Bangkok, Thailand’s capital city, is rapidly sinking. To make matters worse, sea levels around the country are rising rapidly.
Rather than constructing levees or dams, S+PBA bothered to ask — Why not use nature’s existing resources to prevent natural disasters that are affecting not only Thailand’s biggest cities but its most vulnerable populations? The company’s answer: its most recent project: a prototype community inspired by Thailand’s indigenous traditions of flood-conscious water-based design that is not only contemporary and sustainable but visually stunning.
The original city of Bangkok, built on marshland over 300 years ago, is witnessing the rapid deterioration of its land. Development of the city above has exhausted its underground aquifers, leaving them unable to handle flood waters.
The city is surrounded by waters polluted by Thailand’s once-booming shrimp farm industry and made worse by ongoing development projects that neglect the country’s pressing environmental issues.
Instead of developing as if there were no water crisis, S+PBA has woven the reality of the environment into their design. Their Wetropolis plan is grounded (literally) in mangroves, indigenous plants that naturally naturally filter water, supply fresh oxygen, and combat global warming by cooling surrounding waters. S+PBA’s design includes plans for sustainable shrimp farming, which can occur in a sustainable manner when the water is constantly filtered, and community housing, where people can live above water in a network of interconnected homes, pathways, and roads.