BANGKOK — Imagine riverside areas friendly to pedestrians and cyclists, or sidewalks wide enough to actually walk on in some favorite neighborhoods.
As Bangkok moves toward 250, these are the kind of suggestions a group of planners and community members have spent six months and 40 workshops developing as part of Bangkok 250, a City Hall-backed project to plan the future of the capital city’s most legendary locations over the next 16 years.
The project, led by the Urban Design and Development Center, was announced last year to develop a model to connect existing historic sites with the contemporary urban context of Bangkok as a gift for the city’s 250th birthday in 2032.
The three major zones identified in the plan are Yothi-Ratchawithi Road near the Victory Monument, the cosmopolitan nightlife area of Thonglor-Ekkamai, and the Old Bangkok stretch around the Chang, Phrachan and Tha Tien piers.
The urban design plan will also cover five smaller areas, such as the transit areas of BTS Siam, Phaya Thai and Ari. It also includes a walkway across the Chao Phraya River, which will be built on an unfinished Skytrain structure that has sat unused for two decades near the Phra Pok Klao Bridge, and space along the canal close to the bridge.
The presentation is the second phase of the project and follows a development plan for the Kadeejeen-Khlong San riverside communities introduced last year. Under that plan, accessible riverside areas would be created including a promenade area with a bike lane and tourist information center.
The latest brainstorming sessions included looking at the Thonglor-Ekkamai areas for possibilities such as turning some unused areas into green space as well as expanding the sidewalks.
The whole plan will be unveiled between 1pm to 4:30pm on Thursday at the Siam Pavalai Royal Grand Theatre in Siam Paragon.
Speakers will be urban development wonks such as the two architects behind The Great Outdoor Market at the Bangkok Docklands and the founder of Ma:D Club for Better Society, Bangkok’s leading space for discussion of social issues.
English translation of the event will be provided via headphones.
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