NAKHARA (Journal of Environmental Design and Planning)


Benjamin Casper

Publication Date



More than 1.100 khlong1in Bangkok offer various opportunities for urban development. Over 2.200 km still exist in the Province of Bangkok alone. Transport and living space onthe water are foundonly along certain parts of the system as khlong are predominantly used as open sewage, drainage and irrigation system. The particular urban structure creates complementary spaces that interface water with land. This article aims to understand the logic of structural elements of Bangkok in the Chao Phraya Delta of Thailand and to change the viewpoint, to look from the water to the city. To understand the researchapproach better the water space, consisting of the canal and the naturalor planned fl ooded adjacent spaces, is disentangled and reconnected to the built landscape. Defi nitions are refi ned for a clearer understanding of terms, especially because water is addressed interdisciplinary and hence needs a common language. Water spatial resilience isimportant because spatial variations infl uence a system's resilience. With the aim toidentify the transformability of the spatial structure, waterspace characteristics are recognized. These characteristics are derived from studyingcomplex adaptive systems, networks, the resilience-concepts, andinnate properties of waterways, especially in the Chao Phraya Delta. The framework condensing urban development principles from an amphibian perspective is based on the adoption of space in Bangkok. Amphibious architecture, water-space urban design and water-use planning evolvingfrom a water-space-perspective can lead to an amphibian living space.

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