Jordan Goldstein   Thabo Lenneiye   Sarah Rottenberg   Marisol Champoonote DeRosa   Patrick Brandon   Kim Centrone   Eric DeFeo   Kristen Fox   Carolina Garzon   Kenneth Liew   Paul Myers   Punnin Sukkasem   Ing Yolwaree   

A unique collaboration between Gensler, Di Design (Thailand), GDiD (Thailand) + University of Pennsylvania Integrated Product Design students + University of Maryland Architecture graduate students + Chulalongkorn University students (Thailand) + Thammasat University students (Thailand). We are united to develop an ecologically and socially conscious low-income housing solution for the slums of Bangkok.

Hybrid Canal-Rail Transit Connectivity

Yanyong Boon-Long, AIA

yanyong@alum.berkeley.edu

In 2012, I wrote a peer-review paper in the book “The Design and Development of Sustainable Cities: International and Thai Perspective on Urban Design in the 21th Century”. The book was published by  Thammasat University. Professor Peter G. Rowe from Harvard University help reviewed the book while Professor Vimolsiddhi Horayangura provided the main editorial framework.

The paper calls for resurrecting Bangkok’s ancient canals and connecting them with Metro Rapid Transit (MRT) system. There are over a thousand waterways in Bangkok.  So, why not take advantage of a slower but wide-spread network of canals and connect them to a faster network of Metro transit?

In terms of the city’s overall connectivity, such hybrid linkages of canals and metro transit would provide rapid – and random – long distant “jump” across the city, a phenomenon that could not be provided by any one type of transit system alone.

By April 2014, I’m have initiated a research project with Rockefeller Foundation and Thammasat University to further study this canal-Metro connectivity issues. This research is still on-going and involves multiple stake-holders ranging from private companies to public sectors.

Ever noticed that you tend to find love through a distant friend rather a close friend? The same is true of jobs; you usually find the right jobs through distant friends because your close friends are far less likely to provide you with new unexpected information.

Small Work Network Graph (Watt and Strogatt, Cornell University) shows us that information tends to move more rapidly when dissimilar nodes connect with one another.

In the graph shown above,  if you are represented by ‘A’ and your prospective lover is ‘C’, then it would take you across many nodes to arrive at ‘C’. In this case, you are trying to find love through your close friends; and you’d end up saying: “True love is hard to find”.

On the other hand, if you speak to a distant friend (‘B’), who is someone you don’t really know too well, then you could jump across and connect to person ‘C’ right away, with only 1 degree of separation. In this case, you’d say “the true joy of life is to live dangerously!”

Similarly, people could find jobs and new economic opportunities through a hybrid system of transit that connects distant nodes together in unexpected ways. This would lead to new opportunities such as being able to jump across the city and go to schools that were inaccessible before; or being able to take new jobs and employees that are not part of your close-knitted canal circle.

Advantages of Canal-Metro Connection

1. Connection Speed:

It provides an opportunity for a faster connection speed between nodes. (Within a given city) Hybrid Transit network allows for the phenomenon of Small World Network to come into play.

2. Connectivity:

The number of possible ‘connectivity’ within a given city – regardless of connection speed – could be expressed using the permutation function. Since we want two-way directional connectivity, so we use permutation rather than combination function (*Note that the combination function is being used in ‘Metcalfe Law’ to express telecommunication network connectivity).

‘Connectivity’ and ‘connection speed’ are two different things. For example, you could have a very high internet speed with very few nodes of connectivity. Or you could have a city-wide network of connectivity at a very low connection speed.

The connectivity of a given city can be expressed as:

P(n,r) = n(n-1)(n-2)(n-3)…(n-r+1) = n!/(n-r)!

 Where ‘r’ = 2 (two connecting nodes such as A-B, B-A, or B-C etc.)

           ‘n’ = number of nodes

So with ‘r’= 2, we ended up with:

 P(n,r) = n(n-1)

In this example, if you double the number of nodes, you don’t double the number of connectivity – but you quadrupled the connectivity. The connectivity increases exponentially as more nodes are added.

Opportunities for Investors

1. Retail Shops at Canal-Metro Stations

The intersection(s) of canal lines and Metro stations is an ideal place for retail activities. These canal-to-Metro stations could act as catalysts in regenerating the much needed economic activities and jobs for the informal settlements along the canals. They would also enable informal residents to gain faster access to healthcare facilities and service along rail lines that were previously out of their reach.

2. Community Ports

Local “Community ports” could be set up along the canals to transport small cargo. Small consumer goods and products could be delivered continuously throughout the day – unlike automobile transport which is limited by fixed delivery time in the early morning or night time.

The Community Port could operate by charging fees for using its service; the money collected will be shared with the community and the investors.

3. New Fleet of Boats

Investment should be made in new enclosed boats that are safe and accessible to seniors and working professionals. People should be able to work while in transit –similar to being in a subway.

No subway car in the world is open to the tunnel (exposing the riders to rats, garbage, and other unpleasant odor); why should canal boats be open to smelly waterways?

The current canal boats in Bangkok are very much sub-standard and are not accessible to seniors and kids. They are open to polluted water and the riders must hold up plastic curtains to keep their face dry.

It’s a chicken and egg scenario. What should come first? Clean waterways? Or transit riders? I opted for more transit riders as a tool for economic development around the canals so that the standard of living of along the canals could be improved. There would be more demand to clean up the canals once there is more ridership.

Bangkok is a mega-city with a population of over 10 million. The average Bangkokian spends 4 hours in traffic jam – half of their productive work life. This leads to high anxiety level combined with high environmental problems.

Resurrecting the ancient canal networks could help alleviate Bangkok’s connectivity’s problem, free up commuting time for its residents, and develop new economic activities. 

— 2 weeks ago
About our trip…

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 1033014

— 12 months ago

Our promotional video.  

Watch this space the book will be available soon!

— 1 year ago
#lenneiye  #building on community  #video 
Plastic Formwork System from Moladi
The plastic formwork kits can each be reused to cast fifty homes, after which the plastic is recycled into household consumer products such as toilet seats. The result is a house that can both withstand natural disasters and provide thermal insulation and moisture resistance. Moreover, it leads to local job creation without compromising quality or integrity. The Plastic Formwork System has been used in housing projects throughout South Africa, and the company has established branches in thirteen countries, including Namibia, Mozambique, and Mexico.

Plastic Formwork System from Moladi

The plastic formwork kits can each be reused to cast fifty homes, after which the plastic is recycled into household consumer products such as toilet seats. The result is a house that can both withstand natural disasters and provide thermal insulation and moisture resistance. Moreover, it leads to local job creation without compromising quality or integrity. The Plastic Formwork System has been used in housing projects throughout South Africa, and the company has established branches in thirteen countries, including Namibia, Mozambique, and Mexico.

— 1 year ago
#moladi  #plastic formwork  #Design with the other 90% cities 
The FLOAT house

Float House is potentially an answer to both issues of sustainability and low-cost housing.

— 2 years ago with 1 note
#sustainability  #house  #morphosis  #float house 
Hanging on for better times in Bangkok's Klong Toey slum →

A Swedish expat’s idea to keep clothes from slipping off hangers is now helping the city’s poor

— 2 years ago
#Kenneth Liew  #income generation 
MIT architects have produced the first prototype “Pinwheel House” in an effort to see if low-cost homes can be constructed for $1,000, total.
Pinwheel House is modular dwelling consisting of two natural materials, earth block and bamboo, that can be easily assembled via interlocking rectangular room units that surround a central courtyard space.

MIT architects have produced the first prototype “Pinwheel House” in an effort to see if low-cost homes can be constructed for $1,000, total.

Pinwheel House is modular dwelling consisting of two natural materials, earth block and bamboo, that can be easily assembled via interlocking rectangular room units that surround a central courtyard space.

— 2 years ago with 1 note
#precedent  #Kenneth Liew  #housing aggregation 

My classmate from Cornell, Ben Uyeda who founded FreeGreen.com has made this awesome video on how to create your own homemade herb garden.  Easy and using existing materials! 

(Source: vimeo.com)

— 2 years ago with 1 note
#Marisol Champoonote DeRosa  #FreeGreen.com  #Ben Uyeda  #Garden  #Herb 
Wood That Reaches New Heights →

Cross-laminated timber, a sort of supersize plywood, is already popular in Europe in ever-taller buildings that can be a cheaper and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional buildings.

— 2 years ago
#Marisol Champoonote DeRosa  #Wood 

From TYIN Architects project in rural Thailand:

http://www.tyinarchitects.com/projects/soe-ker-tie-house/

— 2 years ago