Bangkok transforms old railway into an urban park

Thailand’s capital is opening a new urban park on an abandoned railway. The project is designed to boost well-being for city dwellers and to mitigate the effects of climate change.

The Phra Pok Klao Sky Park in Bangkok is due to open in late June. Built on an abandoned elevated train track, it is designed as a model for turning other unused spaces in the Thai capital into green areas, according to a World Economic Forum blog.

“It may not be large, but it has outsized importance as a catalyst for urban regeneration, and can change the way people look at public spaces,” said Niramon Serisakul, director of Urban Design and Development Center, a consultancy that led the project. Measuring 280 metres by 8 metres, the park makes it easier for residents to access nearby schools, markets and places of worship, she added.

The project is designed not only to boost urban wellbeing, but also to mitigate the effects of climate change. Bangkok, built on the floodplains of the Chao Phraya River, is forecast by climate experts to be an urban area that will be hardest hit by extreme weather conditions in the coming years, writes WEF.

According to landscape architect Kotchakorn Voraakhom, who was involved in the project, parks and rooftop gardens can reduce air pollution and harmful emissions, and also limit flooding.

Image courtesy of Land Process Design via WEF

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