UPGRADING and INTEGRATION of Khlong Toei SLUM

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Linn Terese Larsen
  • Aslaug Tveit
4. term, Urban Design, Master (Master Programme)
The project is inspired by the challenges of the accelerated rising of slums and the consequential urban segregation of the contemporary world related to the continuous urbanization and the growing number of megacities. The project is carried out in Bangkok, Thailand. Bangkok is chosen as the project site based in our personal interest in the city, after having visiting the city several times over the last couple of years. During a study tour with Aalborg University in 2006, we got to see a side of the city unknown to most tourists, the underside of the growing urbanization – poverty. “While the world’s urban population grew very rapidly over the 20th century (from 220 million to 2.8 billion), the next few decades will see an unprecedented scale of urban growth in the developing world. This will be particularly notable in Africa and Asia where the urban population will double between 2000 and 2030, after which developing countries will have 80 % of the world’s urban population” (UNFPA 2008). An outstanding feature of urban population growth in the 21st century is that it will be composed, to a large extent, of poor people (UN Millennium Project 2005). Cities are the main beneficiaries of globalisation. Still, very few developing-country cities generate enough jobs to meet the demands of their growing populations. Moreover, the benefits of urbanization are not equally enjoyed by all segments of the population, resulting in large socio-economic disparities within the cities (Kötter 2004). Poor people are, for the most part, consigned to socially segregated areas of slums. Today, slum dwellers worldwide include one out of every three city dwellers, adding up to a billion people. Over 90 % of slum dwellers today are in the developing world. South Asia has the largest share, followed by Eastern Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America (UNFPA 2008). Over the past several decades, Bangkok’s population has risen sharply, as a result of urbanization. Including daily commuters, Bangkok’s current total population is estimated to approximately 16 million. Bangkok surely is a city of contrasts. On the one hand it is emerging as a regional centre for tourists and business visitors, extending beyond a horizon bristling with skyscrapers, elevated expressways and skytrains, blending shopping centres, pockets of greenery, and glittering temples. On the other hand Bangkok struggles with the consequences of the city’s rapid urbanization, with a whole range of issues, such as poverty, density, urban segregation, waste management and pollution. We see Bangkok as a city with great potentials, but we stress the importance of reacting to the urban segregation by integrating of the city’s various social groups in the future development of the megacity. The project site is situated in the city’s largest slum; Khlong Toei slum, more specifically the 7,2 hectare Lock 1-3 community, located on Bangkok Port, 6 km from the city centre. In the course of working with a specific slum community, our goal is to acquire a more comprehensive understanding of the current megacities’ prevailing challenges, related to poverty. The project aims to upgrade the slum dwellers’ living conditions by improving housing conditions, infrastructure, open space and sanitary conditions, and further to promote the integration of the slum community and the formal Bangkok. This leads to the research question/ thesis statement: How can we, as Urban Designers, upgrade Khlong Toei slum and promote its integration with the formal city, through physical design?
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2009
Publishing institutionAAU

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ID: 17634984