A review of the new pedestrian garden bridge in Bangkok
Could this repurposed railway bridge be a catalyst for future urban regeneration projects?
Hello from Ho Chi Minh City. I’ve just returned from a trip to Hanoi, where the opening of the first metro line has been further delayed until later this year. It’s already one of the slowest construction times for a new metro, so the new delays are pushing it further down the table.
There are two lines under construction, and I visited some of the stations of both lines. I will post a report about the Hanoi Metro next week.
This week’s feature article is a guest post by Greg from The Bangkok Podcast. I’m hoping to have more guest posts in the future to expand city coverage, and to also give me time out when I am visiting cities for article research.
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Chao Phraya Sky Park – Bangkok’s pedestrian garden bridge across the Chao Phraya River
Bangkok made world news in the last month with the opening of a new park on a bridge of an abandoned railway project.
Recycling old buildings and industrial infrastructure is not common in Southeast Asia, and new city parks are a rarity, so no wonder it was newsworthy. I’m hopeful that this project will provide inspiration for other cities.
Singapore is the leading regional example (of course) of repurposing an old railway. The Green Corridor is a walking path along the old Singapore-KL railway line.
Bangkok should also take notice of this for when deciding what to do with its old railway lines. The current Bangkok railway station at Hua Lamphong is set to be replaced with the new Bang Sue station to the north of the city. This will create a corridor where the line between the two stations run.
There will eventually be a commuter railway here, but it is not known if it’s elevated or underground. This would be a good opportunity to make a new walking and cycling path on this route. The ultimate dream would be to then connect it to a new park at the railway land at Makkasan.
It’s not just disused railways that have a potential second life either. After seeing the urban regeneration projects of Seoul, I now look at elevated roadways and neglected canals and wonder if they too can be transformed.
As I don’t know when I will be able to visit Bangkok next, I got someone who is more familiar with the city to do a review of the new sky park. Read the article here:
Southeast Asia Railways
As the pandemic has made clear, a healthy, prosperous future will depend on the development of the kinds of density that encourage strong social infrastructure.
“Compared with its neighbors, the Philippines has been a laggard in terms of sustaining Chinese investments.”
“Villas and architectural works built before 1954 in Hanoi will not be licensed for renovation and repair in the near future.”
Having just visited Hanoi this week I saw many old villas that have been modified to the point of badly damaging the original structure. Hopefully what remains can be more appropriately restored.
“People in Vietnam’s Southeast region are spending millions of Dong to turn their houses into bird nest farms that use loud noises to attract the birds, disrupting the rural peace and quiet. Authorities have been struggling to steer this practice towards a more sustainable direction.”
I’ve seen these bird nest farms in provincial Malaysian cities, in Kampot in Cambodia, and they are now popping up around Vietnam as well. This should be classified as an agricultural business and should not be allowed in city centres.
Hanoi made the New York Times this week for the world’s first gold-plated hotel.