Largest rooftop farm in Asia mimics rice terraces to protect against flooding

Landscapers have planted Asia’s largest urban rooftop farm atop one of Thailand’s oldest universities. The 7,000-square-meter green space can help feed people and even mitigate the effects of climate change, such as flooding.

Thammasat University, around 40 kilometers away from Bangkok’s city center, is now home to Asia’s largest urban rooftop farm. Covering 7,000 square meters, the green space mimics the rice terraces found throughout northern Thailand.

While locals can use it to grow rice, herbs and vegetables, the rooftop garden serves a second, equally important purpose: it is designed to help curb some of the impacts of climate change, such as frequent flooding, according to an article by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

This is especially important in a city like Bangkok, which is built on floodplains. Climate experts forecast that the Thai capital will be hit hard by extreme weather conditions, with up to 40% of the city prone to flooding each year by 2030 due to increased rainfall, explains the article. Green spaces that can absorb some of that rainwater could help mitigate some of the worst of the flooding.

Kotchakorn Voraakhom, the landscape architect behind this project, began thinking more about climate-resilient design after one-fifth of Bangkok was flooded in 2011. She recently designed a 4-hectare public park at another university in Bangkok that can hold nearly 3.8 million liters of rainwater.

At the farm’s opening earlier this month, Voraakhom, who was recently named by Time magazine as one of the next 100 rising stars, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation why rooftop farms have an important role to play in cities.

“There are limited opportunities to create new green spaces in cities,” Voraakhom told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “Urban rooftop farms are an easy and effective climate solution, and should be the norm.”

Image credit: hereisthailand via Pixabay

You may also like...

Leave a Reply