuss the local rainfall, but the discharge coming from the north as a result for rainfall along the entire river catchment system upstream. The first domain is the day-to-day rainfall which is relatively little and has a minimal impact on everyday life. In the section this is a low water level in the canal.

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Figure 9.4 Hard and soft embankments in a limited space. Either the cross section of the canal becomes smaller or, if the same surface is created in the cross section, there is less space on the embankments. (Source: Author)

The second domain is rainfall to which the infrastructure (in this case the form and size of the canal) has been dimensioned. This type of rainfall event can be coped with by using the maximum capacity of the infrastructure.


Figure 9.5 The four domains of rainfall events and how to manage urban flooding. (Source: Kuzniecow Bacchin, 2015, p. 145)

Domain 1: day-to-day situaď żon Domain 2: capacity of infrastructure Domain 3: exceedence of main capacity Domain 4: extreme event

Figure 9.6 The four domains of rainfall events applied to flooding and flood events in the generic section of the Lat Phrao case study. (Source: Author)

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The third domain consists of rainfall that exceeds the conventional infrastructure. In this case it is the task to design for this exceedance and manage water in preferred locations. The creation of floodplains provides additional space for water during this type of event without disrupting the adjacent urban fabric. The fourth domain is the extreme rainfall event in which all previous measures are insufficient. In a situation like this emergency response is activated and there needs to be planning to minimize the impacts. In this context evacuation strategies can provide means to bring the inhabitants of the vicinity to safety, since flooding from upstream is highly predictable. This final layer needs to be further developed for this research. Super levee: designing and planning infrastructure in dense urban tissue Since space around the canal is very limited, the measures for the fourth domain can most likely not be taken within this area. The adjacent urban fabric is densely populated and dispossessing land-owners will take an immense amount of time and money (Stalenberg & Kikumori, 2008, p. 138). This is also not likely to happen in Bangkok, since it will be far too costly and complicated for the BMA (interview dr. Barames Vardhanabhuti, appendix A, p. 161). Super levees in Japan are an example of how to incorporate the need of flood control and the need of the landowners in a dense urban environment (Stalenberg & Kikumori, 2008). The super levee is a way to strengthen the conventional dikes, by making them much broader. The enlarged footprint makes them more resistant to earthquakes and failure of the dike. Earthquakes are not a common phenomenon in the Bangkok region, but the principles of implementing a large piece of infrastructure in an urban environment can provide lessons of how to implement further flood defence interventions in the city. Stalenberg and Kikumori (2008) explain that the ownership of the properties on which the super levee has been built, remains the same as before. The land-owners get the same plot after completion, but at a higher elevation. The difficulty though is that all buildings that are on the location where the super levee will be built, have to be demolished and rebuild after completion of the dike. Added value of this approach is the restored accessibility of the river, since the steep slope of a conventional dike prevents easy access to the waterfront. 94

Generic rules Klong Lat Phrao stretches over a path of 29 kilometres through the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s urban fabric and the section of the canal is not homogenous over the full length. However, there are generic rules that apply to the canal as a whole and that are needed to ensure the working of the waterway as a part of one system. An overview of these generic spatial requirements are illustrated in figure 9.8 and they are partly visualized in an exemplary section in figure 9.9. The first requirement regarding management prohibits any obstructions in the cross section of the main canal. Klong Lat Phrao is a man-made waterway and currently is at least 30 metres wide over almost the full length. As stated before, the pillars of the informal houses and the floating objects next to them disrupt the water flow. Therefore no obstructions must be in the water. Then the normative width can be equalized at 30 metres over time. Hard embankments facilitate a faster discharge and therefore a larger discharge capacity. In order to be able to deal with dynamic water levels dike elements are needed to create a floodplain zone that is able to deal with higher water levels, whilst the vicinity stays protected. Building natural dikes is highly unlike in Bangkok due to a lack of space and the high amount of costs (interview dr. Barames Vardhanabhuti, appendix A, p. 161). However, when the required space is available, natural dikes are evidently preferred over concrete solutions. The natural dikes will cause less extreme consequences when water overflows the dike in case of an extreme event (figure 9.7). Concrete vertical element would be able to provide the same protection within less space for the location where natural dikes are not an option. In order for the programming in the floodplain to deal with this, all housing, infrastructure and public space need to be adaptive.

natural dike slows down water before overtopping during extreme event

Hard embankment facilitates opď żmal discharge

Figure 9.7 The hard embankments for optimal discharge and natural dikes to manage consequences during extreme events. (Source: Author)


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Figure 9.8 The generic requirements for the entire length of the canal. (Source: Author)

* when there is a community, otherwise ever 100 metres


The generic requirements specifically for the communities are relatively few because the participatory process will generate the local input needed for a successful projects that meets local demands. For the agreement with all stakeholders a requirement is that the communities are preserved in the space next to the canal. Since houses that encroach on the water have to be removed, there is less space for the same amount of households. The rearrangement of plots is inevitable due to the aim of preserving all families in the community. Since space is scarce, the access road to the community will be combined with the road that provides the DDS access to the embankment for maintenance purposes. From the perspective of public space there needs to be access to the water every certain distance. In order for people to actively use the public strip along the water shading is needed to provide protection from the sun. A new water boat line can only be introduced if space for the necessary infrastructure is reserved around the nodes where the line would moor.

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Housing typologies In order for the communities to be able to live in the floodplain, their environment needs to be adaptive. The housing that has been redeveloped in the Bang Bua reference case (appendix B, fig. B.6, p.173) is standard row-housing that would flood if the water level would rise. Different housing typologies will be introduced in order to explore the different options and possibilities that exist. The influence of popular culture and westernization has led to a public desire to live in a stone house with a front lawn, much like U.S. suburban housing. This makes it more difficult to reintroduce indigenous housing in the current modern society. Elevated houses have been part of Thai indigenous settlements as long as the history books go back. An example of this can be found in the village of Lad Chado in Ayutthaya province, roughly 80 kilometres north of Bangkokâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s historic centre. A section along the river can be seen in figure 9.10. The building are connected through elevated pathways that remain accessible during the wet season. Small stairs provide access to the ground level during dry times. The spaces underneath the houses can be used for storage and to escape from the heat of the sunlight, since it provides both shade and natural ventilation. The natural slope of the riverbed also makes the water accessible


dike to protect vicinity and provide evacuaon route

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Figure 9.9 A drawing showing generic requirements along a section of the canal. (Source: Author)

Figure 9.10 A section of the river in the village of Lad Chado. The village represents indigenous housing where people still rely on the wet season to sustain their livelihood. The entire village is designed to adapt to a high water level during the monsoon season. (Source: Mingkwan Nantavisai, ICAADE 2015 student workshop)

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during all times. Whenever there is an extreme event during which the water level exceeds the level of the elevated paths and buildings, everything is jacked up to a slightly higher level. This coping mechanism made it possible for the village to continuously adapt to changing circumstances overtime. In Lad Chado the coming of the rainy season every year is still reason for celebration, since the high water brings in water for agriculture, nutrients for a fertile soil and fish (fig. 9.11). Elevated housing is adaptive, but still fixed to a maximum level of adaptation. Another possible typology would be floating housing. In Thai history these are the raft houses. These houses could themselves rise with the water level as much a necessary. The infrastructure needed to provide floating houses today, with e.g. water, electricity, telecom and access would however be the limiting factor. An example of floating houses can be found in IJburg, Amsterdam, as can be seen in figure 9.12. The houses are floating on an innerdike lake of which the water level is controlled. The houses do not rock much since the waves from the outside water do not affect the inner lake. The houses are connected to the shore through jetties. These are

however fixed and not able to fluctuate with different water levels, since the level is strongly regulated. The infrastructure that provides e.g. electricity and fresh water is connected to the houses under the jetties with flexible pipes. The houses themselves are attached to guiding posts to make sure they stay in position and can only move vertically. An aspect to consider is that the houseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inside arrangement must be in balance to prevent tilting to one side. An example of a typology that could integrate both adaptability to dynamic water levels and the current Thai lifestyle is the Amphibious House developed by the NHA in Ayutthaya province (fig. 9.13). From the outside it looks like a regular detached suburban home, which matches perfectly to the desires of modern day society. The house is surrounded by a platform that is, together with the house, on top of a pit, which can fill with water during a flood. Floating pontoons under the house and the platform enable the building to float when the pit fills up, and when the water level exceeds the ground level. Just like with the floating housing, guidance post make sure the house can only move vertically.

Figure 9.11 The annual celebration of the start of the wet season in Lad Chado. (Source: tiewpakklang.com) 98


Figure 9.12 Floating housing in IJburg, Amsterdam. (Source: archello.com)

Figure 9.13 Modern amphibious housing in Ayutthaya province. (Source: Author) 99


Figure 9.14 Outer-dike housing in Hafencity, Hamburg. The lower levels can be closed off during high tide. (Source: inhabitat.com)

garden Adaptive capacity

Figure 9.15 Dike housing, providing both a house with a lawn as adaptive capabilities. (Source: Author) 100


Given the limited space next to the klong, spatially the redevelopment has to be planned as efficiently as possible. One way to do so is by incorporating the dike and the building. Buildings in Hafencity in Hamburg, Germany exemplify this. This former industrial harbour is redeveloped into a residential area with commercial spaces. Since it is an outer-dike area measures had to be taken in order to provide safety during the annual flooding in the city. Rather than building extreme costly dikes around the islands of the former harbour, the building themselves became a dike. The lower levels can only contain commercial spaces which can be completely closed-off with reinforced doors in order to keep the water out during high water levels. The buildings have an entry on a higher level which is connected to elevated streets. A building typology like this, in a linear lay-out, can form a dike on its own in order to protect the urban fabric behind it. The NHAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Amphibian House provided an answer to flood protection whilst also honouring the wishes of societyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s current lifestyle. Trying to achieve this together with the integration of protecting infrastructure for the vicinity might be done by integrating Thai indigenous elevated housing with Dutch dike houses. The latter are situated on the levee, with the front entrance to the road on the dike. Because of the height difference between land and water the land situated behind the dike is often a few metres lower compared to the road. This results in an extra level in the building underneath that of the main entrance (fig.9.16). In the Thai situation, the house would not be inner-dike, like in the Dutch example, but on the other side towards the water (fig. 9.15). From the side of the water the house is elevated and allows higher water levels and from the side of the dike the house appears regular and provides space for a garden with a lawn.

Elevated

Floating

Amphibious

Dike

Hybrid

Figure 9.16 A Dutch dike house. (Source: tillymodels.nl)

Figure 9.17 An overview of the five different introduced typologies. (Source: Author) 101


Community demands to housing

Smaller houses

Unified appearence

Formal re-blocking gives unnatural feeling

Low-rise houses preferred

House with garden or lawn preferred Figure 9.18 An overview of anticipated community demands. (Source: Author) 102

Since there is no access to the community within this research, assumptions on community demands will be drawn from literature regarding former upgrading projects within the Baan Mankong programme. Archer (2012, pp. 180-183) evaluated the satisfaction of inhabitants of four upgraded communities through surveys. These outcomes can provide levers to anticipate demands for the Lat Phrao upgrading. Archer starts by stating that the physical outcome of the redevelopments is important, but that it is also greatly dependant on the non-physical elements. Therefore we will briefly look at conclusions on that first. According to residents the housing loans provided are very limited and just enough for the basic structure of the house. If people cannot loan money from family or friends, they are forced to apply for an expensive commercial loan, or to live in an unfinished house. The debts of the loans together with rising expenses can be a large burden and are a reason why satisfaction about the outcome as a whole, including the spatial outcome, might be lower. Archer (2012) found that all the communities had sewage connections or sceptic tanks and legal water and electricity after the redevelopments. In general she could conclude from the surveys that the quality of life had improved substantially. However, there are two important side notes on spatial outcomes. The first is that not all participants are satisfied with the new housing. This is related to the pre-redevelopment housing. In one example an inhabitant gave up a house of 90m2 for a new house of 34m2. When looking at satellite images of Lat Phrao, the conclusion can be drawn that most houses are currently between 70 and 100m2. However, the majority of the respondents in Archer’s surveys stated that they do not mind the smaller houses because it enables them to stay on site with their community and have an improved environment with a better quality of life. Some even say that they favour the equal facades and (smaller) plots because it meets the standards of social acceptability and therefor helps with integration of the communities into society. Some residents responded by stating that their old community was “natural” as it grew and developed overtime, and that the redevelopment which is rearranged into blocks looks nice, but doesn’t feel natural.


Within the Bang Bua reference case houses of about 40-45 m2 were realized (Wungpatcharapon & Tovivich, 2012, p. 31), which can be seen in appendix B, figure B.6, p.173. During construction temporary houses are needed. A solution could be to demolish the houses on land and use the houses on the water to temporarily house all residents of the community whilst construction is ongoing. All houses will be located on the land and can be constructed while the houses on the water remain in place until these can be demolished after the residents move into the new houses. Most community members prefer low-rise development with one or two stories houses on separated plots rather than multi-units high-rise housing like apartments. They state that the latter does not fit their way of living (Usavagovitwong & Posriprasert, 2006a, p. 62). To summarize: • Smaller houses are accepted • A unified appearance of the area (e.g. similar facades and equal plots) is desirable • The formal re-blocking can make the environment feel unnatural

situation of regular water level, the regular situation + 1 metre and + 2 metres. Location 1 is unbuilt on one side and therefore has the space to implement a natural dike on that side, whereas on the opposite side an on the other locations a vertical wall serves as the dike. Houses and pathways are elevated in order to be accessible also during high water levels. The main road along the canal provides access to both the community (emergency) as the water (maintenance) and is elevated so it remains accessible when the water level rises by 1 metre. Pipes underneath the road make it possible that the adjacent floodplain can serve it purpose. Another possibility would be to elevate the road on piles, like the houses and pedestrian pathways. Steps along the water provide public access to the water. On location 2 there is a temple on one side of the canal. The public space along the water needs to be redeveloped and elevated in order to continue the dike north and south of this location and to prevent a gap. Here there is an opportunity to give the temple an exemplary function and the dike could even be moved further away from the water in order to bring the water even closer to the sanctuary.

• Low-rise housing with only one or two levels are preferred since it fits the way-of-life of the communities • An addition is the earlier mentioned preference for suburban housing with a garden or front lawn

Page 100 - 101

Spatial requirements in different typologies

Figure 9.19 An overview of the different typologies and their location on the map. (Source: Author)

Figure 9.19 shows the different spatial contexts along different section of the canal. There are either no communities along the canal (type A), a community on one side of the canal (type B) or communities on both sides of the canal (type C). The space next to the canal and the immediate adjacent space can either be built on one side and unbuilt on the other (type 1) or built on both sides (type 2). The map in figure 9.19 shows where each typology is situated along the 29 kilometres of canal. Figures 9.20 to 9.22 show the cross section of three exemplary locations, which are indicated on the map. The top cross section is the current situation, followed by the potential situation after redevelopment in the

Page 102 - 103 Figure 9.20 Sections of the current situation and the possible situation for typology C1. (Source: Author) Page 104 - 105 Figure 9.21 Sections of the current situation and the possible situation for typology B2. (Source: Author) Page 106 - 107 Figure 9.22 Sections of the current situation and the possible situation for typology C2. (Source: Author)

103


1 A

one side built, one side open

2

both sides built

built

x

open

built

x

built

built

x

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2

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river/canals Klong Lat Phrao 2011 inundated areas Typologies: No communiď&#x20AC;Ąes A1 - one side unbuilt A2 - both sides built Community on one bank B1 - one side unbuilt B2 - both sides built Community on both banks C1 - one side unbuilt C2 - both sides built Temple

2

Mosque typology locaď&#x20AC;Ąon airport

0km

5km

10km


The role of stakeholders visualized The role of the different stakeholders has been explained according to the Dutch Layers Approach (De Hoog, Sijmons & Verschuuren, 1998). The cross sections of the exemplary locations enable to see the role of the stakeholders in a spatial way (fig. 9.23). The redevelopment of the houses can be sorted into the occupation layer and is the responsibility of the communities within the Baan Mankong Programme. Also the local infrastructure, such as the elevated pathways, is a part of this and can be constructed using local knowledge and labour. The infrastructure regarding water management can be seen as much more delicate. It provides flood protection for a larger part of the city and is a public task. The requirements for this are much higher compared to that of the occupation layer and in order to make sure those requirements are met, the construction must be executed by professionals. The division of responsibilities is not always as straightforward. An example this can be seen at the multifunctional dike: the foundation of the houses can be incorporated in the dike, which is the responsibility of the government, while the houses themselves are the responsibility of the communities in the Baan Mankong programme.

113


Pilot location

Pilot Project

10

The theory and proposed strategy are tested on a pilot location where a demonstration design shows the possibilities of combining improved water management and community upgrading. It is a simulation following the upgrading process of the Baan Mankong programme but with improved water management. Within the strategy, this pilot project has to assess the process and the feasibility of the strategy and whether there is enough demand for an approach that integrates flood defence and community upgrading. This design can also serve as a trigger project to generate more demand. This project will hopefully generate enough momentum to continue the process of executing and re-fining the strategy in order to get a step closer to a more resilient and adaptive urban environment.

The chosen location is the Ruammitrangsatta community next to the Don Mueang Airport in the north of Bangkok. A newspaper article in September 2015 about the threatening eviction of this community was the incentive for the focus of this research. This area was also inundated for a month during the 2011 flood and is in need for flood protection to ensure a safe future. In addition there is a large unused space adjacent to the community which offers possibilities to expand the design land inward. Principles for the design lay-out The aim of the pilot project is to improve the quality of life on the inhabitants of the klong community and to improve the water management regarding flood reduction. By using the Baan Mankong programme to implement flood defence measures, the occupation layer of the Dutch Layers Approach provides means to build parts of the infrastructure layer, which will benefit other parts of the occupation layer. Figure 10.1 shows the principles behind the general lay-out of the design. The line of the dike is established after a series of alternative possibilities, which can be seen in figure 10.2. The eventual shape is curved to facilitate a good water flow coming from the canal during high amount of excess water and it moves around existing bodies of water in the forest area. A floodplain is created between the dike and the canal. In the widest part of this zone an addition canal, or bypass, is created to allow for building on the water outside of the restricted zone of the main canal. This can be an experimental hotspot for floating and amphibious building in such a way that it is compatible with the demands of modern day society. Additionally, this bypass can slow down the water flow in the main canal. Along the course of the canal there are multiple locations that have been redeveloped with new housing projects over the past few years (Google satellite view). These areas are densely built in a suburban style and are missed opportunities to develop an adaptive zone

Page 112 - 113

114

Figure 10.1 An overview of the design principles on the pilot location. (Source: Author)


along the canal. It will take a long time before these new complexes reach the end of their life-cycle and the transformation towards adaptive housing will be postponed to far in the future. Therefore it is essential to include possible redevelopment locations in the strategy. One of those locations in at the end of the Ruammitrangsatta area. The demand for housing is present and this can be used to introduce water adaptive housing. The position of the area next to the airport offers possibilities to connect the project through public transport to a larger part of the city. This link can offer the project the exposure to generate a support base for further development. Public access Figure 10.3 shows the route from the public transport line towards the area, which shows visitors the added value of the community upgrading, in the form of dike housing, but also the potential for wider urban housing that can generate flood defence, such as floating

housing and amphibious housing. A centre with urban facilities is at the end of the route, at the waterfront. This centre is at the crossroad of the public access route from inland with the future public route along the entire waterfront. The waterfront allows access to the canal along the entire length of the design. At the facilities centre there is room for more space at the lower level along the water for terraces for cafes and restaurants. The section shows a set of stairs reaching down to the water next to the elevated road, but this road could also be more set backwards in order to provide more space at the lower level, like the section of the canal in Utrecht (see appendix B, fig. B.7, p. 174). Public space: formal and informal Figure 10.4 shows an overview of the design. The orange central public area enables access to the community (green area), to the facilities centre and the waterfront, and to the new middle-segment residential neighbourhood (purple). This central public space acts as a connector but also as a divider. Inhabitants of klong communities and inhabitants of middle-segment

Figure 10.2 Different possibilities for the shape and course of the dike. (Source: Author)

115


116


117


neighbourhoods have different demands regarding public space (interview Bart Lambregts, appendix A, pp. x-x). The former feel comfortable in a more informal space which allows the user to do what they want, while the latter require a more designed and clear environment which facilitates different activities like jogging and provides safety (for children) through social control. Visual examples The following paragraph describes a series of images that visualise the design. Figure 10.5 shows the area between a row of hybrid housing on the dike (left) and a row of elevated housing (right). The houses are connected through elevated paths which are accessible during a high water level. The space in between the houses is open and provides open space on the ground level, whilst providing shadow. Shading together with the visual connection, which offers social control, ensures a comfortable environment. Figure 10.6 shows the same location when the floodplain is 1 metre inundated.

Figure 10.7 visualises the waterfront next to a square within the area of the community. The elevated road that runs along the entire canal is the access from the outside into the community. At this point the space along the water is wider that at other points, offering not only a community meeting point on land (the square) but also along the water. Trees and plants have to offer enough shading for this area to be comfortable to enjoy during the day. The same area during a water level of 1 metre higher can be seen in figure 10.8. Ducts under the road allow the water to flow into the floodplain whilst the road remains accessible. Figure 10.9 shows the housing on the dike from the land side. The position on the dike provides the inhabitants to use the slope of the dike as a garden. This way their houses can be seen as the suburban dream, whilst the backside is elevated and is capable of dealing with higher water, which can be seen in figure 10.10. One of the comments of inhabitants of former Baan Mankong upgrading projects was that the new situation was neat and much improved compared to their former situation, but that the new arrangement

Figure 10.3 A section showing the public route from the main road towards the waterfront, passing the multifunctional dike, the experimental building zone and the public facilities centre. (Source: Author)

community housing inner dike area

experi

mulď żfuncď żonal dike

public access route 118


of houses made everything look the same and didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t feel comfortable (Archer, 2012, p.180). The previous images showed the variety of the area, with different spaces (which is possible due to the availability of space on this location).

Page 120 - 121 Figure 10.6 Elevated housing with open space in between which allows different activities, wet. (Source: Author)

Page 122 - 123 Figure 10.7 The waterfront next to a square inbetween community housing, dry. (Source: Author)

Page 124 - 125 Figure 10.8 The waterfront next to a square inbetween community housing, wet. (Source: Author)

Page 116 - 117

Page 126 - 127

Figure 10.4 Map showing an overview of the design area. (Source: Author)

Figure 10.9 The hybrid typology seen from the land side, offering room for gardens, dry. (Source: Author)

Page 118 - 119

Page 128 - 129

Figure 10.5 Elevated housing with open space in between which allows different activities, dry. (Source: Author)

Figure 10.10 The hybrid typology seen from the land side, offering room for gardens, wet. (Source: Author)

imental building zone ďŹ&#x201A;oodplain

urban facility centre

water access canal (building prohibited)

119


garden Adaptive capacity

hybrid

ďŹ&#x201A;oaď&#x20AC;Ąng

dike

new housing

facili

at the in public r

bypass

allows building on th


amphibious

ies centre

ntersecon between two routes

he water

community

123 houses or 42% of community households are obstrucng the water

162 houses or 42% of community households are obstrucng the water

waterfront room for cafes and restaurants at the water


Synthesis

PART C


Sub research questions (1) “To what extent can the larger system of flood defence be divided into smaller elements?”

Conclusion

11

The main objective of this research was to find ways to create small scale interventions that benefit the flood defence system on the city scale and that ensure socio-economic stability for residents of informal klong communities that are part of the small scale interventions. In this chapter the sub-research questions will be answered, which together will from an answer to the main research question, which is closely related to the main objective. This chapter also concludes on the sub objective, which was to create a strategy and a design within the problem field, meaning a project within the city of Bangkok and in the Thai context, but looking from the Dutch perspective.

There are always multiple subsystems at work in delta areas (Bregt et al., 2014, pp. 216-217). These subsystems can all be viewed as smaller elements of the delta system as a whole, but they are always related to one-another and they can never be viewed as an independent body. The output of one system is the input of the subsequent system. To understand the flood defence system there is a need of understanding of the entire delta system, since the first is a reaction to what happens in the second. For understanding such a complex system it seems necessary to divide it into smaller elements, and therefore we could say the same for the flood defence system. The capacity to retain an amount of water and the ability of the sub-system to slow down the water have a direct impact on what the output of the sub-system is, and therefore the input of the subsequent system (see fig. 11.1 and 11.2). (2) “How are small scale interventions able to contribute to the large scale concerning water management and flood defence?” For small scale interventions we look at smaller elements within the delta system as a whole. With this there has to be the realization that small scale interventions also have the potential to generate only small contributions. We can look at the small scale intervention and what the contribution in stored or discharged volume is, compared to the volume of the entire system. This will always be a very small percentage that is seemingly negligible. But the scale of the intervention and the scale of the contribution should not be forgotten: when we compare the contribution of the smaller element to the total volume of the entire delta it is like comparing apples and pears. This small percentage of contribution will benefit a small percentage of the delta: that of the immediate vicinity. But in order for that to be true, the element must be able to cope in a sufficient way with the input, which is the output of the previous

Page 136 - 137 A woman selling fruits to tourists at the floating market of Damnoen Saduak, west of Bangkok. Traditionally markets were floating, but most of them can nowadays only continue to exist because of tourism. (Source: Author)


Water Volume

Highlands

elements. This can be done by storing and redirecting water before it reaches the small scale system (see fig. 11.2). Interventions on the large scale (dams, retention lakes and large bypasses) and the intermediate scale (floodplains to give room to the river and smaller bypasses) will ensure that the input for the small scale intervention is better manageable.

Local Rainfall

Central Plain

A small scale intervention can contribute to the flood defence system as a whole, as long as the input in the smaller element is manageable within the element. One small scale intervention on its own has a negligible contribution to the flood defence system on the delta scale, but multiple subsequent small scale interventions can provide a larger contribution (see fig. 2.2, p. 33t), depending on the amount of interventions and their size. We can imagine that small scale interventions along the entire line of the system can together form a large part of the entire flood defence system.

Bangkok

Retain

Water Volume

Dam

Divert

Central Plain

Bangkok

Gulf of Thailand

By the intensive process of the Baan Mankong programme, people have to work together and rely on each other, which can even improve community bonds, as was the case in the Bang Bua community upgrading (Asian Coalition for Housing Rights, 2008).

Figure 11.1 A schematic overview of water discharge volume through the entire river system without flood defence infrastructure. (Source: Author) Highlands

Preserving the community was an important demand within the research because inhabitants of the informal communities stated that it was not necessarily the place where they live that was important, but the community with which they lived (Vongkiatkajorn, 2015). We defined community as “a unity, a feeling of being a cohesive collection of people, distinct from others” (Rabibhadana, 1975). Within this research the assumption was made that the location of the community plays an important factor in this (without access to the communities this cannot be proven by doing a survey amongst community members), because it is a vital part of the community’s livelihood. Disrupting this livelihood by relocation might interfere with the relations between people and cause for changes that could change the sense of the community. Under these assumptions keeping the community in their present location would preserve the community. Of course the manner in which this is done is also an important factor (e.g. redistribution of plots, which can be more equal or according to the current sizes of plots).

Gulf of Thailand

(3) “How is preservation of the community and improvement of the quality of life of the inhabitants possible?”

Figure 11.2 An overview with retention and redirection measures. (Source: Author)

139


To improving the quality of life, there is a physical and a non-physical dimension. The non-physical dimension is providing secure tenure (Archer, 2010). This will ensure that the community members will not have to live in doubt whether they will get evicted or not at any given moment. This secure tenure will also give them an official address, making it possible for them to get an ID card which grants access to basic services like health and education, but also the right to vote. It also has influence on the physical dimension: they get access to formal electricity, sewerage, telecom and water. Other aspects of the physical dimension are providing flood protection, which can for example be done by creating an adaptive environment, improved water quality of the canal and improved quality of the public environment. (4) “In what way are effective strategies, policies and projects of informal settlements upgrading (local demand/governance responses) related to water safety?” Thailand’s Baan Mankong, the nationwide slum upgrading programme, has received praise for the implementation of this innovative participatory upgrading programme (Archer, 2010, p. 1), which is one of the few examples of a successful up scaled slum upgrading programme. It is not necessarily related to water safety, but because there are many informal settlements along and above the water, it does deal with upgrading and water safety in specific cases. One of those cases is the Bang Bua community upgrading project. In this research the Baan Mankong programme is used as a base and the dimension of flood safety is added to it. Main research question and main objective “How can small scale interventions contribute to the larger system of flood defence (in a context where large scale planning is not integrated) and at the same time preserve the community on site and improve the quality of life of the inhabitants?”

140

The main conclusion is that the main objective (i.e. the main research question) can only be reached through a proper alignment of stakeholders and that the knowledge of indigenous water settlements and architecture together with a broader cultural history is crucial to reach this alignment of stakeholders by

showing the adaptive capacity that is already present in Thailand. It could be argued that this is a task for the government. From the perspective of water management (we refer to the first two sub research questions on the previous pages), small scale interventions are part of the larger delta system, and are capable of small but direct contributions to the larger system, as illustrated in figure 11.3. The hydrological incremental approach ensures that the water discharge capacity improves with every phase (or even with every project, depending on the narrowest points in every project). By eliminating the narrowest point in every phase or project, the discharge capacity improves instantly. The size of the improvement however is only the difference in cross section between the former narrowest point and the new narrowest point, making the improvement small. The urban fabric interventions of enlarged floodplains (wider than the standard sections as illustrated in chapter 9) have no immediate contribution to the discharge capacity. Only when the width of the floodplains will be enlarged over the full length of the canal, there will be in an increase in the discharge capacity (fig. 11.3). For water management it is a long-term investment, without security of completion and thus effect on the water discharge. These urban interventions do however have an incremental effect on the social aspects. Every new project provides space for water sensitive housing and more public space in an adaptive environment, and can therefore have an incremental effect on the transformation towards adaptive building and a shift in the social perception of urban water. From the perspective of the community, an improved quality of life can be reached through community upgrading, which in Thailand can be facilitated by the Baan Mankong programme (see the third subresearch question pp. 139-140). If the assumption that community can be (i.e. is, in this research) location bound is followed, preservation of said community is reached by keeping the same people together in the same place. Trying to achieve both an intervention that contributes to the flood defence system on the larger scale and the preservation and improved quality of life of the communities on site, both cooperation and coordination are essential. Two totally different fields


of knowledge, research and demands are coming together, and without proper consultation one might not understand the other and therefore not see the potential of combining both worlds. This is an even larger barrier considering the very limited available space in which these two different fields have opposing demands and the fact that, within the current debate, there is a hierarchical urgency for one over the other. To conclude, in order to achieve the integration of flood defence and community upgrading, the following is needed: • Knowledge mediation • Transdisciplinary work • Science-policy interface

Water management benefits

• Stonger governmental role

Follow-up research question Figure 2.2 on page 35 illustrates a main conclusion of the ICAADE 2015 student workshop. If the current trend of building floodwalls in small villages north of Bangkok continues, the amount of water towards the capital city will become larger and the velocity with which it comes down will increase. An assumption could be that many of these villages providing space to slow down and retain water locally can have the same capacity of decreasing the amount of excess water towards Bangkok as one large scale intervention, like a (small) dam. If anything goes wrong with one of the dams, a very large percentage of the storage capacity is lost, whilst if something goes wrong in one of the many villages, only a small percentage is affected. The local retention is not only valid for villages but also for rural areas and ideally for the entire length of the river system. A follow-up research question could be if many small scale interventions (along the full length of the river) with the same retention capacity as one large scale intervention would be a better option for flood protection compared to the latter.

Urban fabric interventions

Hydrological interventions

time

Figure 11.3 The small scale hydrological interventions of clearing the narrowest point of the canal have a small but direct impact on the water discharge capacity. This incremental process is contrary to the changes in urban fabric, which will have a contribution for the water discharge when it is applied along the entire length of the canal. This contribution will however be much larger. It does have an incremental contibution to cultural aspects. (Source: Author)

141


Sub objective The sub objective was to create a strategy and a design within the problem field, meaning a project within the city of Bangkok and in the Thai context, but looking from the Dutch perspective. When looking at the Thai water management context, it is clear that, especially since the start of the modernization peak in the 1950s (Thaitakoo & McGrath, 2010, p. 44), the Thai are moving away from water adaptive systems and moving much more towards a resistant system. Until then water management was done through an adaptive system. In a relatively short time the transition from a water based culture towards a land based culture led to an insufficient infrastructure layer, as can be seen in figure 11.4. The current situation is that they are trying to use large scale flood defence systems, preceded by more developed nations, but they haven´t had the time to slowly develop it (Kahn, 2006), e.g. like the Netherlands (figure 11.5). In the case of the Netherlands the flood defence infrastructure was slowly developed (visualized by the orange line) step-by-step by looking at the countries own history and water management tradition. The Thai have largely eliminated their own water management tradition in the urban environment, and they are now trying to dominate the substratum with the infrastructure, but the system as a whole is incomplete or insufficient. In the Thai case the government is insisting on static large scale infrastructure rather than steering towards adaptive measures. That can be explained by the urban and economic growth the region is going through. The unprecedented flood of 2011 damaged a lot of factories and other economically valuable areas, not only resulting in direct damage, but also in potential losses. The government wants to prevent a situation like this from occurring again. A resistant system is relatively cheap and fast to implement compared to a more adaptive system, which takes time and is much more expensive (Sijmons et. al., 2002, p. 120). The space required for an adaptive system makes it also hard in a city like Bangkok. The space required would drive the costs up high (interview dr. Barames Vardhanabhuti, appendix A, p. 161) as more land needs to be acquired. But even in this small space there is room for change. By looking at the indigenous housing tradition, synergy 142

can be found directly between the occupation layer and the substratum. In the case of this research, the occupation layer facilitates new developments on the infrastructure layer that benefits a larger part of the city (fig. 11.6). This way adaptive measures are used in the urban water system, but on a small scale. A small part like one urban canal in the entire delta-system will make little difference in the flood defence system, but it can turn out to be a generator of change, and prove to be a starting point for a post-modernization period in Thai water management. It is also a case of the current cultural perception of water and the demands of modern society to their living environment. In a situation where people move away from places where indigenous water sensitive environments are still present towards westernized urban areas, a balance needs to be found between the demands of people and the benefits of the historic way of building and living. The Netherlands actually wants to go towards the Thai heritage, and that is exactly what Thai society is losing. As mentioned before, this small scale adaptive project is placed within the context of an existing resistant system on the larger scale, which will hopefully gradually transform into a more adaptive system. But given the fast returns of static infrastructure, it is not realistic to hope for this right away. But small scale adaptive systems will have the space to evolve if flood defence will be better managed on the larger scale, providing space and time for the urban system of Bangkok to gradually transform.


Occupation Responsibility

Responsibility

Occupation

Private parties

Private parties

Occupation

Private parties

Infrastructure

Infrastructure

Infrastructure

Public parties

Public parties

Substratum

Substratum

Public parties Figure 11.4 The Dutch Layers Approach for the current Figure 11.5 The Dutch Layers Approach for the current Thai situation. Large scale infrastructure has to protect the Dutch situation. Large scale infrastructure has to protect Substratum Responsibility occupation layer by dominating the substratum. They are the occupation layer. The infrastructure used to dominate Responsibility trying to reach a similar situation as seen in figure 11.5 but in the substratum but is now facilitating more space for the Occupation Occupation a very short timeframe. (Source: Author, based on De Hoog, substratum and is being influenced by natural processes. Sijmons & Verschuuren, 1998) This more balanced system has grown slowly over the past Private parties Private parties centuries. (Source: Author, based on De Hoog, Sijmons & Infrastructure Infrastructure Verschuuren, 1998) Public parties

Public parties

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Infrastructure

Public parties

Substratum

Figure 11.6 The Dutch Layers Approach for the proposed situation in which buildings are constructed based on the dynamics of the substratum. By including water management measures the occupation layer leads to improvement on the infrastructure layer. (Source: Author, based on De Hoog, Sijmons & Verschuuren, 1998)

143


Methodological reflection

12

Reflection & Recommendation

This thesis is constrained to one academic year and the time and effort of a single student. Firstly a reflection on the methodology of the research and the relation between research and design will be given. The spatial results of this research are, given the constraints, in no way conclusive, but it offers a fresh perspective on the problem field and the process has enabled that recommendations can be made on how to pro-ceed with projects within the problem field as described in this thesis, both in and out of the described context. These recommendations relate back to the relevance of chapter 1 and are therefore divided into a research related and a practice related paragraph.

The relation between research and design has been compromised by my personal choice of location for the case study for this research. The lack of data of the specific location and its context, partly due to the language barrier, resulted in the fact that a lot of assumptions had to be made during the research process. I had already foreseen that this could be a potential problem, also because my graduation mentors and other guiding professors involved had warned me for this obstacle, but I hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t realized just how high this hurdle would be and I thought that I could overcome it. Even though I had made contacts by participating in the ICAADE conference and student workshop in Bangkok last summer, it was still hard to do interviews. It was a very good exercise though, to explain as clearly as possible via email what my thesis entailed and what information is was hoping to get from different people from different disciplines. It made me realise that there are different jargons used in different fields of work and research, and that just being able to understand those different influences is already a very big step. Doing more interviews would have been a very good addition to the research. Since I tried to combine two very different fields of research as a student, I found it very hard to bring them together in spatial form, which is my field of expertise. Expert interviews could partly help me by understanding the situation better, but doing via email was also a challenge which sometimes succeeded and other times not. Also the fact that there was no access to the community, it was impossible to explore the participatory part of the research. Because I could not get satisfied with the outcome of the research, due to both a lack of data and a lack of knowledge, I found it hard to converge the outcome into input for a spatial design. However, it also posed an opportunity of looking at the situation from a more unrestricted perspective. But it also made it quite difficult to evaluate the spatial output. The most relevant outcome is therefore the following paragraphs, containing a reflection on the scientific and societal relevance and the recommendations to both research and practice.


Scientific relevance recommendation

reflection

&

research

This research thesis is part of the Delta Urbanism research group. The group focusses on the transformation of deltas and how urbanized deltas can adapt to a changing environment due to climate change. This entails providing a safe environment for the inhabitants, but it has less – as far as I’m aware of – direct relation to the people aspect in the process. This thesis tries to centre more on the people aspect as a part of the adaptation transformation, especially those people who don’t have a strong voice. In my opinion there is lack and urgency for research regarding delta safety in delta mega cities in the Global South, where there is also a lot of informality and poverty. How is this group in particular affected by climate change and how can we find ways to improving the quality of life of these people in a way that is viable and how can we find ways to do this on a large scale. Societal relevance recommendation

reflection

&

practice

The aim of this research was to pose the idea that there are other opportunities than evicting thousands of people to gain a limited water discharge capacity. The proposal might not seem very obvious to the parties that have to be convinced, but by aligning stakeholders and working together smart solution might be found to combining seemingly opposing goals. This research is based on little real data, both on the side of water management and the side of community upgrading. The recommendation for practice would be to take another look at the current flood defence measures along the klongs in relation to the informal communities. The first steps would be to reassess how large scale measures decrease the amount of water coming towards the klongs, and to what extent these large scale measures are reliable. If the amount of water would surpass the potential discharge capacity of the klongs by far, new measures north of Bangkok need to be planned and executed. It would be best to form a project team that is impartial to assess both the (spatial) water management improvement needs and the socio-economic loss of the current plans posed by the Department of Drainage and Sewerage (DDS). The communities need to form a network to join Baan Mankong, not only to join the programme, but also to have a representative board to negotiate. Place the

network representative board together with the DDS, other important municipal stakeholders and academics from local universities and start a dialogue on what could happen in case no action would be taken (a zero-scenario). Make clear to all participants what the future impacts of climate change could be and how the future is uncertain. By aligning stakeholders, reaching the full potential of knowledge, data and input of all involved should be possible, to come up with an innovative plan that can start the transformation towards a more resilient future. Contrary to the assumption that the communities must remain on site, there is also the possibility that the communities do not have the wish to remain on site, or maybe some do and some don’t. That is up to them to decide for themselves, since they have an equal voice in the debate. If some communities would feel that it would be best if they would move, and they can accept that, than there is more space to distribute amongst the remaining communities, but it also makes the process more complicated. If this research seems like an adequate starting point for further assessment and elaboration, adding more data to the offered method will be required. Improvement to the current strategy is that phasing should be redone more according to the actual communities, the current and future available spaces along the klong. Also the water flow in between phases needs to be assessed further and integrated into the strategy (e.g. creating as less bottlenecks as possible). What is the effect of a canal only partially embedded between dikes? What are the result for the water flow and does it make other areas more prone to flooding? The idea of creating a more dynamic environment remains valid, but the way it is interpreted can change. The building of dikes might be unrealistic within city fabric (interview Barames Vardhanabhuti, appendix A, p. 161) but the same principle can be done with concrete walls. In that case it would benefical to research the ecological consequences and potentials. The discussion on hard vs. soft embankments along the canal needs further elaboration. With data on predicted water volumes for all 4 domains, the choice between both options can be better considered.

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De Hoog, M., Sijmons, D., & Verschuuren, S. (1998). Laagland, eindrapportage HMD-werkgroep Herontwerp. Amsterdam: Gemeente Amsterdam.

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van Schaick, J., & Klaasen, I. (2011). The Dutch layers approach to spatial planning and design: a fruitful planning tool or a temporary phenomenon? European Planning Studies, 19(10), 1775-1796. Vongkiatkajorn, K. (2015, 23 August). The great khlong clean-up, Bangkok Post. Retrieved from http://www. bangkokpost.com/news/special-reports/665456/thegreat-khlong-clean-up Vongvisessomjai, S. (2007). Flood mitigation master plan for Chao Phraya Delta. Paper presented at the 4th INWEPF Steering Meeting and Symposium. Wancharoen, S. (2016, 5 March). Bringing green back to Bangkok, Bangkok Post. Retrieved from http://www. bangkokpost.com/news/special-reports/886784/ bringing-green-back-to-bangkok Wikipedia. (2016). Centro Educacional Unificado. Retrieved 9th June, 2016, from https://pt.wikipedia. org/wiki/Centro_Educacional_Unificado World Bank. (2009). Climate change impact and adaptation study for Bangkok metropolitan region: final report. Washington DC: World Bank Woud, A. v. d. (2010). Koninkrijk vol sloppen. Amsterdam: Uitgeverij Bert Bakker. Wungpatcharapon, S., & Tovivich, S. (2012). Baan Mankong at Klong Bang Bua: community guidebook. Bangkok: Asian Coalition for Housing Rights (ACHR). Yap, K. S., & De Wandeler, K. (2010). Self-help housing in Bangkok. Habitat international, 34(3), 332-341.

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An elevated pathway as adaptive infrastructure in the village of Lad Chado. (Source: Author)


Acknowledgements I would like to thank my mentors for their support, as well as everyone who has contributed to this work, both professionally as personally. Fransje, for your belief in me and this project. Your down-to-earth logic and rational approach to life, together with a great sense of humour, were exactly what I needed to complete this thesis and for that I am truly grateful. Roberto, for you ever so kind words of encouragement and motivation. Your positive mentoring and constructive criticism always helped me in gaining selfesteem and motivation. Taneha, for your dedication to help me and your strong belief in our future potential to make a change. We havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t spoken much over the last year, but every time we did it made a big difference. I would especially like to thank Danai Thaitakoo of Chulalongkorn University, and Barames Vardhanabhuti and Bart Lambregts of Kasetsart University. I would further like to thank Supitcha Tovivich of Silpakorn University. My eternal gratitude goes out to my greatest rock, Suzanne. And to my supporters and fellow graduates, Shyreen and Barbara, for sharing our thoughts, stress and successes. I want to thank my parents, Loki and Usha, my grandmother nanie, and all others whom have directly or indirectly contributed to this thesis: Linda, Carolien, Joris, Juan, Yos, Onno, Eva, Paolo & the entire ICAADE 2015 group.

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Right page Water element at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. (Source: Author)


Appendices


List of contacts

Contacts & Interviews

A

This chapter contains a list of contacts of people whom have contributed to this thesis in the form of data, introductional conversations or interviews, notes of those introductional conversations and the written interviews.

Chulalongkorn University Faculty of Architecture Danai Thaitakoo Landscape Architect danathai@gmail.com Kasetsart University Faculty of Architecture Bart Lambregts Division of Urban and Environ. Planning B.Lambregts@uva.nl Supreeya Wungpatcharapon Low-income Housing and Community Dev. supreeyaw@gmail.com Faculty of Civil Engineering Barames Vardhanabhuti Geotechnical Eng. barames@hotmail.com Silpakorn University Faculty of Architecture Supitcha Tovivich Community Dev., Participation and Empowerment supitcha_to@yahoo.com Thammasat University Faculty of Architecture Wijitbusaba Ann Marome Urban Dev. Planner wijitbusaba@ap.tu.ac.th Unesco-IHE Polpat Nil-u-bon PhD Opportunistic Adaptation of Arch. and Urbanism erkkamp@gmail.com

Page 144 - 145 A longtail boat on the Chao Phraya River passing by central Bangkok. (Source: Author)


Introductional conversations (notes)

dr. ir. B.W. (Bart) Lambregts Kasetsart University, Faculty of Architecture Division of Urban and Environmental Planning Bangkok, Thailand August 26th 2015

Planning in Thailand is moderately organized in the private sector, but less so in the public sector. There is a lack of collaboration between different government agencies. Water management in Thailand is politicized, because water management interferes with business and land-use. In Thailand there are no left and right political parties as we know them in Europe, but there are different business coalitions. Agriculture is still a very important sector today. An example of this is just prior to the 2011 flood. When the reservoirs behind the dams upstream were filling up, water should have been released according to protocol. But further downstream there was land of an important actor that would then flood as well. He was able to convince the government to postpone the release of the water until after he could harvest the rice yield. This had large consequences, since a large amount of water was now released in a short period of time. If this would have happened over a longer period of time, the water would still have flooded lands downstream, but more gradually (and with a longer period to respond).

Don Mueang Airport

Chao Phraya River Kasetsart University

Queen Sirikit Park Bang Sue Canal

Floodline

If we look how Thailand deals with water compared to the Netherlands, we can see that the Thai have a high tolerance of flooding or dynamic water, whereas the Dutch have a very low tolerance for flooding. For them 1953 flood in Zeeland acted as a catalyst for change concerning security against water threats. After that flood defence became much more high priority. For the Thai the flood of 2011 (might) mark(s) a tipping point. In the last 20 to 30 years Bangkok urbanized rapidly, increasing the potential losses due to flood risk tremendously, though in the old days water was seen as wealth. There is also a difference in tolerance for water in urban areas, where tolerance has very much decreased over time, versus tolerance in rural areas. During the 2011 flood, parts of the city were under water for a longer period of time. The campus of Kasetsart University for example was inundated one meter deep for six weeks. The flood reach until the Bang Sue canal, south of Queen Sirikit Park. A similar

Figure A.1 The flood coming in from the north and reached until Bang Sue canal. Kasetsart University was inundated one meter deep for 6 weeks. (Source: Author) 157


or bigger flood in the future could reach and affect the center of the city.

Mankong upgrading programme to implement this. The programme also tries to adapt behaviour and flood protection is now one of the dimensions.

After the flood there were multiple responses: 1. Vernacular architecture Architects started looking at how traditional houses along the water were built. They started to learn from this to adapt new housing to flood risk. 2. Second homes outside the risk area People who could afford it started to buy a second house up-country. They went looking for nice places in the hills and forest areas. But this leads to deforestation which (especially on hills) could increase the chances of flooding downstream. 3. Heightening land Before building new houses land was heightened more in order to remain dry in case of flooding. Older areas which are lower than the newer heightened lands became basins where water could accumulate. This affects both poor and rich, although the latter might have more means for adaptation to this situation. 4. Adapting to flood-risk In the Netherlands flooding is seen as a disaster, and this is partially culturally determined. In Thailand flooding is more part of life, as long as it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t happen too often. This way of thinking used to work, but the potential loss increased enormously over time. Now there are huge economic consequences; flooding is just getting too expensive. This way of thinking might also be under influence of foreign companies that invested in Bangkok. Still, areas that were flooded in 2011 are not less popular with home buyers. Apparently they think that raising their land is sufficient to deal with flooding or they just accept it or they are not aware of it. Poorer people or communities that (re-)build their houses adapt to the flood risk. An example is that they use tiles on the ground floor instead of wooden floors, because it can withstand inundation and is easy to clean afterwards. They often get help from NGOs. CODI is a spin-off of the NHA and helps poorer communities in Thailand, with home improvements and community development. They use the Baan 158

The Bang Bua case, just north of Kasetsart University is a successful example of the Baan Mankong programme, and is now their showcase example. There are also a lot of less successful examples though. There is a big difference in housing stock in and around Bangkok, so adaptation is very different for each situation. There are for example: gated communities, condos/apartments, traditional houses, shop houses, detached houses, informal housing and skyscrapers. 5. Large scale infrastructure The government is keener on building heavy handed infrastructure to manage the water. One of the strategies is more water catchments areas upstream. In order to realize that they have to persuade communities to leave certain areas. Some communities complain that they will be in a catchment area. These could be more modern-way-thinking communities that no longer see flooding as a part of life, but of course it also depends on the perspectives on the frequency and duration of the inundation. Perhaps one month a year might be fine, but less so when that becomes four or five months. It is sometimes difficult to separate public and private interest. The point of balance between public and private is very different in Thailand compared to the Netherlands. In the latter there is a very poor belief in the government protecting the country against flooding while in the first there is a very strong belief. But in both cases people continue to live in flood prone areas. During the 2011 flood Thai people protested on social media against the lack of protection provided by the government, demanding for a better situation, but they remained small scale online and there were no large scale (physical) protests or riots. In the Thai context there are hardly ever bottom-up protests (the 2014 political protests were organized top-down). Most people have given up on the government anyway. An alternative is to just take care of your own business (in the case of flood defence this could be with sandbags etc.).


Thai society is a very hierarchical one, leaders are very authoritarian. Normal Thai citizens are being told as a child, before they even go to school, that their role in society is to be normal and to not question authority. Be happy with the role that has been given to you by your leaders. The younger generation is now realizing that this could be different, and people are slowly getting more assertive. But this is a movement which is still at the very beginning. We could wonder if we could say this is a low trust society. People trust the people on their inner circle, but not the people outside of that and certainly not the government. Homes are more and more built with a wall around it, to block out public life where there are people you cannot trust. This is seen in the rise of gated communities in the suburbs. The conclusion of dealing with flooding could be that going back to living with the water sounds romantic, but we must not forget that it still has to be managed. How are we going to do that?

dr. S. (Supitcha) Tovivich Silpakorn University, Faculty of Architecture Head of department of Architecture Bangkok, Thailand August 26th 2015

The project for the communities along the Bang Bua canal is a good example of scaling up the upgrading of informal settlements. This was done with city funding through the Baan Mankong programme. Participation of inhabitants was used as a tool to mobilize local resources. The NHA maps slums, but the Housing Department of Chulalongkorn University might also have mapped this for the city of Bangkok. During and after the 2011 flood we saw community resilience. Afterwards people either adapted to the flood or they don’t take it as a risk and see it as a part of everyday life. However, this is different in modernday Bangkok. Adaptability to flooding used to be very high, but due to modernization it is becoming less so. Still we saw it in the city during the 2011 flood: there were people who turned Tuk Tuk’s into boats for example or people who used plastic chair as shoes in order to keep dry feet. There are many more examples photographed. Flood mitigation has to do with adaptability and politics. There is a plan to build a 14 km dam along the Chao Phraya River, work is scheduled to begin coming October. This is only part of a larger plan concerning 140 km along Chao Phraya. It is a standard plan, one solution that fits all, and it doesn’t look at site specific needs. The government also uses flood mitigation as a tool to evict the poor and move slums away from places where they are least desired. Landscape architecture and urban design firm Shma created “Friends of the river” an organization against the 14 km plan of the government.

Figure A.2 Photo with dr. Lambregts after the interview. (Source: Author)

The UddC has an alternative plan for a small strip of the riverfront (only 2 km) called Yannawa. This is not a standard solution, but actually takes the site as a starting point and is about riverside rehabilitation. It is a manageable project because it is a big plot, which is

159


owned by the government and only has a few (nine or ten) stakeholders. The riverside in Thailand is privatized and this projects seeks accessibility and more public space along the water. The perception of public space in the Thai context is different than that from the Western World. It is mostly associated with small corners and informal space. Bangkok used to be referred to as the Venice of the East, due to the canals forming the main structure of the city. Vernacular architecture is therefore a good example of how to live with water, since water was ubiquitous in the city. Houses were often built on stilts, so that the water could rise and flow underneath the house. In Bangkok however, land is expensive and is too costly to not use the space under the house.

Water management interviews

dr. B. (Barames) Vardhanabhuti Kasetsart University, Faculty of Civil Engineering Geotechnical engineering division via email, Bangkok, Thailand February 24th 2016

What does the widening of a canal (in this case the Lat Phrao canal) contribute to water discharge? Mathematically, widening the canal increases the cross section area and results in an increase of water discharge. But the entire canal (system) needs to be widened over the entire length. If only one section was widened, the total discharge would not be changed. How is it the water flow affected if only a part of the canal is widened in the beginning (bottle-neck) and if more parts are widened later (multiple bottle-necks)? With the same amount of flow, the widen part would have low flow velocity and the bottle neck would have high velocity. The discharge remains unchanged. Is there added value to retention lakes along the canal? The canal can also serve for discharge and water retention during heavy rain. With a retention lake, it would minimize pluvial flood (from rain) if the maximum capacity of the canal is reached during the rainy season. Does floating housing or housing on stilts affect the water flow in times of high water? And in what way? Floating houses could minimize the flow rate and cross section area of canal. But I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have any scientific number how much it would affect the flow, and it should depend on the width of canal and the extension area of the house into the canal.

Figure A.3 Photo with dr. Tovivich after the interview, receiving the BKK Adaptive City 2045 report. (Source: Robert Newman) 160

Does a system of wider canals and small retention lakes along the canals will benefit the larger water system? Yes. This would reduce flood during heavy rain and in Bangkok we have this system in some areas. Even in my university, we have a big pound to collect rain water from the sewage (street and nearby area of university) to prevent flooding of the university terrain and the immediate neighbourhood.


the advantages and disadvantages of both to make an informed proposal. Concrete edges would reduce drag force and therefore improve discharge capacity. This is true and we prefer to construct concrete lining for irrigation canals. via email, Bangkok, Thailand April 18th 2016

I could see that the canal is (almost) 30 meters wide over a very long stretch of the canal, and I was wondering if removing the objects in the water (to create 30 meters of unobstructed water) would improve the discharge? My assumption is that if I start doing this at the narrowest point, the discharge will improve slowly with every project, because with every project the narrowest point will be made wider. My assumption is that even not all redevelopment projects will happen, at least if we start with the narrowest, it will still have added value for the discharge capacity, is that correct? Yes. Increasing the width (at the narrowest point) would improve the discharge. Besides, the narrowest area will flood first and this widening could also reduce flood risk in that area. For the redevelopments, I suggest to build two dikes on both sides to create a floodplain to cope with higher than average discharge (only to some extent of course). I was wondering if buildings in the floodplain on stilts or floating would be able to be built without having severe consequences for the discharge? Does the depth of the water influence that as well? Since the floodplain will be less deep then the canal, I assumed the velocity of the water will be lower in the floodplain, does it then have less consequences to put obstructions in the water than in the deeper main canal?

I want to add local retention areas at certain points along the canal, but behind the dike. What are the advantages or disadvantages if I let them be in open connection to the floodplain and canal rather than closing it? I believe that an either open or closed connection can both be done from the engineering perspective. The advantages and disadvantages might be in land use, environmental concern and social issues. I was also wondering if you would have a suggestion for the height of the dike? I know these floodplains will not help in the case of a 2011 type flood, but in my research project I assume that larger scale flood defense measures are also being taken, so the water coming from the north towards the city will be diverted and retained through other projects. The smaller amount of extra excess water I would hopefully be able to deal with in the floodplains and retention areas along the canal. Building dikes in Bangkok city area is unlikely to happen due to land expenses, soft ground, large and wide dike requirements, and construction costs. Therefore, vertical concrete walls have been constructed. Water diversion to flood plains for the upper area is proposed, so that the construction of dikes in Bangkok city would be minimized.

Putting floating structures on the canal would reduce water depth and discharge area. This could affect the discharge capacity of the canal. With a shallow natural canal, the effect would be more than in a deep river. The idea is, if you prefer to keep the discharge constant, that you can dredge or widen the canal the same cross section area as the cross section area of your floating structures in the submerged area. Another question I have is what is the difference for the water flow if the edge of the canal is natural or a concrete edge? My project is in favour of more dynamic solutions, rather than static ones, but I need to know

Figure A.4 Photo with dr. Vardhanabhuti after an introductional conversation as Kasetsart University. (Source: Suzanne Glas) 161


Thai society and culture interviews

dr. ir. B.W. (Bart) Lambregts Kasetsart University, Faculty of Architecture Division of Urban and Environmental Planning via email, Bangkok, Thailand March 3rd 2016

What does the Thai (Bangkok) society demand of public space? I hardly see public space in Thailand being used, apart from the larger official parks. Small scale public space near my place of residence (mostly parking spaces or fallow plots) are being used by street vendors during the day (almost every day) and at the end of the afternoon by residents to play football (occasionally) and in the evening to have a drink and socialize (also just occasionally). Different groups of people do have different demands regarding public space. Middle class families with children need safety and a neat environment (no trash, homeless persons, no drinking and social supervision). Lower classes demand more informal space, a more laissez-faire type of environment, so people can feel free to do whatever. Shadow is required by everyone: Hardly anyone exposes himself to the sun voluntarily. What are factors that have to be taken into consideration concerning housing near or on the water? Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not sure whether there are cultural factors to be taken into consideration, maybe there are or maybe not. Traditionally living near or on the water is as common as it can get in Thailand, so I suppose there are no cultural barriers. There are practical issues though: differently than before, the current quality of most of the surface water equals sewage: it stinks and it is a source of vermin and diseases. That is why nowadays only the poorest still live along or above the water. Water is perceived as a negative quality here, other than in the Netherlands. Would new housing on the water contribute to way society perceives water, in your opinion?

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Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m sure it would, but I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t assess how (it presumes that you know what the current perception of water is). Of riverside communities like the one of Ko Kret (just north of the city) it is known that they have a water

adaptive lifestyle. Living on the water will without a doubt contribute to the understanding of how water works etc. What are factors that have to be taken into consideration when we create public space with on one side a lowincome community and on the other side a new middle class neighbourhood? Does that seem viable? For this we can look back to the answer on the first question: both groups will most-likely have different and partly conflicting demands to public space. To unite these is a good design and maintenance challenge!


dr. ir. S. (Supreeya) Wungpatcharapon Kasetsart University, Faculty of Architecture Low-income housing and community development

Is the urban environment more appreciated than the rural environment? Relating this to housing typologies, would it be better to design higher or lower densities? What cultural factors have to be taken into account when creating water sensitive housing?

via email, Bangkok, Thailand April 14th 2016

About public space

About the perception of water in Thai urban culture

What is public space in Thailand and what does Thai culture and Bangkok society ask from public space?

What is the cultural perception of water in the urban setting of Bangkok? Please refer to the work of Noppamas Chansiri (1999) who argues that the canal system in Bangkok has been an integral part of the communityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s culture and tradition. Bangkok locals utilized the canals not only merely for transport, but also recreational (e.g. swimming and fishing) and traditional activities as well i.e. the Loy Kratong festivity. Is there room to try shift the popular image of living in a stone house with a front lawn towards living with/on water? (For the middle class) I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see any room for that as the land along the water, the river, would be expensive. If they are rich, they might be able to afford to do so. Some may inherit the land and house from their ancestors. In general, the land along the water in an urban setting is quite inaccessible today. It mostly belongs to public organizations, government, or private sectors.

About the relation between civil society and lowincome communities What is the position of low-income communities in Thai society? Could the redevelopment of a canal community that includes water safety measures change the perception of low-income communities in Thai society? What are factors to be taken into consideration when creating a public space between a low-income community on one side and a middle segment neighbourhood on the other side? Can these even be planned so closely next to each other?

For the low income groups, some have lived along the water, either river or canal, for generations since they first settled in Bangkok and the land might belong to the government. Some squatted the land and didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t legally rent, especially before the initiation of Baan Mankong. Additional questions that were not answered: About new water sensitive housing in the middle segment Could new housing on water in the city affect the way people perceive water and could it help to change the perception of water?

Figure A.5 Photo with Polpat Nil-u-bon (PhD at Unesco-IHE) after an introductional conversation on Bangkok, planning and water, at Bangkok Art and Culture Center. (Source: Suzanne Glas)

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Figure B.1 The normative width of the Lat Phrao canal across multiple points. The normative width is the width of the unobstructed part of the canal. The used data is obtained from Google Earth. (Source: Author) 165


Figure B.2 Bangkok zoning plan/comprehensive city plan 2013. (Source: Bangkok City Planning Department, http://iad.bangkok.go.th/)


Figure B.3 Bangkok land elevation map. (Source: Team Group, http://www.navthai.com)

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Figure B.4 The plans of the Bang Bua community prior to the upgrading and after completion of the upgrading. (Source: website Design Other 90 Network)

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Figure B.5 Table explaining the roles of the different stakeholders within the Baan Mankong mechanism. (Source: Usavagovitwong & Posriprasert, 2006b, p. 527)

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Figure B.6 The designed houses for the redevelopement of the Bang Bua community. (Source: Wungpatcharapon & Tovivich, 2012, p. 31)

บานเดี่ยว

บานแฝด

บานแถว

SINGLE HOUSE SEMI-DETACHED ROW HOUSES HOUSE (TWIN)

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Figure B.7 Some design exercises with Dutch canal waterfronts in the pilot location. (Source: Author) 174


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ICAADE 2015

Workshops ICAADE & Design

C

This chapter contains input from the ICAADE 2015 (International Conference on Amphibious Architecture, Design and Engineering, Bangkok, Thailand) student workshop (August 2015) and the design workshop that was held for this research (April 2016), in the form of sketches and drawings.

During the summer of 2015 a student workshop was organized prior to the first International Conference on Amphibious Architecture Design and Engineering (ICAADE). The workshop addressed flooding problems in three rural villages north of Bangkok, near the former capital city of Ayutthaya. These village have a long history of living with water, but modern society is drifting away from this heritage and prefers static infrastructure to protect them from rising water. During the student workshop we learned about Thai indigenous water settlements and their dependence on the wet season and flooding for it brings water for agriculture, nutrients for a fertile soil and fish. The different student groups all tried to find ways to build on this heritage in order to find a more sustainable and adaptive way of living rather than turning to floodwalls and housing to capable of adaptation. New ideas generated by the group in a brainstorming exercise were improved uses of the ground floor when inundated, both underneath the houses as in the open spaces. The space underneath the houses is used for storage and relaxation, but during the wet season it gets inundated. Walls can be constructed to form a room under the house in the dry period that can be used as rafts during the wet season. Objects stored under the house do not have to be moved inside the house, which occupies a lot of space. The same can be done for open spaces, floating objects can be used to maintain public space even when the ground level is inundated. Figure C.3 shows the final result for a strategy for the village of Lad Chado.


Figure C.1 Student workshop of the ICAADE 2015 in Bangkok, August 2015: Fieldtrip to Ayutthaya province by the design team for the Lad Chado village, guided by dr. Thaitakoo of Chulalongkorn University. (Source: Author)

Figure C.2 All the participants of the ICAADE 2015 in Bangkok, August 2015. (Source: Laurent Qy Photography) Page 178 - 179 Figure C.3 The poster of the Lad Chado group, of which I was a part. (Source: Huang, Lee, Nantavisai, Boonrat & Ramkisor) 177


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Location 1

Location 2

Parcipant 1

Parcipant 2

Create a layered dike to protect for different landscapes during d sll providing water access. Elev buildings provide shade. Empty can be used as public space.

Parcipant 3

Create a social awareness of the role of water. Adaptaon can be reached by introducng new housing typologies. By using roofs for evacuaon the public space can flood. Create nodes along the canal with facilies and public space to show examples of living with water and adaptaon.

Use a dike to protect the vicinity form connecons between func


t the vicinity. The layer allow different water levels whilst vated paths between the spaces in the urban fabric

y and use its linear shape to cons.

Location 3 Parcipant 4

Two opons: widen the canal even further to allow a zone for elevated housing on the water with a vercal element as a dike or create a liveable dike. Either way the houses plus the vicinity are protected from flooding.

Parcipant 5

Also two opons: widening the canal further to allow a zone for elevated housing on the water with a vercal element as a dike or create a guer to catch overflowing water before it reaches the vicinity.


Location 1

Location 2

Parcipant 1

Parcipant 2

New development centered around the water. On the nodes central large space for water with housing around it. In the middle an arficial hill can be created to serve as a central evacuaon point for the surrounding houses. Access is provided through small pedestrian bridges.

The elevated pathways can also first level. Openings in these can ground level and reach higher le

Parcipant 3

Create a dynamic environment w of the buildings can be used as g


o serve as gardens on the n allow trees to grow on the evel.

with different levels. The roofs gardens.

Location 3 Parcipant 4

Access roads can be placed underneath elevated houses. The proposal is to only redevelop one side of the canal, which would reduce costs. A higher density would be necessary though, if low-rise is required, both sides can be redeveloped.

Parcipant 5

Remove the row of housing along the canal to provide space for an access road. Create a larger guer compared to round 1. When it is not needed to store and discharge water it can be used as public space. This can also be used as access road, in that case the row of housing along the canal remains and lowrise development is possible.


Design workshop In order to generate ideas of how to deal with redevelopment and water management within a limited space, a workshop was organized with five participating students with different backgrounds; architecture, urbanism and landscape architecture. For this workshop a small introduction was given into the research project. The problem of flooding in the Chao Phraya basin was briefly explained, followed by the threatening plans to evict the klong communities. The workshop was divided into two rounds, one where little design constraints were given and one where more constraints were added. There were three possible locations, as illustrated in figure 9.19 on page 101. The first round required a 30 metre wide canal without obstructions, the same amount of households compared to the present situation and a way to deal with water fluctuations of one metre. The given location provided information on the context (build or unbuilt). Three out of five participants used a dike to protect the vicinity from flooding. One proposed a gutter within the redevelopment that could intercept the water before it would reach the surrounding urban fabric. Elevated houses were used most often but amphibious housing and liveable dikes were also suggested. In one case the importance of awareness was mentioned and tackled with a network of public spaces along the canal to educate the general public. The second round added the requirements of low-rise building, the desire of the community for gardens or lawns, the need for sanitation infrastructure, publically accessible embankments for emergencies and maintenance, the re-use of housing materials and low costs. The main findings in this round was to elevate gardens to the first level or onto the roofs of the build-ings. An interesting point was to see whether it would be successful to only redevelop one side of the canal in the first stage in order to reach the objective regarding water management sooner. Mainly the workshop underlined my own design and design ideas.

Figure C.6 Participants during the design workshop in April 2016. (Source: Author)

Page 180 - 181 Figure C.4 Conclusion of the first round. (Source: drawings by Shyreen Shaib, Barbara Bekhof, Suzanne Glas, Linda Nijhof & Steph Kanters) Page 182 - 183 Figure C.5 Conclusion of the second round. (Source: drawings by Shyreen Shaib, Barbara Bekhof, Suzanne Glas, Linda Nijhof & Steph Kanters)

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Profile for Nirul Ra

Bridging the Gap (MSc thesis TU Delft)  

Finding small scale interventions along the Bangkok canals to contribute to the larger system of flood defence whilst preserving the informa...

Bridging the Gap (MSc thesis TU Delft)  

Finding small scale interventions along the Bangkok canals to contribute to the larger system of flood defence whilst preserving the informa...

Profile for nirulr
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